This Survival Guide will explain how to travel from Cappadocia to Mount Nemrut by bus!
Cappadocia is one of the most surreal, stunning and visited parts of Turkey. The landscapes and cave cities are unique, and worth the particularly long effort it can take to travel to the region. But where do you go after you’ve explored the underground cities and floated above the valleys in a hot air balloon?
A not so visited, but equally magnificent and unique place to see is Mount Nemrut- or Nemrut Dagi. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the lasting memorial to an egotistical king of old. A man who had statues of himself and his family built on top of the tallest mountain in his Kingdom and surrounded by Gods. The views from the top are glorious, and the giant heads of the now decapitated statues are a curious sight.
The only problem is that Mount Nemrut is nowhere near anything at all. The closest attraction is Cappadocia. If you make it that far into the interior of Turkey, it’s well worth the trip to Mount Nemrut as well.
To simplify the route, it’s Goreme- Kayseri- Kahta- Karadut/ Nemrut. Read on for more details.
So, how to travel from Cappadocia to Mount Nemrut by bus?
Step 1] Goreme To Kayseri
In Cappadocia, you are probably staying in the town of Goreme, or maybe Urgup. It doesn’t really matter, as you won’t get to Mount Nemrut direct anyway.
The first step is to travel to the city of Kayseri. This is the big transport hub in the region. There’s a huge bus station [Otogar] with routes to almost anywhere.
To get to Kayseri Otogar, there are buses running frequently through the day. Check with the bus offices in Goreme town centre as the schedule may change daily. It takes about 1 hour to travel to Kayseri, and will cost around 15 TL depending on the company. Be careful here as some buses will go to Kayseri Otogar and others to the airport.
Now, you need to time it to arrive in time for the connecting bus, but I’ll leave this to you as you may want to enjoy the limited sights of Kayseri during the day. The connecting buses are at 23.30pm each night.
Tip: Across the road from the Kayseri bus station, there’s a huge shopping centre with a great selection of restaurants if you have time to kill.
Step 2] Kayseri To Kahta
That’s the first step down. You’ve made it Kayseri bus station. Now you need to get a bus to the nearest town to Mount Nemrut, Kahta.
There are two bus companies which run routes from Kayseri to Kahta. Kahta Petrol and Adiyaman Gularas Turizm. They both depart at night, at 23.30 pm. It takes around 7-8 hours of travel and will cost 40 TL. These are big buses, and you get light refreshments, but there are no toilets. They will stop every 3 hours to let everyone off though.
At Kayseri bus station, go inside the big terminal, and you will see these two companies selling tickets next to each other in the middle of the building. Easy.
Kahta Petrol Website HERE
Adiyaman Gularas Turizm Website HERE
Step 3] Kahta To Karadut / Nemrut
Once you’ve made it to Kahta you are still around 40 kilometres or so from Mount Nemrut itself.
You now have a few options.
You can stay in Kahta, and arrange a tour to Nemrut. Probably the worst and most expensive option, but maybe the easiest.
The other option is to get to the village of Karadut, which is the closest you can get to Mount Nemrut.
There are a few irregular minibuses to Karadut, which will cost 5TL and take around 30 minutes. They leave from the Otogar you just arrived at, but have no schedule and may be hard to find. The bus you just arrived on may also carry on to the crossroads that leads to the village itself. You should ask in Kayseri about this if Karadut is your ultimate aim. The only problem is, you will then have to walk 2 kilometres to the village from the crossroads, unless you can arrange ahead for your guest house to pick you up from the crossroads or you hitch a lift. The direction of Karadut is well sign posted so you shouldn’t miss the turning, especially if you tell the bus driver this is where you are going. They should know where to drop you for Nemrut!
In Karadut there are a few nice guest houses offering cheap rooms. The surroundings are much nicer than Kahta too!
I stayed at Nemrut Dagi Isik Pansion, run by a great local guy, they can sort out breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I also heard good things about Karadut Pansion, they have a similar set up.
Step 4] Mount Nemrut!
The final stage is to get to the top! You can walk from Karadut, a 12 kilometre uphill trek, or you can arrange for a car to take you. The guest house owners in Karadut will be happy to oblige for 50-70 TL per car depending on your numbers.
It’s cold at the top, really cold, so dress warm, and if going for sunset or sunrise, take a torch.
There you are! That’s how to travel from Cappadocia to Mount Nemrut by bus!
And then you have the fun of figuring out where to go from Mount Nemrut! Let me know if you need help, I went on to Batman- awesome name for a town right!
Brilliant post Richard and really informative. I toyed with the idea of Mount Nemrut when I last went to Cappadocia but ended up in Hattusa instead.
Thanks Natalie! How are things in Turkey right now?! It’s so hard to watch the news these days!
Actually in the small towns and coastal resorts, people are quite laidback. Friends in Istanbul are concerned though. At the moment, life is as normal for a majority. It is behind the scenes where everything is heated and tense. I am confident Turkey can bounce back though.
Hi Richard, i would like to know, is it possible to do one day trip from Kahta to mount nemrut? I plan to go by bus from Kayseri to Kahta, after arriving, then direct take short tour to mount nemrut from local operator or by taxi. In the evening, back to town and take night bus to fethiye. Do you have any contact of recommended local tour operator or taxi driver? Thank you for answering 😊
Hi there Mayang, when are you planning on visiting? The mountain is closed off until around late March, early April due to snow.I stayed near the Mountain itself so can;t recommend a taxi or tour, but if you can arrange transport it’s easy enough to see in one day, but is best seen at sunrise or sunset!
hi mayang, i am intending to go to the coastal area. where are you travelling from to fethiye? thanks.
Hi Richard, thanks for your information. I have plan to nemrut mountain on Early May, is it okay to visit the mountain? And to get the top, should with local tour or we can go there with ourself?
Hi Rere, You can visit yourself but only if you have your own transport. If you stay nearby the guest houses can organise transport to the top and back for you at reasonable costs!
I am in Goreme now and thinking of visiting Nemrut so this is a nice guide for me.
hi richard, this is a good post. there many steps to reach there. in summary, if i get off from goreme, how many hours will it take to go to the nearest town, Karadut?
after that, how do i go to pamukkale?