Perfect 2 Days In Cappadocia Itinerary | 2023
There are few places in this world quite as magical as Cappadocia.
Located in eastern Anatolia, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has a dreamlike quality, the breathtaking landscape formed by the ash from the region’s three volcanic peaks.
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There are many interesting attractions here for visitors to enjoy.
These include the fascinating rock formations known as ‘fairy chimneys’ for which the area is famous, plus museums, intriguing underground cities, and archaeological sites.
You can also witness the unforgettable sight of a sky filled with beautiful air balloons – and experience one of these exciting flights for yourself.
If you are visiting for the first time, you might be wondering what to do in Cappadocia in 2 days and which of its attractions to include on your itinerary. So we’ve put together this handy guide to help.
Read on to discover a complete schedule for your weekend in Cappadocia.
We’ve suggested what to do each morning, afternoon, and evening of your visit. We’ve also included our recommendations for some great places to eat and stay.
Note that it can be quite difficult to follow this itinerary for two days in Cappadocia if you plan to rely solely on public transport.
This is because you would need to spend a lot of time traveling from one destination to another.
We recommend renting a car or scooter instead, as this gives you a lot more independence and flexibility to explore.
On the first of your two days in Cappadocia, you’ll be flying in a hot air balloon (and watching others do the same), enjoying the natural scenery, and visiting two underground cities.
There is only one way to start any break in Cappadocia, and that’s with an exhilarating flight in a hot air balloon.
The business is well-regulated in Turkey and all pilots are licensed, so you will know you’re in safe hands.
You’ll need an early start, as most flights take off between the hours of 5 and 7 am. This might sound a little TOO early, but there’s a good reason for it.
The balloons are unable to fly in very windy conditions and this is the calmest time of day, so you are more likely to have a chance to enjoy the experience.
Be sure to set aside your FIRST morning for this flight – don’t wait until your second day.
That way – if high winds or fog DO ground your flight – you’ll still have an opportunity on the second morning.
The experience itself is quite wonderful and feels much less scary than it looks from the ground. The natural landscape and unusual rock formations look even more magical from on high.
Most rides are either 60 or 90 minutes long and often include a champagne toast at the end!
We recommend booking your flight in advance as they are very popular.
If you’re not a fan of heights then we still recommend getting up early to see the spectacle of all those balloons taking off at sunrise. Hundreds of them fill the sky – a simply stunning sight you cannot miss!
Almost all of Cappadocia’s hotels have roof terraces from which you can watch the balloons, often equipped with colorful throw pillows and Turkish rugs.
If this is something you plan to do, then you might want to check that your hotel has this facility.
When the flights are over, head back to your hotel for breakfast (and perhaps a nap, too!).
Once refreshed, it’s time to drive to Ihlara, located around 1 hour and 15 minutes southwest of Goreme. Hiking this valley is one of the most popular things to do in Cappadocia.
A green oasis, it is very scenic, with steep cliffs and lofty trees, and the Melindiz River flowing throughout.
But it doesn’t just boast natural attractions – it’s also famous for its rock-carved ancient churches, many with amazing frescoes.
As lunchtime draws near, head to The BelisIrma Restaurant located right on the river bank. The food is good and the views are amazing!
After lunch drive east for around 45 minutes to Derinkuyu.
This incredible underground city dates back to the 8th century and remained in constant use for thousands of years until it was finally abandoned in the 1920s.
It was capable of holding 20,000 people and was often used as a place of refuge during wartime. In fact, its location remained a secret until the 1960s when a local man discovered it.
The city is spread over 18 levels and has everything you’d expect a city to have – schools, churches, kitchens, bathhouses, wineries, and more. It’s a great deal of fun to explore!
If you would like to learn more about the city, you might like to visit with a tour group instead of going alone.
From there, another 10-minute drive north will take you to Kaymaklı.
Like Derinkuyu, this is also a subterranean city, filled with tunnels and carved 8 stories deep into the ground.
If you tend to feel a little claustrophobic in small spaces you’ll prefer Kaymaklı to Derinkuyu, as the caverns are larger and the tunnels less steep.
A popular evening activity in Cappadocia is to take a sunset horseback-riding tour.
The horses are well cared for and riding them through the scenic landscape is a great experience, especially as the air becomes cooler at the end of the day.
For the horses’ welfare, there is a maximum weight limit of 95 kg for riders and you are not allowed to wear high-heeled shoes.
On the second of your 2 days in Cappadocia, you’ll be visiting The Goreme National Park and Rock Sites before indulging in some shopping and enjoying a relaxing hammam.
Head to the Goreme National Park and its Rock Sites after breakfast. Awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, the area is fascinating and a ‘must-see’ when visiting Cappadocia.
First, visit the Goreme Open-Air Museum, which contains stunning religious frescoes and excellent examples of rock-cut churches.
These were built during the Byzantine era, around the 9th and 10th centuries.
They include the Karanlık Kilise (Dark Church) – so named because it doesn’t have windows – and the Elmalı Kilise (Apple Church), which has nine domes.
Be sure to pick up the audio guide so you can better understand everything you see.
Next, take a stroll in the nearby valleys, including Rose Valley, Red Valley, and Sword Valley.
We also recommend visiting Pasabagi, where you can see the prettiest fairy chimneys in the region, and The Devrent (Imagination) Valley.
Here you’ll find incredible wind-carved rock formations that look just like animals, including a lion, a seal, and a camel. There are no churches, though – this area was never inhabited.
Love Valley – a 10-minute drive from Goreme – is the last stop of the morning.
The fairy chimneys here have a phallic shape, hence the name! There is also a heart-shaped swing, which makes a great spot for a photo!
Head back to Goreme town center for lunch and the remaining activities of the day.
Once you’ve eaten, it’s time for some shopping – and this might be one of the best places on earth to do it!
You can find all sorts of unique items here, from gorgeous carpets and Turkish lamps to leather goods and clothing.
Even if you don’t want to buy a carpet, you simply must check out the Sultan Carpet shop.
It’s a riot of color and one of the most Instagrammable spots in town!
After all the sightseeing and shopping of the day, you deserve a rest! So treat yourself to a traditional Turkish hammam – a hot steam bath followed by a relaxing massage.
Hammams are an integral part of Turkish culture and locals enjoy them often.
There are lots of places offering these relaxing experiences in Goreme, but it’s a good idea to book ahead as they tend to get very busy.
As sunset approaches, we recommend taking the 10-minute drive from town to Uchisar Castle – the highest point in Cappadocia.
Here you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding valleys as the sun goes down.
After that, head back into town for dinner. Be sure to try Cappadocia’s traditional dish ‘manti’, which is similar to ravioli, along with delicious baklava for dessert.
Are 2 Days In Cappadocia Enough?
Two days in Cappadocia is the perfect amount of time to see the sights that make the region famous and enjoy a little downtime too.
As we mentioned earlier, though, it’s definitely better to hire a car or scooter, or you might struggle to fit everything in.
Remember to take your arrival and departure times into account, too.
This itinerary requires 2 full days in Cappadocia, so you might want to add an extra night to your stay if you have a late arrival or early departure time.
Where To Stay In Cappadocia
Part of the fun when seeing Cappadocia in 2 days is staying in a cave hotel! You’ll find them everywhere, and they are very affordable.
Here are some of the best options for where to stay in Cappadocia.
Best Budget Accommodation
Diadem Cappadocia Guest House and Hostel enjoys a great location in Goreme just 3.8 km from Uchisar Castle.
Rated ‘exceptional’ by visitors, it has a garden, concierge services, free wifi, and a shared lounge.
An à la carte or a halal breakfast is offered daily and there are both dormitory rooms and private rooms available, some with garden views.
The staff are very helpful and the atmosphere is friendly, making this a great place to meet other travelers.
Best Mid-Range Accommodation
The adults-only Artemis Cave Hotel is located in the heart of Goreme. It has a lovely terrace where you can sit in the evenings and enjoy beautiful views of the town as the sun goes down.
Barbecue facilities are available and each room has a private bathroom, with a robe and slippers provided.
Best Luxury Accommodation
For a little pampering, treat yourself to a stay at the popular Sultan Cave Suites. This unique hilltop hotel is surrounded by a magnificent landscape and has a beautiful terrace from which to enjoy the views.
Many of the rooms are set in to the hill itself, so they are cool and quiet all day long.
There is a restaurant serving local delicacies and a fabulous rug-covered rooftop where you can sit to watch the air balloons in the mornings.
Final Thoughts On Two Days In Cappadocia
You’ll never forget the beautiful sights and scenery in Cappadocia – it’s a very special place and a great spot for a relaxing weekend.
We hope that this itinerary for 2 days in Cappadocia has been helpful and that you enjoy every moment of your stay.
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