Here is your guide on how to get from Pamukkale to Cappadocia. We have listed all of the options, as well as traveling from Cappadocia to Pamukkale.
Turkey is packed with natural and human-made wonders, but perhaps two of the most iconic are Pamukkale and Cappadocia. Both are entirely natural and very well preserved, but altogether different deals. Not to mention that they’re also quite far away from one another!
Despite that fact, this doesn’t stop countless visitors from trying to cram both sites into their Turkish vacation, and who can blame them? The stunningly beautiful white limestone formations with shimmering blue water atop often stare back at you from tourist websites and magazines, and that’s not even taking into account the ancient Greek ruins of Hierapolis.
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Get To Know Pamukkale
The name ‘Pamukkale’ means ‘cotton castle’ because that’s what it looks like. The thermal spring water still flows through the area, renowned for its healing properties and the strange yet rather beautiful formations formed over millennia.
The water slowly works its way down the cliff top, cascading over the terraces and into a massive pool at the bottom. Wow! Is it a stunning sight during the summer and at sunset?
Pamukkale is also the site of a Greek/Roman ancient city called Hierapolis, which is enormous and has left countless ruins to explore.
Now Let’s Talk About Cappadocia!
Pamukkale is located in Denizli, towards the country’s west; however, Pamukkale is more central and inland. There is a fair distance between Cappadocia and Pamukkale, but it’s certainly worth the journey.
The area is famous for what is known as ‘fairy chimneys,’ but these are fundamentally natural rock formations over the entire area shamed like cones. Cappadocia is located in Goreme, and the famous spot you see on TV is Monk’s Valley.
Hot air ballooning isn’t the only activity around this area, as it’s also famous for cave houses dating back to the Bronze Age. The earliest Christians often used these houses as a place of refuge, and many churches were carved into caves and rocks. These days, you can stay in a cave hotel and enjoy the stunning sights, go hiking, enjoy Turkish food and entertainment, and stare in awe at the fantastic landscape.
How Far Is Pamukkale To Cappadocia & Cappadocia To Pamukkale
Pamukkale is located close to Denizli in the west, while Cappadocia is central, a short distance from the city of Nevsehir. The road distance between the two is 530 km, which will take around 8 hours to drive. If you choose to take the bus from Pamukkale to Cappadocia, you’re looking at more like 10 hours or possibly more.
There are no direct public transport links between these two sites, so you must swap trains, buses, or flights if you want to avoid driving yourself.
Let’s look at a few options to help you figure out the best way to travel from Pamukkale to Cappadocia or from Cappadocia to Pamukkale.
When to Visit Pamukkale & Cappadocia
Pamukkale and Cappadocia are UNESCO World Heritage Sites packed with visitors no matter what month. However, it’s a much better idea to visit outside the peak summer months for several reasons.
Firstly, neither has a lot of shade. During the summer months, it gets VERY hot in Turkey, and it seems to get hotter every year. While splashing around in Pamukkale in the sun sounds idyllic, you’ll quickly feel exhausted because of the heat. The same goes for wandering around Cappadocia with very little in the way of shade.
Therefore, it’s best to visit both of these locations in spring/autumn or winter if possible. Cappadocia is simply stunning in the winter months when the snow has fallen. If you can avoid December and January when it’s cold and a little rainy all over the place, you can undoubtedly enjoy Pamukkale during the off-season too.
The other plus point is fewer crowds. Both of these spots get extremely busy in the summer, to the point where you don’t have a lot of personal space. That doesn’t make for a delightful visit. But if you travel out of those times, you get to enjoy without the stress, and your photos will look better too!
The Distance Between Pamukkale & Cappadocia Is LONG!
If you’re visiting Pamukkale and Cappadocia in one holiday, you need to know one thing, and I’m not going to sugar-coat it – it’s a very long journey. The distance between them is about 404 miles or 650km, and the roads aren’t motorways the entire way. You also have traffic and weather issues that may hold you up.
You’ll also need to change buses in Denizli. If you want to drive, it’s going to take about 8 hours, and if you go on the bus, you’re looking at something like 13 hours. That’s a big chunk out of your holiday.
A long-distance bus usually takes about 11 to 13 hours, including a change at Denizli Bus Station.
Even if you choose to fly, you’ll need to get to and from the nearest airports, and you may need to reconnect in Istanbul.
But that’s just the downside. Both locations are well worth the effort; you need to know the best information to plan your visit.
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Cappadocia To Pamukkale & Pamukkale To Cappadocia By Car
You can quickly drive from Pamukkale to Cappadocia, but it will take between 8-9 hours, depending on traffic. You may experience some traffic around Konya, and at any point of the year, Cappadocia is a possible traffic-heavy spot.
As already mentioned, the distance is 530km. The journey will take you through Isparta, the city of Konya (possibly worth a stop off for some delicious food), and towards Nevsehir before taking the short distance to Goreme, which is about 10 minutes away. The road between Nevsehir and Goreme isn’t a dual carriageway, so this is where you’re likely to hit traffic at certain times.
Cappadocia doesn’t have peak and low seasons, as this is a year-round deal. People flock for the snow during the wintertime, and New Year is also a hectic time. However, just as many people (possibly a few more) visit during the summer for better weather. On the other hand, Pamukkale is more of a summer attraction, although it is open all year round. This is probably because of its proximity to some of the main tourist resorts (a few hours’ drive away), and paddling around on the water is always better when the weather is warm!
If you want to drive, be aware that you will drive on the right side of the road, and you will need your international driving license to hand. The roads there and back are quite modern and easy to traverse; however, be aware that driving in Turkey can sometimes be perilous!
Excursions To Pamukkale & Cappadocia
Many companies offer excursions to Pamukkale and Cappadocia individually, but you will struggle to find a company that offers both in one trip, as they’re so far apart. If you do want to organize trips, rather than drive or find your way yourself, you could book two separate excursions, taking you to either attraction whenever you want to go.
Get Your Guide is a reputable company offering excursions online, but you will find countless more. If you are staying in a large city such as Izmir or Istanbul, also check tour operators on the High Street, as you might be able to find a better deal.
Car Rental From Pamukkale To Cappadocia
If you want to drive but you need to hire a car, the good news is that renting a car in Turkey is easy. Depending on where you are staying, you can hire a car from your location, usually in large cities, towns, and resorts. For example, you can also hire a car directly from the airport when you land, whether that is in Istanbul or Izmir.
Turkey is home to some of the largest car hire companies, such as Sixt, Enterprise, Avis, etc., and you will be able to find good deals. To hire a car, you will need a valid credit card for the deposit, and you will need to show your international driving license and your regular version. Also, be sure to get adequate insurance when hiring a car, as the distance between Pamukkale and Cappadocia (and back again) is quite long, and you want to have peace of mind just in case anything were to happen.
Cappadocia To Pamukkale & Pamukkale To Cappadocia By Bus
There are a few sizeable long-distance bus companies in Turkey that you can use to take a Pamukkale to Cappadocia bus (and the other way, too). However, none offer a direct service. That means you’ll need to swap buses, possibly twice. However, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, as buses are frequent.
Your options are to book with Pamukkale (this is the name of the bus service), Kamil Koc, or Metro. The first two are the leading providers you will find, and you can either go to the bus station in Denizli or Nevsehir to ask when the next bus is, or you can look online and find real-time information.
Traveling from Pamukkale, you will need to go to Denizli Otogar (bus station) and take the bus either directly to Nevsehir or Konya. A direct bus to Nevsehir (rare but possible) will mean you need to take either a taxi or a local bus (dolmus) to Goreme, which should take no more than 10 minutes. If you need to change buses in Konya, this isn’t a major issue as there are very regular buses from Konya to Nevsehir, and the journey is around 2.5 hours.
If you were coming back the opposite way, you would go to Nevsehir otogar and reverse the journey. The bus journey is around 10 hours, but if you have to change at Konya, you may find an hour or two added on.
Prices vary, but the journey should cost you no more than around 150 Lira. The bus from Nevsehir to Goreme will be a small minibus, so do be aware that this can be pretty crowded! The good news is they’re very regular, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long for another one, but perhaps a taxi would be an easier option here. The cost of a taxi varies, but around the 50 lira mark will probably get you there.
By Air From Cappadocia To Pamukkale
The usual way to get from Pamukkale to Cappadocia and back again is by road. However, if you really wanted to cut down on a bit of time, you could fly. This would mean traveling from Pamukkale (Denizli) to Izmir Airport, which is the nearest airport to Pamukkale. This trip will take around 3 hours, after which you’ll fly indirectly to Konya with Pegasus Airlines. This takes 3 hours and 45 minutes and has a layover in Istanbul. You would then need to get the bus to Nevsehir and the smaller bus or taxi to Goreme.
A Pamukkale to Cappadocia or Cappadocia to Pamukkale flight is a hassle for very little time saved, but if you detest long bus or car journeys, it is an option for you to look into.
Visiting both Pamukkale and Cappadocia in the space of one break is something few people manage to do, but it will make your time extra special. These are two of the most famous and remarkable sights in the whole country, and you’re blessed if you get to see even one.
The distance between the two might be relatively long, but there is a lot to see on the way, and if you can stop off to sample some delicious Turkish cuisine, you’ll have a truly authentic experience.