Monks Valley (Pasabag Vadisi)
Almost all Cappadocia sightseeing tours make a stop in Monks Valley. Pause at the top of the valley for the quintessential photo looking out over the sea of fairy chimneys, then stroll down amid the rocks to admire them up close. Visiting with a guide offers insight into the valley’s natural landscapes—created over years of volcanic activity and erosion—and historic context. Learn how St. Simon created a refuge for Christian monks in the valley in the 4th-century and climb inside the 50-foot (15-meter) high fairy chimneys where the monks once lived.
Things to know before you go
- Monks Valley is one of Cappadocia’s must-sees and is included on the popular Red Route sightseeing trail alongside attractions such as Uchisar Castle, Pigeon Valley, and the Göreme Open Air Museum.
- There is an entrance charge to Monks Valley and a number of souvenir shops and cafés around the ticket office.
- There’s little shade in the valley, so bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water in the summer months.
- The valley has some wheelchair-accessible viewpoints, but uneven and rocky terrain means that accessibility is limited.
How to get there
Monks Valley is located along the Zelve road between the towns of Goreme and Avanos. There is no public transport to the valley, but it’s a short taxi ride from both towns and included on hop-on hop-off bus tours.
When to get there
The most popular time to explore is during the summer months (June-August) but it can get busy—tours start arriving from around 10am so make an early start to avoid the crowds. The most magical views are at sunrise, when the sky is filled with multi-colored hot air balloons, or at sunset, when the fairy chimneys glow red beneath the setting sun.
The Best Views of Cappadocia’s Fairy Chimneys
Admiring the dramatic rock-hewn landscapes is the highlight of any visit to Cappadocia. After strolling through Monks Valley, head to Pigeon Valley, so-called for the dovecotes or “pigeon houses” carved into the tops of the fairy chimneys, and neighboring Love Valley, humorously nicknamed for its phallic-shaped chimneys. Other popular viewpoints include Imagination Valley, where the rock formations take on the shapes of various animals, and the Red and Rose Valleys, renowned for their distinctive pink-hued rocks.
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