If you want to hike a rather quiet place, head to the Gomeda Valley and Uzengi Valley and see a different side of Cappadocia. The entrance point of the valley is called Gomeda and the last part is called Uzengi Valley. Gomeda Valley is also called Little Ihlara by some people because it bears a resemblance to the Ihlara Valley.
The valley is located in the heart of Cappadocia, but it’s not very popular. You won’t see many tourists; in fact, you might be the only one. So, it’s a perfect place for those who want to get away from the crowds and explore the beauty of Cappadocia in a quiet environment.
To reach the entrance point of the valley, follow the Urgup-Mustafapasa road for around 2700m and then head to Ayvali Village located on the right side. After 2 km, you will see a parting way near the fountain and a sign saying “Gomeda Remains”. Follow that road for 1200m and you will get to a small parking area. Park your vehicle there, begin your journey on foot and you will enter the valley. Right before the entrance to the valley, you can see the remains of the Alakara Church on the right side. There is no signboard and when you enter the valley, you can see Saint Basilios Church after about 200m.
You can hike through the valley surrounded by trees and bushes and if you wear a long sleeve t-shirt, it can protect you from bushes and nettles. You will be walking across the stream and you would have to cross the stream frequently. Crossing the stream is easy and you can cross it by just jumping as its width is just about 1 or 2 meters. You can also cross by taking the help of a tree. There are cherry and plump trees, you can rest in their shade or eat the fruits. When you get to the last part i.e. the Uzengi Valley, you can see beautiful pigeon houses carved into rocks. The houses are fascinating and you can take a break to examine them. You will notice that some of the structures have beautiful decorations.
If its summer, you can get to this area by taking the dirt road from Ortahisar Pancarlik Church in a car. As the valley begins to reach the end, it becomes wider. When you are about to exit the valley, you can see a water spring known as Uzengi Fountain on your left. You can spend some time there, drink the water and take photos. After hiking for around 15 to 20 minutes from the fountain you will get to the Urgup-Mustafapasa asphalt. Your hike would finish here. If you want to go to Urgup, turn left from there, and after 2.5km, you will get there.
There are two main attractions of the valley, Alakara Church and Saint Basilios Church. The Alakara Church reached its latest shape with the expansion of an old church, carves into rocks. It has one apse that you can reach by going through an arched area. There is also a door on the west wing that’s not used.
Unlike the Alakara Church, Saint Basilios Church has a signboard at the entrance. It’s a historical church and you would realize that when you carefully examine its structure. You can see a huge cross on the ceiling and if you read the inscription, it says that the Great Constantine had a dream about this cross, which leads to Christianity becoming the official religion.