Bus and plane are the best ways to go to Cappadocia:
FROM ISTANBUL TO CAPPADOCIA
Fastest, and not expensive if you purchase your ticket in advance, are several daily nonstop flights from both Istanbul's Atatürk Airport (IST)and Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW) to Nevşehir-Kapadokya Airport(NEV) and Kayseri's Erkilet Airport(ASR) on Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Air.
|Too bad you can't just fly via|
hot-air balloon to Cappadocia!
If you're arriving from abroad and you plan to visit both Istanbul and Cappadocia, consider leaving your Istanbul visit until the end of your trip. Arrive at Istanbul's Atatürk Airport International Terminal on your international flight, walk to the Domestic Terminal, and catch a flight directly to Cappadocia (if the connection timing works.) You'll save yourself a back-and-forth transfer from the airport and an unpacking and repacking at your Istanbul hotel.
Turkish domestic flights are oftenmuch more expensive if purchased outside of Turkey, so you should consider having a good Turkish travel agent make your internal flight reservations, or make them yourself on the airline's website. Turkish travel agencies can help with any other arrangements (private guides, hotels, rental cars, yacht cruises) you may need as well. More...
A night bus from Istanbul to Cappadocia is usually the cheapest way to go (about TL90), but it's a long ride—730 km (454 miles, 10 to 12 hours). Still, if you can sleep on buses, this may be your favored way as it takes you directly between the two points. Several companies run nightly buses, including Metro Turizm and Nevşehir Seyahat.
Here's how to buy bus tickets in Turkey.
The most efficient way is to ask your hotel to help you reserve your seat. Leaving from Istanbul, board your bus at the Harem Bus Terminal if possible. Your journey will be almost an hour shorter than if you board at the main bus terminal (Büyük Otogar) in Bayrampaşa/Esenler.
Use the E-80 otoyol (expressway) between Istanbul and Ankara to save time, then follow the E-90 highway south from Ankara to Aksaray, then go east along D300, the ancient Silk Road, to Nevşehir. This way you avoid the heavy long-distance truck traffic along the alternate route, E88/D765 via Kırıkkale and Kırşehir.
FROM ANKARA TO CAPPADOCIA
There are no non-stop flights to make the 285-km (177-mile) trip between Ankara and Cappadocia (map), the trains(see below) are slow and run mostly at inconvenient times, so the best way to go is by road: bus or car.
Nevşehir Seyahat and Kamil Koç buses depart Ankara's AŞTİ main bus terminalabout every two hours for Nevşehir (and vice-versa). The journey takes between 3-1/2 and 4-1/2 hours, with the longer time including a 25-minute stop about 1-1/4 hours into the journey to stretch your legs, use the toilet, have a glass of tea, a meal or a smoke (no smoking on the bus). The one-way fare is TL40 to TL45. Here's the schedule.
Metro Turizm, at Nos. 16, 41 & 78, also has several buses to Nevşehir.
The city of Nevşehir's bus terminal (Adnan Menderes Otogarı; map) is 25 km (16 miles) west of most Cappadocian towns such as Göreme, Uçhisar and Ürgüp. When you arrive at Nevşehir otogar, you may be transferred to a shuttle minibus (servis) for the final part of your journey to another Cappadocia's town. The cost of the minibus trip is usually included in your bus ticket fare.
|Cappadocian cave houses|
Fight your way through Ankara traffic to the E-90 highwaysouth, following signs forAksaray, 219 km (136 miles, 3 hours). At Aksaray, turn left (east) following signs for Nevşehir, 73 km (45 miles, 1 hour).
Just at the junction of E-90 and the Nevşehir highway in Aksaray is the Ağaçlı Turistik Tesisi (map), an elaborate commercial highway rest stop with a 4-star hotel, restaurant, cafeteria, snack stands, toilets, souvenir shops, fuel and service stations, even a small mosque.
High-speed trains (Yüksek Hızlı Trenler) now speed between Ankara, Istanbul and Konya, so if a visit to Konya is in your travel plans, you may want to take the High-Speed Train, then a bus from Konya to Nevşehir and your chosen Cappadocian town.
Train <—> Bus Station by Taxi
A taxi between Ankara Gar (railway station) and AŞTİ (main bus terminal) takes about 10 minutes in light traffic, and costs about TL30. You can also take the Metro and Ankaray, transferring between lines at Kurtuluş station.
FROM ANTALYA TO CAPPADOCIA
Antalya has no train service, so the best choices for making the 586-km (364-mile) trip are...
Anadolujet has an evening non-stop flight in each direction between Antalya (AYT) and Nevşehir-Kapadokya Airport(NAV) in Cappadocia (map) in summer (April to late September). These flights take a little over an hour.
Overnight buses run between Antalya and Nevşehir, about 9 or 10 hours. From Nevşehir, you continue to your Cappadocian town by shuttle minibus (servis). You might also decide to take a bus to Konya, see the sights there, spend the night, and continue to your destination the next day. Here's how to buy bus tickets in Turkey.
It's an interesting ride, along the ancient Silk Road past theSultanhanı and other Seljuk Turkish caravanserais to Konya(good for a meal or overnight stop), then through mountain country down to the Mediterranean coast.
Check with one of my recommended travel agencies for flight reservations between Antalya and Cappadocia.