A short travel guide to visiting Love Valley in Cappadocia, one of the best sunrise hot air balloon viewpoints!
They say that the secret of mother nature is her patience. After visiting Love Valley Cappadocia, I think it’s impossible to disagree that she also has a solid sense of humor– carving huge phallic rock formations from the volcanic rock of this unique landscape!
In this quick travel guide, I’ll detail everything you need to know about visiting Love Valley, with tips for getting a great view and avoiding the crowds!
Where is Love Valley in Cappadocia
Love Valley (also called Honey Valley, Bagildere Valley, or the Valley of Lovers) is located in the heart of the Cappadocia region of Turkey near the small town of Göreme, famous for the Göreme open-air museum.
Below is the exact location of the valley pinned on Google Maps, which will take you to a dirt road leading up some small hills to the Love Valley scenic viewpoint.
If you want to walk in the valley, skip to the bottom section of this article where I detail the route.
#1 Multi-Day Turkey Tour
I traveled through Turkey for 12 days with TravelTalk Tours on their Turkey by Gulet package.
In my opinion, this is one of the best group tours, with a perfect itinerary combining the best of Turkey's coastline with inland wonders like Cappadocia, including the iconic hot-air balloons!
How to Get to Love Valley
The easiest way to get to Love Valley is to take a taxi, car, or ATV from Göreme or Uchisar. From both locations, it shouldn't take you longer than 10-15 minutes to drive to the main scenic viewpoint at Love Valley.
Since the best time to visit is during sunrise, when the sky is full of magical hot air balloons, I recommend organizing a driver in advance. That's because mornings get very chaotic with the balloon operations over the whole region.
Also, another great alternative is to book the famous Quad Safari (ATV), which will take you through the Sword, Love, and Rose Valleys.
#1 Cappadocia Day Tour
Looking to see as much of Cappadocia as you can in a single day? Do not miss the top-rated private Cappadocia day tour (only ~€50).
This is the top-rated tour online with hundreds of 5-star reviews but usually sells out quickly.
Your local tour guide will take you to the Göreme Open Air Museum, Underground Cities Uchisar Castle, Devrent Valley, and more!
What to Expect at the Cappadocia Love Valley
With the simple logistics out of the way, let's dive into what you might expect out of a visit to Love Valley in Cappadocia. The hill on the side of the valley is one of the best panoramic viewpoints, along with more of Cappadocia's Valleys like Rose Valley, White Valley, Red Valley, and Pigeon Valley.
These viewpoints are all free, and there is no entry fee to access Love Valley. However, there is a small cafe and souvenir shop at the viewpoint.
Tip: the landscapes on the high plateau of Cappadocia differ widely, from cold, snowy winters to hot dry summers with very little rainfall.
The Love Valley Sunrise Viewpoint
While certainly a unique landscape, the biggest draw to Love Valley isn't the super-sized slongs dominating the landscape, but its location for viewing and taking photos of the daily hot air balloons flying over during sunrise.
This is a popular spot for photographers, since the balloons fly directly above the unique rock formations, resulting in some absolutely magical photo opportunities. The Google Map pin above will take you directly to the large, dirt parking lot. From here, just walk around the hillside and wait for the balloons!
However, due to the spectacular landscape, you'll undeniably be greeted by hordes of tourists who flock here every day. The viewpoint is also popular with young people and an ideal place for marriage proposals.
To avoid the crowds and get at least a bit of privacy (and better photos), I recommend arriving at the panoramic viewpoint early and walking all the way down to the end of the small hill edging the valley.
Remember to Book Your Balloon in Advance!
Don't be one of those tourists paying up to €950 for a black market ticket because they forgot to book their Cappadocia hot air balloon in advance!
Click the link below to book a balloon with the top balloon operator in Cappadocia– who will secure the experience for you in advance & at a cheaper rate than the tour shops in Göreme or Istanbul.
Tip: The wind must be blowing in the right direction for balloons to fly over Love Valley. Otherwise, another great viewpoint is the sunset hill at Göreme town. It's a good idea to ask your hotel or a local, who usually have a good idea about the destination.
Love Valley Hike
Of course, the Love Valley isn't just about its sunrise viewpoint! Heading down to the valley floor also provides some great hiking opportunities, with unique vantage points of the fairy chimneys, mushroom rocks, or giant penises– whatever you want to call them.
A great option is to begin your hike at Göreme and walk all the way to Uchisar to see the cave dwellings and Uchisar castle. This hike is quite easy, mostly flat, and only takes just over an hour to complete.
The starting point is the lower, eastern trail leading from north of Göreme through Love Valley towards Uchisar. The GPS coordinates for the trailhead are: (38°39'46.0"N 34°49'50.3"E), which will lead you to the trail on the side of the main road.
Taking this route, you'll walk directly beneath the viewpoint and right next to the fascinating fairy chimney rock formations that can reach heights of 100 ft (30m)! There landscape is also dotted with fruit trees and small bushes.
On the way back, you can take public transport, either one of the buses shuttling every 30 minutes, or a taxi.
How did Love Valley Form?
The extraordinary landscape of Cappadocia is a result of a unique erosion process.
Over 10 million years ago, the 3916 m high Erciyes Dagś volcano erupted, covering the whole region in thick layers of volcanic mountains made from rock and lava. Over time, these volcanic layers eroded, causing the softer rock to crumble and leaving behind tall pillars of a harder material.
If you look closely at the penis-shaped rocks, you'll notice that even these are made of different layers. The beautiful white sand covering many of the valleys (really, they're canyons aren't they), is in fact volcanic ash left over from this eruption.
Where to Stay in Cappadocia
Cappadocia is a large region with plenty of accommodation options spread across the area. However, the best area to stay to be close to the sunrise balloons, and the majority of attractions are around the town of Göreme.
I would highly recommend staying in a Cappadocia cave hotel for the most unique experience in this region. Below are the top three with links to book.
- Kayakapi Premium Caves Cappadocia - Easily one of the top-rated cave hotels in Cappadocia– especially if you want an amazing hot air balloon view. Features beautiful cave rooms (some with a private pool), heated flooring, air-conditioning, and coffee machines. There's an onsite spa, large outdoor swimming pool and a free shuttle bus to the city daily.
- Artemis Cave Suites & Spa - Conveniently located in Göreme and close to all the main attractions, this cave hotel and spa offers beautiful terrace views over the city and sunrise balloons. The Open Air Museum is just 1 km from the hotel and there are Turkish Bath services at the onsite spa.
- Divan Cave House - A more budget-friendly cave hotel run by a local family. Magnificent terrace views and a small Turkish restaurant on site. Additionally, guests get access to the hot tub and bike hire to explore the city and surrounding area.
Read More Cappadocia Travel Guides
I hope you've enjoyed my photography and quick guide to visiting Love Valley in Cappadocia!
There's no doubt that Cappadocia is a region of exceptional natural wonders. Luckily for you, you've stumbled upon one of the best free travel resources online! So, continue reading by clicking one of the related posts below for more inspiration and travel ideas!