Famous for fairy chimneys and cave dwellings, Pasabag Valley is a must-visit area in Cappadocia. Located between the towns of Avanos and Goreme, the valley is also called Monks Valley. If you want to see mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys with several stems and caps, you must visit this area.
Although the fairy chimneys were used by the monks as a means of separating from the world, they are now a very popular tourist attraction. Thousands of visitors that visit Cappadocia every year come with the intention to examine these unique formations. And why not, they are absolutely amazing. A distinctive formation with usually a stone sitting on the fairy chimney that carries so much historical value and has survived winds and storms deserves all the recognition.
There are different trails or paths that you can follow and if you want to explore the valley and see all the unique formations, you must hike all the trails. Only, then you can see all the cave dwellings and fairy chimneys. When you walk through the valley, you would also see two-story and triple-story cave dwellings. Visitors are allowed to enter inside and examine the structures.
We advise you to visit this valley along with Zelve Open Air Museum as both are fairly close. It will give you the best opportunity to explore the cave houses of the past, but you will have to pay an entrance fee to visit the museum. The distance between the valley and museum is around 1.5 km, so you can walk easily. Along the way, you can see rock formations and fairy chimneys. You can first visit the museum and then come back to the valley.
The history of the valley is quite fascinating as a community of hermits used to live here. Many monks took refuge in this area including St.Symeon who was attracted by the isolation this valley provided. There is a chapel dedicated to St.Simeon in one of the three-headed chimneys. During the 5th century, he started to become popular due to the rumors that he can perform miracles. He didn’t like that attention, so he built his home in one of the fairy chimneys at a height of 15m. He would come down only to collect food and water brought by his followers. But, the hermits of Cappadocia didn’t follow him and instead of living on top of the chimneys, they cut out the chimneys.
You can explore the famous hermitage of St. Symeon, which is located in a huge solitary cone with three heads. This cone is situated in the middle of the open area. The entrance to the cell where he lived has faced erosion over time. You can also see St. Symeon’s second Hermitage that’s situated in the narrow ravine around 100m to the east. There are no proper signs to help visitors locate the hermitages, so you might not be able to find them. There is also a third hermitage that people often miss. Located near the museum entrance, the complex has a triangle shape with the Turkish flag.
When you visit the valley you can choose to stay in the town of Goreme or Uchisar. Both the towns are popular among local as well as international tourists, but most of the tourists visiting Pasabag Valley choose to stay in Goreme. The distance from the center of Goreme town to the valley is about 7 km. It will take you around 15 minutes if you drive there.
As soon as you enter the valley you will see fairy chimneys spread through the land. The abundance of chimneys makes the views extremely beautiful. You will also see a big walking track; you can hike it and explore the features this area has to offer.
Fairy chimneys are one of the most popular attractions of Cappadocia and although you can see them all over Cappadocia, what this area has to offer is something unique. There are several types of fairy chimneys like elongated fairy chimneys and those that are pedestal shape. Many people who want to explore the chimneys prefer this region due to the vast collection it has to offer.