Know Before You Go: Tips for Hiking in Cappadocia
Cappadocia’s dramatic natural landscapes—formed by thousands of years of volcanic eruptions and erosion—provide a stunning backdrop for a hiking adventure. Whether you want to explore the sights on a walking tour or trek independently through remote mountain valleys, here are some tips for hiking in Cappadocia. Hike to the Fairy Chimneys Cappadocia’s famous fairy chimneys are dotted throughout the central valleys, and a network of hiking trails run between the most impressive view points. Popular short hikes include the trail from Goreme and Uchisar through the Pigeon Valley; the vast Imagination Valley, which has some of the most photo-worthy rock formations and fairy chimneys; and the mile-long trail through Love Valley. ** Combine Hiking and Sightseeing** Many full-day and multi-day tours of Cappadocia include a short hike. You can pair a trek through the Red and Rose valleys with a visit to Cavusin Cave Village and Uchisar Castle; or combine a morning tour of Kaymakli Underground City with an afternoon hike through the Ilhara Valley. For an even more memorable experience, choose a tour that combines a scenic hike with a sunrise hot air balloon flight, wine tasting, or a traditional Turkish lunch at a family home. Hire a Guide Serious hikers will find plenty of longer distance trails running through the more remote valleys and into the surrounding Taurus Mountains. Many trails are unmarked, and there are opportunities to venture off-road, so joining a guided hike or hiring a private guide is the best way to explore. Choose Your Time Wisely If you hike between June and early September, try to begin hiking in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat. If you plan to hike during winter, it’s best to get advice from a local guide and arrange transport beforehand, as many services shut down during the offseason.
Come Prepared Sturdy hiking or walking shoes are recommended even on shorter hikes, as most trails are a combination of rocks, dirt, grass, sand, and stone steps. A sun hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are essential if you plan to hike in summer, and be sure to pack plenty of water; the desert-like landscapes provide little shade.