By Plane

The major airport serving Cappadocia is Kayseri's Erkilet Airport (tel. 0352/337-5244, about 45 minutes by car from anywhere in Cappadocia. The secondary, Nevsehir Airport (tel. 0384/421-4455), reopened after a number of years out of service, is closer but served by fewer airlines and options for ground transportation. Turkish Airlines (tel. 0212/444-0849; currently has four to five flights daily from Istanbul's Atatürk Airport to Kayseri and one flight daily to Nevsehir. For passengers traveling from the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkish Airlines flights from Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen Airport are operated by the THY subsidiary, Anadolu Jet. Pegasus (tel. 444-0737; also flies once daily from the Asian side. One-way fares on all of these airlines (for those who book early enough) begin at 59TL.

The German-based Onur Air (tel. 0212/663-9176 in Istanbul, or 444-ONUR [6687]; flies to Kayseri daily from Istanbul and from Düsseldorf. SunExpress (tel. 0232/444-0797; flies direct four times daily from Izmir and once daily from Antalya to Kayseri in summer.

Many local tour operators will pick you up at the airport or bus station for much less than it would cost you to take a taxi. Argeus was the first in the region to provide transfers from both airports to anywhere in the Cappadocia region in their private minivans. The fare for the 97km (60-mile) trip (1 1/2 hr.) from Kayseri airport or from Nevsehir Airport to Ürgüp is only 15TL; add 2TL for all other towns (infants ride free; children ages 3-12 ride for half price). There is a minimal number of daily shuttles however, so check their website for times (generally coinciding with Turkish Airlines flight arrivals and departures). Because of the reasonable amount of competition this presents to area taxi drivers, travelers arriving and hoping to "wing it" by jumping on the Argeus bandwagon may get some resistance from the locals. To avoid misunderstandings, travelers are encouraged to reserve space in advance with Argeus (tel. 0384/341-4688; fax 0384/341-4888; Also be sure to check with your hotel first -- they may pick you up for free. There are no other options for transfers in and out of Kayseri.

By Bus

All long-distance buses into Cappadocia arrive into Nevsehir's otogar. If you've bought a ticket to Göreme, Ürgüp, Üçhisar, or elsewhere in the triangle, the bus company will provide a minibus transfer from the Nevsehir otogar to the station of your final destination. Some bus companies simply pass through Cappadocia on the way to points east and south, in which case it is all too common that the driver will simply dump you off on the side of the highway rather than make the detour into the otogar. Whether your bus company is ending its journey in Cappadocia or not, if you've paid for a ticket to, say, Göreme, be sure at the time of purchasing your ticket that the terms of transport are understood. For insurance, stick to the more dependable Nevsehir (tel. 0212/444-5050), Metro (tel. 0212/444-3455), and Kent (tel. 0212/444-3838) bus lines. Plan B? Carry your cell phone and call your hotel for a roadside pickup.

By bus, expect around 4 to 5 hours from Konya, 2 hours from Kayseri, 5 to 6 hours from Ankara, and 12 hours from Istanbul. If you're headed to the Aegean Coast, you'll have to change buses in either Izmir (13 hr.) or Mugla (14 hr.); for the Mediterranean coast, you'll have to take a bus to either Antalya or Mugla, and then change for minibus service to your final destination. (Certain destinations will require yet another change; for example, to Dalyan, you'll have to change in Ortaca for a dolmus [minivan-type public transportation] into the center of town.)

Day Tours

Operating with the most experience, warmth, and panache is Argeus, Istiklal Cad. 47, Ürgüp (tel. 0384/341-4688; fax 0384/341-4888; Argeus is a professional and friendly full-service agency that, in addition to providing expert guidance on Cappadocia and Ankara, also organizes top-quality tours to destinations throughout Turkey. Locally, they offer a choice of the classic Legend Tour (including the Göreme Open Air Museum, Zelve, Dervent and Pasabag), the Mirage Tour to the underground cities, an off-the-beaten-track Dream Tour, and a half-day hiking trip through the Red Valley. The price to join one of their regular day tours is $110 per person for up to eight people, a good value compared to the lower-end outfitters because with Argeus, there are no shopping detours and all museum fees are included. They also organize private tours for $285 for one person, $160 per person for two, $120 for three, and so on. Argeus is also an official agent of Turkish Airlines.

In addition to full-day "crash course" visits to Cappadocia's must-sees, Cappadocia Tours (Istiklal Cad. 59/9, Ürgüp, tel. 0384/341-7485; sends its guests home from Turkey with a deeper attachment to the heartland thanks to a grass-roots approach that moves beyond the museums. In addition to the must-sees of Cappadocia, they also lead visitors to the lesser-visited (if at all) valleys, on safari tours into the mountains, to waterfalls, and to off-the-beaten-track villages and little-explored underground cities. Expect to pay 160€ per day for between 2 and 10 passengers including the guide and driver. For an additional 20€ per person, all entrance fees will be included (these do add up), as well as vehicle expenses and an a la carte lunch, including wine.

As for more budget-minded outfitters, they come and go, and I hesitate to recommend any particular one because the last time I did, I got shocking feedback describing dubious dealings in the lean times. You'd be better off identifying a company on arrival, and be clear about what services will be included in the tour. Is lunch included? Are all of the admission fees included? Will the tour take a time-sucking detour to a carpet "production" center? (A detour to a carpet shop is not automatically a bad thing.)

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.