Hike the Meskendir, Rose and Red Valley – Guide to the Ultimate Hiking Experience in Cappadocia
Hiking in Cappadocia is one of the experiences to truly reveal the beauty of the region. The Meskendir, Red and Rose Valley hikes are the highlight of them all. The way passes though marvellous rock formations, pink mountains, spectacular views and beautiful valleys. It’s the longest hike, but the path is easy and really pleasant to walk. You must however pay attention to the right marks, as the way is very misleading. In this guide, we will show you how to complete the Meskendir, Rose and Red valley hikes and admire the nature’s beauty without getting completely lost.
The Meskendir trail leads though beautiful valley, past many caves, tunnels and some historical churches. This trail connects to Red & Rose Valley, making it the best hiking experience in Cappadocia.
However, you can also do only Meskendir Valley trail, the same as you can complete only Rose and Red Valley trail. We recommend doing the 3 of them for the ultimate experience.
Start of the trail
The beginning of Meskendir Valley trail is easy to find with Kaya Camping marked on the google maps. To get there, simply walk past Göreme Open Air Museum (keep to the side on the road, as the turn is very sharp and steep), up the road and continue straight. After about 30 min, you will pass Kaya Camping and there will be a small road just after the camping turning on your left. On the wall there is also a big red sign ROSE & RED VALLEY. Turn sharp left, keeping the wall on your left hand. After a short walk you will find another wooden panel- turn right as it indicates.
Soon the road will start going downhill. It’s a fun part and a good exercise for your calves ??
Once you reach the bottom, turn left and continue the way through the valley. Make your way along the trail and admire the views above and around you.
After one of the tunnels you come out to a small vendor shop. There is a list of the prices and it might happen that there won’t be anyone of the site. If you want to purchase something, leave the right amount at the table.
The Meskendir Valley will soon turn to more open area.
The important part here is to ignore most of the Red & Rose Valley signs (especially the spayed ones). They are misleading and lead to wrong directions. Some of them even point opposite sites at once ?
Here you have two options:
- Continue straight and enter the Rose Valley trail next to the Bufe shop and then follow our instructions from our Detailed Guide to Rose & Red Valley Hike in Cappadocia.
- Turn right at the entry point visible on google maps to the Red Valley.
↬ Note : We couldn’t find this entry point while on the trail. Therefore we continued the Meskendir Valley till the end and went to Cavusin for lunch. After that we went back and completed our Rose and Red Valley hike, finishing at Red Valley sunset point.
As long as you save the right entry point to the Red Valley on google maps, you should be fine finding the path. From here, continue along the trail. You will pass the stunning Demi Merdiven view point, then Uzumlu Church before arriving at the Red Valley view point. There is a cafe on the side.
Relax here, before continuing your way to the Rose Valley. Take the path that leads on the left of a small hill. Walk down and follow the trail. After a while, the path will be going steeply downwards and you will leave the Red Valley behind. You can follow the way at all times on google maps.
Soon you will reach a trail mark G1202 leading to different directions. You can choose to go straight and visit the Direkli (kolonu) Church and Anna Johachim church, finishing the trail at Bufe shop.
Alternatively, take the right path that will lead you to Hacli Church, the most famous spot of the Rose Valley. Continuing the path after visiting the church you will rejoin the Meskendir Valley trail here.
Turn right and walk to Cavusin or turn left and climb the Sunset View Point. Walk back to Göreme, catch a local bus, or try hitchhiking a ride.
How long does it take
The whole hike will take around 5 h.
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 do this hike in the morning. 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.
↬ TIP : You can visit Göreme Open Air Museum in the early morning and then walk further to Kaya Camping to the beginning of the trail. You should reach the Red Valley cafe just in time for lunch.