Red Valley is one of Cappadocia’s most scenic walking routes due to its colorful rock formations and historic carved churches. Hike through the Mars-like terrain for about 2 hours to appreciate its aesthetic qualities and intriguing history. The former homes, churches and dovecotes are surviving reminders of the monks who lived here more than a millennium ago with their pigeon messengers and pets.
You can spend hours meandering through the interesting red terrain, but make sure to bring sufficient water and a sun hat to protect you from the afternoon rays. Try the charming restaurant where you can enjoy local refreshments, such as fruit juices and teas.
Watch the sun rise or set over the horizon as it immerses the red rocks in its golden glow. Explore the diverse terrain on foot in the afternoon. Look for small homes and dovecotes carved into the cliffs. It is thought that the monks who took refuge in this valley used the pigeons for communication and kept them as pets.
Note how some of the cliffs have multi-colored layers indicating the passing of millions of years of erosion by wind and water. Lines of gold, yellow, white and red mark the rocks’ ages. Climb inside a cave and picture yourself as a monk from the fourth century taking refuge in this scenic valley. The park is also home to a number of tall, thin spires of rock known as chimney fairies.
Red Valley is located next to its sister feature, Rose Valley, about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) north of Göreme in the center of Cappadocia. Take a bus tour to the pair of hiking trails. The journey should take only 10 minutes from Göreme. Drive a rental car to the site, park for free and experience the beautiful valley away from crowds.