Complete Guide to Rose Valley Cappadocia

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Written By Sean & Louisa

Cappadocia is famous for its expansive, desert valleys and impressive rock formations, but none are as impressive as those in Rose Valley.

The volcanic rock formations, known as fairy chimneys, were formed thousands of years ago in gorges, or valleys, and many of them were inhabited.

Rose Valley Cappadocia is full of these fairy chimneys and the landscape is out of this world – no really, it literally looks like Mars.

The valley gets its name from the pinkish hue the sun leaves on the rocks at various times in the day. At sunset, the valley glows bright and it’s just a wonder to witness. After visiting Rose Valley ourselves, we are so excited to share this valley with you. If you only have time to see one valley in Cappadocia, let it be this.

But how do you get there? Is it worth visiting Rose Valley and how do you hike it? These are all questions we will be answering in this guide.

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The entrance to Rose Valley
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The Rose Valley hiking trail

Why Visit Rose Valley Cappadocia?

Cappadocia is known for a few things; rocky landscapes, fairy chimneys, the remnants of ancient civilizations and hot air balloons. You can literally see all of these things in Rose Valley.

Of course, the best way to see it all is by hiking, but many people choose to see the incredible landscape from above in a hot air balloon.

The reason why you should visit Rose Valley is that even if you only have a day to spend in Cappadocia, you will see and learn a lot about this region from visiting this valley.

If you don’t have a lot of time to spend in Cappadocia, consider checking out Devrent Valley instead, which is a lot smaller and can be seen in 30 minutes.

Read More: Best Time to Visit Cappadocia


Where Is Rose Valley Cappadocia?

Rose Valley is located in the Nevsehir region of Cappadocia, Turkey.

It is the valley between Goreme, Cavusin, and Urgup, right next to Red Valley. The two are often mistaken for one another since they both have the same iconic red-colored rock.

This map shows where Rose Valley is located:

A simplified map of Rose Valley.

These are the distances from the nearest towns to Rose Valley.

  • Distance from Goreme: 2.1km
  • Distance from Cavusin: 2.7km
  • Distance from Uchisar: 6.7km
  • Distance from Avanos: 7.5km

Getting to Rose Valley in Cappadocia

Rose Valley is located 2.1 km North-East of Goreme or 2.7km South-West of Cavusin. Depending on whether you want to hike the Rose Valley or just visit the viewpoint for sunset will determine the route you take. But we’ll cover how to get to both below.

Bus

There is a bus that takes you from Goreme to Avanos, stopping at Cavusin. Since the valley is located between Goreme and Cavusin, you’ll want to take this bus and ask the driver to stop outside Silkroad Göreme ATV Turları & Oskonca Travel.

You’ll see a balloon landing site on your right and a dirt road that goes around it, this is the entrance to the Rose Valley.

Here is where you want to get off the bus:

Entrance-for-Rose-Valley-Cappadocia
The entrance of Rose Valley is here (Click to open in Google Maps)

The bus you need to take is the Nevşehir Bus, which operates from Nevşehir to Avanos and departs every 20 minutes.

Walking

However, if you are staying in Goreme, it’s only a 20-30-minute walk to the entrance of the valley from the town, depending on where your hotel is. If you want to walk to the viewpoint, your best option is to hike the Rose Valley trail.

Thankfully, the road is all flat so at least you don’t have to do any strenuous walking. You should note that the walk is along a dirt road that is frequently used by ATV tours and horseback riding tours, so keep your eyes out for vehicles in both directions when walking on the road.

The heat in Cappadocia can be strong at times and the sun is at its most powerful in the middle of the day, so we recommend visiting late afternoon or early in the morning to avoid the hot sun.

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The road leading into Rose Valley (horse ranch on the right)

Driving

It is highly recommended that you hire a car in Cappadocia, as public transport isn’t all that frequent (hey, it’s on Turkey time!) and it’s a bit of a walk to the trailhead to Rose Valley.

The viewpoint is 15 minutes driving distance from the center of Goreme. You will need to drive to the viewpoint for Red Valley and then trek down for 10 minutes to the Rose Valley viewpoint.

From the town, you will want to head down Müze Cd., past the Goreme Open Air Museum, and all the way to the end of the road. Then turn left on the D302, and take the first left onto Dr. Zeliha Berksoy Blv. The viewpoint is at the end of this road.

ATV or Motorbikes

You can also hire ATVs and motorbikes, which would be a fun way to explore the valley, especially if you’re short on time. We haven’t done this, so can’t comment on the experience, but it does appear to be very popular considering the number of people doing it.

If you haven’t driven an ATV before, it’s a good idea to take a tour so you can learn what to do and follow a guide that can help you if you get stuck.

Blue Tour

Red Valley and Rose Valley are also the first stop on the Blue Tour, a small group tour that takes you to some of the highlights of Cappadocia including an Underground City, Cavusin, and Uchisar Castle.

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You can explore Rose Valley on an ATV

Rose Valley Hike in Cappadocia

The Rose Valley hike is one of the best hikes in Cappadocia. It is often combined with the Red Valley hike since both valleys combined to make a nice circular loop.

Of course, you can simply hike Rose Valley if you’re short on time, but if you do have a whole day to spend we highly recommend combining the Red and Rose Valley hikes so you can catch the incredible Red Valley sunset that has made this region iconic.

To begin hiking the Rose Valley, you should make your way to the trailhead located just past Kadost ATV Safari.

Luckily, the route is laid out on Google Maps most of the way, and once you reach the start of the trail, it becomes obvious which way to go.

From the beginning, you’ll notice the trail veers off in two directions. The lower trail is the Red Valley and the upper trail is the Rose Valley.

If Google Maps isn’t working for you, don’t worry, as the path is signposted.

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Rose Valley Signpost

Take the upper trail past the balloon landing site and you’ll be greeted by a couple of cave houses. This is one of the most impressive landmarks on the Rose Valley trail and luckily it’s right at the beginning.

There are two trails that take you through the valley and around rock formations, tunnels and caves of Rose Valley. The landscape is similar to what you see in Love Valley, but we found that the Rose Valley trails take you closer to the rocks.

We decided to take the upper trail that goes along the ridge since there were some cave churches we wanted to see along the way. It starts by passing the cave houses, before meandering behind the ridge for a short while.

Then, the trail takes you up on the ridge. There is a section where you need to pull yourself up using the rope. It’s only a short stretch and once you get past here it becomes easy again.

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Cave houses on Rose Valley trail
Rose Valley Hiking Trail
This was the hardest part of the trail

From the top of the ridge, you get the real impressive views as you look down into Rose Valley below. As you walk, you’ll come past a settlement of fairy houses, one of which is The Crusader Church. Make sure you go inside and marvel at the paintings that are still in excellent condition.

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The views from the ridge
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Inside The Crusader Church

Here you may also find a man selling fresh orange juice and refreshments in one of the fairy houses.

From here, we went down the other side of the ridge and into the Rose Valley. Here we connected to the other trail that goes through Rose Valley. From this point, we walked past the pigeon homes (dovecotes) and more cave dwellings. The highlight was seeing the Columned Church, which is famous for its in-tact columns inside the church.

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Columned church entrance
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Column church interior

After exploring the church, we continued along the trail inside the valley which slowly makes its way up onto the ridge again. The ridge is only a couple hundred meters in elevation and it wasn’t strenuous to get up. When you get to the top of the ridge you reach the Rose Valley viewpoint.

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View from Rose Valley viewpoint

Here is a great place to stop for a break if you didn’t buy the orange juice from the guy by The Crusader Church.

From here, you can turn back around and go back through the Rose Valley – since we missed the trail that goes through the valley, this would be a good route to take back. We didn’t miss anything by taking the upper trail on the ridge, since it connected to the lower trail at the Joachim and Anna Church, but we could imagine the trail would have been lovely.

Alternatively, you can continue on and include the Red Valley. Since it’s only a couple hundred meters more it makes no difference whether you decide to turn back or continue on to the Red Valley.

  • Duration: 3 hours, longer if you stop to take photos
  • Distance: 6.5km
  • Difficulty: Easy
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The final view of Rose Valley before meeting the Red Valley
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The final climb up to the Red Valley viewpoint

Rose and Red Valley Hike

If you decided to add the Red Valley to your hike, you have made the right decision. The Red Valley was one of our favourite valleys in Cappadocia.

From the Rose Valley viewpoint, you simply follow the path towards the Aktepe Hill, or Red Valley Sunset Viewpoint.

You’ll know you’ve found it from a mile away, as there will be many people sitting on chairs or banks with a drink in hand, waiting for the sun to set.

Aktepe Hill
Everyone chilling at the viewpoint
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Red Valley Sunset Viewpoint

If you hiked in the late afternoon, it should have taken you 1.5-2 hours to reach this point, depending on how much you stopped to take photos, so you’ll be just in time for sunset.

This is when the sun lights up the rock surface in a way that makes it glow a vibrant red color, poignant given its name.

Luckily, the sun sets slowly in Cappadocia, but don’t hang around too long as you still have another hike back.

The trail onto the Red Valley from the viewpoint wasn’t easy to spot. It looks like you are about to walk off a cliff, but don’t be alarmed, as the trail is much more obvious later on.

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Hiking through Red Valley
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Caves in the Red Valley

The path winds down into the valley again where it becomes overgrown with lush vegetation from the bottom. Like the Rose Valley, you pass by marvelous rock formations and caves.

Eventually, the path opens up and you’ll notice you are right back where you started. From here, you can walk back to Goreme.

If you’re ever unsure of where to go, follow the ATVs!

  • Duration: 4-5 hours, longer if you stop to take photos
  • Distance: 7.7km in total
  • Difficulty: Easy

Rose Valley, Red Valley and Meskendir Valley

If you wanted to extend your Rose Valley hike, you could include the Meskendir valley as well as the Red Valley hike.

To do this, you should start hiking from the Meskendir Valley first, as it’s easier to see the signposts for the Rose and Red Valley. The start of the trail is just after the Kaya Camping Ground, across the road from the Aynali Church.

The start of the trail is easy to spot since there is a graffiti sign saying ‘Rose’ and ‘Red’ indicting this is the route to take.

Adding the Meskendir valley to your hike only adds another 2.7km and it’s pretty flat most of the way. You’ll pass by gorgeous rock tunnels and formations, and it takes you straight into the Red Valley.

If you plan on hiking all three trails, then this would be a good route to take.

  • Duration: 5-6 hours, longer if you stop to take photos
  • Distance: 10.4km in total
  • Difficulty: Easy
The views from Meskendir Valley.

Tips for Hiking in Rose Valley

  • Download the Apps: A great way to make sure you don’t get lost is to download AllTrails and follow the route there. This shows the previous hiker’s route so you know it’s a legit route to take. We also recommend downloading MapsMe, which is a free offline GPS. The cell service is a bit spotty in the valley, so this is also a great way to make sure you can find the trail.
  • Wear hiking boots. The trail isn’t particularly steep or rocky, but it is slippery. The sand has been well-trodden and is almost like walking on marble in places. You’ll want strong shoes with a good grip.
  • Pack plenty of water. There are some cafes that serve drinks along the way but not many. It’s a good idea to take as much as you need.
  • Bring snacks. We didn’t buy food from the cafes because from what we could see, they were a little expensive. That being said, the fresh-squeezed orange juice sure did look appetizing.
  • Put on Factor 50 Suncream. The sun is very powerful in Cappadocia and because much of the landscape is white, it reflects those UV rays right onto you. You could be hiking in the winter and still get sunburned, so best to prepare.
  • Hike outside of midday. To avoid the blazing sun, it’s best to hike early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
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Exploring the cave houses of Rose Valley
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The view through the window of a cave house

Things to See and Do in Rose Valley

Aside from hiking the Rose and Red Valley, there are a few notable attractions to keep a look out for. Here are some of the top things to see and do that have made Rose Valley so famous.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

If hiking Rose Valley and Red Valley sounds too strenuous for you, then a good way to see the valley is by hot air balloon.

Embarking on a hot air balloon ride is one of the top things to do in Cappadocia and we have no doubt that the view of the Rose Valley from above will be outstanding.

Cappadocia-Hot-Air-Balloon-Ride
Taking a hot air balloon ride is one of the top things to do in Cappadocia.

If you do decide to go for a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, sunrise would be the perfect time to do it since this is when all the other hot air balloons take off.

Imagine seeing all the hundreds of balloons in the sky with you as you gaze upon the rugged landscape below. What a memorable experience.

Cave Houses

If you’re staying in Goreme or Ushisar, no doubt you have seen a cave hotel or two. Unlike the cave hotels in the town center, the cave houses in the valley are uninhabited. Some of them are crumbling and inaccessible, but others are free for you to roam around and explore.

All along the Rose valley trail, you’ll find little nooks and crannies in the rock formations that you think might have been a cave house or a church at one point.

Part of the reason it took us so long to hike this trail was because of how long we spend playing in all the caves!

Cave Churches

As well as cave houses, there are cave churches. Most of these cave churches are crumbling and damaged due to aging, but they still remain some of the pillars inside, and some even have artwork on the walls.

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Church in Cave on Rose Valley trek

Sunset Viewpoint

If you don’t want to hike, visiting the viewpoint that overlooks the Rose and Red Valley in Cappadocia is a great way to spend the evening. At the viewpoint, you’ll find comfy swing seats, benches and a cafe serving refreshments.

The Red Valley Viewpoint is where the Rose and Red Valley meet and is one of the most popular viewpoints in the region, especially for sunset.

ATV and Horseback Riding Tours

A popular way to explore the Red and Rose Valley without hiking is to take an ATV or Horseback riding tour. While we don’t have experience with these, we prefer to use our legs, many people choose to explore the valley this way and it could be a lot of fun!


Rose Valley Cappadocia FAQs

How much does it cost to enter Rose Valley Cappadocia?

The valley is free to enter since it’s part of a national reserve. Just bring some spending money for refreshments at the cafes!

Why is it called Rose Valley?

Rose Valley gets its name from the pinkish-colored rock formations that are highlighted by the sun throughout the day.

How do I get to Rose Valley?

The best way to get to Rose Valley is to walk from the town center in Goreme.

Is Rose Valley and Red Valley the same?

No, they are not the same valley. People often confuse them because they are located right next to each other.


Last Piece of Advice Before Visiting Rose Valley

That concludes our guide on Rose Valley in Cappadocia. We hope that it gave you enough information to plan your visit and know what to expect before you start exploring.

Before you go, we have just a final piece of advice for you. Since Cappadocia is one of the top landmarks in Turkey and Rose Valley embodies all that Cappadocia is famous for in one neat package; don’t rush it.

The rock formations, the views, the ancient cave churches and fairy chimneys are what make this region so famous. If there is only one place to visit in Cappadocia on your trip, let it be Rose Valley.

And remember to bring your sunhat and shades, and plan your visit outside of the midday heat. The Cappadocian sun can be extremely hot and we wouldn’t want you to take sunburn home as a souvenir.

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Thank you Rose Valley for having us!

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