Looking for the best way to get from Cappadocia to Pamukkale (or Pamukkale Cappadocia)?
This complete guide will list your plentiful options plus give you all the detail you need to book your transport right away and save yourself valuable time.
Turkey is full of amazing destinations, and Cappadocia and Pamukkale are amongst the most popular. It’s not hard to see why. Sunrise hot air balloon rides, cave hotels, picturesque valleys, spa-like thermal pools and the ancient ruins of Hierapolis, what more can you ask for?
It’s common to combine a trip from Cappadocia to Pamukkale or even Pamukkale to Cappadocia into a Turkey itinerary that starts in Istanbul. This guide covers travelling from Cappadocia to Pamukkale (the Pamukkale Cappadocia route) by plane, car, bus and guided tour.
*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.
More Turkey Travel Guides
10 Day Turkey Itinerary
Pamukkale Travel Guide: Where to Stay + What to Do
Cappadocia Travel Guide: Where to Stay + What to Do
Best Areas to Stay in Istanbul
Visiting the Ancient City of Ephesus
Cappadocia to Pamukkale
Planning a last-minute trip from Cappadocia to Pamukkale (or vice versa)? Here are the best resources to make your trip from Cappadocia to Pamukkale or Pamukkale to Cappadocia quick and smooth.
Cappadocia to Pamukkale Map
If you are planning an epic trip in Turkey this year, or even just daydreaming about far-off places, this map will help you plan out your trip. I’ve marked all the main airports and bus stations in both Cappadocia and Pamukkale to help you choose the path that best suits you and your journey.
Turkey is a pretty big country, so it will take a minimum of 8 hours by car (yes travelling to Pamukkale from Cappadocia is faster than flying) and at least 10 hours by bus.
Where is Cappadocia
The region of Cappadocia, located in the Eastern Anatolian region of central Turkey, is a top destination in Turkey, if not the world. The region consists of five main towns, with Goreme being the main tourist destination.
Things to Do in Cappadocia
With eye-opening sunrise hot air balloon rides, an otherworldly landscape ripe for adventure, picturesque valleys (like Pigeon Valley) and rock formations and novelty cave hotels, there is so much to see and do here. You can spend a week or more in Cappadocia and not get bored.
After spending a whopping 10 days in Cappadocia, I can undoubtedly say it lives up to the hype. It truly deserved the praise it gets on social media and should be on everyone’s travel bucket list.
Of course, you have to schedule yourself a sunrise hot air balloon ride, but just as beautiful is watching sunrise with the balloons in the sky from the Love Valley panorama. Finish your day at the Red Valley sunrise view point. There’s something about watching the sun come up and go back down that makes you feel truly alive.
READ MORE | The Complete Cappadocia Visitor’s Guide
Where is Pamukkale
Located a 20-minute drive outside of the metropolis of Denizli in the southwest region of Turkey is the small town of Pamukkale.
Draped on the side of the Menderes River Valley, the stark white terraced thermal pools take a prominent position over the town.
The town of Pamukkale does not have an airport, with the nearest one being the Denizli Airport (an hour’s drive away).
Why is Pamukkale Famous?
Pamukkale, the cotton castle of Turkey, is world-famous for its scenic thermal pools. Pamukkale itself means ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish due to the tiered white terraces created by the calcium-enriched water.
Ancient underground volcanic activity pressed the hot water up to the surface. The hot springs then run down the side of the terraces and the calcium hardens over time to create the tiered look it has today.
Known for possessing special healing qualities, the waters of Pamukkale have a high level of minerals that help treat anything from eczema to interior disorders.
Don’t Forget the Ancient Hierapolis Ruins
Located right behind the Pamukkale thermal pools are the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis. The city was known for being a medical destination due to the healing conditions of the pools attracting people from all over the region.
One of the famous landmarks here is the Hierapolis amphitheatre and manmade Cleopatra’s Pool. You can explore Hierapolis on the same entry ticket as Pamukkale, so I’d suggest taking advantage of it!
READ MORE | Ultimate Pamukkale Travel Guide
How Far is Cappadocia to Pamukkale (or Pamukkale Cappadocia)
While Cappadocia and Pamukkale are in different regions of Turkey, the Pamukkale Cappadocia route is still very popular, albeit a long one. The road distance from Cappadocia to Pamukkale is 615km by car which will take a minimum of 8 hours to complete (if you don’t stop).
If you have the time, I’d suggest stopping halfway between Cappadocia and Pamukkale in the city of Konya for some authentic Turkish food, and a good night’s sleep. If you have the time, I’d suggest taking in a whirling dervishes show, as Konya is where the craft originates.
If you decide to travel the Pamukkale Cappadocia route by bus, it will take roughly 10-12 hours, and that’s doesn’t account for rest stops.
Which Direction is Better on a
Trip to Turkey?
Cappadocia to Pamukkale or Pamukkale Cappadocia?
From personal experience, I’d suggest travelling from Pamukkale to Cappadocia. The epicness of the Cappadocia landscape and things to do is better experienced before the Pamukkale thermal pools, or you might just end up being disappointed.
This is not me saying Pamukkale isn’t worth visiting, it absolutely is worth visiting. I just felt a lack of eye-opening awe upon arrival in Pamukkale after 10 days spent on the ‘playground’ of the Cappadocia region.
If your Turkey itinerary has you travelling from Pamukkale to Cappadocia instead that’s completely fine, too. Either way, you will absolutely enjoy Pamukkale and Cappadocia for what they are, a great example of natural beauty and wonder.
Cappadocia to Pamukkale by Plane
There are no direct flights from Cappadocia (Nevsehir or Kayseri) to Pamukkale (Denizli).
A Cappadocia to Pamukkale flight would likely have a layover in Istanbul at IST or SAW airport or via Izmir. This is the least ideal option because a Cappadocia to Pamukkale flight itinerary will take at minimum 4 hours of travel time, and is more likely to be 8-12 hours +.
This estimate also excluded the travel time via a shuttle or taxi from Goreme or Pamukkale to Denizli Airport or one of the Cappadocia airports which add two more hours to the trip.
In conclusion, it’s a pretty big hassle to take a Pamukkale to Cappadocia flight or travel by air from Cappadocia to Pamukkale.
Cappadocia to Pamukkale by Car
If you are comfortable driving in a foreign country and possess an international driver’s license, I’d recommend making the Cappadocia to Pamukkale journey by car. Driving in Turkey is actually quite a decent experience, with well-paved, well-marked and wide roads for ease.
Of course, you always need to be aware of those odd crazy drivers (they are in every country!) so drive with caution.
Rental Car Cappadocia to Pamukkale
You can find a few different rental car companies located at both the Nevsehir Airport and Kayseri Airport in Cappadocia. But, due to the popularity of the Cappadocia region, I’d highly suggest booking your rental car before you arrive, and at least a couple of weeks in advance if possible.
DiscoverCars is a great way to find the best cost and type of car that suits you and your trip to Turkey.
Plus, picking up your rental car at the airport before heading to Goreme (the Cappadocia tourist town) will allow you the flexibility to see all the attractions Cappadocia has to offer.
Highlights here are also pretty far apart from each other, so if you aren’t organizing a guided Cappadocia day tour, I’d suggest having a rental car to get around.
You can go straight from your flight to your rental car and not waste any valuable vacation time.
>>>> CHECK PRICES + AVAILABILITY OF RENTAL CARS IN TURKEY<<<<
Rental Car Pamukkale Cappadocia
Similar to travelling by rental car from Cappadocia to Pamukkale, Pamukkale Cappadocia is just as easy. Using the DiscoverCars site, you can have the perfect car waiting for you when you arrive at the Denizli Airport, just outside of the town of Pamukkale.
This is especially helpful if you plan to stop at other worthy Turkish locales like Antalya, Fethiye or Kas along the southern coast before heading to Cappadocia. Or, perhaps you’d like to make a trip to the iconic ruins of Ephesus, a perfect day trip by car from Pamukkale.
>>>> CHECK PRICES + AVAILABILITY OF RENTAL CARS IN TURKEY <<<<
Tolls While Driving in Turkey
You will likely hit a few toll highways on your Turkey itinerary, but don’t worry, you don’t need to keep cash on hand to pay these tolls. Turkey has an HGS system that charges the toll electronically through a device set in your rental car.
Once you’ve returned your Turkey car rental, you will be provided with a bill of tolls you accumulated during your trip. Each toll can be upwards of 30TL ($2.25USD).
The Journey from Cappadocia to Pamukkale by Car
Making the trip from Cappadocia to Pamukkale by road takes approximately 8 hours. The distance from Cappadocia to Pamukkale is 615km. Following the directions on GoogleMaps from Goreme (Cappadocia) to Pamukkale or Pamukkale to Cappadocia is straightforward and reliable.
You can take a break halfway through by spending the night in Konya if you have the time. Or, you can head down to Antalya for a couple of days on the beach before moving on to Pamukkale from Cappadocia or vice versa.
Best Pamukkale Cappadocia Tours
If you are looking to visit Pamukkale from Cappadocia, and planning transportation and accommodation is not your jam, then an organized Pamukkale and Cappadocia tour is your best bet.
Cappadocia to Pamukkale + Ephesus Tour
This private 3 day Pamukkale + Ephesus tour from Cappadocia combines the natural wonders of Pamukkale with the ancient manmade ruins of Ephesus near Selcuk.
The tour includes hotel pick up, private transportation, flights, accommodation and a personal guide. This tour is done by BellaTurca which I can personally recommend. They took me on a private tour of Cappadocia and made it the perfect experience and my guide was incredibly knowledgeable.
Private Full-Day Cappadocia Tour
Booking a day tour of Cappadocia is a great idea, especially if you care to rent a car for your time there. I personally took a private day tour of Cappadocia with BellaTurca (which is the tour I’ve linked below).
Besides the luxurious experience of riding around in plush transport, you also can customize the tour to your liking depending on what attractions you’d like to see.
Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia
Of course, it’s hard to plan a trip to Cappadocia without a sunrise hot air balloon ride at the top of your priority list. This is a well-reviewed and reputable company giving standard, deluxe and private balloon ride options with breakfast.
Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride in Pamukkale
If you’ve experienced the hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia and just can’t get enough of flying through the air at sunrise, then this Pamukkale tour is for you. The flight is 35 minutes long with a champagne ending.
Bus from Cappadocia to Pamukkale
The bus from Cappadocia to Pamukkale leaves 3 times daily from the Goreme bus station. Use 12Go to search and book your trip online. I used this several times during my 6-week stay in Turkey and can definitely recommend it. The Cappadocia to Pamukkale bus takes anywhere from 10-12 hours and is a direct trip.
Please note, that times do not include stops for food and restrooms, so it’s best to add 15-20% to your travel time.
Prices for the Goreme Pamukkale bus starts at $9USD.
Denizli Bus Station to Pamukkale (minibus)
If you decide to take the bus from Cappadocia to Pamukkale, you will be dropped at the Denizli bus station (otigari). From here, find platform 76 and talk to the attendant about grabbing a seat on the next shuttle out of Denizli towards Pamukkale town centre. The shuttle usually leaves every 20-30 minutes, but will likely wait until it’s full before departing.
The Denizli Pamukkale bus costs 5TL ($0.70USD).
The driver will drop you in the city centre of Pamukkale. Most Pamukkale hotels can be reached within 5-15 minutes by foot.
Bus from Pamukkale to Cappadocia
If you are travelling from Pamukkale to Cappadocia by bus instead, make sure to factor in time to get to the Denizli bus station from Pamukkale town centre. You can do this by taxi or ask your hotel reception when the minibus leaves Pamukkale heading to the Denizli bus station. They will know.
The bus station in Goreme is very well located and central to all hotels in the area. If you are staying in Goreme town, you can even walk to your hotel from here, a 5-10 minutes max (likely uphill mind you) or grab a readily-available taxi to travel to Uchisar and other towns in Cappadocia.
Search on 12Go to find the best bus itinerary for your Pamukkale to Cappadocia trip.