Güllü Dere Vadisi
The geological formation of Cappadocia is anatural wonder of our world and is the result of two contradicting natural forces. One of these forces is the volcanic outspurts of the region which led to itscoverage with lava, ashes, tuff, and volcanic residue. The second force then is the territorial erosion that started after the volcanic build up was over.
The Taurus Mountains of south Anatolia emerged at the Tertiary stage of the geological development just like the European Alps have been (65-2 million years prior to our time). In this stage of “mountain building”, deep crevasses and subsidences occurred in central Anatoila. The molten rock (magma) at the earth’s core emerged to the surface through these crevasses and formed the volcanoes of Erciyes, Develi, Melendiz and Keçiboyduran. These volcanoes formed a volcano chain paralel to the Taurus mountains and strong erruptions followed. The volcanic lava, ashes and tuff moved slowly towards the subsidences of the region and covered the formerly shaped hills and valleys, thus turning the whole region into the huge plateau we see now.
The reasons of the erosion whish rendered Cappadocia its present scenery have been the winds, the rivers, and the rains. The other factors of the scenic formation of Cappadocia are the climate of the region with its sharp temperature changes, and the melting snow of the mountains. These sharp changes in temperature gave way to splits in the rocks which were filled up with rain water. As these crevasses froze in winter, the rocks cracked and seperatedd., but the main factors of erosion have been the rains and the rivers. The Nevşehir and Damsa streams which flow into the Kızılırmak river played the major role in the formation of the famous cappadocian valleys. Particularly the area between Nevşehir, Avanos, and Ürgüp, Where the thickness of the tuffs in the old valleys reached almost a hundred meters, got extremely affected by erosions. The rain waters filled uq the crevasses on the surface of the plateau and gave birth to the streams and rivers. The volcanic residues and the eroded earth got carried away by the rivers which sometimes cut the volcanic surface so sharply, that seperate hills came into existence.
Meskendir Valley is a total length of 4400m and is situated near Ortahisar. The entrance is located via a camping site on the Ortahisar-Goreme road and enjoying a slow comfortable walk throughout the valley will take you approximately 3 to 4 hours. Within the valley is the Meskendir Church which is worth a visit. If walking is your passion, combine Meskendir Valley with a trip to the Zelve Valley to complete a full day of touring.
Baglidere Valley is better known as Love Valley and it is a gentle walk for those who are not looking for strenuous activity. Within the valley are the famous fairy chimneys that the Cappadocia region is famous for. The valley has a stream that is dry within the high months of summer however at other times; it provides the perfect guide to walk from one end of the valley to the other. This valley is ideal when combined with a trip to the town of Avanos.
Zelve Valley is also known as the Zelve Open air museum. The churches that have been carved out of the rocks are not as impressive as those at the UNESCO site of the Goreme Open air Museum however it is still worth a visit. There is no public transport to the Zelve Valley so you will have to hire a car or take part in an organized tour. The original Zelve valley has now been deserted due to erosion making rocks unsafe so do take care if you plan to explore in-depth or go along with a guide who has prior knowledge.
Ihlara Valley is the most famous and well known out of all the valleys in Cappadocia. It was formed thousands of years ago when a volcanic eruption from Hasan Mountain led the earth to be covered with volcanic rock. This volcanic activity also created natural hot springs. Due to the makeup of the land, earlier civilizations found the rock easy to carve and they built churches into the rock and painted them with frescoes. These frescoes can still be seen today and they depict scenes from the bible. Trekkers will be delighted with the trekking paths on offer. In total, the valley stretches for 14km however it is possible to complete small sections within a day trip that will still give you a great insight into this beautiful landmark that was formed by Mother Nature.
Pigeon Valley is situated between Goreme and Uchisar and is ideal for walking as the trek is relatively easy. Within the valley are man-made caves which make for excellent exploration. Alternatively if walking is not your idea of fun, still head to the top of the valley at sunset where the vibrant orange colors moving down behind the mountains produce wonderful holiday pictures. The valley earned its name from the hundreds of pigeons that have made their homes in the rocks.
Rose Valley is a must visit while you are in Cappadocia as the orchards, vineyards, rock churches and fairy chimneys all blend together to make exploration fun and interesting. There are several smaller valleys within the area, all with their own grade for walking difficulties. The easiest walking trail will take around 3 hours. As you may guess, the valley gets its name from the rose colored rocks which will change color depending on the time of day.