Green Tour Cappadocia Review – What to Expect & Tips

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Cappadocia is a fairy-tale land of unique rock formations set amongst the backdrop of hundreds of hot air balloons that float into the sky each morning. But more to that, there’s an entire world of valleys and underground cities to explore. And this Green Tour Cappadocia is perfect for that. 

It takes you to some of the most interesting places in Cappadocia that are further away from Goreme and slightly challenging to get to on your own without a vehicle.

If you are considering joining the Green Tour Cappadocia, this post will give you a glimpse into what to expect, aiming to show you why it’s worth a day on your Cappadocia itinerary.

This is a guest post by Lora, a full-time digital nomad on a quest to visit every country and pet as many dogs as possible. Over the last 15 years, she has traveled solo to 70+ countries and six continents. She currently calls Puerto Vallarta, Mexico home, where she runs the website Take Me To Puerto Vallarta.

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Green Tour Cappadocia itinerary 

The main attraction of the green tour is Derinkuyu underground city, but it also takes you to several other points of interest around Cappadocia.

Depending on your accommodation, this full-day group tour departs around Goreme at 9:30 -10 am and returns around 6 pm. Just in time to watch the sun go down from one of the city’s many rooftops!

Here’s what you can expect along the way.

green tour cappadocia

Goreme Panorama Viewpoint

After leaving Goreme, we arrived at our first stop on the green tour shortly after – Goreme Panorama Viewpoint. From there, you can get clear views of Pigeon Valley below.

The landscape around these valleys is unreal. Once a volcano, thousands of years of eruptions and cooling left what we see today.

This particular area is named pigeon valley because when people were living in the caves, they would use the small holes to attract pigeons who would leave poop. Then they would utilize the poop as fertilizer. It’s kind of gross but interesting!

Onyx Jewelry Factory

The second stop at Green Tour Cappadocia was at an Onyx jewelry factory to see how the local rocks (onyx) are made into jewelry. Inside, they demonstrated a man carving a piece of white onyx on a lathe into the shape of an egg. Tip: if you remember the tour guide’s name, you might win the egg!

From there, they showed us how the rock was further polished and eventually made into jewelry.

Afterward, they take you to the salesroom to look at the beautiful but expensive jewelry. Of course, there is no pressure to buy anything, but it did feel like a bit of a tourist trap. If you are not interested in purchasing the jewelry, you can simply go outside.

Selime Monastery

Then the Green Tour Cappadocia route continues to Selime Monastery, which dates back to the 8th century. The monastery was built for religious purposes and later transformed into caravansaries on the old Silk Road trade route.

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Photo Credit: Curious Expeditions / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / Flickr

Inside the monastery was a missionary school, a living area, and at least one church. It is fascinating to walk through, with many holes inside the rock to explore.

Ihlara Valley Hike

One of my favorite stops along the Green Tour Cappadocia was the Ihlara Valley. This lush, green river canyon (hence the name of Green Tour) is absolutely gorgeous.

It’s the largest, deepest, and longest crater canyon in Cappadocia at an impressive 80m deep. It’s a paradise for nature lovers!

Ihlara Valley was formed by the volcanic actions of Mt. Hasan, next to the Valley. After the eruption, the Melendiz River eroded the Valley for millions of years, eventually creating the canyon. The whole Valley is 14 km long, although we only walked a couple.

In the past, Christians lived in several parts of the Valley. Along the way, you can see carved churches dating back to the 4th century, with paintings from the 10th century inside them!

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Photo Credit: Benh LIEU SONG / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

After a walk through the canyon, we stopped at a riverside restaurant for lunch, which included soup, salad, and a choice between fish, chicken, vegetarian, or meatballs. Lunch is included with the price of the tour, but drinks are extra. The restaurant is super cozy, with little lounging spaces on the river.

We also made a quick stop at Yaprakhisar Viewpoint, where you can see examples of conical fairy chimneys. This area is known as the Star Wars movie set since it is very similar to what you see in the film.

Nar Crater Lake

Nar Lake was one of my favorite stops on the Green Tour Cappadocia. This stunning turquoise lake is inside a volcanic crater in a remote and deserted valley surrounded by hills.

The lake’s depth is unknown, but the hot water surging out from the south and north shores of the lake is healthy for you, so you will often see locals bathing in it.

Derinkuyu Underground City

The last stop of the day was Derinkuyu underground city. Usually, you visit the underground city in the morning, but because it was very hot that day, our guide took us as the last stop to avoid the heat. 

Visiting the underground city should be on your Cappadocia bucket list. It’s unbelievable how big this place is and that only 25% of the underground city is open to the public!

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We went down six floors, and there was still more to visit. During the tour, we saw a winery, a baptismal, meeting rooms, a church, a well, a grave, and a kitchen. There are no bathrooms, though, which is a mystery of the underground cities.

There are a few theories about what the underground cities were used for. Most historians guess that people lived in them as a way to escape from enemies. They would live underground for up to a couple of months!

After the tour through the underground city, we returned to Goreme with a final stop at a shop where we got to sample local treats. 

Booking the Green Tour Cappadocia 

You can book the Green Tour Cappadocia online or through tour agencies in town. I booked mine through my hostel. Unlike hot air balloon rides, you don’t need to book this tour far in advance. It goes every day!

The Green Tour Cappadocia price depends on the company you book it with, but it ranges from 38 USD to 73 USD. 

What to bring on the tour

The weather is super hot in the summer, so you’ll want to bring some light hiking clothing and, most importantly, a good pair of shoes. They will also be helpful for the Ilhara Valley hike. I wore sandals and regretted it as climbing around the rocks at Selime Monastery was slippery.

Other Cappadocia Tours

There are many other Cappadocia tours you can do. An alternative to this is the Red Tour. If you wonder which one to take, Green Tour or Red Tour Cappadocia, here is the short answer: Green Tour Cappadocia gives you much more value than Red Tour as it shows you around Goreme. You can hike to many of them, like Rose Valley and the open-air museum, so you don’t need a tour to take you.

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