Hiking Pigeon Valley and Visiting the Stunning Uchisar Castle in Cappadocia
Pigeon Valley one of the most popular hiking trails in Cappadocia, especially because it leads from Göreme to Uchisar (or the other way around). The trail takes only 1-1,5H to complete and is very pleasant. On the way you will pass through beautiful valley, witness some incredible views and rock formations. The hike finishes at a wonderful town of Uchisar. The cute streets lead up to the Uchisar Castle: the highest point of the region. Make sure to climb all the way to the top for amazing views. There are two ways to do this hike. In this guide we will tell you exactly how to hike from Göreme to Uchisar Castle via Pigeon Valley. You can do it the other way, by simply reversing our steps.
Hiking Pigeon Valley can be done in two ways: from Göreme to Uchisar. Or the other way around.
Most people were advising us to take a bus to Uchisar first and then hike back to Göreme. We decided to do it the other way, as we planned to have a beautiful lunch in Uchisar and then continue onward to Love Valley.
The entry point to Pigeon Valley in Göreme is located just at the border of the city. Walk to the street called Uzun Dere and continue along the canal to the edge of the town. There will be a sign at the entrance to the valley indicating that you are on the right path.
The beginning of the trail leads through a small canyon and few tunles carved in the rocks. Soon you will reach a small cafe. There is a tiny pigeon house on the side. Grab few pictures there and continue the way: DO NOT go back on the path. Instead, walk through the cafe and climb small stairs by the rock. The lower part of the trail is covered in mud and not safe to walk anymore.
The Pigeon Valley
Just after the first turn, the scenery opens and you can admire the full view of the Pigeon Valley. Walk straight along the path. Soon the path will start going uphill and you will have the mountain on your left hand side. It’s the hardest part of the hike and doesn’t last longer than 10 minutes. At the end of the steep part you will find another cute cafe, where you can stop to catch a breath.
Continue your way on the path. After few minutes you will come to a small path on your left, leading up the hill. Here you have a choice. Continue straight and end your hike by entering Uchisar. Or take the left path and climb the hill.
We chose the second option as we really wanted to get a full view from the top. It takes only few more minutes to reach the edge and let us assure you: if you don’t come to this view point, you will miss out.
The views covering the whole Pigeon Valley and the surrounding area were fantastic. We flew the drone as it was the ideal place and got some amazing footage. Surly not a spot to miss.
Walking back from the hill, take the left side. After 10 or so minutes you will reach the edge of the town. Luckily for us, this exact path lead us to Millocal Restaurant where we planned to have lunch.
↬ Note : We highly recommend stopping here for lunch. The food was the best we had in Cappadocia, the staff was very friendly and you get the views over the valley.
Uchisar is a lovely town in Cappadocia, second most popular with tourists. It is however much smaller and calmer than Göreme. There are many high end and luxurious accommodations here, as well as beautiful restaurants serving great local cuisine.
Uchisar is especially famous for its castle. The Uchisar Castle has one of the best views in Cappadocia over the Pigeon Valley in between others. No surprise: it’s the highest spot in the region. The entrance is 9 TRY (1.3 EUR). The only way up is by stairs. The path at the beginning leads through the cave in the castle to later emerge in the open: climb the steps outside. It was rather easy to walk up the 100 steps and took us just a few minutes. You can start to rest on your way up as impressive views on your right will blow you away immediately.
↬ Note : Remember to never ride animals in places like this. There was a camel and few poor ponies in front of the castle. They must stay there in heat, attached to concrete on a short leash all day. This is really a sad picture and we DO NOT and ask every one of you NOT TO support this.
↬ Note : Between 15th and 16th centuries, this natural castle was used as a defence mechanism to prevent any attacks from the enemy. For this reason, it’s surrounded by many homes. During the attacks, the local people could hide themselves inside the fortress.
When we reached the summit there were only a few other people on the top. The amazing views are all around. Turn around for 360 degrees dreamy panorama of the area with its beautiful landscape. From the top of Uchisar Castle, you also have a great views on the Pigeon Valley, which you just hiked, Göreme, Love Valley and even snowy tops of Mt. Erciyes in the distance.
How long does it take
The Pigeon Valley hike takes only 1-1.5h. Visiting Uchisar and climbing Uchisar Castle will take about the same amount of time.
Best time to go
Ideal time to visit Cappadocia and do this hike is spring and autumn. The temperatures are high, but it doesn’t get too hot.
We suggest you to begin the Pigeon Valley hike in the morning and arrive to Uchisar and the castle for early lunch.
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.
- Make sure to have enough water with you. You can buy water or refill your reusable bottles at the cafes along the way.
We suggest you to continue the day with yet another great hike. From Uchisar Castle take the path down though the city and enter the road to the Love Valley. The entrance is located just by the Ozler Art Center.
↬ Read : Hiking Love Valley from Uchisar