Red Valley Cappadocia: A Guide On What You Need To Know
The central Turkish town of Cappadocia is famous for several reasons among tourists. From naturally stunning sites to luxury lodging, this place has everything. Let’s introduce you to one such natural marvel – the Red Valley in Cappadocia.
In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know to visit the Red Valley, such as its location, how to get there, and the best experiences to enjoy.
Red Valley Cappadocia: An Overview
Red Valley (Kizil Vadasi) is one of the most stunning, rewarding, and remarkable places to visit in Cappadocia, Turkey. It gets its name from the vivid red rock that covers the valley’s landscape. This site is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Goreme National Park, and is also one of the most accessible ones.
Tourists love visiting here because of its fantastic yet easy hikes, beautiful sunset spots, historic cave dwellings, ancient churches, and splendid nature surrounding the landscape.
What makes this site so accessible is that it is only a 30-minute walk from Goreme, which also happens to be the center of amazing restaurants, excellent hotels, and shopping.
Red Valley Location
The Red Valley is situated in the Neveshire region in Cappadocia. It lies in the rugged landscape between Goreme, Urgup, and Cavusin. It is also adjacent to Rose Valley, which is why many people think that Red Valley and Rose Valley are one and the same.
Here’s the approximate distance between Red Valley trailhead and the nearest towns:
- Goreme to Red Valley Trailhead: 1 mile (1.6 km)
- Uchisar to Red Valley Trailhead: 3.8 miles (6.1 km)
- Cavusin to Red Valley Trailhead: 1 mile (1.7 km)
- Avanos to Red Valley Trailhead: 3.6 miles (5.9 km)
How To Get To Red Valley, Cappadocia
Depending on your preference, there are different modes of transport you can take to get to Red Valley. Here’s what they are:
One of the simplest and budget-friendly ways to travel to the Red Valley from Goreme is to take a bus. This specific bus, known as Nevsehir Bus, will have a route from Goreme to Avanos, with Cavusin as a stop in the middle. This bus departs every 20 minutes.
Since the Red Valley lies between Goreme and Cavusin, you’ll have to get off just outside the balloon landing site.
From there, you’ll have to take a slightly winding path leading you to the ATV tour companies. Once you see these companies, you can simply follow the path and get to the Red Valley viewpoint.
Bonus Tip: It is a good idea to download offline Google Maps on your phone as the cell service is inconsistent in the valley.
Walking To The Trailhead
This might sound hard to believe, but walking to the Red Valley trailhead is quicker than getting the bus if you stay close to the Goreme town center. It will only take 20 minutes to reach the valley on foot, and you can then hike through the Red Valley trail to reach the viewpoint.
The trail itself is not as strenuous as other trails around the region. However, you should know that the afternoon sun can beat down on you during summer. Therefore, it is best to visit in the early morning or late afternoon for a comfortable and cooler Red Valley walking and hiking tour.
If you want to cut the distance between your hotel and the Red Valley trailhead and from the trailhead to the viewpoint, driving is your best bet. You can either rent a car or take a cab. However, we’d advise you to do the former. Why? The public transport in Cappadocia can sometimes be late and relatively inconvenient.
It’ll take you around fifteen minutes to reach the viewpoint from the Goreme town center. Your route should begin as you drive to Muze Cd. and past the Goreme Open Air Museum. When you reach the end of the road, take a left on the D302, and then the first left onto the Dr. Zeliha Berksoy Blv. Keep driving down this road to reach the Red Valley viewpoint.
You can also enjoy an adventurous mode of transport by taking the ATV from the entrance of Red Valley to the viewpoint. The best way to ensure you don’t waste any time is to book one of the tours in advance.
Things To Do And See In Red Valley, Cappadocia
The mesmerizing hike is the main event of your visit to the Red Valley. But that’s not all this place is about. In addition to the hike, here are some things and experiences you can enjoy on your trip to Red Valley Cappadocia.
Hiking The Red Valley Trail
What makes the Red Valley hike a favorite among tourists is the fact that it is easy and flat for the most part. It allows you to enjoy the sweeping natural beauty without overburdening yourself. It also happens to be one of the best hikes in Cappadocia.
The confusion between the Red Valley and Rose Valley hikes stems from the fact that both hikes are connected and loop around the region. You can begin on the Red Valley trailhead, and instead of coming back the same way, you can take the reverse Rose Valley hike on your return. Whichever option you choose, make sure to go in the late afternoon if you want to experience the magnificent Cappadocia sunset.
Start by reaching the Red Valley trailhead with the help of Google Maps. As you take off on the hike, you’ll have to choose between a higher and a lower trail. The lower trail takes you through the Red Valley, while the higher trail takes you through the Rose Valley.
The Red Valley trail is dotted with vegetation, peculiar rock formations, tunnels, and caves. The trail is easy, with a little house halfway offering refreshments. You’ll also come across privately owned farms, so make sure not to step on their vegetables.
After about 45 minutes, the trailhead will lead to a ridge, making the hike slightly more difficult. It is the only ascent you have to go through, and the incline is not that steep. This ascent will shortly lead you to the famous sunset viewpoint of the Red Valley. This part of the trail is also narrower, and you should be aware of the horseback riders who take the same path.
Experiencing The Cappadocia Sunset
The sunset viewpoint will be the highlight at the end of the Red Valley hike. You’ll be welcomed with restaurants, benches, swings, and picnic tables. You’ll also get to see horses taking a break here. The setting sun will give the valley a distinct red glow, and you’ll want to experience it again and again.
Since this viewpoint is such an iconic part of the hike, it has become somewhat touristy. You’ll find many people here on your visit, but that shouldn’t discourage you as there is plenty of space for everyone.
Ride In A Hot Air Balloon
If you’re not a fan of hiking, or if it is too taxing for you, there is another way to experience the spectacular beauty of the Red Valley. Rise up in a hot air balloon and see the valley in all its glory. It is one of the most amazing experiences, making you feel bigger than everything around you.
Unlike the hike, sunrise is the best time to experience Red Valley through a hot air balloon. It is when other balloons take off, and the rising sun lighting up the red landscape fills you with a sense of fulfillment and gratitude.
Churches And Cave Houses
You may have already experienced cave houses, as many hotels and vacation rentals in Uchisar and Goreme are made in cave houses. However, experiencing these structures in their natural element is another story. Even though the best cave houses are to be found in the Rose Valley, you can still find a few in the Red Valley. You can always hike back through the Rose Valley to experience better and more spacious cave houses. While you can explore some cave houses, others are restricted as they’re crumbling.
The story is the same for churches. Even though you’ll find some historic churches on the Red Valley hike, for a truly magnificent church-viewing experience, you’ll have to visit the Rose Valley. Some of the most impressive churches there are the Crusader Church and the Columned Church.
Where should I stay for the closest access to Red Valley Cappadocia?
Goreme is one of the popular towns for people interested in visiting Red Valley because of its proximity. This town also hosts several restaurants and shops for a rewarding lodging experience. Whether you want to walk to the Red Valley or drive there, this town is the closest!
What is the best time of the year to visit Red Valley Cappadocia?
The best time to visit Red Valley is during the cooler months of late spring or early autumn. Visit during April, May, early June, late September or October since the weather is bearable and there are relatively fewer tourists.
What is the best duration of stay in Cappadocia for a comprehensive experience of the Red Valley?
For a comprehensive Red Valley experience, set aside at least three days. It will give you plenty of time to visit all the important sites, go on a hiking trip, take a hot air balloon ride, and have some extra fun!