Zemi Valley is a beautiful valley we recommend for hiking near the touristic village of Goreme in Cappadocia. This valley has no guided tours, so it distinguishes by privacy. During its crossing, you will encounter no more than a dozen pedestrians. Combining it with hiking in the Zemi Valley and visiting the Goreme Open Air Museum is convenient.
The length of the valley is 5.6 km. It starts from the village of Goreme and splits roughly in the middle into two spurs. The left spur leads to an impossible impasse. The right motivation is the beginning of the Guvercinlik Valley, which is the continuation of the Zemi Valley. The valley ends with an ascent to the Nevsehir and Urgup highways.
There are concrete signs of entering the valley at the beginning and end of the route. The hiking trail not evenly marks along the entire way: Most of the characters and markings are at the beginning of the course. Some of the signs are handmade on homemade wood planks, and there are also concrete signs, some of which have been destroyed or overturned.
Features of Zemi Valley
Difficult-to-pass areas are equipped with simple devices: Ropes, makeshift steps, and bridges. There are several tunnels along the route. Along the way, you will come across apple trees, vines and turtles. Some tourists in the valley saw foxes.
There are churches in the Zemi Valley, a small number of dovecotes, and carved cave rooms of unknown purpose. Many of these objects are cut relatively high and difficult to reach.
At the beginning of the path, the valley runs along a wide dirt road. The farther you get, the narrower the road becomes and eventually becomes a road. Sometimes a way splits in two, and then they rejoin. At first, we often come across vegetable gardens and fenced summer houses of residents. They disappear at the end of the valley. Dogs guard some huts.
Entrances of Zemi Valley
First option: It is the most common and recommended way to enter the Zemi Valley. First, take the direction of Cavusin from Goreme and reach the junction at the village exit. Now turn right and continue along the road towards the Goreme Museum. You will see another landmark on the left. After 500 meters from the intersection, turn right, and you will find the Zemi Valley sign, a large concrete sign. This road is the beginning of the path.
Second option: You can reach Zemi Valley directly from Goreme village via Love Valley. To do this, climb the mountain above the town from the mosque in Goreme (a popular place to take pictures). Then go down the path to the Zemi Valley.
The last option is to go down the valley from Nevsehir and Urgup highways. The distance from the outskirts of Uchisar to the valley entry point is about 2 km- about 6,5 km from Goreme.
Recommendations for Zemi Valley
Valley transit time: At least 2-3 hours. Optimal even took a four-hour walk. Be extra careful when estimating the transit time, especially if you go here in the afternoon or late evening. Try to cross the valley before sunset. The fact is that the road lies at the bottom of a narrow, deep gorge. Here it gets dark much earlier because the sun doesn’t set below the horizon, as on the plain, but hides behind the valley’s hills.
Tunnels: There are several tunnels in the valley. However, you may miss one of them and think the road has come to a dead end. Don’t rush to return; take a closer look. You can pass through this tunnel only by crouching slightly.
Zemi Valley Churches
- Hidden Church: It date to the 12th century. On the way to Goreme Museum, this church has a yellow sign, but it is difficult to find. Also, the Hidden Church has a metal door; it locks. You can visit this place as follows: Find the El Nazar Church and ask the keeper of this church to take you to the Hidden Church. Although the frescoes in the church aren’t very bright, they are generally well preserved.
- El Nazar Church: A paid church dating back to the 10th century. It is located on the left side of the road, 10 minutes walking distance from the beginning of the Zemi Valley. The guard allows you to enter the church. The frescoes here are well preserved compared to other churches.
- Cistern Church: It date to the 11th century. It locates in the middle of the Zemi Valley before descending from the plateau to the valley. It’s been used as a water tank for a while. Water is still pooling in the church. It has very bright frescoes.
- Karabulut Church: It date to the 11th century. It is located 200 meters from the Cistern Church after descending from the plateau to the valley. The entrance to the church is difficult; you are unlikely to find and visit it.