4.5 star rating: Recommended 63 Reviews

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  • Location: Istanbul, Turkey
  • Duration:  15 hours (approx.)
See some of the best of southern Cappadocia on this full-day tour from Istanbul, including round-trip transfers, flights and lunch. Explore this strange-but-beautiful UNESCO-listed region with its ‘fairy chimney’ rock pillars, cave villages and subterranean cities. Walk through stunning Rose Valley; Zelve into Kaymakli Underground City; see the abandoned village of Çavuşin, and ogle Ortahisar Castle and Pigeon Valley, with its rock dovecotes.

Enjoy in-depth attention from your guide on this small-group tour limited to 20 people.


  • Full-day tour of southern Cappadocia from Istanbul with round-trip flights
  • Discover this spectacular UNESCO-listed region of rock formations and cave villages
  • Explore Kaymakli Underground City, with its subterranean passages and chambers
  • See Ortahisar Castle, a carved rock fortress towering above Ortahisar village
  • Walk in Rose Valley, a pink-colored valley of fairy chimneys and cave churches
  • Visit Çavuşin rock village and Pigeon Valley
  • Enjoy a personalized experience on a small-group tour limited to 20 people

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Cappadocia In One Day Small-Group Tour from Istanbul: Rose Valley, Ortahisar, Kaymakli Underground City and Pigeon Valley

Explore the strange and surreal sights of Cappadocia on your small-group tour

Leave your central Istanbul hotel in the early morning for your transfer to Istanbul airport. Board your flight to Kayseri International Airport and, on arrival, travel to Cappadocia by air-conditioned minivan.

After roughly 1.5 hours, arrive at Rose Valley, so named for its rose-colored rocks that change hue through the day. Enjoy a leisurely walk in this beautiful valley, passing its mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys, jagged peaks, and leafy vineyards and orchards. On route, visit the valley’s cave churches, some dating back to the 8th or 9th centuries, and listen to tales of how they were used by early monks.

Next, visit ‘old’ Çavuşin, an abandoned rock village known for its old Christian churches and houses. Take photos of the eerie houses, and gaze at the Basilica of St John the Baptist that sits on a cliff high above the village.

Stop for lunch at a local restaurant (see the Itinerary for a sample menu) and then Zelve into the town of Ortahisar, to view its crowning glory, Ortahisar Castle. Marvel at this unique 295-foot (90-meter) high fortress, with its honeycomb of rock caves carved during Byzantine times. Explore some of the burrowed-out chambers and storage rooms and soak up the panoramic views of the town below.

Drive to Kaymakli Underground City, one of the best-preserved in Cappadocia. Roam this subterranean network of homes, stables, cellars and kitchens and learn how it was used by early Christians to escape persecution.

Next, visit Pigeon Valley, known for its pigeon houses carved from the cliffs and rocks. Ogle the spectacular dovecotes and learn how the locals used to house their pigeons here to farm their droppings for fertilizer, and later, return to Kayseri Airport for your flight to Istanbul. Your tour ends with a hotel drop-off this evening.

Please note: Ortahisar Castle is currently undertaking renovation, entrance will not be permitted).


Sample Menu:

First course:
  • Turkish meze (small appetizers) of breads, aubergine, artichokes, stuffed vine leaves, meatballs and yoghurt with cucumber and garlic
Main course:
  • Chicken, lamb or beef kebabs
  • Baklava (filo pastry layers filled with nuts and sweetened with honey or syrup) and coffee

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

This is the number one tour you absolutely have to see. It is a little costly because of the plane ticket but was the best tour we took in Istanbul. The lunch was good and in a nice hotel. The tour guide was very knowledgeable. Also we got lost one time which was our fault and they looked/waited for our return before taking off.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Try to get tour guide Fatima who is not only a wealth of knowledge but makes sure everyone is well cared for!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

This tour was amazing!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

excellent. great tour and guide.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

Excellent guide, Benjamen sorry for Americanized spelling, Mr. Benjamen. He was knowledgeable, friendly, and had an excellent sense of timing. Thus he kept us out of the crowds and gave us lots of valuable time to explore. This is a fascinating part of the world, one we look forward to seeing in more detail in the future, thanks to the services of our excellent guide. Also, there were some little issues with transfers for our co-travelers, but they were taken care of very capably by the young man who took us to the airport. Altogether a most exciting and excellent experience.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

Really great way to see Cappadocia for people without much time. Highlights of the trip were walks through Monks Valley and Rose Valley.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2015

This tour was amazing!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

We had just one day to see this absolutely fantastic part of Turkey and this tour did it all for us. We left our Istanbul hotel at 4:40 AM and returned at 10:30 PM so you must be prepared for that long day. We were lucky and had a sunny day and even in November is was warm enough to be able to enjoy everything.

The sights are even more stunning than one sees in the pictures and photographs of other people. Our guide took us to everything promised and we had a wonderful lunch at a very nice restaurant. The shuttle ride from the airport in Keysari to the landscape we wanted to see was 30 to 45 minutes and we made a couple stops along the route to drop off other travelers on the shuttle. Our shuttle driver spoke very little English so we were not exactly sure of "the plan" for our tour, but once he dropped us off at the meeting point with our guide for the day everything ran smoothly. There were only 4 of us plus guide and driver in a very comfortable mini van.

We loved the tour and very highly recommend it. Even if you have only one day and no chance to take the highly touted balloon ride over the area, what you will see will amaze you.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2014

Very comprehensive tour!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2014

All of the connections were all met from the hotel pick up to getting to the flight and the return from the tour back to the airport and hotel. It was nice not to have to worry about all of those connections. The tour guide was very informative and well versed in the area.
The main thing you might examine is after we got off the plane a young man picked us up in a van, didn't say a word, no greeting, no comment about what was to happen next. Here were were traveling for an hour and a half through this very magical, mysticall, and fantastic scenery for an hour and a half and the driver had absolutely nothing to say. The tour with some explanation about where we were and how the day was to unfold would have been not only courteous but helpful for the travelers. The young man seemed to be very unhappy and not enjoying his job very much. The tour could have been very improved by some commentary for that first hour and a half instead of just riding with an angry driver!!! Once we met the tour guide she was great. Thanks for asking for our opinion. Eugene Bartell

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Tour code: 3795ISTCAPPA


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