How to Spend Your Best 3 Days in Cappadocia

Couple looking at the Hot air Balloons over the Red Valley in Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia is a breathtaking and enchanting region in the Anatolian plains, known for its unique landscapes and stunning beauty. It is rich in biblical history, and the Hittites, who were early Christians, used the soft stones to create fascinating caves where they lived and worked alongside their animals. Central Cappadocia, pronounced as Kap-ah-do-kya, in Anatolia, Turkey, offers an unforgettable experience. My curiosity led me to explore this area, and I was glad I did. Our 3-day Cappadocia itinerary was terrific, and I have compiled a guide to the best attractions in Cappadocia.

Couple overlooking the town from the  viewpoint in Göreme, Cappadocia
us at the viewpoint in Göreme, Cappadocia

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Cappadocia Travel Guide

The history of “The land of beautiful horses”, or Kapadokya as it’s also known, began more than 10,000 years ago in 1965. J Melaart discovered the remains of an ancient civilisation while carrying out excavations. Christians in Cappadocia went through years of persecution that forced them to live and work underground. In the Bible’s New Testament, you’ll find more of the history of the Hittites who lived in this part of central Anatolia long before the birth of Jesus Christ.

Travel Tips to Cappadocia

For information on Currency, language, required Visas, travel adapters, gadgets, safety, and tips on travelling around Turkey, visit the Ultimate Planner for Travel to Turkey. Turkish people are warm and friendly. They like to ask about your well-being and invite you for complimentary tea, coffee, or juice, which can get overwhelming.

Islamic holidays: Ramadan and Kurban Bayrami are the major Islamic holidays. They begin at Sunset on the first day and last until sundown the following day. Keep this in mind when booking your accommodation.

Take out Travel Insurance: You can buy and claim online, even after you’ve left home. Compare quotes for Travel insurance between Safety Wing Travel Insurance and They offer insurance to people from over 130 Countries. Designed for adventurous travellers, medical cover, evacuation, baggage, and adventure sports activities.

How many days in Cappadocia

With so much to see and experience, I recommend at least a 3-day Cappadocia Itinerary; however, we could easily stay a month. A standard Cappadocia map is freely available everywhere in Göreme and Cappadocia. This historic natural wonder in Central Anatolia is the most beautiful region in Turkey.

Best Time To Visit Cappadocia

Cappadocia is an all-year-round travel destination, and each season has its charisma. The best time to visit Cappadocia depends on the experience you want. But whatever season you choose, you will go home satisfied, having spent the best three days in Kapadokya. We visited Cappadocia in June, and the weather was perfect. Visit monthly Cappadocia weather temperatures.

Cappadocia weather and Cappadocia temperature
Cappadocia weather and Cappadocia temperature

How to get from Istanbul to Cappadocia

Options for travelling from Istanbul to Cappadocia by road: You can take a bus, rent a car, or book a tour. 

Flights to Cappadocia from Istanbul

The best way to Travel from Istanbul to Cappadocia is by air. There are several daily flights from Istanbul To Cappadocia. Your fastest option is to book a flight that lasts about 1 hour and 20 minutes. At least three airlines fly out of both Istanbul airports. Istanbul to Nevsehir and Istanbul Kayseri flights are not expensive, especially when booked in advance. Flights depart from both Istanbul Atatürk Airport and Sabiha Gokcen Airport. Check for Flight specials on Travelstart

Two Istanbul Airports & Cappadocia Airports

You can easily travel from Istanbul to Cappadocia using two significant airports: Nevşehir-Kapadokya Airport (NEV) and Kayseri’s Erkilet Airport (ASR). Relax with a stress-free transfer between Cappadocia and Kayseri or Nevşehir Airport. Avoid the stress of finding a taxi or figuring out public transportation and arrive safely at your destination. See options for Cappadocia airport transfer.

  • Atatürk Istanbul International Airport, situated on the European side of Istanbul,
  • Sabiha Gökçen is located on the Asian side of Istanbul.   

Travel to Cappadocia by Road

Distance Istanbul To Cappadocia: Istanbul to Cappadocia (Istanbul to Goreme) is about 735 kilometres.

Rent a Car: If you decide to drive to Cappadocia, you can rent a car at Istanbul Airport and make the 9-hour drive there. To explore the valleys, compare car rental from Rentalcars with car rental from Auto Europe.

Travel to Cappadocia by Bus: I recommend taking the overnight bus from Istanbul to Cappadocia. With a travel time of 10 hours, this option allows you to cut down on one night’s stay, making it a budget-friendly choice. Turkish buses do not have bathroom facilities, so ask the bus company about their stops before booking. We had a terrible experience with the Kamil-Koc company as the driver refused to stop within the first 5 hours.

In short, You can easily travel from Istanbul to Cappadocia using two significant airports: Nevşehir-Kapadokya Airport (NEV) and Kayseri’s Erkilet Airport (ASR). Shuttle vans operate frequently and can take you from both airports to your hotel in Cappadocia.

What to do in Cappadocia

It’s highly recommended that you spend at least two nights in Cappadocia to immerse yourself in the myriad of unique destinations fully. Below, we present our handpicked selection of top attractions and activities in Cappadocia. Although we managed to navigate most of these experiences independently, we suggest booking a tour for a more guided approach. The following unique experiences and Cappadocia Valleys are worth mentioning and exploring.

Cappadocia Trips and Tours

  1. Explore Goreme town on foot and admire the Sunset from the Sunset Point Goreme (Asiklar Tepesi). Also known as Lover’s Hill or Asiklar Tepesi, it offers a nearly 360-degree view of the area. It can be easily reached on foot within 15 minutes walking distance from Göreme town. If you need to go there by car, the taxi drivers know exactly where it is. If you drive by yourself, please be cautious, as the road is
  2. Experience Cappadocia from the Air at Sunrise or Sunset. Secure your place and book an amazing tour before it’s too late—Goreme Hot Air Balloon Flight Tour at Sunrise. You cannot miss seeing the fairy chimneys from 2,000 feet above.
  3. You won’t want to miss the underground cities in Cappadocia. During your three-day Cappadocia itinerary, we took a bus from Goreme to explore the Underground cities of Derinkuyu and Kaymakli. You can also book a South Cappadocia Full-Day Green Tour with Derinkuyu Underground City.
  4. Explore the Cappadocia Valleys, which are safe and filled with tranquillity, small animals, birdlife, fruit trees, and lovely caves with fresco paintings.

Cappadocias Incredible Valleys

The Valleys in Cappadocia cover nearly 5,000 square kilometres and are home to numerous valleys. In addition to their peaceful surroundings, the atmosphere is fantastic and unusual, making it a truly unique destination. Each valley has its charm, so deciding which one to explore is challenging. Therefore, I’ve handpicked the best valleys for you to visit.

Pigeon Valley Cappadocia

The Cappadocia Pigeon Valley, also known as Güvercinlik Valley, is between Göreme and Uçhisar and derives its name from the many Pigeon houses. With unique rock formations and caves with fresco paintings, Pigeon Valley is worth exploring. Hiking there and back was an amazing experience. If you prefer not to hike back, you can take the bus from Uçhisar. We just walked, and even when we felt lost, we knew we’d get our way back. During our exploration, we saw a few small animals, including a tortoise and many birds.

Cappadocia Rose Valley

The beautiful Rose Valley is located in the Nevsehir region of Cappadocia, between Goreme, Cavusin, and Urgup, right next to Red Valley. The rose and red valley Cappadociay are often mistaken for one another since both have a pinkish-red hue of the rock is left by the sun at various times of the day. The Red and Rose Valley glows brightly during Sunset, creating a magical sight.

Love Valley Cappadocia, Turkey

The Love Valley in Cappadocia is located between the towns of Göreme and Çavuşin. Love Valley Cappadocia, also known as Baglidere Valley, gets its name from the tall, soft rock formations that resemble interesting phallic shapes. The Love Valley Turkey are not a typical rock formation; one can see how the name was derived. You have two options to get to Love Valley.

Directions to the Love Valley hiking trail to Uchisar: Begin the Love Valley Goreme hike (Google Maps) by taking the turnoff on the left (before the turnoff to the pin for Love Valley).

  • Cappadocia Red Tour: The Red Tour Cappadocia includes a small guided tour around northern Cappadocia’s top attractions. Experience the fairy chimneys, including a pick-up and lunch.
  • Take a small-group Guided Green Tour from Göreme and discover the charming fairy chimneys, extraordinary Derinkuyu, Ihlara, and Nar Lake. The tour includes lunch.
  • Customisable Tour: You can decide and Discover Cappadocia freely in a luxury vehicle with a private driver.
  • Blue Cappadocia tour: On the Cappadocia Blue tour, you will visit historic sites such as the Underground City, Red, and Rose Valley with a private guide.
  • Adventurers explore the captivating landscapes of Cappadocia on an exhilarating ATV tour Cappadocia.
  • Hiking in Cappadocia and exploring an underground city. Visit Cappadocia hiking trip.
  • Cappadocia bike tours with Sunset.

Distances of Attractions from Goreme

Here are unique places to experience in Cappadocia and the travel distances from Göreme.     

  • Goreme Open-Air Museum: 1.7 km
  • Dark Church: 1.7 km
  • Uchisar Castle: 2.3 km
  • Zelve Open Air Museum‎: 4.9 km
  • Nikolos Monastery: 7.4 km
  • Urgup Museum:  7.6 km
  • Nevsehir University:  7.8 km
  • Pigeon- and Rose Valley: 1.3 km
  • Tuzla Su Park:  8 km
  • Şehit Polis Ahmet Kara Park:  8.2 km
  • Zeki Soyak Park:  8.4 km
  • Red River River: 10 km
  • Apple Church: 15.7 km
  • Özkonak Underground City: 18.6 km
  • Mazı Underground City: 18.9 km

Best Sunrise In Cappadocia 

For your best Sunrise in Cappadocia, here are a few spots to add to your Cappadocia Itinerary:

  • From a Hot Air Balloon.
  • Visit the Sunset Point in Red Valley near Ortahisar,
  • At the Fairy Chimneys in the Love Valley or Zemi Valley
  • Go to Ortahisar Castle,
  • The Panorama Point near Urgup
  • Hotel Rox Cappadocia
  • Sunset viewpoint in Göreme.

Istanbul To Cappadocia Tours / Goreme Tours 

Prices For Tours And Activities

The Cappadocia holiday can be as expensive as you want it to be. However, it all depends on where you stay, what and where you eat, the excursions you take and the transport you use.

The Best Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride

The best place in the world for a Hot air balloon ride is undoubtedly in Cappadocia. However, for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, do not leave the balloon ride until the last day, as the weather is unpredictable. Your tour company will pick you up early and drive you to a venue for coffee and a light breakfast.

After a short safety briefing, you can continue to the launch site, where dozens of Balloons get ready to take off. They first prepare the Balloon, and you can only take your stand. Seeing all the balloons taking off into the air is fantastic and exciting. The 360-degree breathtaking view over Cappadocia at sunrise is worth every penny. Your Balloon driver will turn the Balloon every few minutes to ensure you see everything possible. The best spot is at the back, not between the poles on the sides. Rides are available twelve months a year, weather permitting.

Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Price

A must-do during your best 3 days in Cappadocia is to Book a Hot air Balloon flight. Book your Hot air balloon ride long before your 3-day Cappadocia Itinerary starts. The options vary depending on the group size, ranging from $190 per person. There are about 25 Hot air Balloon Companies. Flights last about 60 minutes. A smaller group or longer ride will come at a much higher price.

What To Pack For Your Hot Air Balloon Excursion

Prepare for the unpredictable weather and much cooler high up in the air. 

  • Layered clothing
  • Rain jacket as the weather is unpredictable,
  • A warm jacket
  • Gloves, hat, and scarf as it gets cold up in the air.
  • Camera equipment and spare batteries
  • Water
  • Binoculars (optional)

Where To Stay in Cappadocia

Kapadokya Otelleri – Best Hotels In Cappadocia 

From Luxury hotels & cave suites to Backpacker hostels, the choice is endless. For various accommodations and exclusive deals, check out my link below. They’ve never disappointed us and provide free cancellation.

See what awaits you and check out these fantastic places: Sultana Caves Suite, The Museum Hotel, Hezen Cave Hotel, and Sultan Cave Suites. All of these gems offer breathtaking views over the Valleys. For instance, at Sultan Cave Suites, you can enjoy breakfast on the rooftop deck while admiring the magnificent view as hot air balloons paint the sky with vibrant hues. Even if you don’t stay overnight, you can relax on the Turkish rugs and cushions on the rooftop deck and watch the hot air balloons passing by. Remember to capture fantastic photos to relive the wonderful experience back home.

Cave hotel Cappadocia Winter in Turkey
Cave Hotel Cappadocia Winter in Turkey

Check out Prices and read reviews on the Top things to Do in Cappadocia, Turkey.
For the Best Places to Stay in Goreme, visit
, and for the recommended car rentals, visit Save up to 30% on Car Rentals Worldwide.

Other Towns & Attractions

How To Get To Cappadocia: Nevsehir Cappadocia

Nevsehir, called Nyssa, is 9 miles from Urgup Museum in the Valley of Kizilirmak on Mount Kahveci. The Hittites found it more than 3000 years ago.

How To Travel From Nevsehir To Cappadocia 

There are various ways to travel from the airport of Nevsehir to Cappadocia if your Hotel needs to arrange a shuttle. Transport and other services in and around Cappadocia. The cheapest way to get to Cappadocia will cost approximately 20 Turkish Lira and take 15 to 20 minutes.

For the best way to travel to Cappadocia, in and around Turkey, or during your Istanbul, Cappadocia 3-day Itinerary, check out Turkey Travel Talk.

Uchisar Town in Cappadocia
Uchisar Town in Cappadocia

JESUS was 30 when he began teaching the word of God in Palestine and was crucified upon the accusations of Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor of Jerusalem. Disciples of Jesus Christ left Palestine to spread the lessons of Christianity in different regions of Turkey.

Best 3 Days In Cappadocia

Explore The Cappadocia Churches

During your Istanbul to Cappadocia Itinerary 3 days, you will be amazed by the beautiful Churches. At least 600 churches in the area were made out of soft rock, with the most beautiful paintings from ancient times on the walls. Also, experience the exotic groups of about 16-20 meter high fairy chimneys in the ZELVE region.

Zelve villages bear evidence that Christians and Muslims once lived here together. You will be astonished by how the Hittites lived and everything they accomplished with the very little they had. Exploring the churches is one of the best things to do during your 3 days in Cappadocia.

In addition to the Göreme Open-Air Museum, rock-cut churches adorned with fresco paintings can be seen in the surrounding valleys. The subterranean refuges of Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı offer some of the most stunning sights.

Uchisar Cappadocia

The Uchisar Valley and Uçhisar Castle are popular travel destinations during their Cappadocia holidays. About 8 km from Nevsehir, Uçhisar attracts many visitors, mainly to Uchisar Castle. The tallest Fairy Chimneys are also visible from a distance.

Where To Stay During Your Istanbul To Cappadocia Itinerary 3 Days

To experience 21st-century cave living, staying in one of Cappadocia’s cave hotels will give you a glimpse into this unique lifestyle. For the best accommodation and special prices at Uçhisar Otelleri, Nevsehir Otelleri, Uçhisar Otelleri, and other accommodations in the area, visit

Cavusin Village

The Village Cavusin is midway between Goreme and Avanos in the Avanos district. Churches and houses in the area were built between the 1st and 10th centuries. The church dedicated to St. John the Baptist can be viewed today and is a famous attraction among Christian priests and tourists.

Monks Valley

Where To Find The Best Lookouts 

One of your best memorable experiences during your Istanbul to Cappadocia 3-day Itinerary will be the sunrises and sunsets. Although there are many viewing points in the area, the one located at Kızılçukur Seyir Tepesi charges an entrance fee. The sunset cafe in the Red Valley, situated in Monks Valley, is a must-see during your Cappadocia holiday. Finally, visit the Panorama lookout near Orthisar, a mere 15-minute drive outside Goreme.

Monks Valley is perfect for relaxing on cushions or a couch beside little wooden tables. The magnificent view over the valley is an unreplaceable memory that will last a lifetime and is one of the best places to capture the Sunset. You can take cash to buy refreshments at the Cafe at the viewpoint. They sell wine, beer, and snacks.

Caves Monks Valley
Caves in Monks Valley


The small charming town of Ortahisar was used as a shelter by Christians during ancient times.


About 1 km off the Zelve turn on the Avanos road, multi-coned and tall Fairy Chimneys await you. Love Valley is 4 km long and located north of Avcilar, with chirping birds the reason for its name. Furthermore, you should add this area when planning your Itinerary for your Cappadocia holiday.

Pasabaglari is also famous for its perfect Fairy Chimneys and Mushroom-shaped rock formations. I’ve read that at Pasabaglari, there are triple-coned fairy chimneys hollowed out and used as two rooms—a seclusion room by the 5th-century hermit St Simeon. For affordable accommodation in Pasabaglari and Urgup Otelleri, check out my link on


At an altitude of 1800m, Urgup town is one of the wealthiest towns in the province of Nevsehir, located on the Kayseri road about 20 km from Nevsehir and 7 km from Goreme. It is famous for its handicrafts, Kelim-Carpets, and a winery.

Mobile Library

In 1963, a mobile Library took books from Village to Village on the back of a donkey!


The beautiful old town of Avanos is located about 15 km from Nevsehir, 6 kilometres from Goreme National Park, and about 16 km from Ozkonak underground city. Avanos is famous for its pottery factories that sell terracotta products, and it is worth visiting. During antiquity, Avanos was named Vanessa, the town on the river. The Kizilirmak River, also known as the Halys River, is the longest river in Turkey.

Mustafa Pasa

South of Urgup, located about 5 km from Urgup, you shall find Mustafapasa, famous for its distinguished architecture-built houses. The city attracts many foreign- and Turkish tourists. Back in ancient times, the village was populated by Christian Greeks until Turkey and Greece exchanged the population.

The Christian Greeks called Mustafa Pasa Sinason. About 1 km from the town, you will find the Church of St Basil, exciting and beautifully carved out of a rock. One of the monasteries is now used as a hotel.

Explore Cappadocia On Your Own

We did it and saved a lot of money. To help you plan, check out How to Plan the Best Turkey Vacation. You are most welcome to contact me should you need more information.

4-Day Itinerary In Magical Cappadocia

I recommend at least four days in this fairytale world as there is much to see and experience. The best thing is to arrange your 3-day Istanbul to Cappadocia itinerary so you can visit Cappadocia on your first visit. I strongly recommend flying out on the same day you arrive in Istanbul. Why waste time going to a Hotel only to spend the night, return to the airport the next day, and catch a flight? You can book your Cappadocia airport Transport to Goreme or your Hotel for a pick-up at the airport.

Cappadocia at Night is an absolute fairy-book picturesque world. Day or night, Cappadocia is a must-experience on everyone’s bucket list. Our Turquaz Cave Hotel in Goreme has a breathtaking view and is central and within walking distance of Goreme town. It is close to restaurants and within walking distance of the Göreme Museum.

Cappadocia Adventure To Explore The Valleys

Trekking the Valleys in Cappadocia is fantastic and very enjoyable. Either book a tour or discover the Valleys on your own. Being so close to nature is a tremendous experience, bringing one closer to life and our Creator. Hittites lived under challenging conditions yet made the most of it, enduring much for their faith in Christ. Explore the Zelve Open Air Museum, Pasabaglari Fairy Chimneys, the Red and Pigeon Valleys, and Rose Valley on foot and even further.

Explore and admire the peaceful natural surroundings. Strolling through the valleys, you will see many fruit trees and vegetables. Locals use all the opportunities to plant fruit and vegetables in the fertile soil.

Packing List Cappadocia Daypack

  • Sun protection and a hat against the blazing sun,
  • An umbrella and a dry Mac or rain jacket.
  • Comfortable shoes (worn in)
  • Take Snacks and enough water.
  • Camera to capture the beautiful surroundings.
  • Cash is available as you might find a vendor in the Valley selling refreshments.

Zelve Open Air Museum

You’ll love exploring the Zelve Open Air Museum and Valley. This remarkable cave town was one of the largest cave-dwelling communities in the region. It is so large that it takes hours to explore. Zelve cave-dwelling is even more remarkable because Christians and Muslims lived here harmoniously until 1920 when the Christians drove out of Turkey.

People can freely explore the many paths, caves, and abandoned buildings. Remnants of village life are to be seen everywhere. After your arrival, could you obtain a local map showing all the Valleys and Places of interest? The Cappadocia map is available upon arrival, so you don’t have to bring one on your Kapadokya holiday.

Could you allow at least 120 minutes to explore one Valley? Turkish people are amiable and will help if you need any assistance.

Devrent Valley 

One of the best things to do on your 3-day Itinerary in Cappadocia is to explore the Valleys. An incredible adventure during our Cappadocia Holidays was exploring Devrent Valley, also called Imagination Valley—a mere ten-fifteen-minute drive from the towns of Urgup and Goreme. You can start the day early by getting up, having breakfast, asking for a picnic pack, and starting your adventure. Let your imagination run wild as you wind through this fantastic wonderland. Please be on the lookout for reptiles amidst these valleys and rosy rocks.

Devrent Valley is a relatively small, Unique valley with many Fairy Chimneys. The darker, more complex top layers of rock here have protected the softer layers beneath from erosion. With time, more coloured layers of rock formation form animal-like shapes and structures, creating unique forms.

Allow approximately 45 to 60 minutes to explore Devrent Valley.

Ihlara Valley

The beautiful Ihlara Valley is in a 150m deep gorge with hundreds of churches and natural sights. There are also a handful of hikes around the region. So it is safe to wander and get lost in the valleys, picking fruit, meeting others, and even walking around. We felt so safe there. Exploring these fantastic Valleys was one of the many special times during our Istanbul to Cappadocia Itinerary of 3 days.

Pasabag Valley

Unique Pasabag Valley, also named Monks Valley, is filled with iconic Fairy Chimneys, and here you’ll get a feel for Cappadocia. The pillars of Pasabag are easily recognisable with 10-15 meters high rocks. Its name is due to the Monks who decided to seek refuge and shelter here.

Monks who lived here carved rooms for themselves at the bottom of the fairy chimney and worked their way to the top. Today, you can still climb and explore the upper chambers of the fairy chimneys. We had so much fun exploring the Caves and the valleys that I cannot wait to return.

Could you allow at least 40 minutes to explore Pasabag?

Goreme Open Air Museum 

A Monastery and home to many are located inside the Goreme Open Air Museum and the Fresco of the Dark Church, also called Karanlik Kilise. 

Could you allow about 90 minutes to explore the area? We, however, needed to remember the time. Who wants to be bound by time while exploring during your Kapadokya adventure?

Uchisar Castle

During your 3-day Cappadocia Itinerary, you must visit the appealing Uchisar Castle, high above the rest of the Cappadocia region. Upon visiting Uchisar Castle, you’ll see that many of its rooms are connected via stairs, passages, and tunnels. Droppings from pigeons are nutrient-dense fertilisers collected by local farmers for use in their vineyards. From the top of Uchisar, you’ll have a 360-degree panorama view of Goreme and the surrounding valleys. Allow approx. 40-50 minutes.

What To Expect From Cappadocia Weather Month by Month

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  1. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Glad you find it helpful.

  2. I have always wanted to visit Cappadocia. When things settle down, I am surely going to use this valuable itinerary. The way you gave the details of what to see, where to visit, where to stay for 3 day-visit to Cappadocia is really impressive.

  3. You have to 🙂 it’s amazing!

  4. Every time I see more pictures or hear more about this place I get more interested in visiting it. As much as I’m not into going up in a hot air balloon, I think I would tough it out and head up if I was there! So beautiful! Very helpful to know the best ways to get there too!

  5. It was truly amazing and a fairy tale world I never imagine existed. You have to add it to your list. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  6. This definitely sounds like a dream holiday. It is good that you stated, going for a balloon ride is like every penny worth spent. I have often heard travelers, letting go off the activity, as they find it expensive. But, the way you described it, I realized it is once in a lifetime experience. I would like to try it out, whenever I visit turkey.

  7. Thanks Tanya for taking the time to read the post and glad you’ve enjoyed it.

  8. Tanya Oosthuizen says:

    This is amazing, so so interesting! The history, the experience, the adventures.. I almost feel as though I’m living and feeling this first hand! Thank you Mimmie for giving us a beautiful captivating glimpse into this magical journey of yours! xx