PASABAG VALLEY (MONKS VALLEY) FAIRY CHIMNEYS IN CAPPADOCIA
Pasabag Valley is one of the most popular spots in Goreme, Cappadocia with its epic fairy chimneys and cave dwellings.
MY EXPERIENCE AT PASABAG VALLEY
Very busy: I was quite impressed by Pasabag Valley but you need to be prepared for crowds, big crowds. Of course, if you came at sunrise or sunset times, it would be less crowded but during the day it is quite busy. There were several popular photo spots within the Pasabag Valley and it was actually impossible to shoot them with no people in. That didn’t bother me but its important to tell you. If you are looking for an off-beat adventure this is not it. There were at least 15 huge tour buses parked in the parking lot. In comparison, Zelve Open-Air museum just 1km further up the road and arguably more impressive was a place we shared with just a handful of local couples. It seems to be the most popular spot to visit the fairy chimneys although they are all over Cappadocia so it is a bit of a tourism hotspot rather than a unique spot.
Crowds aside, Pasabag Valley is well worth a visit. The fairy chimneys truly are quite amazing. Often a rock, sits atop of the chimney, ominously balancing its way through storms and heavy winds. Amongst the valley, you’ll find lots of cave dwellings, which are often double and triple stories. You are able to venture inside to explore the different levels.
The best way to explore Pasabag Valley is to first do an entire lap of the paths within the valley, checking out all of the dwellings and fairy chimneys. After you have explored the valley, head up to the landing or second level to get a view from above the valley. It is pretty safe and although there was a sign saying not to go up there, we definitely didn’t set the trend and followed at least 30-40 people already up there.
From up the top, you get quite a great view looking down into the valley and there are several little ledges great to chill out and also pretty epic photo spots. Be careful though as the sandstone is very slippery and often crumbles so stay away from edges you aren’t sure of.
TIP: I advise to visit Pasabag Valley and Zelve Open-Air Museum in the same morning or afternoon as they are quite close. We went first to Zelve and then walked back to Pasabag Valley. The walk between the two is about 1.5km and is very scenic with more fairy chimneys and rock formations to marvel at along the way.
History: Pasabag Valley was once home to a community of hermits. A hermitage of Simeon monks lived right here in Pasabag Valley. In one of the three-headed fairy chimneys, there is a chapel dedicated to St. Simeon with antithetical crosses decorating the entrance. Saint Simeon was living in isolation near Aleppo during the 5th century when his name grew in popularity as people started spreading rumors he was capable of miracles. He wasn’t a fan of all the attention and decided to love on top of a 2m high column and later moved on top of a 15m column. The hermits of Cappadocia hid away from the world by cutting out the fairy chimneys instead of living on top of them like Saint Simeon. They would hollow out the chimneys from the bottom to the top, in the process creating rooms that could be up to 15m high!.
HOW TO GET TO PASABAG VALLEY (FAIRY CHIMNEYS)
The most popular region for tourists to stay while exploring Cappadocia is a town called Goreme. Uchisar is the other nearby town, which is also an option but Goreme is the popular choice by far. Goreme is packed with hotels, restaurants, and cafes, while Uchisar is a little quieter.
From Goreme town center to Pasabag Valley, the distance is 7km, which takes 14 minutes by driving.
We decided to walk there but after only five minutes of walking, we were picked up by locals and they dropped us all the way to Zelve Open-Air Museum where we would visit first before Pasabag Valley.
There are a few other modes of transport in Cappadocia that I will detail below, although I suggest walking and trekking because there are lots to see on the way to each attraction and locals will pick you up and drop you further down your route.
ENTRANCE FEE FOR PASABAG VALLEY
There was a ticket office and a turnstile but we just walked in as did everyone else. It was seemingly free… I hope! No, it definitely was free as of 2019 and everyone just walked straight in and out, which was nice.
TRANSPORT IN CAPPADOCIA
Hire a Private Driver: Hiring a driver for a few hours to take you to several sites will cost about 100 Turkish Lyra depending on the car and your negotiation, which is about $20 USD. This is a good idea if you want to see 1-2 locations in an afternoon.
Rent a Mountain Bike: We thought about renting a mountain bike but they were 150 Turkish Lyra for the entire day so it would have been 300 Turkish Lyra for both of us just to transit around. That’s almost $60 USD. It would have been fun but once we fund out everyone wanted to help us by giving us lifts there wasn’t much need. We either walked or hitchhiked.
Rent A Scooter/Moped: A scooter costs about 150-200 Turkish Lyra ($30-40 USD) per day and could be handy if you want to explore some attractions a bit further away or venture over to Uchisar.
Rent an ATV: Given the rough terrain in Cappadocia, an ATV is a fun option to help you explore the natural wonders and rock formations of the region. Prices are about $40 USD for two hours.
WHERE TO STAY IN GOREME, CAPPADOCIA
Where I stayed: Design Cave Suites Cappadocia – I was lucky enough to stay at the Design Cave Suites in Goreme. The location was great and I walked to all attractions. The rooftop garden was awesome for sunrise balloon watching. Buffet breakfast spread was amazing as was the cave style room designs.
Best Cave Hotel with Pool: Local Cave House Hotel– This cave hotel rose to fame because of its incredible pool. Make sure you click the link and check out how epic the pool backdrop is, with those classic Cappadocia rock formations in the background and traditional cave rooms it is a top pick.
Cave Hotel with Best Roof View (and dogs): Sultan Cave Suites – This cave hotel became famous because of its epic rooftop area for sunrise viewing. Guests can lay out on traditional pillows and carpets while watching the hot-air balloons flying above. The hotel dog might also join you for a photo shoot on the roof!
Budget Option in Goreme: Emre’s Stone House – For just $6 USD per night you can enjoy Cappadocia and this budget accommodation even has an epic rooftop to enjoy. It’s the best value in Goreme, Cappadocia.
Save money in Cappadocia by staying at an Airbnb! Get a FREE $40 Airbnb Coupon by using my code when you book! I use Airbnb on about half of my travels and find you always get more value than a hotel.