Cappadocia Red Tour Vs Green Tour – How To Choose

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Post author Mehmet

Written by our local expert Mehmet

Mehmet is digital nomad who was born in Istanbul, Türkiye and now calls the Balkans region his home-office.

I first visited here when I was a young boy, and to this day, the enchantment of Cappadocia’s unique landscapes and rich history has never left me. Settled in central Turkiye, Cappadocia is known for its moon-like landscape, picturesque views, fairy chimneys, unique underground cities, hot air balloons, ATV rides, and cave churches.

In this guide, I will help you choose between the Cappadocia Red Tour Vs. the Green Tour, providing you with all the information you need to make the best choice for your adventure in this captivating region.

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Are you in a rush and want to know how to choose between the Red Tour or the Green Tour? Here is what we think you should know:

Red Tour Green Tour
Suitable for those with limited mobility Great for those who love hiking
This can be done without a tour guide A Professional Tour guide is needed
Explore North Cappadocia, near Goreme Explore Southwest Cappadocia, near Ihlara Canyon

This vast and magical region offers tons to see and do and can only be explored via prearranged day tours. Two of the best day tours in Cappadocia are the red tour (North Cappadocia) and the green tour (South Cappadocia), both of which feature some of the best tourist attractions you’ll ever see.

Where the red tour covers the central Cappadocia, i.e., the Goreme region, the green tour of Cappadocia includes attractions in the Ihlara canyon side. Since these day tours are unique and have significant geographical differences, an entire day needs to be dedicated to each. If you’re a first-timer, you’re in for a treat.

My post will be your local guide and will be as thorough as possible to show you how you should go about choosing a suitable tour.

Keep reading below for our in-depth analysis on weighing up the Red Tour vs. the Green Tour.

Quick Facts About Cappadocia Red And Green Tours

View of an ancient cave church at Goreme Open Air Museum, carved into a rocky hillside, showcasing detailed architectural elements and frescoes, under a clear blue sky.

The day tours in this fairytale destination are exceptional in their own way.

Cappadocia green tour’s itinerary would allow you to check out the panoramic views of Goreme, feed pigeons at Pigeon Valley, explore the Derinkuyu underground city, stop at Lake Nar or Crater lake, walk the Ihlara Valley and grab lunch on the river, visit the Selime monastery built onto a cliff, and taste a bunch of Turkish desserts.

Cappadocia’s red tour, on the other hand, would leave you astounded with the stops at Uchisar castle, Open air museum in Goreme, Cavusin, pottery workshops, Pasabag Monks Valley, Devrent Imagination Valley, followed by delicious Turkish delicacies along the way.

Highlights Of The Cappadocia Red Tour

The North Cappadocia tour is a one-day trip that starts early in the morning, between 8-9 am, after picking up everyone in the group. Most tours will pick you up from and drop you off at your accommodation or the city center.

Here’s a breakdown of your day trip.

Uchisar Rock Castle

View of a foggy hillside with Uchisar Castle carved into a rocky landscape in Cappadocia, featuring a pathway lined with lamps. Uchisar on a rainy day
Located at the region’s highest point, Uchisar Rock Castle offers some of the best 360-degree panoramic views. This tall volcanic outcrop is quite popular amongst tourists. The castle is just a few kilometers away from Goreme, allowing visitors of all kinds to enjoy the breathtaking sunset views in Cappadocia.

A 10-minute bus ride will take you to the castle from the town. Though, you’ll have to hike your way up to reach the top of the castle.

Goreme Open Air Museum

Scenic view of rocky landscape near Goreme Open Air Museum in Cappadocia with people walking on a pathway under a clear blue sky.
Along with being a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1984, the Goreme open-air museum holds significance for religion, art, and history. This vast complex consists of several monasteries standing side by side.

Stone steps leading up to a door carved into a rocky hillside at the Goreme Open Air Museum with another wooden door to the left.

Walking through the rocky settlement area will transport you to another world. The well-preserved cave houses, churches, chapels, dining halls, and sitting rooms will take you back to the Byzantine era. The wall paintings and frescoes aptly reflect the lives lived by monks and nuns.

Love Valley

Panoramic view of Goreme's rugged landscape featuring distinctive rock formations and valleys under a partly cloudy sky.

Home to the giant, mushroom-shaped rock formations, Love Valley is another popular tourist attraction. Mountain ridges and lush valley floor make this place a suitable hiking trail.

Tree adorned with numerous blue evil eye amulets under a clear blue sky in Goreme, Cappadocia.

It’s also quite popular among couples for engagements and proposals. To make this visit more personal, there’s a photo stop with an ideal backdrop and a wish tree. The weather here tends to get extreme, though, so make sure you’re carrying appropriate clothes.

Pottery Workshops In Avanos Town

A smiling SJ in a teal shirt displays a freshly shaped clay pot in a pottery workshop, with a sign reading "Omirli" in the background, highlighting one of the things to do in Av
The famous craft of Avanos pottery is another thing you can experience during your red tour. Avanos is just 8 km away from Goreme, sitting mighty at the bank of the Red River.

The red clay used in the craft is obtained from the same river. You can easily find art districts and pottery shops in the region where you can get your hands dirty and learn from the best. The shops usually have demonstration areas that teach you the intricacies of pottery making.

Pasabag Valley & Devrent Valley

SJ standing on a sandy trail in Devrent Imagination Valley, Cappadocia, with unique rock formations in the background under a clear blue sky.
Featuring a diverse landscape, Pasabag Monks Valley is home to the infamous ‘fairy chimneys.’ These multi-bodied and multi-headed fairy chimneys contain chapels and seating spaces carved from rocks.

Devrent Valley, on the other hand, will spark your imagination. The unique rock formations in this valley resemble animal structures such as camels, dolphins, snails, and snakes. This one-of-a-kind valley will make you feel like you’re in a customized sculpture zoo.


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Highlights Of The Cappadocia Green Tour

Black and white photo of a smiling SJ with short blonde hair, wearing a black top and a necklace, standing against the textured background of Özkonak Underground City.

The green tour in southwest Cappadocia on the Ihlara Canyon side is a one-day sightseeing trip that covers attractions such as Derinkuyu Underground City, Pigeon Valley, Ihlara Valley, Nar Crater Lake, and Selime Monastery.

The tour starts early in the morning and continues till 6 in the evening, and you can expect most tours to pick you up from and drop you off at your accommodation or the city center.

Here are the highlights of the green tour.

Underground City

Derinkuyu Underground City, Cappadocia Turkey
Derinkuyu Underground City, Cappadocia, Turkey

Visiting the underground city of Derinkuyu or Kaymakli underground city (10 minutes away from each other) is one of the best things to do in Cappadocia. The hundreds of subterranean settlements containing multi-tiered cities will blow your mind.

The underground cities have proper sections for cellars, dining halls, churches, and stump shops. These 150-200 underground settlements of various sizes are one of the most interesting cultural assets of the Cappadocia region.

The cities are approximately 60 meters deep. You will travel down into each city, level by level, which is wonderful for those who may be claustrophobic, as you can gauge how you feel at each level and exit if needed. For some tunnels, you will need to crouch to get through, but never for long periods of time.

Ihlara Valley

The Ihlara Valley’s stunning landscape in central Anatolia is a sight for sore eyes. With the Melendez River flowing through the valley and trees lined up on both sides, the views are to die for.

A hike of 4 km from one end to the other with visually pleasing sights, a serene atmosphere, and cool air will have a soothing effect on you. The hike is quite flat after the initial descent down a fair number of stairs. As you travel the valley, you will see cutouts in the rocks where early Christians established homes and churches while hiding from the Romans.

Halfway through the hike, you will pass an outdoor vending area with fresh juices and fruits to replenish your energy, and the hike usually ends with an over-the-river dining experience at lunchtime.

Pigeon Valley

Cappadocia Red Tour Vs Green Tour - Pigeon Valley
Pigeon Valley is best discovered on foot. The 4 km route is one of the best Cappadocia hikes you will experience.

You can start this hike from the Town Center of Goreme and finish at Uchisar Castle. This route will allow you to take in the amazing valley views with pigeons flying around, caves, and rock formations, and then finish with stellar panoramic views from Uchisar.

winter in Cappadocia - Pigeon valley with snowy landscape in winter in Cappadocia

On your way, you’ll find authentic tea houses to enjoy some Turkish tea.

Selime Monastery

Selime Monastery - Cappadocia Red Tour Vs Green Tour
Located at the end of Ihlara Valley in Selime town, the rock-cut monastery is the biggest religious building in Cappadocia. The cathedral-sized church dates back to the 9th century BC. Rock-hewn caves have proper kitchens, living quarters, storage spaces, dining rooms, stables, a church, a chapel, and a cathedral. The inside of the monastery is a reflection of Cappadocia’s rich history.

The monastery looks very similar to the Open Air Museum but is much less busy due to the effort required to hike to the site. If you are willing to take on the challenge of getting there, it’s the perfect place for a photo op!


Cappadocia Red And Green Tours: Is a Professional Guide Worth It

Turkey Travel Blog_Cappadocia Red Tour Vs Green Tour_How To Choose
Tour guides, in most cases, are an essential part of the traveling process, especially when a place has historical significance. The information they have about the area is invaluable – especially so for the best tours in Cappadocia.

You can do the Cappadocia red tour by yourself, without a tour guide, but not the green one. The activities in the red tour Cappadocia are within Goreme’s vicinity, but for the green tour, you have to travel a lot, which can dig a hole in your pocket. Day-tour packages are relatively cheaper.


How To Get To The Cappadocia Green And Red Tours

SJ sitting at the base of tall, uniquely shaped rock formations in Pasabag Valley, Cappadocia, under a clear blue sky.

If you’re traveling from Istanbul to Cappadocia, you have various options for commuting, including a direct flight, train, bus, and rental car. After landing at Kayseri Airport by whichever means, you can book a car or use a shuttle service to go to Goreme in just 50 liras (or more). We recommend booking a hotel beforehand so you know where you will stay.

Photo Opportunities On A Green Vs. Red Tour Of Cappadocia

SJ in denim jacket seated on a balcony holding a glass of wine, with a table of fruits and snacks beside her at sunrise in Cappadocia.
One of the biggest reasons people choose to go to Cappadocia in the first place is that it’s Instagrammable. Whether you do the red tour or the green one, you’ll find every spot in this region post-worthy.

Every stop will offer a unique view and story, from Uchisar Castle’s architecture to the Selime monastery’s medieval vibe. You’ll get tons of opportunities to click cliche pictures, too, for instance, at the swing in Love Valley.

Cappadocia Red Or Green Tour Accessibility

SJ raises her arms towards a sky dotted with hot air balloons at sunset, standing on a balcony overlooking the rocky landscape of Cappadocia.
The red tour is perfect for you if you struggle with mobility issues or have kids. This is because of how close the attractions are to Goreme, and it doesn’t require you to walk or hike long distances. The tour will transport you to each location, and once there, you can choose how much or how little movement you do.

The green tour, however, is for wanderers and hikers. You can expect to walk a few kilometers in the Ihlara Valley, travel up and down a few flights of stairs, and hike up to see the monastery. You don’t have to be in top physical condition, but definitely wear comfortable clothing and be ready to move.

FAQ Guide

Hot air balloons float above a rocky landscape with unique geological formations under a clear, sunlit sky, showing you how to spend 3 days in Cappadocia, Turkey.


What does the Green Tour in Cappadocia offer?

The Green Tour in Cappadocia offers a full-day tour that covers attractions like an underground city, Ihlara Valley, Selime Monastery, and more. It allows you to explore the region’s best sights in a short time.

Which attractions are included in the Green Tour itinerary?

The Green Tour itinerary typically includes a visit to Goreme Panorama, Onyx Factory or Pigeon Valley, Kaymakli Underground City, Ihlara Valley hike, Yaprakhisar, Selime Monastery, and Mt. Hasan view. However, please note that the exact itinerary may vary depending on the travel agency.

Is the Green Tour a full-day tour?

Yes, the Green Tour in Cappadocia is a full-day tour. It allows you to cover multiple attractions in a single day.

Is the Green Tour considered good value for money?

Yes, the Green Tour is generally considered good value for money. The attractions included in the tour are not easily accessible by public transport, and the tour offers convenience and guided exploration.

What is included in the Green Tour package?

The Green Tour package usually includes entrance fees to attractions, a guided tour, transportation, and lunch. However, it is advisable to check with the specific travel agency for the details of what is included in their package.

Who is the Green Tour recommended for?

The Green Tour is recommended for those who have limited time in Cappadocia but still want to see the region’s top attractions. It is ideal for individuals or groups who prefer a guided tour and wish to visit places that might be challenging to access by public transport.

What is the first stop on the Green Tour?

The first stop on the Green Tour may vary, but it often includes a visit to the stunning Goreme Panorama, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the region.

Do I have free time during the Green Tour?

Yes, some Green Tours provide free time at specific locations, allowing you to explore, take photos, or soak in the beauty of the surroundings at your own pace.
Certainly! Here’s the FAQ section about the Red and Green Tours in Cappadocia without the “Q” and “A” labels or numbers:

What are the Red and Green Tours in Cappadocia?

The Red and Green Tours are popular guided tours in Cappadocia that take you through the region’s incredible natural beauty and historical sites. They offer unique opportunities to explore the remarkable landscapes and cultural heritage of the area.

What is the first destination on the Red Tour?

The first stop on the Red Tour often includes a visit to the stunning Melendiz River and its riverside restaurant. You can enjoy picturesque views and a Turkish kebab-style lunch.

What is the final stop on the Green Tour?

The Green Tour usually concludes with a visit to the Ihlara Valley, known for its astonishing rock-cut construction and ancient churches carved into volcanic rock.

Are there entrance fees for the tours?

Yes, there might be entrance fees to some of the sites and attractions visited during the tours. Your tour provider will provide clear explanations of any entrance fees beforehand.

Can I book a private tour for a more personalized experience?

Absolutely! Private tours are available for those who prefer a more tailored experience. You can explore at your own pace and focus on specific interests.

Are there options for small group tours?

Yes, you can join a small group tour for a more intimate and interactive experience. It’s a great way to connect with fellow travelers.

Will there be free time during the tours?

Yes, some tours provide free time at certain locations, allowing you to explore, take photos, or enjoy the natural beauty at your own pace.

Is the Green Tour considered good value for money?

Yes, the Green Tour is generally considered good value for money. The attractions included in the tour are not easily accessible by public transport, and the tour offers convenience and guided exploration.

What is included in the Green Tour package?

The Green Tour package usually includes entrance fees to attractions, a guided tour, transportation, and lunch. However, it is advisable to check with the specific travel agency for the details of what is included in their package.

Who is the Green Tour recommended for?

The Green Tour is recommended for those who have limited time in Cappadocia but still want to see the region’s top attractions. It is ideal for individuals or groups who prefer a guided tour and wish to visit places that might be challenging to access by public transport.

What’s the best way to capture panoramic views of Cappadocia?

The tours often include stops at panoramic viewpoints like the Goreme Panorama, offering breathtaking vistas of the entire valley.

Is Cappadocia known for any famous movie locations?

No, Cappadocia’s distinctive landscapes have not been featured in films. While there were rumors that Cappadocia might have been considered as a filming location for Star Wars, it never materialized. George Lucas expressed interest in using the area, but the Turkish government declined the request.

Are there opportunities to see the local way of life?

Yes, you’ll have a chance to interact with local people, visit a local onyx factory, and gain insights into the semi-precious stone craftsmanship.

Can you explore underground dwellings on these tours?

Absolutely! You’ll have the chance to explore underground dwellings and marvel at the ingenious construction techniques.

Is lunch provided during the tours?

Yes, most tours include a Turkish kebab-style lunch at a local restaurant, offering a taste of the region’s cuisine.

What is the significance of Selime Cathedral on the tours?

Selime Cathedral is the largest religious structure in Cappadocia and is known for its astonishing architecture. It’s a must-visit on the tours.

Are the narrow passageways safe to explore in the valley?

Yes, the tours ensure your safety while navigating narrow passageways and stone-carved stairways in the valley.

What’s the significance of the local stone-carved stairways?

The stone-carved stairways are part of Cappadocia’s cultural heritage and were used by Cappadocian people in ancient times.

What is the significance of the pigeon houses on the tours?

Pigeon houses were used for various purposes in ancient times, including collecting guano for fertilizer and communicating with other villages.

Final Words On Cappadocia Red And Green Tour

Turkish Souvenirs - Cappadocia, Turkey- Tree hanging Nazar amulets
Cappadocia is out-of-this-world beautiful and deserves your entire day to be explored. If you have two days, we recommend doing both tours since both are tremendous.

We only covered some of the possible itinerary options, but you’d be amazed at how much you can do with little time and money. If you don’t have two days, though, we’d (reluctantly) recommend you do the green tour for its incredible attractions and value for money.



  1. Hi,
    I check out your review. Could you recommend if I rent the car with driver from IST airport to Cappadocia and I prefer to book the green tour with air balloon too? How much is it per item? I plan to go next month beginning of April and we have 4 people.
    Thank you

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