Last Updated on March 28, 2021
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. We highly recommend you to visit the Zelve Valley on your Cappadocia trip.
Things to Do & See
Zelve Valley Open Air Museum is a very peaceful area that travelers may see variety of both natural and human made formations and best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia such as churches, tunnels, mills, houses and monastery.
You’ll see many monasteries, churches, settlements and fairy chimneys that have been formed naturally in this region, where you will find many traces of life here. The region has been one of the most important residential and worship places for Christianity between the 8th and 13th centuries.
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.
You’ll find an impressive fountain at the entrance of the valley, that will fascinate you when you enter the valley. You’ll find a total of 15 churches in the valley.
The churches of Uzumlu (the Church with Grapes), Balikli (the Church with Fishes) and Geyikli (the Church with the Deer) are the most popular fairy chimney churches that worth a visit and see in Cappadocia.
Zelve Valley is also a very ideal place for trekking lovers. You can take a nice walk around the valley and during the walk, you can take a closer look at the rock-cut monasteries and their habitats. You can also go up to the higher hills and watch the valley from above, and take lots of photos.
What to Eat?
There is a small buffet at the entrance of the Valley. Here you can eat pancakes, toast or drink tea from the local artisans.
There are a few small shops selling souvenirs at the entrance of the valley. Handmade towels, woven rugs, carpets and bags, as well as miniatures of the region’s famous fairy chimneys, stone sculptures and magnets can be a good option for a gift.
Visiting Hours & Admissions
Open every day between 08:00-19:00 (from 01 April to 01 October), 08:00-17:00 (from 01 October to 01 April).
* 20 TL at ticket window on location
How to Get There?
Zelve Valley Open Air Museum is situated between Avanos and Goreme. There is a parking area with souvenir shops and cafes at the entrance. About;
- 1 km. from Pasabag Valley
- 6,1 km. from Avanos
- 7,2 km. from Goreme
- 11,6 km. from Uchisar
- 10,5 km. from Urgup