Hiking Red and Rose Valley in Cappadocia

Red and Rose Valley in Cappadocia got its name from the rock formations that changes color from rose to red depending on which time of day you’re in or the quality of natural light as you view the valley.  It is situated between Göreme and Çavuşin villages.

After spending two days in Cappadocia, I had a view of the Red and Rose Valley from our cave hotel and got a chance to appreciate its landscape from above on a hot air balloon.  I can’t explain it but I guess the calling is just so strong that I think I need to get up close and personal by hiking Red and Rose Valley.

We hired a guide for the short hike to the Red and Rose Valley but it turned out that the paths are fairly marked and figured that it would be easy to trek around the valley independently.  We saw other hikers on different sides of the trail and found out that there are a lot of different trails you can take.  That’s the thrill of exploring the valley on foot.  That was when I understood why our guide told us that hiking would take 2 to 4 hours depending on how much walking we could take.

red and rose valleyGetting to Red and Rose Valley from Göreme

The owner of Vista Cave Hotel was kind enough to drive us to the trailhead of the Red and Rose Valley.  We started hiking as soon as we were introduced to our guide, Murat.

red and rose valley

red and rose valley red and rose valley red and rose valley red and rose valley

We found at least three marks like this, painted in red

red and rose valley

Our first viewpoint of the picturesque Red and Rose Valley

red and rose valley

The sun wasn’t shining directly at the rock formations to give a more vivid rose hue but the views are stunning just the same 

red and rose valley red and rose valley

We then descended towards that small store

red and rose valley

….and ascended again

red and rose valley red and rose valley

We momentarily stopped for a break at that little shop

red and rose valley

Taking in the view while resting

cappadocia

I tasted my first pomegranate juice at this stand

Hacli Church

Right beside the fruit juice stand is a small church called Haçli Kilise, with this mural inside

red and rose valley

How can you not say wow every couple of minutes when you are met by endless rock formations

red and rose valley

The wows never stop

red and rose valley

This was the highest point we got hiking the Red and Rose Valley

red and rose valley red and rose valley red and rose valley red and rose valley red and rose valley

 

Continuing the Hike to Çavuşin Village

cavusin village

We passed by a graveyard just before reaching the Çavuşin village proper

We descended to a dirt road linking the valley to Çavuşin.  Çavuşin village was once inhabited by early Christians who lived in rock-cut houses.

cavusin village

cavusin village

We climbed the first “climbable” path we saw to have a nice view of the Swiss cheese-looking formations.

cavusin village

Swiss cheese!!!

cavusin village

However, we were puzzled as we saw a few visitors peeking through the framed doors of what was apparently a portion of the Basilica of St. John the Baptist.  The current path we were in was not leading up to that part.

cavusin village

Warning sign, probably for rock falls or loose soil path

cavusin village cavusin village

Thinking that “if others can, so must we”, we descended the path and learned that in order to
get inside the Basilica, we have to climb first the winding narrow road of the village to get to the steps leading to the top of the village.

cavusin village

cavusin village cavusin village

Finally we found our way to the top and the view was a surprise treat.  The fairy chimneys at the bottom left provided an accent to the view.

cavusin village

Once at the top, we still could not see the basilica.  It turns out that a shaky stairway behind is provided and seems like the only way to access the church.  Unfortunately, the murals were not as preserved as the other cave churches we’ve seen so far.

cavusin village

cavusin village

cavusin village

That ends our half day adventure of keeping our feet at work and letting our eyes feast at the wonderful landscapes of Cappadocia.  I highly recommend hiking in Cappadocia.  Remember to bring a hat, water and comfortable walking shoes with you.  Stay on marked trails.  As cliché as it may sound, I’m going to say once again…leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures and kill nothing but time.

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