Outdoors & Sports in Cappadocia: Best Outdoor Attractions + Tips

Find out the best outdoors and sports activities in Cappadocia with our useful guide. From the world famous hot air balloon rides to scenic hiking, biking, horse safari, quad bike and jeep safari, Cappadocia has so much to offer its visitors who are into outdoors, nature, sports and continues to grow into a sprawling city that we love most! Think about fitting in one of the sports when visiting.

Get the most out of your trip with outdoor sports in Cappadocia

With its wide selection of activities such as hot air balloon rides, trekking trails and boutique cave hotels it has become one of the most sought-after holiday destinations for travelers from across the globe.

Whether you are an adventure seeker, or a cultural enthusiast Cappadocia offers something for everyone with experiences that will last a lifetime.

Best Outdoors & Sports Activities in Cappadocia

Hot Air Balloon Ride for a Day

No visit to Cappadocia would be complete without a ride in the hot balloons! Watching more than 150 balloons taking off at sunrise will be a unique scene you’ll never forget.

One of the most popular things to do in Cappadocia is to catch the view from above in the colorful hot air balloons. Take fantastic pictures of the valleys and fairy chimney’s from above, enjoying the spectacular landscape, fresh air, and clouds! The balloon tours are famous for creating the special romantic moment, perfect for marriage proposals or honeymoon gift.

When you decide to take your place in that beauty, no matter which company you choose, ensure to make a reservation for your balloon ride. There are plenty of on-site/online companies that can guide you through.

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Explore Goreme Open Air Museum

Being UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985, the Goreme Open Air Museum is also one most popular places to see in Cappadocia. It hosts the most important Byzantine cave churches in the world that where the monks and nuns pursued monastic life.

Goreme Open Air Museum is a rocky settlement area that has hosted an extreme monastery life between 4th to 13th centuries D.C. that travellers may experience and enjoy some well preserved, rock-cut churches with frescoes and paintings dating from as early as the 10th century and the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia. The region forms a valley including churches, chapels, dining halls and sitting rooms at the rock-cut blocks.

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Hike the beautiful Valleys and experience the Fairy Chimneys

We can say that hiking in Cappadocia will not be only an outdoor sport. You will find that all hiking trails are intertwined with nature and history as well. It will be like a fairy tale in the land of fairy chimneys. A must for outdoor sports and nature lovers.

Cappadocia is also a heaven for nature lovers. With its winding valleys, moonlike landscape, and mystical chimneys, Cappadocia might be the most surreal place on earth. Whether you’re there to explore the unique rock formations up close, or just to take in the majestic views from afar, it’s a must-see destination for anyone looking for an unforgettable adventure. During each season, the valleys change color and offer something spectacular for those who visit.

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Rent an ATV | Quad Bike

One of the most adventurous outdoor sports activities in Cappadocia is the opportunity for you to rent an ATV or Quad Bike! Join an ATV – Quad Bike tour group and go rolling through the valleys and wetlands.

ATV and Quad Bike safari is made with the powerful quad motors along the unique Cappadocia landscape. You may experience the powerful quad motor ride and drive on the brand new quads along the outstanding natural scenery of Cappadocia.

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Ride A Horse

If the ATV is a bit too much excitement for you, instead head over to one of the area Horse Ranches. Prior to riding you will receive a training and will be accompanied by a guide. Cappadocia is also known as the “land of beautiful horses” and this attraction is live at the horse farms between Avanos and Goreme is an unforgettable experience in Cappadocia.

However, these horses have also had a lot of experience and know the routes! Enjoy an exhilarating yet peaceful outing and the perfect way to witness these natural wonders without disturbing their unspoiled beauty. Amid an incredible landscape of imposing rock formations, riders can look over valley and enjoy the companionship of both their friends or family and the horses.

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4×4 Off-Road Jeep Safari

You may experience the travelling on dirt, dust and stone paved roads, canyon paths, the scenic lunar hills, red valley, having the adventure of safari in the company of the heaven nature and tracks on the safari.

If you want to take as much advantage as possible of the incredible countryside views, natural beauties, fairy chimneys, rock-cut houses, Cappadocia surroundings and nearby villages and breathtaking scenery, than head out on a Cappadocia 4×4 Off-Road Safari.

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Cycling | Enjoy the best cycling routes 

Cycling in Cappadocia will allow you to witness the natural beauties, perfectly carved valleys, towering rock formations, and surreal landscapes. One of the best outdoor sports activities in Cappadocia.

From beginners and enthusiasts to seasoned pro riders, Cappadocia is definitely a “cyclist’s paradise”. So, let’s see why this fantastic lands is a cycling paradise by exploring at some of the best Cappadocia cycling routes.

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Photo Shooting for a Day

Taking photos is one of the favorite activities of visitors of all ages and will become even more enjoyable in Cappadocia’s eye-catching landscapes. Cappadocia’s photography tours will provide a service beyond your expectations for those who need help to reflect the magical atmosphere of Cappadocia in the frame or think they need a better photographer.

Let’s immortalize the fairy-tale image of Cappadocia, one of our natural and historical heritages in the central Anatolia of Turkey with its unique and rich nature and beauty.

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Fun Gondola ride on Kızılırmak Red River

The Red River in Avanos town is always lively and full. You can have a romantic gondola ride along the Red River and have a fun and wonderful day out activity.

This is a perfect attraction for families and couples. You’ll have a 15 minutes stroll on the waters of the Red River with the Venetian type gondolas, and then have a celebration on the shore. More on kapadokyajet.com

Jetboat ride on Red River

For those who look for an adrenaline day out along the Kizilirmak Red River in Avanos town, then head out to Jetboat ride.

With this speedboat adventure, you’ll have great fun while experiencing the ultimate adrenaline-filled adventure, 360-degree Hamilton turns, speed slides and other exciting maneuvers as you explore the Red River and the surroundings. More on kapadokyajet.com

Runfire Cappadocia Ultramarathon (RFC)

Cappadocia has been home to an international multiday ultramarathon of the desert concept called Runfire Cappadocia Ultramarathon (RFC) since 2012; it continues to grow into the sprawling. The 244 km (152 miles) race takes about 6 days through several pristine and unspoiled places with incredible views, ending in Salt Lake (Tuz Golu).

The RFC sport is a high-degree difficulty sport that starts from/ends in Uçhisar Town Hall, NevSehir. It follows the route of the Valley of Pigeons (Güvercinlik Vadisi), Ortahisar, Acıgöl, Damsa Dam, Analipsis Monastery (Yüksekli Kilise), Güzelyurt, Avanos, Ihlara Valley, Mount Hasan and around Lake Tuz before crossing through Çavuşin and the Ürgüp and Göreme valleys.

Book Your Balloon Ride

Below you can find our recommendations. Each company directly operates the hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia with their team of experts. So you will book your flight directly from the company. No men in the middle.

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Related Reading

Local Recommendations from Cappadocia4U team

If youʻre visiting Cappadocia for the first time, we have you covered. Below are some of the top recommendations, tours and experiences!

Some useful info

  • Cappadocia is the name of the region situated in the middle of Turkey. It is mostly known by the three popular towns of Goreme, Urgup and Uchisar but actually it is the name of the very big region spread through the cities of Nevsehir, Kirsehir, Nigde, Aksaray and Kayseri.
  • If you are first-time visitor, want to get familiar, please read our Cappadocia for first timers guide.
  • If you are not sure how to travel, please read our Traveling to Cappadocia guide.
  • If you don't know where to stay, please read our Where to Stay in Cappadocia guide for regions, and Accommodation guide for hotels.
  • If it is hard to plan your days, please read our Ideal 3-Days Cappadocia itinerary.

Top Attractions & Sights

There are 6 must do and see in Cappadocia that you won't want to miss!

  1. Hot Air Balloon Rides (the most exciting attractions in the world)
  2. Goreme Open Air Museum (some best-preserved examples of Byzantine rock-cut architecture and frescoes in the world)
  3. Pasabag Monks Valley (one of the most popular fairy chimneys areas)
  4. Uchisar Castle (highest point, the biggest fairy chimney)
  5. Derinkuyu Underground City (one of the largest underground cities in the world, 8th century BC)
  6. Ihlara Valley (fantastic canyon with a depth of about 100 mt. and 14 km. length)

Tip-1: One of the best ways to explore Cappadocia is by taking a sightseeing tour, so that you can cover all the top sights. Three main sightseeing tours available: Red Tour (covers the highlights of the region), Green Tour (best of natural and historical sites), and Blue Tour (lesser-known sights, off-the-beaten-path experience)

Tip-2: Private Tours are also good choice within a well-planned and custom itinerary along with a private vehicle, driver and professional guide. Great for those who don't have a car or don't know the region well.

For leisure activities we'd recommend 2 must-take attractions! Don't miss! Wine Tasting and Photo Shooting