Soganli Valley
Soganli Valley
4.5
Top ways to experience Soganli Valley

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles140 reviews
Excellent
89
Very good
45
Average
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Spiderette86
Washington DC, DC70 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Solo
I spent 2 days in Cappadocia fighting busloads of tourists and souvenir hawkers. Wanting something different, I chose to drive myself to Soğanlı Valley based on these reviews. I was not disappointed! To begin with, the hour-and-a-half-long drive from Göreme to Soganli, which is actually in Kayseri region, is lovely. Instead of driving via the usual route that most tourists take through Kaymaklı, I chose to drive on the Ürgüp Yolu (highway) through Mustafapaşa and the picturesque villages of Şahinefendi and Taşkınpaşa and Cemil. A spectacular drive! High mountain meadows, deep valleys dotted with red-roofed old homes, and green-banked rivers, shepherds with well-behaved sheep that stayed on “their side” of the white line of the road, wandering tortoises (who didn’t stay on “their side”), and occasional cave churches cut into the white striations of sedimentary stone set in steep cliffs. At the end of the drive (the road to Soğanlı is well marked from the Ürgüp Yolu), I was rewarded with being practically the only tourist in Soğanlı Valley – on a Saturday! I paid my 5TL to enter the village. I drove slowly and parked whenever I saw a church to which I wanted to hike (and most had small, yellow signs to mark them), and wandered around, as others have said, unfettered by rules, guides, and guards. I planned in advance, and had packed a flashlight – which was absolutely necessary when exploring some of the deeper passageways and dark rooms in the dozens and dozens of cave churches. Although most of the frescos were badly marred with graffiti, many were still hauntingly lovely.

The area is easy to navigate. Once you have paid to enter the park, there is a fork in the road at which the village is built. Over the bridge and to the right, there are lovely churches and a small orchard at the dead-end where you can eat and drink tea. This is the road that more tourists take (I saw a small group of French tourists at that end of the “v”), as the reward in this valley is the strikingly beautiful and intricate Domed Church. To the left/straight ahead is another kilometer or two of churches along both sides of the road, with easy paths. I went up this road after lunch, stayed for more than 2 hours hiking, and no other car or hikers came in my direction.

The village of Soğanlı itself is interesting – most of the folks there live in the hollowed out caves with stone add-ons. The older women of the village have a thriving industry selling hand-crafted dolls and woolen mittens and socks. For 5TL for a small doll (only $2.50), I was rewarded with a toothless grin from an old, dried apple-faced woman sitting cross-legged on a rug making the dolls. I ate lunch alone in a small, unassuming outdoor café. With no menu, the waiter (who is the village English teacher for the rest of the year) simply brought me a meal of fresh feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, and the Turkish dish menemen (a casserole of eggs, peppers, and tomatoes baked in a ceramic dish and served bubbling hot), as well as a large mug of apple tea. It was a perfect day away from the maddening crowds.
Written June 27, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mel B
Hanoi, Vietnam3,190 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2015 • Friends
Soganli is a peaceful little village set on a hillside in the Saganli valley. Few and mainly old people live there now as the young have moved out. A beautiful rock cut church lies a short walk away with black frescoes mostly undisturbed by defacement. From there is a great view of the valley and if the sun is shining, it beams off the rock pinnacle on the other side of the valley. At the entrance to the village sit old women who make the famous traditional Saganli dolls. They will show you how they make them as well as sell you some - they are well worth it for presents and help support the old people of the village. True Cappadocia is found here, where it has been for a thousand years.
Written November 18, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dbtravelor61
Oakland, CA80 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Friends
The Soganli valley is a 45 minute drive south of Goreme. There's a lot of climbing involved in and out of fairy chimneys that line the valley up on both sides. It was usually just us and the ancient frescoes. No guides, guards or rules. Amazing. Mindboggling. Beautiful.
Written June 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

themanfromearth
Singapore, Singapore1,553 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Couples
This is the most no touristy place in Cappadocia... The easiest way to get here is by hiring a car! We drove to Soganli from Goreme... There are no tourist groups around.., just a few people ... Exploring the churches in the valley ( as you enter they hand you a map explaining the church locations).... The churches are pretty far so you have to walk around a bit!

The frescoes in the churches are amazing though they are not well preserved.... 2 churches on the top... The hidden church. And the one next to it are breathtaking and well worth the walk...

Recommended!
Written June 1, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

katsusanna
Raleigh, NC612 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Couples
I almost don't want to share this review, because I'd hate for the charm and wonder of this lovely valley to be spoiled by hordes of tourists invading. This was one of our favorite places in Cappadocia, and frankly, in all of Turkey! The drive to Soganli is lovely. We stopped at Keslik Monastery on the way, which was fascinating. Then, continuing on to Soganli, there are many lovely vistas and quaint villages to drive through and many ancient cave-dwellings and dove-cotes carved into the steep cliffs along the way.
As you enter the village at Soganli, there is a very small (and well worthwhile) fee to pay. It covers admission to all of the cave-churches in the valley. The village is very quaint. Peaceful and quiet, the only people about were the residents (and not very many of those). We were virtually the only tourists in the place. We did, at one point, encounter a couple of German tourists, but only at one of the churches. Other than that, we were the only visitors at each place we stopped. We were free to explore the amazing, ancient churches. They were adorned with frescoes, some of which were in excellent condition. In addition to the churches, there are tons of adjacent rooms and dwellings to climb through and explore, which we did to our heart's content, contemplating the lives of the ancient men and women who lived and worshipped here. The Church of the Dome and the Hidden Church were especially memorable, as you hike along a lovely trail to reach them. The views and the serenity are exquisite.
After exploring the churches, we stopped back in the village and purchased some handmade dolls from some of the village women, who were delightful and lively. (They did not speak English, but they did speak some French, so we didn't have any trouble communicating with them).
One word of advice: as in many places in Cappadocia, you will need to bring a flashlight to explore the cave rooms and to view the frescoes in the churches. Some of the older parts of the churches are very dark, but well worth exploring if you have a flashlight!
Soganli was enchanting. We will never forget the lovely afternoon we spent there. It is a wonderful, peaceful place, rich with history and full of charm.
Written December 3, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

capixaba_traveler
Vitoria, ES459 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2011
If you have more yhan three days in Cappadoccia you must go to Soganly Valley. See the beautiful views of Anatolian tectonic plate and Ercyes Volcano on the road to get there. Take a walk to see the cave churchs without lot of people, see the piggeon´s painted wall, and spetially HAVE A LUNCH SONGALY below apple trees and eat chicken kebab prepared in open air. Coming back to Goreme, visit recently found ruins of Sobesos and do a pit stop in Mustafapasa to see the ancient church and old heritage of Greeks that used to live in the city. Of course you just can do this tour with a guide or a car rented. Know better Cappaddocia and ancient world history.
Written April 7, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

huys25
Amsterdam, The Netherlands11,732 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Couples
We came by private taxi. Thee is no public transport and the valley entry is only TL 3 per person. Along the entrance road is a fascinating large and high located collection of pigeon nests in the rocks. We stayed near the old village in the excellent EMEK pansiyon for two nights to do the walking tours through the valley. It has some cave bedroom and excellend food. You can reach several churches also by car and some interesting ones by means of a short walk.
The seven churches were:
Tokali with a very steep steps towards the new village.
The Karabas next to the asphalt road and well defined fresco's.
The Yilanli church, also with a few nice undamaged fresco's, at the end of the road with parking and restaurant.
From there you can visit the interesting Domed church and the Hidden church with a large underground section. This has a rolling stone closure door, inside a tunnel.
Along the road from the old village, there is the Deer church with well preserved dining room and lamp-oil tanks.
At the end of that road the Tahtali Kilise , also with some reasonably well preserved fresco's.
Written June 20, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

J010199
20 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Business
The history is amazing, though several of the most interesting ones were closed for restoration, it seems. And they don't allow pictures inside them, even without a flash. Sometimes it seems the vivid paintings were not always untouched. In some of the caves without much artwork, it seemed quite amateurish and recent. But the primary Byzantine rooms were definitely professionally done, similar to the standard Eastern Orthodox style.
Written March 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vale_Gila81
Milan, Italy195 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2016 • Couples
I visited Soganli during the last day of my trip in Cappadocia and perhaps this affected my judgment.

Although there are frescos and churches dated V-VI century I have to say that this site is definitively less spectacular than most of the other sites in the Region.
First of all it is located 50 km far from Goreme and not served by any other public transportation, so you need a private car. Secondly it is a dead village so, ruin apart, you will find only a couple of restaurants. The complex develops on two main valleys easly reachable by car.
The Village is made of hundreds of openings in the mountains surrounding the Valleys. Short trails start from the main valleys towards the rock Churches.
It is worth a visit only if you have a spare day to spend in Cappadocia.
Written September 17, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

IJonesTravel
Sydney, Australia107 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2015
My wife and I hired a car in Urgup and took a day trip which included a visit to the underground city of Derinkuyu before heading onto Soganli.
It makes for a great day. It takes about 45 minutes to get to the underground city and you will need approx 45 minutes to visit. It's not for those that are claustrophobic but I would encourage you to persevere to get the feel for this awe
inspiring creation.
The real highlight was though Soganli. After visiting the Goreme Open Museum this was just as good but without the bus groups. The whole valley can be enjoyed over a couple of hours taking in the epic scenery and hidden churches.
This makes for such a rewarding day where your only interruption is likely to be someone attending to their herd of sheep or goats.
Written November 22, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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