Towns of Cappadocia, Turkey

Last Updated on October 11, 2023

Cappadocia is a world-famous tourist destination located in Turkey. It is known for its fairy chimneys, hot air balloons, otherworldly scenes, beautiful valleys, and historic underground cities

While Aksaray, Kayseri, and Nevşehir are the most known cities in the Cappadocia region (map), the must-see spots in this amazing destination are its towns that draw thousands of tourists each year.

These towns, known for farming, viticulture, wine-making, and pottery-making are also the best place to set base when exploring the Cappadocia region; riding hot air balloons over its otherworldly landscapes, visiting the historical sites such as underground cities and amazing valleys.

Towns of Cappadocia Region

There are several towns to set base in the Cappadocia region. While each is unique, they come with their set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at the most popular choices. 


Göreme has striking scenes full of fairy chimneys (volcanic cones). It's a good ground for visiting the Cappadocia region because of its large number and variety of lodgings and eateries. The famous Göreme Open-Air Museum is located only a kilometer from the town, and just nearby, you can ride hot air balloons to witness the amazing scenery of the region. Don’t forget to visit the Red Valley (Kızılçukur Vadisi), and the underground cities of Kaymaklı and Derinkuyu.


Nevşehir may be the provincial capital, but Ürgüp has been the chief town of Cappadocia for a long time, with impressive scenery, incredibly charming cave hotels, and Cappadocia's most reliably good restaurants. You can experience everything the Cappadocia region has to offer at Urgup, making it the other ultimate spot for setting base.


Uçhisar is a well-known spot in the Cappadocia region. Here you can find the Uçhisar Rock Castle, the highest point in the area. If you climb to the top, you can see a panoramic view of the area, especially recommended to experience during golden hour.

The town around the natural stone "castle" is also incredibly pleasant, with wonderful hotels and restaurants. Uçhisar can be a perfect point to set the ground when visiting Cappadocia.


Avanos is a pretty town on the Kızılırmak Nehri (Red River). Its inhabitants have made their living from the malleable river clay for years, shaping everything from pots and roofing tiles to statues since 3000 BC. 

Today, you can visit many art studios known for their terracotta artworks to buy traditional artwork of the Cappadocia region. 

Also, you can visit the Seljuk Turkish caravanserai, the Sarı Han, on the town's outskirts.


Güzelyurt is a village similar to those in the Hobbit universe, dramatically situated amid mountains with plenty of greenery and protected by laws to be preserved as it is. On the way to Ihlara, this ancient town boasts a historic mosque-church, some cave churches, a verdant town square, and a fine inn in a former monastery.


Derinkuyu, meaning "Deep Well," is the appropriate name for this small town with one of Cappadocia's deepest and most elaborate underground cities

While the town is far from other main attractions, it is famous for the Kaymakli Underground City lying 85 meters (300 feet) under, where 20,000 people used to live! This amazing underground city is among Cappadocia's most elaborate and dramatic underground cities

If you love history or want to be impressed, take the chance to see this ancient village made out of tunnels and houses. 

We recommend visiting Kaymaklı Underground City on a day-trip excursion, including Güzelyurt and the Ihlara Valley.


Ortahisar, or "Middle Castle" (as its name translates), is located in the middle of Cappadocia. However, this beautiful town is largely overlooked by tourists, making it a good place to visit. 

You can also climb to Ortahisar Castle, second to Uçhisar Castle in the Cappadocia region. You will find a spectacular panorama of the area when you climb to the top, making all your efforts worthwhile.

Mustafapaşa (Sinasos)

Called Sinasos by its Ottoman Greek residents under the empire, this interesting town (which now boasts a university) is among Cappadocia's undiscovered gems, with one of the region's finest hotels and most intriguing restaurants

While it can be far from attractions compared to other towns in the Cappadocia region, this gorgeous authentic town is the perfect spot to experience the traditional Turkish village life and have a peaceful countryside holiday.

Valleys of Cappadocia

Soğanlı Valleys

While The Göreme and Zelve valleys are usually busy with visitors, the larger Soğanlı Valleys are less so, creating a sense of astray and serenity. 

There are many cave houses, ancient churches, and delicious local meals. Plus, it's good to hike through the valleys with little "competition."

Ihlara Valley

Ihlara Valley is a natural wonder even by the standards of the Cappadocia region. A stream runs through a dramatic gorge, its walls punctured by many cave churches and chapels. To experience Ihlara Valley to the fullest, descend the 360 steps from the rim to the stream or spend half a day hiking through. 

The best way to do it is on a day-long excursion to the underground cities, Güzelyurt and Ihlara. 

Cities of Cappadocia Region


An hour's drive east of the heart of Cappadocia, fast-growing Kayseri is the region's largest city. With one of Cappadocia's busiest airports, Kayseri is the landing point when traveling to Cappadocia by airplane. Also, unabashedly commercial, it harbors over a dozen fine medieval Seljuk Turkish buildings


Nevşehir is the other landing point with Nevşehir-Kapadokya Airport (NEV) when visiting the Cappadocia region. The city has an ancient citadel and a good archeological museum.

You can use Nevşehir as your base point when visiting Cappadocia. However, staying in towns is far more interesting, and you will be closer to the main attractions.


Aksaray is among the larger cities in the region. It's at the crossroads of the major north-south and east-west highways. Although it has several interesting historic structures, it is a transportation nexus for most travelers.


Niğde is a historic town and provincial capital. It receives few tourists, which is a pity, as it has some fascinating old buildings and a history to match. For example, Aladağlar National Park has splendid scenery and waterfalls to witness.

However, the city is overlooked and used as a transportation nexus by travelers.

Visit the Cappadocia Region in Turkey

The Cappadocia region is among the best locations to visit in the world. There are many different reasons to travel to this spectacular region, from hot air balloons, underground cities, and world-wonder valleys to fairy chimneys. 

It is a must-visit location once in a lifetime. So, plan your trip well, and remember to enjoy the Cappadocia Region to the fullest! 

—by Tom Brosnahan, updated by Can Turan

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