Red & Rose Valleys
Red & Rose Valleys are the most interesting valleys in Cappadocia and it is highly recommended to have walking through these valleys. The valleys are combined, so it is hard to know on which one you are walking. Red Valley is a huge valley starting from the Panorama point in Ortahisar Village and ending in Cavusin Village. While you are walking in this valley, you will see a lot of living quarters, vineyards, apricot and almond trees.
There are so many different trails in this valley that if you do not know of which one to walk, you can end the hike in 45 minutes. The best and the longest trail take about 4 hours and it takes you all the hidden churches. The first church in this valley is Uzumlu Church from 9th century. Even though there are not many frescoes surviving in the church, it is still worth visiting.
The second and the most interesting church in the valley is Kolonlu (Columned) Church. This church is entered through a pigeon nest and a tunnel behind it. The Romans controlled the region in 17AD and forced everyone to believe in Paganism. At the end of 1st century, there were a lot of Christians living in the region and as Paganism was the only official religion in Romans, people had to go into the deeper parts of the valleys and carved some hidden and camouflaged churches to perform their religion. Kolonlu Church is one of them. It does look like a pigeon nest from outside, but when you entered nest, you see a huge church behind the tunnel with huge columns.
The other interesting church is called as Hacli (Cross) Church. It is a church probably from 11th century and it has a very nice depiction of Maeistas Domini Fresco in it. There is also a huge cross, which is carved in the ceiling, which gives the name to the church.
After this church, you will enter Rose Valley and keep walking through Rose Valley. Another church en route is called as 3 Hacli (3 Crosses) Church. This church is amazingly huge and has 3 different huge crosses carved on the ceilings.
After this church, you go out from the valley and arrive at Cavusin Village.
The hike through Red & Rose Valleys is highly recommended to do it with a tour guide who knows the way and not make you miss anything.