ROSE VALLEY HIKE IN CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY
Rose Valley is an incredibly unique area of Cappadocia with sharp ridges, tinted in pink especially during sunset!
HOW TO GET TO THE ROSE VALLEY
There are a few different ways to reach the start of the Rose Valley Trail. You may also want to skip the trail and go straight to the Red Valley sunset viewpoint. I’ll outline all of your options below and then tell you what I did.
- Drive for 15 minutes from Goreme town and go straight to the sunset viewpoint. No hiking needed.
- Drive to the Rose Valley Trailhead and begin the hike
- Drive to the Meskendir Trailhead and take that trail to the Rose Valley Trailhead and begin the hike.
We took the third option and began walking from Goreme Town in the heat and it was set to be a 3km walk, past the Goreme Open-Air Museum, to the start of the Meskendir Trail, which would then connect us to the Rose Valley Trail. However, as so often happened in Goreme and Cappadocia, we hitch-hiked our way to the start of the trail.
You could drive directly to the Rose Valley Trailhead and then begin the trail from there but I highly recommend starting with the moderately easy Meskendir Trail that leads you there.
A good landmark to find the trailhead for the Meskendir Trail is the Kaya Camping Ground. When you drive towards Kaya Camping from Goreme, you will find Kaya Camping on the left. The first road after Kaya Camping is the road you want and there is a sign on the wall, which I have pictured below to make sure you find the trailhead. Throughout the trail, there are signs saying Rose Valley and Red Valley, which means you are going the right way as they are at the end of the trail essentially.
If you want to read more about this part of the adventure you can check out my Meskendir Trail blog post. For the purposes of this blog, we will jump forward to the Rose Valley as that is what you came to read about.
TOURS AVAILABLE IN THE ROSE VALLEY
There are lots of tours that include a stop-over or quick look at the Rose Valley. However, there are really only two that I think give a great experience of actually immersing in the valley.
- ATV/QUAD BIKE ADVENTURE SUNSET TOUR – If you aren’t hiking this is hands down the coolest way to experience Rose Valley. In the golden hour and then during sunset, you will cruise through the amazing rock formations on your ATV. I’ll be honest, I was jealous just watching these guys having so much fun as we walked around in the heat. You can Click Here to check the price and make your booking for a Rose Valley ATV adventure.
- THE BLUE TOUR (Small group) – On the Blue tour, your small group will see some of the highlights in the Cappadocia region including of course a hiking experience in Rose and Red Valley as well as visiting castles and historic points. You can Click Here to check the price and make your booking on the Blue Tour.
MY EXPERIENCE IN ROSE VALLEY
Firstly, we turned into the Rose Valley using the following sign to help you find your way.
The Rose Valley is an otherworldly experience. The rock formations are so unique, I can’t even find anything to compare them to. Over thousands of years, sharp ridges have formed to create a corrugated landscape. Almost all of the time, one side of a ridge is in the sun while the other in the shadow, further accentuating the sharpness and scale of these sandstone formations.
What makes the Rose Valley unique compared to other spots in Cappadocia is that not only do you have these incredible rock formations but in this particular region, the minerals in the sandstone have a pink tinge. This pink becomes more and more evident throughout the day, peaking at sunset when the sun glows directly onto the Rose Valley giving it that fine shade of pink so many people come to see.
I began my journey to the Rose Valley from Meskendir Valley as I mentioned above in the directions. There is a small juice and nuts vendor near the entrance. Essentially the Rose Valley is a loop trail but most people would continue on the extra 15 minutes to the top of Red Valley which is a loop trail also, connected to the Rose Loop. On a map, it looks like a figure 8 with the two circular loops connecting at the midway. Many people will hike up one side each loop and back down the other to diversify their scenery.
What we did, is to hike from Meskendir all the way up through Rose Valley and then finishing up at the end of the Red Valley trail where there are a cafe and sunset viewpoint. Rather than retrace our steps in the dark after sunset, we hitchhiked back to Goreme.
Those are the overall details of the Rose Valley so now I will move on to discuss our little hiking experience on this short trail, which all up would take about 1 or 1.5 hours to complete if done individually.
The trail begins by overlooking the popular section of Rose Valley where cars can actually drive into. The cars actually give the landscape a great perspective of scale. The trail winds up and over the hills with some moderate incline. I think my favorite part of the ascent was when we were inside the cliffs it seemed. On both sides, the walls were too high to see out of and it was quite a unique part of the trail.
At the top of the Rose, Valley trail is a small cafe and historic cave church. After climbing up the stairs into the church, we found some incredible paintings on the wall and they were in great condition. It was similar to the church paintings hundreds line up every day to see at Goreme Open-Air Museum. Below the church is a small cafe where you can buy water, fresh orange juice and snacks.
From this point on you walk another five minutes before the Rose Valley Trail loops back around the other side of the valley on the opposing ridge. It also looked quite scenic but we, of course, decided to continue on up into the Red Valley to make our way to the Sunset Viewpoint. If you want to read about either the Meskendir Valley Trail section or the Red Valley Section just click on either link.
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 photoshoot 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.
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.
One of the best ways to get around is to hire a driver that will allow you to create a customized itinerary. That way you can visit all the spots you are interested in. To hire a private car with a driver/guide you can book online here or you might be a bigger group and in that case, it can be cheaper to hire a van in Cappadocia, which also comes with a driver.
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. If you are keen to head out on an ATV there is an awesome Quad-Bike Safari Tour that takes you through Sword, Love and Rose Valley during golden hour!
HAVE YOU CHECKED OUT THE REST OF MY CAPPADOCIA BLOG POSTS?
Click on one of the articles below to check out all of the places you should visit while in Cappadocia!
The big guide! This post has all of my favorite activities, which I personally did while in Cappadocia for ten days: 24 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN CAPPADOCIA
The hiking guide! Find out about all of the best hikes in Cappadocia with details, directions and lots of photos: 8 AWESOME HIKES IN CAPPADOCIA
Thinking about flying in a hot air balloon in Cappadocia? Read this first: CAPPADOCIA HOT AIR BALLOONS: THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU FLY
Have you heard about the castles in Cappadocia? Check these out:
Not sure where is the best region to stay? Wondering which hotel provides the best value? Check out this guide that will help you decide: WHERE TO STAY IN CAPPADOCIA: THE BEST HOTELS & HOSTELS
OR… I write a post about the 12 BEST CAVE HOTELS IN CAPPADOCIA that you might find interesting.
I’ve written a blog post for almost all of the places I’ve visited while in Cappadocia. You can find every single one of these articles right here: CAPPADOCIA ARCHIVES