Güllüdere Vadisi or popularly known as Rose Valley, has a little bit of everything, churches, caves, tunnels, dovecotes, farms, side valleys, multiple trails, and amazing landscapes.
The lower trail of the valley is about 2.1 km / 1.3 mi. It goes from east to west, between Sunset Point and Meskendir Valley, around 2 - 3 hours, always depending on the pauses for pictures and appreciating the beautiful sceneries.
Sunset Point is the perfect place to start the hike since it is higher, and it makes it easier and more enjoyable.
You have several alternatives to get there; you can take the public bus, one-way ticket 5 to 8 lira (depending on where you get the bus) and you can walk from the Nevsehir-Ürgüp highway to Sunset Point, about 2km.
If you are staying in Ortahisar, you can walk to Sunset Point.
Here a useful tip, wherever you are staying in Cappadocia, get to the "finish point" of your hike and start from there; once you finish your walk, you will be close to your next destination, such a walking back to your accommodation.
Despite its popularity, Rose Valley preserves an appealing feeling of remoteness and seclusion -it is easy to see what drew ancient settlements, which carved their home in the rocks here between the 6th and 11th centuries.
Except near Sunset Point, it's unusual to find the valley over-crowded.
The highlight of this trail is the Church with Columns (Kolonlu Kilise). Keep in mind that the name on the stone trail markers will display in Turkish Güllüdere II - Rose Valley II, and some signage in English.
From the Sunset Point, the church with Columns or Kolonlu Kilise is about 1 km; there is some little signage along the way, still, keep your eyes wide open to don't miss it.
The Church with Columns (Kolonlu Kilise) is impressive from the moment you approach; it seems nothing like a church, has a tiny entrance and few openings along the rock and dovecotes carved into the façade, a valuable bridge that invites to explore the cave.
Once inside, you have to go up a few steps, and then to your right, you will be amazed by the architecture of the place and the massive columns that support the high ceilings of this remarkable place.
A flashlight is recommendable (along with water, right hiking shoes, hat, sunglasses) the first part of the church is a bit dark. Still, once inside, the light is enough to appreciate this ancient wonder in Cappadocia, known to be built around the 10th Century.
The graceful apse has a seating area around designated for the clergy.
The columns provide not only decoration to the church but support, the cave was carved out around them.
The church is also known as Big Cave Church or Sütunlu Church. There are no frescoes inside; this church is all about architecture.
Once you finish discovering the church, you can continue exploring the valley, making your way back to Sunset Point or finishing the loop, Rose- Red Valley, stop by in Cavusin, or back to Göreme.
Suppose you want to see a church with beautiful frescos inside, a few meters up from the Church with Columns there is another cave-church, with lovely frescoes, Haçli Kilise or the Church with the Cross, worth the visit.
Close to the Church with the Cross, there is usually a local man selling fresh fruit juice or tea, it is a friendly meeting point, there are generally other travellers taking a well-deserved break.
What do we mean by saying “a journey to Armenia”? Walking in Yerevan? Or seeing Ararat? Or exploring Khachkars? Trying national food? Communicating with local people? Spending the night in a village house? Climbing mountains? Feeling the nature? The answer is very simple: all the above mentioned and even more.