Istanbul – Ankara – Cappadocia -Konya – Eskişehir – Istanbul
Each region of Turkey has its own particular charm and personality, but a road trip from Istanbul to Cappadocia that takes you also to Ankara (the capital of Turkey), Konya and Eskişehir is truly fascinating.
In fact, in this road trip there are some destinations with a great historical and tourist appeal. But at the same time you can admire some beautiful little known places.
I remind you that we wrote a very interesting article on “Car & rental”
First stop: Ankara
After hiring a car in Istanbul, following our tips, you can start the road trip from Istanbul to Cappadocia.
The first stop on this road trip is Ankara, the capital of Turkey, located in the central part of Anatolia, that has a population of 4.5 million in its urban center making it Turkey’s second-largest city after Istanbul.
Ankara is a city waiting to be discovered, able to fascinate visitors with its cosmopolitan spirit and that atmosphere poised between East and West.
The city of Ankara has an important historical significance for the Turkish people because it not only represents the capital of the country, but is the symbol of Turkish independence. Ankara offers several important historical museums and monuments to visit, which speak of the history of the people and of Turkey in general. We recommend that you stay at least 2 nights here. And these days
you should not miss the Anıtkabir Mausoleum, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk who was the first president of modern Turkey. It is one of the must-see attractions of the Turkish capital, especially recommended for travelers interested in modern history.
Second stop: Cappadocia
After visiting Ankara, the road trip from Istanbul to Cappadocia can start again. The journey between the capital and Cappadocia is approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes.
The best time to visit this magical region is certainly September / October or spring but, being an area in which the temperature variations between day and night are very marked, it could be quite cold even during summer nights. In winter, however, everything is covered with snow and, as fascinating as the landscape may be, it is certainly less easy.
The recommended areas to stay in Cappadocia are Uçhisar, Ürgüp and Göreme, the most touristic.
Cappadocia is a real open-air museum: it literally means land of beautiful horses but everyone knows it for its alien passage, hot air balloons, rock churches, fairy chimneys, valleys and underground cities.
The best way to explore Cappadocia? In a hot air balloon, floating gently above the fairy chimneys, the valleys and cities carved into the rock. To visit Cappadocia it takes at least three or four days.
Third stop: Konya
After visiting beautiful Cappadocia, your road trip is not over yet. The next stop we recommend is the fascinating Konya.
Turkish equivalent of the “Bible Belt” (as the area of the southern United States where Protestant fundamentalism dominates is called), Konya experiences a delicate phase of transition from its significant history as the hometown of the orders of whirling dervishes and a bastion of Seljuk culture, due to its recent importance as a modern city of the economic boom. The city owes its incredible charm to this juxtaposition of old and new. The ancient mosques and the labyrinthine market area are located close to the modern city, all around Alaaddin Tepesi, where in the çay Bahçesi trendy university students talk about religion and politics. If you follow the stops of our road trip, remember that the Mevlâna Museum is one of the most beautiful and characteristic places in Turkey.
Why? Because the mausoleum of Mevlâna is the place where the remains of Gialal al-Din Rumi, a Persian mystic Sufi, are kept. He was the leader of the dervishes of the Mevlevi order, better known as the whirling dervishes. If you stay at least one night in Konya go and see the dance of the whirling dervishes.
Fourth stop: Eskişehir
Before returning to Istanbul and closing the road trip, you can make one last stop in Eskişehir, one of the most cheerful and lively cities in Turkey.
This authentic oasis of liberality in the heart of austere Anatolia is becoming increasingly popular among weekend tourists from all over Turkey, and also boasts a small community of loyal foreign visitors.
Eskişehir’s progressive spirit is reflected in the area around the Porsuk River. Here you can find pedestrian bridges, a sandy beach, a pedestrian area and an excellent light rail. In the summer it is also possible to take a gondola or ferry ride along the river.
All of this has made Eskişehir the most liveable city in Turkey. With its atmospheric old town, vibrant nightlife, fine dining, two parks and a brand new science museum that’s very kid-friendly, Eskişehir has plenty of surprises in store.
After visiting this beautiful city for the days you want (there are also some beautiful spas nearby) you can return to the most beautiful city in the world: Istanbul.