Red Valley, Rose Valley, or Love Valley. Whoever visits this valley gives a name upon their experience. The name derives from its red-rose-colored rock formations, and those make it one of the top destinations of Cappadocia. Mostly the visitors prefer hiking among the natural rock formations.
The valley was once a Roman settlement dating 10th century AD where they carved the churches and shelters as-well-as water canals. There are some churches such as; Grape Church and Cross Church. They are both carved churches into the fairy chimneys. There are some other Byzantine traces such as; Meskendir Monastery, Column Church, Three Crosses Church.
Some visitors prefer to come to the Red Valley at sun-rise or sun-set to take the best memorable pictures.
One of the most breathtaking sights in all of Cappadocia is Red Valley. Red Valley is a popular spot in Cappadocia thanks to its surreal rock formations, pinkish-red colors, and ancient cave churches.
A hike through Red Valley is the best way to see the area. Horseback riding and mountain bike rentals are available in Göreme, but due to the technical nature of the area’s trails, we recommend that you explore it on foot. To protect its scenic quality, Red Valley has a strict no-motorized vehicle policy.
Mornings and evenings are ideal for hiking. At this time of day, the landscape takes on a spectacular hue as a result of the blending of colors. Mornings and evenings have better weather than the middle of the day when the sun is directly overhead. Nighttime is not a good time to hike Red Valley.
Between Göreme and Çavuşin, there is a network of valleys known as Red Valley. Taxis can get you to the valley in under an hour from any of these cities. Getting to Panoramic View Point is easiest via taxi. Hike through the valley, stopping to see the Grape Church and the Cross Church, and then head into Göreme for some sightseeing and shopping. A route like that is 5 kilometers long and primarily descends. Before setting out on your hike, stop by a travel agency and pick up a map.
Because of the unusual landscape, travel is extremely challenging. You probably won’t stumble upon any places of worship in Red Valley on your first visit there. You should hire a local guide if you only have a short amount of time and want to see the churches or hike a specific route.
Geological processes over millions of years gave rise to Red Valley’s unparalleled scenery. Ash was released into the atmosphere by the volcanoes on Mount Erciyes (near Kayseri) and Hasan Da (near Aksaray). Tuff is a light, porous rock formed when volcanic ash cools and consolidates. Rain and wind have eroded away the soft rock, leaving behind whirling cliffs and fairy chimneys.
It was during the Middle Byzantine Renaissance that the region now known as Red Valley was first settled (900–1100 AD). Agriculturists and church builders in the valley owe a debt to the Byzantine Greeks. They dug huge cisterns, terraced the valley floors, and hacked water channels into the hillsides, covering a total distance of a few kilometers. With so many people able to settle in the valley thanks to the agriculture industry, these investments were essential. They chiseled out of the rock structures that would later serve as kitchens, beehives, and pigeon houses. Throughout the valleys, you can see many of these farm structures.
During the Ottoman Empire, the sophisticated irrigation system was largely abandoned. Although Red Valley is now part of Göreme National Park, Turkish farmers still tend their private fields.
It may be challenging to track down the various cave churches that dot the valley. Click on the links below to learn more about each of these places of worship.
Visit the Grape Church (Turkish: Üzümlü Kilise) and the Cross Church (Turkish: Haçli Kilise) if you’re looking for the two most impressive cave churches in Turkey. They look like miniature castles and are located next to a “Tea Garden” that features well-preserved paintings inside a fairy chimney church.
The cave-built Meskendir Monastery, Column Church, and Three Crosses Church are also well worth a visit. Down at the valley’s western end, you’ll find Rose Valley Monastic Area and St. John the Baptist Church, both of which are worth visiting. Joachim and Anna Church, Ayval Church, and Zindanönü Church are the three closed churches in Red Valley.