Scenic Hiking in Cappadocia: 12 Best Hiking Trails + Tours

Find out the best hiking tracks and trails in Cappadocia to experience and enjoy the winding valleys, landscape, and mystical chimneys with our useful guide. One of the best outdoor sports activities in Cappadocia. Each of the valleys carved by the streams constitute the popular hiking trails of Cappadocia. Majority of the hiking and trekking trails of Cappadocia can be considered as having an untouched beauty and are just waiting to be discovered.

What to Expect?

We can say that hiking in Cappadocia will not be only an outdoor sport. You will find that all hiking trails are intertwined with nature and history as well. It will be like a fairy tale in the land of fairy chimneys.

Cappadocia is also a heaven for nature lovers. With its winding valleys, moonlike landscape, and mystical chimneys, Cappadocia might be the most surreal place on earth. 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.

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.

The Most Popular Hiking Trails in Cappadocia

About all the most popular hiking and trekking trails and tracks are situated along the beautiful valleys of Cappadocia. Among all, we recommend the below places to enjoy a fantastic hiking experience.

Love Valley (Baglidere)

  • about 5 km

Love 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.

Love Valley has about 5 km. hiking track starting from Uchisar Castle and ending in the middle of Goreme-Cavusin Highway. 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.

Read more about Love Valley

Hike the Devrent Imagination Valley

  • about 5 km

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

Hike the Swords Valley

  • about 2,5 km

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.

For walking out the whole valley, you’ll need about 1-2 hours. The walking trail will lead you to the Meskendir Valley and then you can reach the famous Cavusin Village.

Read more about Swords Valley

Goreme town center to Uchisar via Pigeon Valley

  • about 4 km

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.

The valley has about 4 km. hiking track and the west end of the valley ends in Uchisar. Although the tracks through the valley are a bit challenging, the region is also ideal for trekking and trekking. The walking path is a bit long, so we recommend you take comfortable outdoor shoes with you.

The walk in the valley takes about 45 minutes. The best time to hike in the valley is early in the morning.

Read more about Pigeon Valley

Hike the Meskendir Valley

  • about 4,4 km

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.

Hike the Kizilcukur Red Valley

  • about 5 km

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

Hike the Rose Valley

  • about 4 km

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

Hike the Zemi Valley

  • about 5,6 km

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

Hike the Gorkundere Valley

  • about 1 km

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.

Hike the Zelve Valley

  • about 5 km

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.

One of the best activities in Zelve Valley is to enjoy nature and unique beauties by walking or hiking among the fairy chimneys. You’ll need at least 3-4 hours to explore the valley literally.

The valley consist of three valleys. In the first one you’ll a rock-cut mosque. In the second valley, you’ll find living spaces used in the past. And in the third valley, you’ll find the ancient rock-cut settlements and churches.

Read more about Zelve Valley

Hike the Gomeda & Uzengi Valleys

  • about 6 km

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.

Hike the Ihlara Valley

  • about 10 km

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

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.

Read More

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