Cappadocia – Göreme : Pigeon valley (Güvercinlik)
Here is another must-see when visiting Cappadocia : Pigeon valley.
Pigeon valley – Güvercinlik – is one of the main touristic attractions in Göreme. This stunning valley runs between Göreme and Ulchizar and for us who didn’t rent a car and love hiking, it was the perfect opportunity to walk to Ulchizar while enjoying superb landscapes.
Our plan was simple. We decided to start early and walk Pigeon Valley up to Uçhisar where we would have lunch in a local tavern and visit the fortress. For the return walk to Göreme, we chose to hike the overly famous Love Valley and if time permitted it we would push to Ortahisar – the ghost town. I can’t say that this day was the most relaxing we ever had as we probably walked 7-8 hours under a scorching sun but it was definitely worth it. I highly recommend it if you like walking and exploring the outdoors.
We left our hotel in Göreme right after breakfast and headed down to town to try finding the beginning of the trail. As always the maps in Turkey have their own standards when it comes to precision and you should use your hidden interpretation/guessing skills to find your way with one of them. For those of you planning a visit there, I will post some gps location points at the end of this post so you don’t spend too much time being lost (although it can be quite fun sometimes).
After some asking around, we finally found the beginning of the trail. We quickly reached a fork with a sign pointing to the left. We naively headed that way but the more we walked the muddier the trail became. At some point we met an Australian couple heading back towards Göreme who informed that it was not the way to go. They had reached a very steep and muddy slope which was – according to them – impossible to climb. They decided to follow the advice of a local farmer to head back and take the”high route” instead.
Remember this sign with the arrow pointing left? Take right instead! This is the way to Ulchizar.
Here is a picture so you can recognize the spot if you go there one day.
Once on the correct path we quickly understood why it was call Pigeon valley…(no spoilers there)
The trail climbed up into a valley with beautiful sceneries.
We could even spot a snowy mountain (which I forgot the name) in the background.
Close to the end of path, we reached a coffee-shop called Hassan Tea Garden and let me tell you, even if the tea or coffee are not exceptionals, you just have to stop for the man (Hassan). He is a local celebrity (which you can see by all the portraits hanging in every corners of his place). Very service minded, he organizes free quizzes about the area for the tourists stopping by. You can win little presents he bought at Ulchizar. I think he even has some videos up on Youtube (try to search for “Hassan Tea Garden”).
We reached the end of the trail and Uçhisar after about 20 min from Hassan Tea Garden. Now it was time for some well deserved lunch and some shopping. Yay
We said goodbye to our Australian friends there, not knowing we would meet them later on the Love Valley trails…. it’s a small world
For those staying in Göreme
The trail starts here….
Discover new places around the world for free!
Sign up and receive free updates directly to your mailbox. It is also a good way to support this blog.