A complete and up-to-date travel guide to visiting the beautiful Pigeon Valley in Cappadocia.
Cappadocia is undeniably one of the most beautiful regions in Turkey, famous for its beautiful landscapes, beautiful valleys, unique rock formations, and of course, the hot air balloons that paint the sky with color every morning.
A great viewpoint overlooking one of Cappadocia’s canyons where you can take in all of those famous highlights and attractions is Pigeon Valley.
In this guide, I’ll outline everything you need to know about visiting, from the Pigeon Valley panoramic viewpoint to hiking on the valley floor and looking up at the unique pigeon houses and rock pillars.
Where is Pigeon Valley in Cappadocia?
Pigeon Valley, also called Guvercinlik Valley (Güvercinlik Vadisi in Turkish) runs directly from Goreme town to Uchisar town, in the Cappadocia region of Central Anatolia, Turkey.
Below is a Google Maps pin showing the start of the many valley hiking trails running from Uçhisar to Göreme.
If you're looking for the Pigeon Valley viewpoint, you can find out more below.
How to Get to Pigeon valley
The start of Pigeon Valley is located within walking distance of Uçhisar town, famous for the Uçhisar Castle, a natural castle that is the highest point in the region.
From here, there are long but easy and flat hiking trails running all the way up and past Göreme.
The easiest way to get to the valley is to rent a car or ATV, or simply use public transport (one of the buses or taxi) to Uçhisar and walk to the pin above.
However, if you're looking to get to the Pigeon Valley viewpoint, which is a small hill overlooking Uchisar, and the many pigeon houses in the valley, you'll want to skip to the next section.
This is just off the main road and will require a private car to get to.
Alternatively, travelers also have the option of booking the very popular and classic Blue Tour of Cappadocia, which ends at Pigeon Valley for a magnificent view of the sunset.
#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 Pigeon Valley Cappadocia
Pigeon Valley is a long, gently sloping canyon running between the main tourist towns of Goreme and Uchisar. It is named after the many pigeon houses which are carved into the soft rock of the adjacent hills.
Yes, you'll find many cave dwellings and pigeon houses all over Cappadocia. However, this valley is famous for having the most!
Travel Tip: There are many more Cappadocia valleys to explore. Check out Love Valley, Red Valley, Rose Valley, White Valley, and Devrent Valley as well!
Pigeon Valley Viewpoint
The Pigeon Valley viewpoint is a small hillside pullover point on the main road running just north of Goreme. The viewpoint is situated at the very top of the valley, allowing for a beautiful panoramic view directly south towards Uchisar.
Looking down, you'll see beautiful patterns of volcanic rock, forming patterns of various colors after years of erosions since ancient times. There are also some small rock pillars and of course, many pigeon houses dotting the hillsides.
Additionally, you'll find a small cafe, restaurant, and souvenir shop here. But, it is free to enter and take some photos without ordering or paying for anything.
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 hot air balloon company in Cappadocia– who will secure the experience for you in advance & at a cheaper rate than the tour shops in Göreme or Istanbul.
The Evil Eye Tree
One of the interesting tourist attractions you'll discover at the Pigeon Valley viewpoint is the beautiful Evil Eye Tree. There are several of these across the Cappadocia region, symbolizing good luck. Apparently, if you purchase an Evil Eye pendant from the local people working at the souvenir shop and hang it on the tree, you'll get a wish– a good marketing ploy if I ever saw one!
About the Pigeon Houses of Cappadocia
The small bird cave dwellings you'll see carved into the rockface all over the valley were used for breeding and housing domestic pigeons for centuries.
Even since ancient times, the local people of the Cappadocia region have used pigeons for food and fertilizer to help grow food in the barren, volcanic soil.
Did you know? Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
#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!
Hiking in Pigeon Valley (Göreme to Uchisar Castle)
The best way to experience the beautiful valleys and incredible views of Cappadocia is to hike through the valley floor.
Luckily, the Pigeon Valley hike is one of the most popular hiking trails in the region.
The entire length is roughly 6 kilometers (3.7 miles). That's if you choose to walk all the way from Uchisar to Goreme. However, you can also do short in-and-out hikes from either town.
If you're planning to walk the entire canyon, I recommend starting the route in Uchisar. This means it'll be a mostly downhill and easy walk.
Along the way, you'll pass through rock-hewn Christian churches and many small, abandoned cave homes that you are free to explore. While there aren't as many giant rock pillars (fairy chimneys of Cappadocia), you'll still find some beautiful colored rock formations on the hillside slopes.
Alternatively, adventurous travelers can explore the Pigeon Valley on a horse ride, or on the popular Jeep Safari for a great time and even more impressive views!
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 On: Cappadocia & Turkey Travel Guides & Blogs
I hope you've enjoyed this quick travel guide to Pigeon Valley Cappadocia. While you're here, check out some of my other blog posts below. I've published many more travel and adventure blog post inspiration for travel in Turkey!