Turkey -- Cappadoccia valley hikes

Apr 13th, 2010, 12:30 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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Turkey -- Cappadoccia valley hikes

We are planning on hiking one day in the Cappadoccia area. I've seen three different hikes mentioned in various guidebooks: Rose, Love and Ihlara Valleys. Can anyone comment on each of these and, assuming I will only have time to hike in one, which would you recommend?
Thanks for your help.
Mediatorr is offline  
Apr 13th, 2010, 03:53 AM
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We hiked in the Ihlara and Love valleys last week and just touched on one edge of the Rose valley.

Ihlara is about 90 minutes away from the typical tourist center of Cappadocia, so you will need a car, driver or tour to get there. It is a valley enclosed by steep cliff walls that extends about 13-14 kms from one end to the other. There is a small river that runs through it. It is very peaceful; we saw only a couple other people along the way. You can climb up to a few of the old cave churches at various points, but otherwise it doesn't have the rock formations for which Cappadocia is famous. We had a private driver who dropped us at one end and met us at about the one-third point (Belsirma). We would have been very happy to keep going, but we had other things we wanted to do that day. The hike from Ihlara to Belsirma was about 90-120 minutes; we're told the next part would have been about three hours.

The Love valley is walkable from Goreme (and possibly from Uchisar?). We enjoyed Ihlara, but thought this one was just fantastic. I'd say it took two hours from one end to the other (we didn't stop much), and the north (?) end particularly has all the rock formations that influenced its name. We saw almost no one else, and following the trail required a little "interpretation" at times.

The Rose valley is also walkable from Goreme; we only saw one end of it (we were there late in the day) and then flew over it in a balloon. If you're really energetic and up for a full day of hiking, I believe you could do both the Love and Rose valleys in one day. We started into the Love valley about 10:30 and hit the town of Cavusin near the north end by about 12:30. From there, you can walk down into the Rose valley. We chose to take the more direct route back to Goreme, as we'd been up early for a balloon ride and were a little tired and hungry.

Pigeon Valley is another popular one near Uchisar, but we only saw it from an overlook.

Full trip report here:

Have fun!
ms_go is online now  
Apr 13th, 2010, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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ms_go has already given you a great overview. If you will have time to walk at least part of Love, Rose, or Pigeon valley during your other time in Cappadocia (perhaps after visiting the outdoor museum), I highly recommend visiting Ilhara on your day sat aside for hiking, as it is quite different. So, if you want to tell us the rest of your itinerary we can tell you what you can squeeze in.
I walked Pigeon, Love, and part of Rose in one day, but then I am crazy!
yorkshire is offline  
Apr 19th, 2010, 11:07 PM
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Thank you very much for your thorough responses to my question. Although we'll be in the Cappadocia area for 3 nights, we'll really only have 2 full days of touring there. We've heard that we can do some horseback riding in Ilhara as well as hiking. What do you think?
We are among those who like to do a few things which are not necessarily commonplace. On this trip, we are also looking forward to visiting Mardin on the eastern side of Turkey. I guess I should post a separate question about that.
Mediatorr is offline  
Apr 20th, 2010, 07:56 AM
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Those are great photos. We are leaving (depending on the ash) in nine days. We will also do some hiking and your photos got me so excited.
What time of year did you take your trip to Turkey? Camera used
Thank you,
zinfanatic is offline  
Apr 20th, 2010, 08:06 AM
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There are really great tourist facilities in Goreme--they should be able to tell you about the horse back riding options. Parts of that trial are quite rocky, but I suppose it could be done, but you'll be on and off a bit to go look inside the cave churches of Ilhara. There are so many options in Cappadocia, the only limit is time.
yorkshire is offline  
Apr 20th, 2010, 08:21 AM
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Hi Zin, we were there less than three weeks ago (March 26-April 5), but it already feels like much further in the past. Cameras were a Canon XSi Digital Rebel and a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3. Thanks for the kind comments, and have a great time on your trip! Keeping fingers crossed that the ash goes away--for you and many others.

I don't recall seeing any horses when we were at Ihlara (which doesn't mean there aren't any), but there were several facilities for riding around Goreme.
ms_go is online now  

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