Pigeon Valley Cappadocia: Is It Worth Visiting?

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Written By Sean Lau

Co-Founder of The Turkey Traveler. Globetrotter, Adventurer, and Frequent Traveler to Turkey!

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There are many valleys in Cappadocia that showcase some of the best features of this historic region, but perhaps one of the most unique ones in Cappadocia is Pigeon Valley, also known as Güvercinlik Valley.

Pigeon Valley in Cappadocia is located just a few miles from the town of Göreme and is where you can discover the unique rock formations, known as fairy chimneys, which feature dovecotes carved into the soft volcanic rock.

It’s one of the few valleys where you can see this feature on the fairy chimneys in abundance and is one of the main reasons why tourists visit this valley.

So if you’re wondering if it’s worth it to visit Pigeon Valley, then answer is definitely yes, as you cannot see these dovecotes in many other places in Cappadocia!

But that’s not the only reason why you should visit Pigeon Valley. In this guide, we share everything you need to know to before you visit to Pigeon Valley so you can make the most of your visit!

Pigeon Valley Cappadocia

Planning a trip to Cappadocia last-minute?

Make sure you book your tours, places to stay, and airport transfers ahead of time to ensure availability!

Here is our recommended airport transfer in Cappadocia:

  1. Airport Shuttle From Nevşehir Airport (NAV) or Kayseri Airport (ASR) (Super affordable!)

Here are our recommended tours in Cappadocia:

  1. Hot Air Balloon Flight In Cappadocia At Sunrise (A must-do In Cappadocia)
  2. ATV Tours At Sunset
  3. Green Tour In Cappadocia (Perfect for those not renting a car!)

Here are our recommended places to stay in Cappadocia:

  1. Koza Cave Hotel (Amazing views and great photo opportunities)
  2. Museum Hotel (Most luxurious hotel in Cappadocia)
  3. Kamelya Cave Hostel (Budget hostel with cave rooms!)

Why Visit Pigeon Valley?

Pigeon Valley is named after the thousands of dovecotes (pigeon houses) that were carved into the soft volcanic tuff of the fairy chimneys here. These pigeon homes were created by early settlers to provide a place for the pigeons to nest. The pigeons were then used for their meat, feathers, and droppings, which were rich in nitrogen and perfect fertilizer crops.

Vineyards relied on pigeon manure to fertilize the soil, a practice that is believed to make the perfect grapes for making wine, so pigeon breeding was in abundance in this area for millennia (since as far back as the Hittites Period). Some of the best wines in Turkey are found in the region of Cappadocia.

The pigeon dung was also used as materials to make some of the frescoes more vibrant, and visitors can see those in the rock-cut churches of Cappadocia. Pigeons were a huge part of the culture and traditions of Cappadocia.

Pigeon Homes In Cappadocia

Don’t Miss Out on the BEST Experience in Cappadocia!


No trip to Cappadocia is complete without taking an epic hot air balloon flight at sunrise!

Make sure you reserve your tour well in advance to avoid missing out or paying any additional fees last minute!

Today, there are only a few hundred of these pigeon homes left, and the best place to witness them is Pigeon Valley. In addition to the pigeon homes, Pigeon Valley is also home to some of the most incredible panoramic views in Cappadocia.

This Cappadocia valley is lined with cliffs that provide a stunning backdrop for photos. You’ll pass by ancient cave dwellings, old frescoes, of course, epic fairy chimneys. And if you are visiting Pigeon Valley during sunrise, you might even see a hot air balloon or two!

📚 Read More: Things To Know Before Getting On A Hot Air Balloon In Cappadocia

How To Get To Pigeon Valley

Now that we’ve you that Pigeon Valley is worth visiting, how do you get there?

The Pigeon Valley spans about 3 km (1.86 mi) and connects two main towns of Cappadocia: Goreme Town and Uchisar Town.

Whichever town you decide to stay in, it is simply a matter of walking for a few minutes to get to Pigeon Valley. However, to fully appreciate the natural beauty of Pigeon Valley, it is recommended that you hike the entire length!

Note that the Pigeon Valley location on Google Maps is the start of the hiking trail from Uchisar side, visitors can also get there from Goreme.

Pigeon Valley Hike

Pigeon Valley Trail Map In Blue (Courtesy of AllTrails)
Pigeon Valley Sign
  • Distance: ~3 km (1.86 mi)
  • Time To Hike: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Elevation Gained: ~200 m

The Pigeon Valley hike is one of the easier hikes in Cappadocia, and that’s why it’s one of the most popular hiking trails to do for families and those who don’t consider themselves an avid hiker.

But before you strap on your hiking boots, you must decide where you want to start. Uchisar is situated higher in elevation than Goreme, so visitors starting in Uchisar will have an easier time hiking through Pigeon Valley.

At the start of the trail from Uchisar, visitors will encounter the Evil Eye Tree, a tree that is hung with tons of these amulets called Nazar, which are used to fight off the Evil Eye. But if you are starting this way, the hiking trail for Pigeon Valley is much more confusing, make sure you download some offline maps to guide you.

There are a few tea houses in Pigeon Valley, perfect for taking breaks and having a nice cup of Turkish tea or freshly squeezed orange juice. The Pigeon Valley hike is not any more strenuous than strolling around the hills of Istanbul.

If you enjoy hiking and don’t mind a little bit more physical activity, you can do a loop that starts in Goreme, then goes to Pigeon Valley, Uçhisar Castle, and returns through Love Valley and White Valley. It is an additional 2 to 2.5 hours of hiking but the fairy chimneys at Love Valley are spectacular and worth seeing.

Best Time to Hike Pigeon Valley

Because the Pigeon Valley hiking trail is hardly shaded, it is best that you hike early in the morning or right before sunset.

However, since the Pigeon Valley connects Goreme to Uchisar, we recommend hiking it so you arrive in Uchisar just at sunset. This way you can combine your hike with a visit to Uchisar Castle, the highest point in Cappadocia and one of the best sunset viewpoints in the region.

Note that this might not be possible if you are visiting Cappadocia in the winter, because the Uchisar Castle tends to close before sunset during that season.

Best Time To Visit Pigeon Valley
Pigeon Valley in the winter
Hiking trail in Pigeon Valley

Pigeon Valley Tours

Though there are no tours specifically for Pigeon Valley (it’s simply too small for a tour), there are a few tour guides that go to the panoramic Pigeon Valley viewpoint.

Though it is nothing compared to seeing the dovecotes pigeon homes up close, the tours offer visitors a glance of the valley and will visit for around 15 minutes or so. The upside to a tour is that there are many more attractions to see in Cappadocia, but the downside is there isn’t a lot of time to spend in the valley.

If that is something you are interested in, check out the green tour! It includes other incredible sights of Cappadocia such as the Derinkuyu Underground City and Ihlara Valley.

Pigeon Valley FAQs

What is the entrance fee to Pigeon Valley?

There is no entrance fee to enter Pigeon Valley and it is completely free to visit.

How long is the Pigeon Valley hike?

The Pigeon Valley hike takes about 1 hour to complete. There are many different paths on the trail that can make the hike slightly longer, but the length of the hike is approximately 3 kilometers (1.86 mi).

What should you bring to Pigeon Valley?

When visiting Pigeon Valley, you should bring sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and of course, your camera. The valley’s rock pillars and fairy chimneys are bright white which tend to reflect the sun, so we recommend you wear sun protection when you go.

Final Verdict; Is Pigeon Valley Worth It?

Without a doubt, Pigeon Valley is one of the best valleys in Cappadocia to visit and is absolutely worth it. Aside from seeing the fascinating dovecotes, the valley itself is a natural paradise, with wildflowers, fig-trees and fairy chimneys at every turn.

It showcases some of the most iconic features of Cappadocia and its unique landscape is why it has earned itself a place on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

So if you have time on your Cappadocia itinerary, make sure you add Pigeon Valley to it!

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