Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hiking Cappadocia - Part II

I am back with Part II of my post about hiking in Cappadocia - See Part I here

Ihlara Valley - This hike was the easiest hike of all (if you don't count the 400 steps you have to take to go into the valley, easy going down, not so much going up). It was clearly marked. It was beautiful as the valley is cut by a beautiful river. On both sides of the valley there were plenty of caves with beautiful frescoes to visit at your own leisure and of course, a tea "house". Once you reach the town of Belisirma, there are restaurants along the river where you can stop for lunch. You could continue on to Selime to visit the monastery or turn around and walk along the other side of the river... We decided to do the latter... You could spend the whole day in this valley... It is about an hour and a half from Goreme so a car is necessary to get there. There are tour groups that will take you to the beginning of the hike and pick you up at the end... That could be a good option if you are short in time (although it can be pricey) but this can totally be done on your own if you rent a car like we did.




White, Honey and Love Valleys - These three valleys are connected so it made sense to do them all in one hike. This walk connects Uchisar and Cavusin. For this hike we decided to hire a guide... Mostly because we had no idea where to go. This turned out to be a good option simply because we did not have to do a round trip walk (they took us to the beginning of the walk right behind the Onix Store in Uchisar and then picked us up at the end of it - at the water point just before Cavusin)... It worked out great because at the end of 4 days of walking... We were tired puppies... Our guide Ali was a 18 year old kid... He made us laugh with his stories and taught us a lot about the area. We found him though our hotel. We were glad we used his services.





Important things to keep in mind:

We stayed in the town of Goreme which is in the heart of Cappadocia. This is a touristy town built around caves but it surprisingly maintains the charm of a small town. It has been described as a fairy tale town... I think that description fits it perfectly.

View from Goreme Panoramic point

It rains very little in Cappadocia so do yourself a favor, bring a hat, sunglasses and light clothing for hiking. Drink plenty of water, pace yourself... You know the routine... Take it easy and have fun.

Best times for hiking: Early in the morning when is not so hot or late afternoon when the sun is casting the most beautiful glow on the valleys (especially the Rose and Red Valleys)

Be mindful that sometimes you will be walking through farmland. They don't mind... Just be respectful.

Lastly, these hiking trails are not very well maintained, there are no ranger stations like you find in the US so, you're pretty much on your own... My advice to you: Just go with it... Don't be discouraged, you won't regret it, not for a second.

For more information and pictures go here for hiking Cappadocia Part I

More pictures from Cappadocia here

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