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We (my wife, our 3.5 year old kid, me) are planning to visit Cappadocia in April for about about 4 days, following a stay in Istanbul.

According to google maps, it takes 1 1/2 hours from Kayseri Airport (ASR) to the Göreme/Uçhisar/Ürgüp region where we plan to stay and only 50 minutes from Nevşehir Airport (NAV). Several transfer service offers I found talk about an hour from Kayseri to Göreme, however. (We will probably rent a car either way.)

Since it seems Nevşehir sees only two flights a day I guess it will also be also easier to find our way around there, this seems to be the quicker way (with only marginally more expensive flights). However, since Kayseri seems to be worth a (half?) day trip on its own, flying there would allow visiting it first (there are flights from IST at convenient times; visiting before the return flight is not an option as we want to leave in the morning to catch a connecting flight at IST) and save the extra trip from and back to Göreme.

Is my reasoning correct? If so, which would be the more convenient option?

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This very much depends on what you consider 'worth' visiting. What are you interested in seeing and how long are you willing to stay in each place? –  Ankur Banerjee Feb 10 '13 at 2:22
    
I would like to stay for 4 nights in the same place, making trips from there (to Kayseri, Kaymaklı,...), but am most interested in the landscape surrounding the national park (hence staying in Göreme). –  arne.b Feb 12 '13 at 23:27
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Just found this: "Nevsehir Airport is the newer and also the better organized airport out of the two; hence we recommend flying into this airport if it fits your schedule" at a hotel's website, although they link to a page that says "[e]ither airport is a convenient way to fly in or out of the Cappadocia region." –  arne.b Feb 12 '13 at 23:29
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted
  1. Your reasoning is correct.

  2. Kayseri + rental car is the most convenient option.

You have much more choice to and from Kayseri: better schedules and better prices, through competition. Moreover, the car rental facilities tend to be better at Kayseri. And it is not that further. Anyway, the drive is a quite relaxed one.

Renting a car is definitely a good idea to explore that region. You will be more flexible. Getting from Göreme to more remote places like Mustafapaşa, Ihlara Valley or Kaymaklı is much easier and quicker with a car than with public transport. And you will be at ease to visit Kayseri. Indeed, if you have the time, stop by for a couple of hours. It's worth it.

An alternative would be to use an airport transfer, pulbic transport when possible and eventually take part in organised trips to the more remote areas or rent a car for that purpose on a daily basis. The organisational effort is however much bigger. You also lose some flexibility and spontaneity.

A last word on the airports. Check carefully if your flight to Kayseri is operated from Istanbul Atatürk Airport (code IST). There is another airport called Sabiha Gökçen (code SAW). The latter is 50 kilometers from what one would call the city center. And transportation to and from this airport is by far not as straightforward as from Atatürk airport.

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Thank you very much. I indeed considered a SAW-Kayseri flight when I saw that they were available for <20 Euro p.P. (Pegasus Airlines, as opposed to ~200 Euro for IST-NAV with Turkish Airlines), but when adding the inner-Turkish route to a multi-stop ticket with Turkish Airlines (best/only option for the way to/from Turkey anyway), the difference is only about 40 Euro. –  arne.b Feb 10 '13 at 9:06
    
What surprised me about rental cars at Kayseri Airport was that I only offers marked "Meet & Greet" (even for companies whose telephone numbers are on the airport website), although from google maps it seems there should be at least two companies with offices there. One has a website in Turkish only, the other is more helpful (seems to be a Sixt affiliate). –  arne.b Feb 12 '13 at 23:36
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