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The hike to Love Valley was one of the highlights of my Cappadocia trip.
The valley gets its name from the unique phallic shaped rock formations, which is the polite way of saying it’s full of cock rocks. These massive multi-story-high formations are gigantic and hilarious and a must-visit on any trip to the area.
You can take some amazing pictures and it’s just a nice, relaxing place to amble through while admiring the beauty of Cappadocia’s unique rock formations.
Unfortunately, organized tours will only take you to a lookout point above the valley. Instead, use this article to ditch the tours. It covers:
- How long does it take to hike to Love Valley?
- How much does it cost to hike to Love Valley?
- How to hike to Love Valley in Goreme (in 3 simple steps)
- And much more!
If you want to walk down among the rocks, you’re going to have to hike to Love Valley on your own. Luckily, this guide will tell exactly how to do it!
Yep, that’s going on the Christmas card
How Much Time Do You Need to Hike to Love Valley?
The complete trip to Love Valley and back to Goreme takes about 2.5 to 3 hours on foot.
However, you can also extend your outing and continue through the valley to Uchisar Castle. If you go this route, you’ll need to allot a few more hours to the trip.
If you’re really pressed for time, you can see similar rock formations in the “Second Love Valley” located closer to Goreme. Walk down Zemi Vadisi Yolu road and ask locals to point you in the right direction.
If you’ve ever dreamed of being surrounded by multi-story cock rocks, the Love Valley hike is for you
How Much Does it Cost to Hike in Love Valley?
If you use this guide it’s completely free.
Simply walk to Love Valley from Goreme and then return the same way – there is no entrance cost or tour required to see the rocks.
If you continue to Uchisar Castle, the entrance fee and bus ride home will still only add up to a couple of dollars per person.
Sign clearly marking the entrance to Love Valley
How to Hike to Love Valley from Goreme (in 3 Simple Steps)
Skip the tour and follow these three simple steps to hike to Love Valley from Goreme and return back to the city again in one piece!
1. Walk to the valley entrance from Goreme
From Goreme city center you can easily walk to Love Valley. Even more convenient?
The location is in your GPS! (Click here to find it on Google Maps.)
But, the pin is dropped at the upper view point, so while you’ll follow the directions for awhile you are going to eventually split from the GPS route to enter into the valley instead of walk around to the top.
First, though, follow the GPS down Bilal Eroglu street.
This walk is along a road but it still has nice views of the Rose Valley on the right side. After about30 minutes / 2.5 km you’ll come to a fork in the road – keep following the GPS and take the left fork.
In three minutes you will see a dirt road on the left hand side and a large sign announcing “Baglidere Vidisi” with some info and a map of the valley.
This is where you’re going to split from the GPS route and follow the arrow on the sign to turn left into the valley.
One last pic of Love Valley before we headed home!
2. Trek to the Rock Formations
Now you’re in Love Valley and the rest is pretty simple.
Follow the dirt road – some smaller paths may branch out but stick on the biggest one.
After about 10 to 15 minutes you’ll see the rocks rising up ahead of you on the right side – cross off the main road and into a wider opening where you’ll see them spread out in front of you in their full glory.
There’s also a little cafe here if you want take a break or grab a drink (but it doesn’t serve any food).
You can walk among the towering penii (is that a word?) and even climb a small hill to get an aerial view as well.
The perks of hiking to Love Valley instead of visiting on the tour mean that you can avoid the crowds at the look out point and enjoy the valley in peace and quiet.
View of Uchisar Castle from the nearby Pigeon Valley
3. Continue to Uchisar Castle
After you hike to Love Valley there are two ways to return to Goreme.
You can go back the way you came, which is what Dan and I ultimately chose to do, or you can continue hiking through the valley all the way to Uchisar Castle.
It’s as simple as putting Uchisar Castle into your GPS (click here to find it on Google Maps) or simply walking straight through the valley until it dumps you out the other side. From the entrance to Love Valley all the way to Uchisar Castle, the walk is 5 km and will take about an hour and 15 minutes.
After you visit the castle, there are buses every 30 minutes from Uchisar back to Goreme and the ride takes 10 minutes. If you’re going in the evening, though, check the bus schedule with your hotel so you don’t miss the last one.
If your rock formation lasts for more than four million years, call your geologist (Dad joke courtesy of my dad when I sent him this picture)
What to Pack for Hiking in Goreme
This is a very low-key hike in Goreme National Park but I still always recommend respecting nature and heading out prepared. For the Love Valley trek, I recommend packing a small day pack with:
- A water bottle
- Some light snacks
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
- Layers like a jacket, coat, or sweatshirt to take on and off as the weather changes
- Sturdy hiking boots
- Cash for buses and taxis if the need arises
This is the hiking gear I can’t live without:
|TimberlanD Women's White LeDge MiD Ankle Boot,Dark Brown,7.5 M US||Prime||Buy Now|
|Vibrant All in ONE Travel Mug - Tea Infuser Bottle with 2 Piece Steeper Strainer MESH Filter - Insulated HOT Coffee Thermos - Cold Fruit Infused Water Leak Proof Double Wall Stainless Steel 16.9 oz||Prime||Buy Now|
|Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant and Non-Greasy Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 100+, 3 fl. oz||Prime||Buy Now|
|Osprey Packs Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack, Jasper Red, Small/Medium||Prime||Buy Now|
The Complete Guide to Hiking in Love Valley
Ready to go to Love Valley?
I hope this guide helps you plan your trip to this phallic wonderland!
It’s awesome and easy to visit on your own – so skip the guided tours, have some fun, and enjoy trekking through Love Valley (and snapping some hilarious pics) at your own pace.
By the way, did you know that you can stay in the rock formations and fairy chimney formations in Goreme? I stayed in the super cozy and romantic Anatolia Cave Pension – click here to check it out!
This article is part of the Capturing Cappadocia series. Read the rest below:
Or, explore the complete Turkey Series for more insider tips on what to see, do, eat, drink, and discover in the country.
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