3 Top Hiking Routes in Cappadocia, Turkey

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- 5 months traveling in Europe - Turkey

For those who can only be in Cappadocia for shot, they will opt for different routines operated by travel agency. Most people will go for the green line or the red line. Apart from taking you to those must take photo places, they will also take you to Kaymakli Underground City or Derinkuyu Underground City and the valley (Ihlara Valley)

The tour usually includes with lunch, admission fee and transportation. But cons will be:
1. Many people, each of the attractions must line up to take pictures and get into the sites
2. There is no free time so if you like a place you cannot stay long.

Some people would like to visit the Göreme open air museum, some people prefer this but I did not. I saw many tours and people coming to this museum, I prefer to have some places with fewer people.

If you are in the town of Göreme in Cappadocia, do not worry about cannot join any group tour at all. By your own you can play at least 3 days, I promise. Happy and unforgetable, but you have to train your legs first, to walk minimum 5 hours per day. You can find mysterious cave and colored church in your own way which will be more happy and exciting.

Let’s look at the map first


The following is the three major route I recommended:

1. Göreme - Kiliclar Valley, Red Valley, Rose Valley - Göreme, about 3.5 hours

This is a path for beginners. Start walking towards Göreme open air museum (east), before you reach the museum on your left you can see open spaces and you just need to get into the valley through any one of those paths and start your journey.

in the direction of Göreme open air museum

On the left side of the road, any place can enter the valley area and explore

The shape of the stone here is like the inverted ice cream cone, and many of them have tiny windows on them, it is difficult to imagine how the former people live here.

When you see any entrance, you can get into and see, maybe there will be unexpected gains

Random getting into the house, there will be an unexpected harvest

Some of the churches that are well preserved usually are closer to the roads, I didn’t get into any of these. These churches usually have signage to let you know where are the entrance.

I did not get very close so everything is quite far away, especially the Rose Valley.

Rose Valley in far

2. Göreme - Love Valley (Baglidere Vadisi), Uçhisar, Pigeon Valley - Göreme, about 5.5 hours

From the town of Göreme, follow the road to the north, the right has been looking at the beautiful Rose Valley, and then there is a point to turn left. After turning there is a big signage telling you have arrived Love Valley

To the entrance to the valley of love on the way, the right is the beautiful Rose Valley

Love Valley entrance

This path is easy but you need a gps mobile as you may found dead end at some points. Mushroom like poles and series of elephant legs like mountains. I only saw 5-6 people on the way, I was so close with the nature.

Mushroom like poles

Silence and me

Love Valley

Uçhisar is another town,
You can see Uçhisar Kalesi (castle) from far, it is the highest point nearby Unfortunately, I did not go up.

Uçhisar Kalesi

Afterwards, I walked from Pigeon Valley back to Göreme. As I was walking through the at the bottom of the valley, I saw lots of mushroom like at the top and elephant legs like cliff, so interesting, Soon after passing Uçhisar there was tea room, the price was ok. $ 2-3Lira has fruit tea, $ 4 Lira for coffee. This path  is less people than the previous one.

Pigeon Valley

3. Göreme - Rose Valley, Çavuşin, Paşabağ - about 6.5 hours

Although this hike is quite long, but I think it is worth it. From Çavuşin to Paşabağ nobody was there. But the scenery is really beautiful, it is difficult to use pen and ink to describe it. Today was my last day in Göreme and I would say it was the most amazing day among the days in Göreme.

The entrance is almost the same with the first routine, but today it would be going more north.

In the Rose Valley, there are several churches that can be visited free of charge, there are very beautiful ceilings carved churches, there are also super-large abandoned churches, there are also churches with fresco.

Preserved quite well with fresco

Another church

No color for this church but great carving

Big Cave Church, huge church. All are carved.

Seeing Rose Valley, with multiple layers of color

In Çavuşin, there is a large piece of wall with windows, and there are ruined churches inside. After climbing up to the top of it you will feel so good. You can overlook another big wall with windows. Just like you are in a movie scene.


Just like you are in a movie scene

Walking from Çavuşin to Paşabağ, you are walking in the highlands. You will see a lot of pillars, no matter on the grassland or near the road. In addition to these, I think the most beautiful scenery is the mountain that is far from your left. Like a sacred mountain for me.

Seeing from middle of the mountain

This is the mysterious mountain!

Lastly I arrived Paşabağ and saw many tourists and tourists’ buses. There are booths selling drink but not cheap. If it is too late there will be no public bus going back to Göreme. Lastly I chose to hitchhike back. It was easy to hitchhike here, I hitchhiked for 2 times and both cars stopped.


1. As the hotel will only provide you with a simple map, you should have your charged phone for GPS. It is recommended to use the mobile apps, the trails were clear. However, sometimes there are wrong routes too.

2. Be sure to bring enough water, at least 2 liters, because all the places had no trees shade. If summer time you need to consider is that weather still doable.

3. It is recommended to wear long-sleeved clothes, in May, my friend walked for 3 hours and got burnt

4. Company is very important

5. Self-evaluate if you can cope with hours of hiking with hot weather. Winter is not recommended to do so.

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