Are you planning a visit to Pigeon Valley in Cappadocia, Turkey? As someone who has lived in Turkey since childhood and visited Pigeon Valley multiple times, I’m excited to share my experiences and insights.
This guide will take you through the best things to do in Pigeon Valley, steeped in ancient times and famed for its fairy chimneys and beautiful valleys.
You’ll discover incredible views that capture the essence of this unique landscape. From personal recommendations on where to stay to hidden gems in the valley, I’ll provide practical advice to enhance your journey.
Get ready to explore Pigeon Valley with a local perspective and make your visit truly memorable. Let’s dive into the wonders of one of Cappadocia’s most enchanting spots!
Cappadocia feels like a land out of this world with its fascinating nature, rich history, and vibrant culture. Many attractions and spots in this stunning region of Anatolia offer their visitors a curious adventure. And few destinations are as captivating as Pigeon Valley.
With its outstanding scenery, Pigeon Valley is one of the main attractions in Cappadocia. Therefore, if you plan to visit the region, don’t forget to add Pigeon Valley to your list!
Pigeon Valley isn’t only beautiful; it’s pretty quirky in its own right, too. Here are some fun facts to learn before you go.
- Pigeon Valley is located halfway between Goreme (Cappadocia’s main town) and the town of Uchisar
- It is a protected area, thanks to its beauty, history, and diverse flora and fauna
- You’ll find countless types of flora, fauna, and wildlife in the area, including eagles and fig trees
- The valley is around 100 meters deep
- Spring or autumn are good times to head to Pigeon Valley because you’ll be able to walk around a lot more easily, and the shoulder season light sets the landscapes beautifully
- Hiking in Pigeon Valley is very popular, and the most popular hiking trails are well-marked for beginners
- Another popular attraction in Pigeon Valley is its incredible sunsets
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The Pigeons Of Pigeon Valley
You might be wondering how Pigeon Valley got its name. Yes, it has a lot to do with actual pigeons. In fact, pigeons have been used in the entire region for centuries since it was found that their droppings made fantastic fertilizer for the volcanic land the area is famous for. Before that, the land was having a hard time growing anything, but pigeon droppings changed all that!
You can say thanks to the pigeons for the fantastic wine in the Cappadocia region, creating very productive grape crops.
A Brief History Of Pigeon Valley Cappadocia
It is unknown who the first settlers of Pigeon Valley were or when they arrived. However, since the human settlement of the Cappadocian territory began with the Hittites and persisted for millennia, it’s safe to believe that several civilizations populated the region for a long time.
Although various peoples inhabited Pigeon Valley, the first noteworthy communities were created by early Christian settlers, who favored the area for its defensiveness and seclusion as they fled persecution. We also know that the people of Pigeon Valley started practicing pigeon keeping in the 9th century to produce pigeon guano for their vineyards.
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What To See In Pigeon Valley Cappadocia
Pigeon Valley in Cappadocia is home to many spectacular sights and destinations. The trail of Pigeon Valley is approximately one and a half kilometers from Uçhisar, a scenic village located nearby. Surrounded by lush greenery and unique rock formations, the trail offers you an unforgettable experience. Even though watching the majestic scenery of Cappadocian heaven might be a great idea, you shouldn’t let yourself be carried away by the paradisiacal nature as there are many terrific things to do in Pigeon Valley. Here are some of the sights you shouldn’t miss in the valley.
Evil Eye Tree
The belief in the evil eye has a significant place in Turkish culture. Initially a shamanic tradition, the evil eye became one of the several shamanic traditions that survived after the Islamisation of Turkic peoples.
Even though most people don’t genuinely believe in the evil eye anymore, you can see blue beads that are supposed to protect people from the evil eye everywhere in Türkiye. Another shamanic tradition that survived is the belief that trees are sacred beings, a common belief in rural parts of the country.
According to this belief, ornamenting sacral trees with colorful clothes or decorations brings good luck. Therefore, Evil Eye Tree is an ideal example of Inner Anatolian culture and a glimpse into ancient Turkish traditions.
An attractive village in Pigeon Valley, Uçhisar is among the must-sees in Cappadocia. Uçhisar is charming and serene, with tiny alleyways lined with traditional stone houses that make great photo opportunities.
The settlement’s small shops and stores allow you to purchase authentic gifts for your loved ones. Furthermore, there are numerous restaurants where you can try the delectable Cappadocian food.
The castle is located on a rock spur and has a commanding view of Cappadocia. Like most ancient settlements, Uçhisar also hosts a defensive fortress. If you don’t mind climbing stairs, Uçhisar Castle is definitely a must-see. Just don’t forget to bring your trainers.
What To Do In Pigeon Valley
Pigeon Valley is a special place with spectacular sights and a curious history. Here are some of the main things to do when visiting the valley to make the best of your trip.
Enjoy The Cappadocian Cuisine
Every region in Turkey has its own unique cuisine, and Cappadocian cuisine is definitely one of the richest in Turkey. And when visiting the fascinating town of Uçhisar, you should try delectable Cappadocian dishes.
Take Lots Of Pictures
Its wonderful nature and spectacular scenery make Pigeon Valley the most picturesque destination of Cappadocia. And when visiting this extraordinary place, you shouldn’t forget to immortalize your experience by taking photos.
Visit The Cave Dwellings
Pigeon Valley hosts a myriad of caves that pigeons inhabited hundreds of years ago. Of course, the reason was highly economical; in the past, locals used the guano of pigeons as fertilizer for their wines, which made pigeon poop valuable.
And as locals wanted pigeons to stay in the area to collect their priceless poop, they tried to encourage them to dwell in the caves scattered around the region, and sometimes, they even built pigeon houses. Visiting these caves is one of the must-dos in Cappadocia.
Buy Some Authentic Cappadocian Wine
If you’ve never had Cappadocian wine, your visit to Pigeon Valley may be the perfect time to do so. Made with wines from the verdant vineyards of Inner Anatolia, Cappadocian wine is by far among the best wines in Türkiye, with a tradition going back hundreds, even thousands, of years. In Pigeon Valley, there are numerous wineries where you can sample the region’s best wines and purchase some to take home.
Costs Of Pigeon Valley
Entering Pigeon Valley is free. However, if you’re planning to visit the castle, you’ll need to pay an entrance fee of ₺8. Plus, the pricing of wine, souvenirs, and restaurants may vary highly.
Tips For Visiting Pigeon Valley Cappadocia
Pigeon Valley is a beautiful and popular destination in Cappadocia, Turkey. Here are some tips for visiting Pigeon Valley:
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Visit Pigeon Valley Wrap-Up
As we round off our guide to Pigeon Valley in Cappadocia, it’s clear why this place captivates so many. The valley isn’t just about the fairy chimneys, cave churches, and picturesque landscapes; it’s a hub of activity and history. From the main entrance, you can embark on the Pigeon Valley hike, a walking path that winds through rock pillars and offers magnificent views at every turn.
Along the way, local cafes and souvenir shops provide perfect pit stops.
The surrounding areas, like Love Valley and Red Valley, are easily accessible and worth the detour for their unique scenery. Uchisar town, known for its natural castle and the highest point in Cappadocia, provides a panoramic viewpoint that’s simply unmatched.
For the adventurous, exploring nearby underground cities adds an exciting twist to your trip.
Timing your visit can enhance the experience; certain times of the year offer the chance to witness the valley from a hot air balloon tour, a truly unforgettable experience. Pigeon Valley, with its natural beauty and rich history, is more than just a destination; it’s a journey through time and nature.
Whether you’re a hiker, a history buff, or just in it for the panoramic views, Pigeon Valley promises a memorable adventure.