Rose Valley and Red Valley are among the most beautiful places in Cappadocia. Just a few minutes walk outside of Goreme, you will come across amazingly beautiful rock formations arrayed across the valley. Can you guess where these valleys got their name? The rocks, which during the day are stunning, at sunset become a stunning red tint. This hue gave birth to the red and rose connotations that this valley is famous for.
No visit to Goreme or Cappadocia is complete without at least one hike! Even if it’s just a short one, there are so many amazing opportunities to get out and walk through the incredible landscapes. As it was the closest to where we were staying and relatively short (10km total we were told) we decided on either the Rose Valley or Red Valley hikes.
Hiking Rose Valley and Red Valley
We began our hiking adventure in the late morning. Considering we were there in summer (it gets VERY hot) we should have certainly started early. But since we only had a few shorts days in the region, we weren’t going to miss the opportunity.
As the sun began to beat down, we embarked on our hike. We were told that the hike was about 5 km in each direction, through the valley, so not particularly difficult. We bought some water and snacks in town and began.
It was a bit difficult finding the beginning of the hiking trail. After asking a few people and getting multiple different answers, we eventually found what looked like a reasonable starting place and began. Perhaps we should have known that that was probably a sign that the path was not the clearest, but we continued on anyway.
The rock formations were INCREDIBLE. Each one so unique, the entire valley an awe inspiring view. We walked across ancient cave dwellings, family horse farms (you can even go horse back riding through these valleys. Check out the post here), and countless other amazing sights.
Maybe we weren’t paying quite enough attention, maybe we were too busy exploring the cave churches and cave homes around every corner, but we seemed to miss the trail marks (if there were any). We certainly roamed quite a bit, took a path to nowhere more than once, but FINALLY found a few signs here and there that would say RED VALLEY or ROSE VALLEY in capital letters scratched across the side of a rock. It was almost like a scavenger hunt just to find the trail markings!
Although Rose Valley and Red Valley are technically two separate hikes, we kind of did them at the same time. Between getting lost a few times and just roaming, somehow we made it to both!
When to Visit
Although these valleys can certainly be visited all year round, there are a few things to keep in mind during the different seasons. During the summer Cappadocia gets VERY HOT.
If you are looking to do a hike, it’s most recommended to go during the evening hours, before sunset. Not only is it the most beautiful time to see the valley all tinted pink, but it is the coolest. There is very little shade during the summer, so avoid going during the hottest hours of the day. Alternatively you can also visit in the early morning hours. To avoid the heat, just make sure that you’ll be back before noon.
These valleys can also be visited during the winter! Although there may be snow and it will definitely be chilly, it can be a stunning sight. A bit more challenging to hike, but certainly still possible!
How to Get There
These valleys are most easily accessed if you are staying in Goreme. It’s possible simply to walk there from the town. You can also drive to the beginning of the trail, which is just a few minutes drive outside of the town center.
Tips for Visiting Red Valley and Rose Valley
- Where to Stay – If you are interested in hiking these valleys, it is easiest to stay in Goreme. We stayed at Elite Cave Suites and had an amazing experience. Check out the full post of our stay there here:
- What to Bring – Bring LOTS of water! Especially if you are going in the summer months, it will be very very hot, so come prepared! Also bring snacks as there aren’t really places to get food along the way.
- Drive – We walked from Goreme to the beginning of the hiking trail, but you can also drive there, cutting off a few minutes of hiking each direction.
- Visit – If you aren’t interested in hiking this area, you can just come for a short visit to see the sunset! Rose Valley has a very lovely sunset point where you can pay a few Turkish lira to enter and enjoy the beauty this area has to offer.
- Horse Back Ride – Don’t feel like walking at all? This area is filled with beautiful horse ranches! Not only did we enjoy a hike of the area, but came back a second time to enjoy the experience on horse back! It was among the most amazing parts of our trip. Check out the full experience here:
Lots of Love and Safe Travels,
Danielle and Brooke, Colorful Sisters