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.
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.
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Quick Facts About Cappadocia Red And Green Tours
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
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
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.
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.
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.
It’s also quite popular amongst couples for engagement and proposals. There’s a photo stop with an ideal backdrop and a wish tree for you to make this visit more personal. The weather here tends to get extreme, though, so make sure you’re carrying appropriate clothes.
Pottery Workshops In Avanos Town
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
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
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.
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.
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 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. On your way, you’ll find authentic tea houses to enjoy some Turkish tea.
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 it takes to hike to the site. It’s the perfect place for a photo op if you are willing to take on the challenge of getting there!
Cappadocia Red And Green Tours: Is a Professional Guide Worth It
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
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
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
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 GuideFinal Words On Cappadocia Red And Green Tour
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.