Love Valley and Pigeon Valley Hike (with Pins)


Published on 13 March 2024

Cappadocia is such a special place with unique, otherworldly, breath-taking scenery. Each and every path that we saw through the valleys, we wanted to explore to see the beauties that would be revealed. Tunnels, abandoned cave houses, phallic-shaped structures; this place keeps you guessing.

We had five nights in Cappadocia and wanted to absolutely maximise what we saw; so went on a mission to do a Love Valley, White Valley and Pigeon Valley hike together with a visit to Uchisar Castle in one day.

It’s definitely doable! It is a long old day (we started at 09:30 and got back about 16:00) but the walking isn’t too taxing; and if you’re anything like us, you’ll be being so amazed by your surroundings that you won’t even mind walking all day!

Up for the challenge?

love valley

Top Tips

Number 1: Download on to your phone and also download the map of Cappadocia so that you can refer to it offline, and mark the pins mentioned in the post.

Number 2: There are no entrance fees to any of the valleys so you can wander to your heart’s content.

Getting to Love Valley

From Goreme bus station in the centre of Goreme town, walk the main road uphill until you see a black and red sign for Cappadocia Express and Goreme Rental ATV. Just after the sign and the building, take the road to the right leading up to phenomenal views over the valley. (This is a great spot to view the hot air balloons at sunrise away from the crowds, FYI – this link will only work on your mobile device if you have the app downloaded.) Plotting this spot on will take you right way. Keep following the path straight until you reach this spot. From here, veer left which will take you down into Love Valley. Once at the bottom, take the next left again and walk towards the crazy phallic-shaped structures – you cannot miss them.

white valley
white valley

Through Love Valley and into White Valley

These phallic-shaped structures have been lovingly called ‘fairy chimneys’. Some fairy chimneys are as tall as 40 metres, some had living quarters chiselled in to them, some were used as secret entrances to underground cities. Fascinating, eh? Wander through Love Valley towards this spot. This will bring you into White Valley. You’ll notice the switch in the landscape. The valley narrows, you’ll find tunnels, and then the terrain will change from sandy/dirt to white rock. Follow the path up and over the white rock, until it leads you up and out of the valley about here. Once you get above the valley, there is a man with a juice stand. Buy yourself a well-deserved pomegranate juice.

white valley
white valley

Uchisar Castle

From here, you are just a stone’s throw from Uchisar. Cross the main road and walk up the steps into the town. The castle is right at the top (obviously), and you will have been able to see the castle from almost everywhere on the hike so far because it is the highest point in the region. Unfortunately, there is little information inside the castle as to its history, but it is still a fascinating structure to explore. Rooms were carved into the soft volcanic tuff and the outside has started to erode away revealing the honeycomb-like structure inside. Venture all the way to the top for truly spectacular views across the valleys. 

pigeon valley view from uchisar castle

Even though there isn’t information, discovering the hand-carved rooms and the views are well worth the ticket price. We only spent about thirty minutes inside, grabbed a gozleme on the way out and continued on our journey. Note that the entrance is not included in the Turkey Museum Pass.

uchisar castle

Getting to Pigeon Valley (Guvercinlik)

Head down towards the mosque here, and keep following the path until it becomes a trodden foot path past Tiraz Kale (another small structure carved into the rock).

pigeon valley hike

In Pigeon Valley

Walk further into the valley to reach this stunning viewpoint over Pigeon Valley here. It is a dead end, so you’ll have to turn back on yourself to continue, but it is worth the slight detour.

Turn back and take a path to the right to go up and over the valley and come back down past Caglar Tea Garden. This is the most beautiful little spot to stop for a cup of tea. The guy that runs the place is lovely and the decor is so interesting! Once you’ve had your tea, carry on down the path to here which is the end of Pigeon Valley and the start of Goreme town.

pigeon valley hike

Facilities Along the Hike

We did this day hike at the beginning of November; the weather was perfect for hiking. If you’re looking into doing this during the warmer months, be aware that you are completely exposed to the sun for the vast majority of the hike. There are a couple of spots where you could get a drink on the way, but Uchisar has plenty of shops and restaurants.

Find more things to do in Cappadocia here. And another hike to discover abandoned cave churches through Red and Rose Valley right here!

pigeon valley hike

Are you planning a Pigeon Valley hike, or a visit to Love Valley? Or maybe you’ve given our hiking route suggestion a go?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, recommendations and questions.

Thanks for reading!

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