The best way to get up close and personal with the rock formations of Cappadocia is to hike through the numerous valleys.
Everything in the guide books suggested that hiking in Cappadocia almost always required a guide so I wasn’t sure Barry and I would get a chance to go – for one, it was winter meaning many places and people were on holiday or had shut down for the chilly months. Two, we’re not that good at planning activities in advance.
Gamze, owner of Fresco Cave Suites & Mansions, put my mind at rest, telling me that it’s not true at all and very easy to trek in the valleys, and that I wouldn’t get lost. I was pleased to hear it and Barry I set off to hike in the Red Valley.
Gamze was even kind enough to get her husband to drop us off at the starting point near the Red Valley Panorama view, and pick us up when we were done. He put us on the right path, told us what to expect and when to turn. It all sounded pretty easy (especially if we’d actually followed his instructions).
We got distracted by the path that went all along the cliff, culminating in a secluded cave with fabulous views.
We did walk back along the path until we found the sign where we should have turned so we were happy that we were on the right track.
Then we got distracted by abandoned cave houses, troglodyte dwellings and disused churches. We spent some time exploring the mysteries of the valley floor.
Paths crisscrossed everywhere but there were usually signs to keep you right. It was just that every time we came across a marker, we were approaching it from a different direction and our only choice was not to follow it’s instructions.
But it wasn’t so bad and whilst I wouldn’t say it was impossible to get lost, it was certainly difficult. Barry never lost faith (with his superior sense of direction) but whenever I was worried about where we were, we just had to find a path that went up, so we could survey the land from height.
Eventually, all paths lead to home (as long as it’s not behind you).
Our walk took about 2 and half to three hours and we finished at the Panorama car park and view point (two or three kilometres from Urgup) with a delicious freshly squeezed orange juice for the bargain price of 2 Lira (I was surprised as a lot of tourist hot spots charge the highway robbery amount of 10 or 11 Lira).