A hot air balloon trip in Cappadocia might be the highlight of your year.
And the best way to complement that exhilaration is to get immersed in the wonders of this unique region with a day tour around Cappadocia.
There are several options available, but a personalised private tour hits the sweet spot of luxury, expert guidance, and a tailored experience.
Maybe you prefer the finer things in life or want to treat yourself (or a loved one) on a special occasion. A customised private tour shaped by your interests, preferences, and schedule will make your trip to Türkiye (Turkey) so much more memorable.
Or perhaps your limited time is valuable. It’s a huge relief to let someone else do the hard work of travel planning for you.
Either way, discovering Cappadocia through a richer, more intimate experience is absolutely priceless.
I took a 1-day private tour around Cappadocia with Travel Atelier and loved every minute. Here’s everything you need to know.
Tour Options in Cappadocia
So, you’re going to visit Cappadocia and want to explore the region thoroughly but are limited on time? Before we get knee-deep in cool places to visit, it’s crucial to realise you’ve got 3 options:
1) Rent a car and drive around, spending a bunch of time planning a route. You’ll probably get frustrated that you don’t fully grasp the historical significance and fascinating backstory of each attraction because you’re not the expert in Cappadocia. You’ll feel underwhelmed and unsatisfied… or worse, exhausted.
2) Go on a typical group tour and get shuffled on and off buses. Go to all the usual places, whether you want to go or not. It’s the same thing that everyone else does. And because of one straggler on the tour, so much time is wasted, and you don’t get to see everything you want, or it takes way longer.
3) Take a personalised private tour. The expert guide will find out what you’re interested in and make suggestions for the most relevant attractions to visit. It’s the smart choice for discerning travellers who want to get the most out of their trip to Cappadocia.
Choosing a Private Tour in Cappadocia
You want to make sure your tour provider knows how to deliver. These are the factors to look for when choosing a tour provider.
The private tour is designed to cater to your specific interests, ensuring a truly personalized experience. Whether you're passionate about history, nature, shopping, food, adventure, or luxury, the tour should be tailored to match.
With a private tour, you should receive undivided attention from your knowledgeable guide. This allows for a deeper exploration of the attractions, a more intimate experience, and ample opportunities to ask questions and gain insights.
Your guide should be highly educated with years of experience and hold a relevant government-issued license. Their expertise ensures that you'll receive comprehensive, accurate information about the history, culture, and significance of each attraction, expanding your understanding and appreciation for Cappadocia.
My Private Tour Around Cappadocia
My tour experience in Cappadocia with Travel Atelier was outstanding. They ticked all the boxes.
Since every tour with Travel Atelier is personalised and unique, you’ll get a different experience than me. But what I can share is the things I saw and did to give you a little inspiration and a taste of what you can expect.
Note: Even though I’ve been to Cappadocia twice before, it had been a while, and I wanted to go back to some of my favourite spots.
The morning started with a hotel pick-up by my guide, Mr Bunyamin (Benjamin). The 8-seater luxury van was super comfortable with plenty of room, strong AC, free chilled bottled water, wet wipes, an umbrella (just in case), USB power outlet (a lifesaver!), and even a collapsible cup holder. We discussed our itinerary, and as the driver headed towards our first stop, the guide explained a little about the history of Cappadocia. He was very articulate and knew how to include just the right amount of detail – not too little to miss out on essential parts and not too detailed to be overwhelming.
This is a world of wonder where spirituality and artistry intertwine. Step into the rock-hewn chambers and witness Byzantine-era frescoes that adorn their walls. As you explore the well-preserved rock-cut churches and monasteries, you'll be transported to a bygone era, feeling the weight of history beneath your feet. There is minimal signage at this popular attraction, so the only way to fully appreciate it is with a knowledgeable guide.
Bonus: Our tour included access to the Dark Church, which is usually an extra fee for standard ticket holders.
Let your imagination take flight amidst the fascinating fairy chimneys of Göreme. These peculiar natural rock formations, shaped by centuries of erosion, stand tall and proud, resembling mystical chimneys reaching for the sky. It's a surreal experience, like stepping into a fairy tale realm. Mr Bunyamin briefly explained the rock formation process before providing 30 minutes of free time to stroll at my leisure.
Avanos, nestled along the banks of Türkiye’s longest river, The Kizilirmak or “Red River”, is renowned for its rich red clay. For nearly 4,000 years, pottery has thrived in this ancient town, tracing its origins back to the Hittites.
Intrigued by this centuries-old craft, I had the privilege of a hands-on demonstration at Kybele Boutique Ceramic, guided by the 7th generation of the family behind this business. Their small team expertly blends Hittite, Ottoman, and contemporary designs, crafting durable pieces that stand the test of time. Their extensive gallery offers a range of exquisite pieces available for purchase, with complimentary shipping and insurance for larger items. Plus, they take utmost care in packaging, ensuring safe delivery with bubble wrapping. While a small plate may set you back around US$95, the investment is well worth the craftsmanship and artistry that will adorn your home and endure for generations to come.
We took a break at this delicious Turkish restaurant. The waiter was more than happy to adjust the dishes to be vegan-friendly. For this private tour, food was included, although drinks were paid directly to the restaurant.
This popular lookout offers 180-degree vistas of Göreme and its iconic rock chimneys. Don't miss the beautiful tree adorned with evil eye medallions. For mementos, a shop nearby awaits, ready to satisfy your souvenir cravings.
I love animals… even flying rats. So I couldn’t resist hand-feeding the friendly pigeons for just 10TL for a cup of seeds. See the intricate pigeon homes carved into stone, a source of guano for vineyard fertilization which is harvested twice yearly.
Descend 35 meters beneath this unassuming hill to enter this ancient underground city that originates from the 8th century BC. Only a fraction of Kaymakli’s vast expanse has been unearthed, yet its winding narrow hallways reveal intriguing features: wineries, a rolling stone barrier, meeting spaces, churches, storage rooms, animal shelters, and a bustling kitchen. Marvel at the 65-meter vertical ventilation shaft, connecting to the longest tunnel, as you explore this captivating subterranean labyrinth. At its peak, the population was around 3,500, but after being abandoned in 1923, it was re-discovered and opened to the public in 1964.
Tip: Cappadocia’s underground cities are not for the faint of heart or if you suffer from claustrophobia. It’s quite a workout navigating the low tunnels, but well worth it if you’re fit enough.
Return to Hotel
As the exhilarating whirlwind tour of Cappadocia came to an end, Mr. Bunyamin kindly returned me to my hotel, bidding farewell. What an extraordinary day it had been! An experience etched in my memory forever, filled with awe-inspiring sights and unforgettable moments.
Go Beyond Cappadocia
Make your trip to Cappadocia part of something bigger. Travel Atelier specialises in creating custom tour packages all across Türkiye and Greece. They will take care of everything for you, quite literally. I’ve never met a team of travel agents who bend over backwards so much for their customers. They go out of their way to ensure every part of the trip runs smoothly, even if they don’t make any profit. Their customer satisfaction is worth much more. I wish more businesses in the travel industry held the same values.
The Bottom Line
To fully appreciate the allure of Cappadocia, a private tour is the ideal choice. Get up close, get deeper, and then you, too, will hear the beating heart of this magical land.
From soaring high in a hot air balloon at sunrise, to getting down low in an ancient underground city, the range of jaw-dropping experiences in Cappadocia is mind-boggling. There’s way too much to do to fit into a short vacation.
There’s one expert you can trust who will help navigate and get the most out of every minute in Cappadocia – the team at Travel Atelier. Tell them Josh at travelwithbender.com sent you.
I know who I’ll call next time I visit Cappadocia.