Best Valleys to See in Cappadocia (Fairy Chimneys, Caves, Churches)

Cappadocia offers great sights and points of interest for travelers from outstanding landscape, fairy chimneys and rock-cut houses, the beautiful valleys and scenic lunar hills to incredible monuments. Cappadocia valleys host about all the popular sights of Cappadocia. The Goreme National Park that were added to UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1985 hosts the majority of the valleys in Cappadocia.

You will experience and enjoy the beautiful landscape, fairy chimneys, settlements dating back to centuries, rock-cut houses, caves, hidden churches, lunar landscape and more at the Cappadocia valleys. Whether you’re there to explore the unique rock formations up close, or just to take in the majestic views from afar, it’s a must-see destination for anyone looking for an unforgettable adventure. During each season, the valleys change color and offer something spectacular for those who visit.

Popular valleys in Cappadocia include; Pasabag (Monks) Valley, Zelve Valley, Devrent Imagination Valley, Pigeon Valley, Love Valley, Red Valley, Rose Valley and Swords Valley

They are all located at the Goreme National Park site. In some valleys you can find waterfalls, while in others there will be fresh fruit such as plums or apricots. In Winter, the valleys are covered with snow which makes for a truly mystical scene! The valleys are also the places where you can see historical churches carved into the rock, distinctive homes, and visit active Turkish villages.

In addition, there is one extraordinary valley around Cappadocia, the Ihlara Valley, located about 85 km. from Goreme Cappadocia. It seems very far away from Cappadocia but travelers are highly recommended to arrange a day and make a visit to the Ihlara Valley. A really must visit sight in Cappadocia

If you don’t have much time in Cappadocia and unable to visit and see all those valleys, than we recommend you to visit Pasabag (Monks) Valley and Rose Valley for sure.

Popular Valleys in Cappadocia

Pasabag (Monks) Valley

  • Fairy chimneys, seclusion place for the Monks, three capped fairy chimney where Saint Simeon lived

Pasabag Valley, also known as “Monks Valley” is one of the most popular fairy chimneys areas of Cappadocia. The valley is situated between Avanos and Goreme.

Those who come visit Cappadocia mostly go to Pasabag Valley to see the best fairy chimney formations. The formations that once used as a seclusion place for the Monks, are now a very attractive tourist zone in Cappadocia.

One of the best activities in the valley is to enjoy the nature and unique beauties by walking among the fairy chimneys. The valley, which was used as a retreat by the priests and monks during its period, includes many rock-cut monasteries, churches, chapels and settlements, as well as tunnels and mills.

Read more about Pasabag Monks Valley

Devrent imagination valley

  • a Lunar landscape, the most surreal landscape of the region, fairy chimneys that resemble animal or human figures

Devrent Valley, also called as “Imagination Valley” is one of the fantastic regions of Cappadocia. You can experience and enjoy the beautiful lunar landscape of Cappadociathe most surreal landscape of the region.

Devrent Valley is home to very interesting fairy chimney formations. Cappadocia’s famous fairy chimney that looks like camel and many other fairy chimneys that look resemble animal or human figures are located here.

Read more about Devrent Imagination Valley

Zelve Valley Open Air Museum

  • Fairy chimneys, one of the most important residential and worship places for Christianity, churches, tunnels, mills, houses and monastery

Zelve Valley is one of the most popular open air museum areas of Cappadocia, situated between Avanos and Goreme, nearby Pasabag Monks Valley. Being part of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Zelve Valley Open Air Museum is also one most popular places to see in Cappadocia that travelers may experience sharp pointed and wide fairy chimneys.

Zelve Valley is one of the best places to explore and enjoy the most intensive fairy chimneys in Cappadocia. The valley attracts travelers not only with its fairy chimneys but also with its magnificent nature.

Read more about Zelve Valley

Pigeon Valley

  • Pigeons’ nests at the Fairy chimneys, Evil Eye Tree, observation terrace

Pigeon Valley is another great place near Uchisar town named after the thousands of pigeon houses carved into the soft tufa since ancient times and offers another spectacular panoramic view over Cappadocia together with spectacular view of dovecotes.

You’ll see variety of lovely fairy chimneys that are carved for pigeons’ nest. There is a also famous tree named “Evil Eye Tree” in the Pigeon Valley that worth a visit and see. You can walk up the hills along the valley, watch the valley from the edge of the famous evil eye beaded tree, and feed the pigeons here.

Read more about Pigeon Valley

Love Valley

  • Interesting fairy chimney formations, ATV quad safari, 4×4 off-road safari

Love Valley, also known as Baglidere Valley, is one of the most fantastic valleys of Cappadocia. Located between Avanos and Goreme road, the valley is named after the interesting fairy chimney formations, and being popular with the couples for marriage proposals.

With its magnificent views, the valley is one of the popular spots where you can watch the sunset in Cappadocia. It is also very ideal for photography enthusiasts. Many Cappadocia sightseeing excursions pass the valley on their schedule. You’ll need about 2-3 hours to completely explore the valley. The valley is also very suitable for those who love camping.

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Meskendir Valley

Meskendir Valley offers a 4,4 km. beautiful hiking track. The valley extends from Ortahisar towards Cavusin Village in the southwest direction. You should arrive to the camping facility on the right side of the Ortahisar – Goreme road to reach the entrance point of the valley. Keep in mind that you can reach the Meskendir Valley with a very steep descent.

You will explore and enjoy the pleasant trekking track with fairy chimneys, churches, cedar trees, tunnels and various plant species. You can walk the valley in 3 hours. Finally the Meskendir Valley merges with the Kizilcukur Red Valley and Gulludere Rose Valley. You can also reach Cavusin village along the paths.

Red Valley

  • Red colored formations, Fairy chimneys, one of the best places to watch the sunset, observation terrace, hiking

Red Valley (Kizilcukur) is one of the best places to watch the sunrise and sunset in Cappadocia. The valley is located in the middle of Goreme National Park named after the red colored tuff rocks and fairy chimneys spread through the valley.

Red Valley has such a beautiful landscape in a dreamy crimson color that attracts its visitors. We can say that it is the most beautiful valley of Cappadocia.

The 5 km. hiking track makes Red Valley a popular hiking area in Cappadocia. It is an ideal area and activity for hiking lovers. For walking out the whole valley, you’ll need about 1-2 hours. The walking trail will lead you to the famous Cavusin Village.

You’ll experience Cappadocia from a different perspective by viewing its lovely hills and fairy chimneys from the ground level. There is also a lovely observation terrace.

Read more about Red Valley

Rose Valley

  • Best place to see the fairy chimney formations, Three Cross Church, Ayvali Church, ATV quad safari, 4×4 off-road safari, hiking

Rose Valley (Gulludere) is located near Goreme. and the valley is one of the best places to see the fairy chimney formations in Cappadocia. And that makes Rose Valley a popular hiking route in Cappadocia for nature lovers.

As in other valleys of Cappadocia, here you’ll find many churches, monasteries and shelter areas carved into the rocks. Travelers may see variety of lovely churches and chapels along the valley.

Rose Valley is also home to the best trekking and hiking trails in the Cappadocia region. Rose Valley has about 4 km. hiking track and the valley is only accessible by foot. You will see many pigeons while walking in the valley.

Read more about Rose Valley

Swords Valley

  • Fairy chimneys, Kiliclar Church, Virgin Mary Church, ATV quad safari, 4×4 off-road safari, hiking

Located right across the Goreme Open Air Museum, the Swords Valley (Kiliclar) is located near Goreme, named after the swords like fairy chimney formations. The valley is also one most popular places to see in Cappadocia where you can explore and enjoy the best rock and pari chimney formations.

The valley is the second hotspot in Cappadocia after Goreme Open Air Museum, located on the opposite side. Here you’ll find group of churches. The valley is only accessible on foot and has about 2,5 km. hiking track.

Swords Valley is home to some of the best formations in Cappadocia that include churches, a 300 meters long tunnel, caves, fairy chimneys and more. The Kiliclar Church and Mother Mary Church are the two beautiful churches that worth a visit and see at the Swords Valley.

Read more about Swords Valley

Ihlara Valley

  • Canyon, extreme monastery life btwn 4th-13th century, hidden cave churches, Belisirma village, Selime Monastery, hiking

Ihlara Valley is a fantastic canyon with a depth of about 100 meters and about 10 km. length that was formed by the volcanic activity from Mount Hasan and erosion by the Melendiz River hundred thousands of years ago. Ihlara Valley is not only a natural beauty, but also a rocky settlement area that hosted an extreme monastery life between 4th to 13th centuries D.C. and housed more than four thousand dwellings and a hundred hidden cave churches decorated with frescoes and houses lining the gorge.

When you descend to the valley, you’ll have about 4 km. of hiking track in the company of the Melendiz River dividing the valley. The river is not deep so that you may easily pass from one side to another.

Read more about Ihlara Valley

Gomeda & Uzengi Valleys

Gomeda Valley is located in the west of Mustafapasa village along Urgup. The valley is known as “Small Ihlara”. Just like in Ihlara Valley, you will experience and enjoy variety of rock-cut houses and churches, shelters and a river running through the valley. Gomeda Valley is also called the “Devil’s Creek”, due to its pleasant trails with hollows, tunnels and dovecotes.

The 1,5 km hiking trail of the Gomeda Valley offers a different atmosphere for its guests. One of the caves has been used as a reservoir for rain water since ancient times, and it continues to be used to irrigate poplar trees, which can be seen frequently while walking.

When you continue through the valley, you’ll reach Uzengi valley, and the total hiking trail of these 2 valleys is 6 km.

Zemi Valley

There is a kiosk on the right, approximately 300 m after the Goreme exit on the Goreme-Ortahisar road. Here you’ll see a road junction to Zemi Valley, next to the buffet. This point is the starting point of the Zemi Valley walks. When you go ahead about 800 meters from the junction, you will see a triple fork in the road. The left side is the road to El Nazar Church. The middle road enters into the Zemi Valley. And the right road takes you to Gorkundere Valley.

Zemi Valley is one of the longest hiking trails in Cappadocia and it takes its name from the Zemi Stream passing through. The valley has 5,6 km. hiking track and can be walked in around 4 hours. The valley stretches from the Urgup-Nevsehir road to the Goreme-Ortahisar road.

You’ll explore the stunning fairy chimney formations, tunnels and Roman tombs in the valley entrance.

When you walk for about 2,5 km in the valley, a 100 m path deviating from the left will take you to the Karabulut Church, which dates back to the 11th century. The Cistern Church is located 200 meters ahead in the opposite direction. The frescoes above the water level of the church, which was used as a water cistern in the past, are in good condition.

Gorkundere Valley

Gorkundere Valley, also known as Lovers Valley, is a beautiful valley. Hiking trail of the valley is about 1 km., not a long one.

Many hikers enter the valley, wander along and return from the same road and exit from the entrance path. The fairy chimneys in the valley are quite magnificent and worth seeing.

Top Selling Cappadocia Valleys Tours

Here we only suggest the proven ways and top rated ones with travelers’ comments. You can feel free to book one of the below top selling Valley Tours from Cappadocia.

Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

Book Your Balloon Ride

Below you can find our recommendations. Each company directly operates the hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia with their team of experts. So you will book your flight directly from the company. No men in the middle.

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Related Reading

Local Recommendations from Cappadocia4U team

If youʻre visiting Cappadocia for the first time, we have you covered. Below are some of the top recommendations, tours and experiences!

Some useful info

  • Cappadocia is the name of the region situated in the middle of Turkey. It is mostly known by the three popular towns of Goreme, Urgup and Uchisar but actually it is the name of the very big region spread through the cities of Nevsehir, Kirsehir, Nigde, Aksaray and Kayseri.
  • If you are first-time visitor, want to get familiar, please read our Cappadocia for first timers guide.
  • If you are not sure how to travel, please read our Traveling to Cappadocia guide.
  • If you don't know where to stay, please read our Where to Stay in Cappadocia guide for regions, and Accommodation guide for hotels.
  • If it is hard to plan your days, please read our Ideal 3-Days Cappadocia itinerary.

Top Attractions & Sights

There are 6 must do and see in Cappadocia that you won't want to miss!

  1. Hot Air Balloon Rides (the most exciting attractions in the world)
  2. Goreme Open Air Museum (some best-preserved examples of Byzantine rock-cut architecture and frescoes in the world)
  3. Pasabag Monks Valley (one of the most popular fairy chimneys areas)
  4. Uchisar Castle (highest point, the biggest fairy chimney)
  5. Derinkuyu Underground City (one of the largest underground cities in the world, 8th century BC)
  6. Ihlara Valley (fantastic canyon with a depth of about 100 mt. and 14 km. length)

Tip-1: One of the best ways to explore Cappadocia is by taking a sightseeing tour, so that you can cover all the top sights. Three main sightseeing tours available: Red Tour (covers the highlights of the region), Green Tour (best of natural and historical sites), and Blue Tour (lesser-known sights, off-the-beaten-path experience)

Tip-2: Private Tours are also good choice within a well-planned and custom itinerary along with a private vehicle, driver and professional guide. Great for those who don't have a car or don't know the region well.

For leisure activities we'd recommend 2 must-take attractions! Don't miss! Wine Tasting and Photo Shooting