Detailed Guide of Rose & Red Valley Hike in Cappadocia
Red & Rose Valley trails are the most incredible hikes in Cappadocia. If you have only a few days, we suggest you to choose those over any others. The trail isn’t hard, takes about 2-3 hours to complete (unless you decide to do a complete hike staring the Meskendir Valley) and the sites and views along the way are out of this world! Even if Red & Rose Valley hikes are the most popular in Cappadocia, getting on the right trail can be confusing. We visited in October 2019 and found it very problematic. There are many misleading signs along the way, some even pointing opposite directions. In this guide, we will tell you the exact way to Rose & Red Valley trail to make sure you won’t get lost.
Starting the hike
There are 2 most popular ways to complete Red & Rose Valley hikes in Cappadocia.
The first option is to do a full hike passing through 3 valleys: Meskendir, Rose and Red. It takes around 5h to complete and that’s the option we chose… Before we got lost and couldn’t find the right trail…
The second option is to arrive at the starting point of Rose Valley and proceed from there. You can get here by a car, bus to Cavusin or walk from Göreme.
In this post, we will concentrate only on the second option. However, we highly recommend you to start the hike at Meskendir Valley if you want to make the pleasure last longer.
Rose Valley trail is a loop trail that connects to Red Valley trail. As we got lost and couldn’t find the right path at first, we wasted a lot of time. We decided to skip a part of the Rose Valley trail, to get to the Red Valley sunset point on time. You can do the full loop if you start earlier.
The starting point to Rose Valley hike is a small shop marked as Buffe on the google maps (see the map attached below). To get there you can take a bus to Cavusin and then walk, or come straight from Göreme by foot. Turn by the G201 trail marker.
↬ TIP : Have an early lunch at Seyyah Han restaurant in Cavusin, then make your way to the trail.
↬ Note : Rose Valley consists of two valleys: Gulludere I and Gulludere II. The marker signs for these valleys start with G1, G2 or G12.
IGNORE the red spray signs pointing in different directions. And DO NOT listen to the boy from the Buffe shop that will tell you the trail is closed. It’s not. We walked this way in October 2019 and it was perfectly fine.
Following the valley after about 500 meters you will pass Anna Johachim Church. When we visited though, the church was closed and we could only glimpse inside through bars.
Walking further through the valley you will pass a trail marker G203 telling you to head left. Ignore this and go straight. Soon you will reach the impressive Direkli (Kolonlu) church. Step inside and make sure to climb those tiny stairs. The chamber above is big and beautiful lights pierce through.
Back on the trail continue straight. You will reach a little hill with 4 paths going in all different directions. It’s the trail marker G1202. Choose the small path on the left-hand side of the trail marker (past it).
Stay on the path keeping the mountain on your right. DO NOT wander off in the field. The path will soon start going up. For just a few minutes you will have to make use of your muscles as it’s a very steep part. Luckily, it doesn’t last long and at the end you will have incredible views over the Red Valley. From here, you can see the cafe across with panoramic view points. Head that direction across the hill choosing either left or right path.
Relax a bit at the cafe soaking in the spectacular views before making your way down into the Red Valley by the trail marker K11. Continue straight and keep left at trail marker K10. Soon you will pass Uzumlu church and a café. Continue walking down the Red Valley trail. Stop at the Demir Merdiven view point. Rejoin the path and after a while you will find the Meskendir Valley. Turn right and walk back to where you started.
We got pretty lost during this hike. The hand-made red spray sighs are pointing to wrong directions, please ignore them. From Meskendir Valley we couldn’t find the right path to Red Valley so we just continued straight and entered Cavusin. During lunch, we found directions and came back on the path, determined to see the Rose & Red Valleys. We followed those directions above, but as it was late we stopped at the Red Valley view point and then hitchhiked back to Göreme. We know that there is a trail down from the maps and indications we found.
After more research back home, we’ve discovered that there is pretty clear way shown on google maps. You have to zoom in a lot, but the path is there.
We highly suggest you download this part of maps and follow the trail. Our directions are very precise, safe and confirmed: we walked this way just a couple of weeks ago. However, it seems that we missed one turn from the Mekendir Valley which would have taken us the other way around first though Red and then Rose Valley.
How long does it take
Full Rose & Red Valley hikes take about 3h to complete. Plus the way to the starting point.
Best time to go
Ideal time to do this hike is spring and autumn. The temperatures are high, but it doesn’t get too hot.
Do the hike in the morning or after lunch. It’s not advised to hike after dark.
What to bring
Wear comfortable shoes. You don’t need hiking boots, a good pair of sneakers will be enough.
Take a hut, sunglasses and sunblock. Pack your camera and drone if you have one. The views from the top of Red Valley are insane.
Bring your phone and download the part of the map with the trail before the hike.
Pack some snacks. Energy bars will be perfect for this hike. Make sure to have enough water with you. You can buy water or refill your reusable bottles at the cafes along the way.
↬ Note : We always ask and advise not to buy water in plastic bottles. We love our Grayl bottle that filtrates water from streams and ponds. However, this trail is very dry, we didn’t see any water source at all. The most important is to stay healthy and hydrated. Get big bottles of water for the hike, just remember to recycle them after.
Make sure to read the alternative of this hiking trail. Start at the Meskendir Valley to do the ultimate Cappadocia hike.