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Self Day Tour in Cappadocia

Columbus, Ohio
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Self Day Tour in Cappadocia

We are going to be in Cappadocia in November for 2 days and three nights. I plan to have a green tour for one day and to explore on our own on the other day. I'd like to visit the Goreme Open Museum, Love Valley and Pigeon Valley on the self-tour day. And possibly adding Paşabagı and Uchisar as well. Is it possible to visit this many places in one day? If so, what would be an efficient itinerary? Is Love Valley the same as Zemi Valley (LP says so)? I tried to find maps online and none of them are to scale, and none of them show Love Valley.

I'd very much appreciate any information.

Lisbon, Portugal
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1. Re: Self Day Tour in Cappadocia

I'm afraid you can't squeeze everything into one day, as valleys involve a couple of hours walking. If you have just 1 day, I'd start it by taking a local bus to Zelve, visiting the open air museum there (wonderful, very different from Göreme one), then walk back to Pasabag, Cavusin and then through Red and Rose valleys back to Göreme open air museum (you have to be there before 5 when they close entrance.

I guess that by Love valley you mean the one which is actually called Honey valley, and which is connected to White valley, between Uchisar and Cavusin. It takes 2-3 hours to walk these valleys. Zemi valley is not very similar to them, but in my opinion it's the least interesting one. You'll see Uchisar and a glimpse of Pigeon valley on the Green tour. You can also go to the real Love valley either after the Green tour or visiting Göreme open air museum, it lies behind Göreme, below the sunset point and it only takes 30-45 minutes to walk it. It starts behind the Tourist Hotel.

Columbus, Ohio
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2. Re: Self Day Tour in Cappadocia

Thank you, Mia Smith. It's great to have advice from a Goreme expert! You brought up sunset point and I was actually very interested in finding a great place to watch sunset in Cappadocia. Uchisar Castle could be one, but sunset point is closer to Goreme where we'll be staying. Is it literally a nice place to watch sunset?

By Love Valley, I guesss I meant the one on TA that ranked as #2 attraction in Goreme. Is it actually Honey Valley, or the one locals call Love Valley?

I read somewhere that currently both Ihlara valley and Selime monastery have been closed by authorities due to safety issues (danger of rocks falling down), so now companies are selling the tour, but instead of visiting Selime monastery, there's just a short photo stop, in Ihlara there's no walk, just climbing down the 500 steps to see a church and take the pictures and up again. So it's basically just a long drive noe (200km) and you get back to Göreme at about 3 already. The tour prices are higher this year as well, 80TL for Red and 90 for the Green tour. Is that true?

If the green tour is not worthwhile anymore due to closures, what would you recommend for the second day? We can consider renting a car if necessary. Thank you very much in advance!

California, USA
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3. Re: Self Day Tour in Cappadocia

Chris, we're in Goreme now and actually just got back from Turkish Heritage Travel's Explore and Hike tour. Ihlara reopened a few months ago and we spent the morning hiking half of it. The tour does only take you into one church cave, though. Not sure if other companies do it differently. After lunch we then went to Selime, which is amazing.

Lisbon, Portugal
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4. Re: Self Day Tour in Cappadocia

Uchisar castle would be a nice place to watch the sunset, but I'm not sure what time they close but I'm afraid it's before the sun sets. The other problem is getting there and back from Göreme because the public transport also stops around 7. The sunset point in Göreme is an excellent place to enjoy the sunset, it's only a short walk up the hill from the centre.

The Love valley in Tripadvisor is yes the Honey valley. However, the look very similar in parts, you can check photos at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/… and https://www.facebook.com/media/set/…

Ihlara and Selime were closed early this year but both were reopened in April, so the tours are again the same as before.The tour prices are higher, because the fuel price keeps rising.

Columbus, Ohio
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5. Re: Self Day Tour in Cappadocia

Wow. Thank you both for the info. I'm very lucky to have advice from an expert and someone who is currently in Cappadocia.

Mia, I think we'll do the self-tour as you suggested. The second day, we'll very likely join the Green Tour.

Ellhest, do you think the Green Tour is worhtwhile? Or can we do it on our own by renting a car?

We are also thinking about a balloon ride on one of the mornings. Do they still offer one free ride from/to the airport if we book a ballon ride and a tour?

Thanks again.

Lisbon, Portugal
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6. Re: Self Day Tour in Cappadocia

If you are just 2 people then taking the Green Tour makes sense. If you rent a car. it costs at least 90TL + fuel, you also have to pay entrance fees (Derinkuyu 15, Ihlara 5) and have lunch. On the tour you'll get the benefit of a guide. In addition, when you go walking in Ihlara, you either have to walk back to your car or take a taxi, on the tour you don't have to worry about that. I went on the Green Tour when I first came to Cappadocia and really enjoyed it. The company I went with is New Göreme Tours which in my opinion is currently the best tour operator here tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g297983-d2…

I think the reviews speak for themselves. However, they only offer 1 free airport transfer if you book 2 tours and a balloon flight. Anyway, if you get a good rate on the balloon flight (120-130€), you can pay for your airport transfers (about 10€ from Kayseri).

California, USA
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7. Re: Self Day Tour in Cappadocia

Chris, Mia is certainly the expert here, so definitely I'd take her advice over mine. However, putting aside the transportation issue. ..I'm of two minds about the tour. I'm very glad we took the tour for the history,cultural and geologic lessons. I also wouldn't have wanted to miss Selime. I wish, though,that the trek through Ihlara had involved more time exploring the cave churches vs just hiking. Because it's pretty, but other than the glimpses of the pigeon holes up in the cliffs,it's really just a long hike by a river with trees. There's otherwise little that shouts "I'm here in Cappadocia!" So,I think doing it on your own would give you the freedom to actually visit more of the churches if you so desired.

Columbus, Ohio
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8. Re: Self Day Tour in Cappadocia

Thanks again to both of you. We'll have 3 people traveling to Turkey. So renting a car might make more economical sense in Cappadocia. However, I'm debating about how practical it would be (eg, walking back to the car from a hike, the absence of a guide, etc.). One the other hand, as Ellhest pointed out, a rental car offers the freedom that a guided tour lacks. In addition to the Derinkuyu underground city and Ihlara Valley, we're also interested in the mountain town of Guzelyurt, and the Agizkarahan medieval caravanserai if possible. Do you think it's feasible with a rental car to do it on our own in a day?

From what I've read online, I agree that The New Goreme Tours will be the choice. Thanks for the remind of Selime, Ellhest. It'll be on our list t visit.

Boise, Idaho
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9. Re: Self Day Tour in Cappadocia

so glad i wondered into this discussion. thanks to mia and ellhest for their input. i will be visiting goreme from oct 16 through 19.

am also debating if i should rent a car. i am the kind that would avoid organized tours most of times. but sometimes i come to terms to realize my limits.

just bought my tickets from istanbul to kayseri for about 100usd roungtrip. at the pegasus air's website i can book an automatic shift compact ford for 265 lira for three days. seems to be an attractive rate.

to rent or not to rent a car? the deciding factor to me is whether it is fairy easy to drive around in goreme and whether it is easy to get to these tourism spots with the help of a gps. i'd appreciate if you guys can comment on this. thanks.

Lisbon, Portugal
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10. Re: Self Day Tour in Cappadocia

265 TL for 3 days is a very good price and it's very easy to drive around here, although I'm not so sure GPS would be of much help here. I've checked Google maps and so many places around here are totally misplaced. Anyway, you'll be driving in the countryside, the roads are relatively good and well sign-posted, so you should be okay.

If you also want to visit Güzelyurt and Agizkarahan, then renting a car is probably the best idea. I'm sure you can do it in one day, of course unless you spend the whole day hiking in Ihlara canyon! :)