We are always on the lookout for crazy, off-the-wall adventures to make your time in Cappadocia more memorable. Add the Rose Valley moonlight hike to the list.
Cappadocia moonlight hike rose valley sign

The lack of trees on most of the upper Rose Valley trail makes it ideal for a moonlight hike.

If you happen to be in Cappadocia during a full moon, and the weather is clear, then I cannot recommend highly enough doing a moonlight hike in Rose Valley. The season (winter is not a good option) will determine how long you need to wait until the moon is high enough. In the summer you probably should plan on starting around 10pm whereas in early spring and late fall the moon is already casting moon shadows by 8:30pm.


We have done this a couple of times now with our kids and some friends and have not been disappointed. If you are kidless, then take a few candles and a bottle of wine, and enjoy a peaceful time in one of the cave churches along the trail. The picture shows us in the second story of a massive cave church.
Cappadocia moonlight hike rose valley candlelight

If you are feeling unsure about this, then go to Ortahisar and ask around for Crazy Ali. He is known for leading moonlight tours through the valley.

We guarantee that this will be one of those experiences you never forget. However, do not do this the night before your hot air balloon ride or you may sleep through the alarm since you will not be returning to your hotel until well after midnight.

REQUIREMENT: You must work out transportation as the head of Rose Valley is too far to walk, especially at night, and no buses will be running at that time.
Cappadocia moonlight hike rose valley line

Be careful not to take a sharp left turn! The full moon was so bright we did not need flashlights.

Cappadocia moonlight hike rose valley stairs

We had a big group and nobody got hurt- safety was not a problem.

Cappadocia moonlight hike rose valley wall

The blurry candlelight picture near the beginning of this post was taken in the room through these windows in the second floor of this cave church. Being in an ancient cave church lit by candlelight in the middle of the night was a mystical experience. The second floor of the church had 30 foot ceilings supported by stone columns. It was incredible.

Cappadocia moonlight hike rose valley tunnel

The darkness did not stop the kids from having loads of fun even while climbing through tunnels.
Thank you to Erma Petito, a friend who visited from California, USA and joined us for the hike, for the great photos.


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Duke Dillard moved to Turkey with his wife and 6 children in 2007. He got an MBA at Bilkent University in Ankara, where they had their 7th child. After 4 years in Ankara the whole family moved to Cappadocia, and this blog was born. We love Cappadocia and Cappadocians and want to help visitors make the most of their time here. You can connect with Duke on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and/or link circles on Google+. Click here to read more about Duke and his family.