Is Cappadocia Worth Visiting? 7 Reasons To Go In 2024

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Written By Sean Lau

Co-Founder of The Turkey Traveler. Globetrotter, Adventurer, and Frequent Traveler to Turkey!

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If you’re thinking about visiting Cappadocia, you may be wondering if it’s even worth it. This is a destination that has been all over social media, and we know that social media tends to exaggerate things and often places don’t live up to the hype.

We had the same concerns before we decided to visit Cappadocia. We weren’t sure there was enough to do there to make the trip worth it, and we thought the hot air balloons may have been less impressive in person.

After planning to spend a few days and ending up spending weeks in Cappadocia, we knew we hadn’t made a mistake.

In my opinion, Cappadocia is absolutely worth visiting! It’s home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Goreme National Park, where you’ll find epic rock formations (known as fairy chimneys), historical rock-cut churches and monasteries, moon-like desert landscapes and valleys, and so much more.

The sunrise hot air balloon rides make Cappadocia even more worth it – floating in the air as the warm orange sun rises over the expansive views of the lunar-like landscape is a surreal experience!

This is just a snapshot of why Cappadocia is worth visiting, but there are many more reasons why Cappadocia is worth it! In this guide, we’ve shared what makes this popular tourist destination in Turkey an unmissable one and what you can expect!

Planning a trip to Cappadocia last-minute?

Make sure you book your tours, places to stay, and airport transfers ahead of time to ensure availability!

Here is our recommended airport transfer in Cappadocia:

  1. Airport Shuttle From Nevsehir Airport (NAV) or Kayseri Airport (ASR) (Super affordable!)

Here are our recommended tours in Cappadocia:

  1. Hot Air Balloon Flight In Cappadocia At Sunrise (A must-do In Cappadocia)
  2. ATV Tours At Sunset
  3. Green Tour In Cappadocia (Perfect for those not renting a car!)

Here are our recommended places to stay in Cappadocia:

  1. Koza Cave Hotel (Amazing views and great photo opportunities)
  2. Museum Hotel (Most luxurious hotel in Cappadocia)
  3. Kamelya Cave Hostel (Budget hostel with cave rooms!)

Reasons To Visit Cappadocia

1. Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Rides

Hot air balloon rides In Cappadocia

The unique landscape in Cappadocia is best appreciated from the sky, and there’s no better way to do this than by taking a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. The colors of the sky are spectacular as the sun rises, and the balloons provide a perfect vantage point to see all of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys and valleys.

Not only is the scenery unforgettable, but the peace and serenity of floating through the sky is something that everyone should experience at least once in their life.

Combined with the fact that hot air balloons in Cappadocia are quite affordable, it makes this region of Turkey even more worth visiting! It is no wonder that Cappadocia is one of the best places for hot air balloons in the world!

šŸ“š Read More: 7 Best Hot Air Balloon Companies In Cappadocia

2. Exotic Rock Formations Known As Fairy Chimneys

Fairy Chimneys at Love Valley

The region of Cappadocia is known for its exotic-looking rock formations known as fairy chimneys. Years of erosion from wind and rain have carved the soft volcanic tuff into these iconic rock structures.

Fairy chimneys come in all shapes and sizes, but most of them are in the shape of cylindrical pillars. Here are some of the places to find the best fairy chimneys in Cappadocia

  • Love Valley – Known for its phallic-looking fairy chimneys, but their sizes are actually quite impressive.
  • Devrent Valley – Also known as Imagination Valley, this valley has fairy chimneys that appear like certain figures. The most prominent one is the camel rock located at the entrance.
  • Monks Valley – The fairy chimneys at Monks Valley were inhabited by hermits and monks. They have carved out parts of the fairy chimneys as high as 15 meters and used them as dwellings.

3. Epic Rock-Cut Churches With Frescoes

Crusader Church

Cappadocia is not only known for its fairy chimneys, but also for its rock-cut churches. These are churches that were literally carved out of the rocks, a practice that started with the Christians as far back as the 3rd and 4th centuries.

Many of these churches had frescoes, which were mural paintings on the walls and ceilings.

One of the most famous ones you can see is the Dark Church in the Goreme Open-Air Museum. Known as Karanlık Kilise in Turkish, the Dark Church depicts scenes from the New Testament and is the perfect example of 11th-century Byzantine Art. The museum also has many other rock-cut churches, including the Tokalı Kilise, or Church of the Buckle, which is the largest church in Goreme.

But when the Ottomans conquered the Byzantines, most of the frescoes in churches were destroyed because of the conflict of religion. While some are well-preserved, you’ll find plenty in the valleys where the people depicted in the frescoes have their heads erased off.

Nonetheless, the rock churches of Cappadocia are a historical gem and worth visiting!

Don’t Miss Out on the BEST Experience in Cappadocia!


No trip to Cappadocia is complete without taking an epic hot air balloon flight at sunrise!

Make sure you reserve your tour well in advance to avoid missing out or paying any additional fees last minute!

4. Hiking In the Exotic Landscapes of Cappadocia

Hiking in Cappadocia

Cappadocia is a hiker’s paradise! The region has many hiking trails that wind through the valleys, showcasing some of the best geological formations in the region.

Visitors can visit cave dwellings, see ancient rock-cut churches, and explore an entire old troglodyte settlement. We highly recommend you add at least one hike to your Cappadocia itinerary so you can really experience the best of this region and its landscape.

Some of the most popular hikes in the Cappadocia are:

  • Red Valley – Known for its fairy chimneys are glow red at sunset. It also has one of the best sunset viewpoints in Cappadocia!
  • Rose Valley – Known for its several cave churches along the way, including the Crusader Church and Columned Church.
  • Pigeon Valley – Known for its pigeon houses (dovecotes) that were used to harvest pigeons for their droppings!

5. Staying In A Cave Hotel

Staying In Cave Hotel in Cappadocia
Cave hotel in Cappadocia

Perhaps one of the coolest things to do in Cappadocia is to stay in a cave hotel. As we’ve mentioned above, people in the region carved out soft volcanic rock to build homes. These caves not only provided protection from the elements, but also acted as natural insulation to keep them warm in the winters and cool in the summers.

And now visitors can experience a part of that culture by staying in one of the many cave hotels in Cappadocia. Unlike the old times, many of them are now equipped with modern luxuries and some even have an outdoor terrace where you can admire the scenery of Cappadocia. If you are lucky, you might even find a pool where you can cool off from the hot weather conditions.

The best place to find them is in the historic center of the region, Goreme!

6. Admiring the Stunning Landscape

Epic Views At Zelve Open Air Museum

If there is one thing we could not get enough of in Cappadocia, it is the views of the incredible landscape.

The soft, rolling hills and the fairy chimneys make it look like something out of a fairytale. It’s no wonder that so many people compare it to Mars or the Moon.

If you rent a car in Cappadocia, you can drive down the desert lanes and take in the surreal scenery. The expansive views will make your drive relaxing and rewarding! You can even go off the beaten path and explore some of the hidden gems in the region!

If you want to explore the landscapes of Cappadocia in a unique way, consider taking an ATV tour or go horseback riding from Gƶreme, which takes you along the back-trails in Red and Rose Valley and is a fun way to experience the moon-like landscapes.

We recommend you take these tours at sunset when the landscape is washed in hues of red and gold – it’s simply stunning! Though do wear a scarf over your nose and mouth as it can get dusty.

7. Explore The Underground Cities

Kaymakli Underground City
Underground City in Cappadocia

The underground cities in Cappadocia are some of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole country. Tourists come from all over to explore the ancient tunnels and caves that make up these subterranean complexes.

Built during the Byzantine era, these underground cities were primarily used by the early Christians as a hiding spot from religious persecution. Later on, there were used for defensive purposes and protection from wars and invasions.

There are several underground cities in the region, but two underground cities in Cappadocia worth visiting are:

  • Derinkuyu Underground City
  • Kaymakli Underground City

Derinkuyu is the largest of the underground cities, and it is possible to spend hours exploring its maze-like passages. Some of the rooms are quite large, and there are even churches and schools underground.

Kaymakli is not quite as big as Derinkuyu, but it is believed to be the oldest one. Like its counterpart, Kaymakli was originally constructed for defensive purposes. One of the highlights of this city is its innovative ventilation system, which allows air to circulate even when the entrance is closed off.

is Cappadocia Worth It, FAQs?

Are The Hot Air Balloons In Cappadocia Worth It?

Riding a hot air balloon at sunrise is the most popular activity in Cappadocia, and reasonably so. From above, visitors can truly appreciate the region of Cappadocia that makes up the Goreme National Park. You can see the expansive landscapes dotted with unique rock formations – from cave dwellings to unusual fairy chimneys and more. A hot air balloon ride is also very affordable in Turkey, especially when compared to other parts of the world. So, without a doubt, the hot air balloons in Cappadocia are worth it!

How Many Days To Spend In Cappadocia?

It is recommended to spend at least 3 days in Cappadocia so you can have enough time to hike some of its trails, take one of the tours, and of course, get on one of the hot air balloons! Because the hot air balloons don’t take off every day, it is best to spend a few more days to ensure that you have the highest chance of getting on one.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Cappadocia?

The best time to visit Cappadocia is in the fall (September – October). Though the weather isn’t as dry as it is in the summer, the cooler temperatures let you enjoy the outdoor attractions in Cappadocia without being at a high risk of getting heat-related illnesses. Though less dry than the summer, it is still dry enough for the hot air balloons to take off regularly. There are also fewer crowds than the summer, and you may also find lower prices since it’s after the peak season.

Is Cappadocia overrated?

Cappadocia is not overrated as a destination, it definitely lives up to the hype. There really isn’t anywhere else in Turkey, or the world for that matter, that’s like it. The landscape is completely unique and the experiences you can find there are truly worthy of any bucket list.

So, Is Cappadocia Worth Visiting?

Without a doubt, Cappadocia is worth visiting because of its unique landscape that can’t be found anywhere else in Turkey, the fact you can stay in a cave hotel, and because you can tick off the bucket list experience of riding in a hot air balloon with hundreds of others at sunrise.

On the surface, it might look like just a place for the gimmicky hot air balloons, but it’s anything but. Not only are the hot air balloon rides a surreal experiences on their own, but Cappadocia is the number one place in the world to do it. And the region has a lot more to do than that.

From the thousand years of history to the exotic fairy chimneys, cave dwellings and rock-cut churches, Cappadocia is truly a destination that is unlike anywhere else in the world.

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