If you are going to visit Cappadocia for the first time, you can make your trip more efficient with a little research before you go. A large area like Cappadocia is developed in terms of tourism. For this reason, the tour companies have found a formula, diving the key three regions that you can visit into a colour system – red, green and blue. This way, if you are short on time or budget, you can make a choice according to your own taste. If you have already arrived in Cappadocia, it is very reasonable to take advantage of these tour packages in order not to lose time.
Most daily Cappadocia Tours, you will be picked up in the morning around 09.00 - 09.30 am and tours will start around 10 am, which may vary depending on the agency. Pick up, transportation during the day, professional guiding, entrances and lunch are usually included in the price (drinks not included).
Each of the color-separated tours is arranged according to the area, distance and the main points of interest:
Red Tour is the central Cappadocia Tour (North Region) which covers the must-see main spots in Cappadocia; the Open Air Museum and some of the valleys. In this tour, you will see the finest of the rock-cut cave churches, the famous mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys, the valley known as the imagination valley which hosts a broad landscape of rocks that resemble camels, snakes, seals, dolphins; one even is said to look like Virgin Mary holding Jesus Christ. Visiting three regions of Cappadocia, Göreme Uçhisar and Avanos, you will cover up most of central Cappadocia.
Main red tour attractions: Uçhisar Castle, Love Valley, Open Air Museum, Çavuşin Rum Village, Paşabağ Valley, Devrent Valley, Pottery Workshop.
Green Tour is the longer distance tour of Southern Cappadocia. There are two main reasons why many people join this tour. Ihlara Valley which is famous for hundreds of antic churches caved in the volcanic rocks and Derinkuyu Underground City which is an ancient underground city with spectacular viewpoints. There is relaxed hiking involved in the Ihlara Valley, however, you get a good picture of the valley without much of a sweat.
Main green tour attractions: Göreme Panorama, Underground City, Güvercinlik Valley, Ortahisar Rum Village, Red Valley, Kaledibi Monastery, Onyx Workshop.
Blue Tour is the best choice for those who are looking for a genuine Turkish village experience. This tour’s main attractions are the churches, villages, and the landscape around Mustafapaşa and Soğanlı Valley which makes it off-the-beaten-track side of Cappadocia. Valleys visited in this tour have numerous domed churches and caverns and it is one of the most beautiful hiking valleys of the region.
Main blue tour attractions: Soğanlı Valley, Mustafapaşa Old Greek Village, Underground City, Şahinefendi Ancient City, Keşlik Monastery, Ürgüp Fairy Chimneys
The main difference in the pricing of each tour depends on the entrance fees and the distance from the starting point; thus, the cheapest tour among the three is the red tour. You will hear some alternative routes or prices offered for each tour. You may even find taxis providing private tour services for four people who want to only travel with their own family and friends.
Below you may find our suggestions to FAQ about these three tours.
Which tour should someone who loves nature prefer?
For a nature lover, Cappadocia means being fascinated by the miracles of nature in every step of its way. But to be intertwined with nature and to breathe the fresh air of Cappadocia, you can choose the Green Tour, which is mostly in the open air, which allows you to walk for miles. In addition to the Green Tour, you can also consider adding ATV tours so you can ride inside the valleys.
If we have only one day, which tour should we attend?
Due to its location, Cappadocia welcomes long-term guests as well as many daily visitors. Which tour to choose depends on the person’s taste. If you have only one day, you should probably prioritise the Red Tour if you haven’t been to Cappadocia before as it has the most iconic views.
If we have children, which tour would be more suitable for us?
We can say that travelling with children in Cappadocia won’t be too difficult. But when it comes to things like baby carriages, your trip can be a bit challenging. Red Tour is the most appropriate tour for the people with kids. There are less walking and hiking than other tour options.
Which tour is more suitable for romance and couples?
For the couples, as the Red Tour takes you to Love Valley, again it might be a good option. However, the Green Tour, which includes walking inside Ihlara Valley with your partner, might be a beautiful experience. Our recommendation is to check the places included in the Red and Green Tours and choose accordingly.
Which tour is better for which season?
Nearly all of the touristic activities in Cappadocia continue throughout the year. Only when the weather is unfavourable, activities such as balloon tours and paragliding are often cancelled. Be aware that during winter temperatures can be quite low in Cappadocia, and it often snows. While this can be very beautiful adding a completely new perspective on the region, be sure to pack warm clothes as a lot of the attractions are outside. Needless to say, if cold is not your thing, you should plan to visit flowers blossom.
Keep also in mind below information as well,
If you have claustrophobia, do not choose Green Tour because you will enter into an underground city where walking paths can be very small.
If you have 2 days, doing both Red and Green Tours is recommended. However, if you are very interested in history, the Blue Tour might be a more appealing alternative.
If possible, spend 2-3 days in Cappadocia and take a complete tour of Cappadocia using the different tour packages. Of course, do not forget to experience the authentic Cappadocian Cuisine by joining a home cooking workshop.
by Ayşem Zorlu