THE ZEMI VALLEY HIKE IN CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY
The Zemi Valley Hike is a 6km stretch beginning in Goreme that leads you through a series of caves, arches and alongside a small stream as you keep your eyes open for cave houses and earth pillars!
HOW TO GET TO ZEMI VALLEY HIKE
I actually had quite a difficult time finding this information online so I made sure to document well for you guys. Nothing worse than trying to hike a trail and not being able to simply locate the entrance. So the trail runs from Goreme to pretty much the middle of nowhere between Uchisar and Ortahisar. The best thing to do is to either get dropped at the end trailhead and walk back to Goreme. What we did is leave from Goreme and hitchhike/walk back to Uchisar and then the Goreme. Either way is fine.
The trailhead in Goreme is well signed and easy to find. From Goreme town center you walk towards the Goreme Open-Air Museum (There is only one road you can do this on). The trail will be signed on your right with a parking lot right there also. I’ve attached photos and a map below to make sure you find it. The best thing to drop into your Google Maps is “Cappadocia Adventure”. This ATV Shop uses the same turn off from the main road and leads you right to the Zemi Valley hike trailhead. In Turkish, it is called Zemi Vadisi in case you see that signed anywhere. You can also see on the map a road that says Zemi Vadisi Yolu. This is the Zemi Valley hiking trail.
MY EXPERIENCE ON THE ZEMI VALLEY HIKING TRAIL
With a true disregard for the strong Turkey summer sun, we set off in the middle of the day to hike the Zemi Valley Trail. After finding the entrance as detailed above, we set off on the shady, leafy trail not knowing what to expect. It was suggested that the trail is 5.8km in length and would take about 2.5 hours. I can confirm that is pretty accurate although it could be done faster if you hustled straight through without photos.
The first thing we came across was the Zemi Cafe. We’d already eaten but it could be a nice spot to have a coffee or breakfast before beginning the hike. It was spacious, in the shade of the trees and had a peaceful vibe to it.
The first sign you will come across will point left to the Al Nazar Church, which would be a 20-minute detour or you stay on the right and begin on the Zemi Valley Trail.
The trail is a wide, sandy path that is often covered by the trees within the valley but there is also ample time out in the direct sun, which we copped heavily! We met no-one on this trail except some ducks, which wound its way along a small stream and making several crossings. There were multiple times where we had to walk through a thin layer of mud, which I assume would be quite messy in the winter!
The trail was definitely more of a brisk walk than a hike as we pushed our way through the bushes and into some beautiful clearings. Cave houses and rock art were found throughout the hike and we even had to make our way through a number of caves along the trail. Towards the end of the trail, there were several rock arches, which had formed over the trail, which was just like the Love Valley Trail.
The signs on this trail are great, giving you frequent updates of not only which direction to go but also how many meters remaining. The final stretch is a little uphill as you need to make your way up and out of the valley. This led us to the exit point (could be your entry point), which is signed from the main road but in quite an isolated spot. I’ve attached a photo of the sign to help you find it if need be.
ADVENTURE BAG FROM ZEMI VALLEY TREK
This is an adventure bag. It is full of trash. Every time I go on an adventure I collect one adventure bag full of trash. It’s my small way of saying thanks to mother nature for allowing me to enjoy her beautiful creations. If we have time to go on an adventure we have time to collect an adventure bag on the way back out of the trail once we have enjoyed the waterfall, the hike or the beach. Adventure hard!
Tag your @adventurebagcrew on Instagram and mention @adventurebagcrew in your Instagram stories to be featured and inspire your friends, family, and followers to join the movement!
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