Goreme Valley Explorer (Easy)
Goreme – Gorkundere – Zemi Valley – El Nazar Church – Swords Valley – Rose Valley – Columns Church – Cavusin (Restaurant lunch) – St John Baptist Church – Love Valley – Goreme Panoramic – Goreme
Distance: 22km / 500m Climbing Start: 10.00 Goreme Finish: 16.00 Goreme Grade: Physical 1 / Technical 2 Best for: Discovering the region’s most beautiful landscapes and chruches with minimum effort! Lunch: Seyyah Han Restaurant, Cavusin- delicious 4 course menu with choice of main dishes Price: 180 Euros per person (1 pax), 120 Euros per person (2 pax), 100 Euros per person (3 pax), 90 Euros per person (4+ pax) Includes: transfer to and from your hotel, professional guide, bike and helmet hire, restaurant lunch and emergency assistance.
- Exploring the miraculous volcanic landscape of Rose Valley
- Marvelling at the towering “fairy chimney” rock towers in Love Valley and Gorkundere
- Enjoying the best local food in one of Cavusin’s best restaurants
- Discovering the “Column’s Church”- rated as Cappadocia’s most impressive
- Sampling mountain biking, maybe for the first time, with a fully trained guide
- The unforgettable view of Goreme village from the “panoramic” dirt road trail
Itinerary: This relatively easy 22km ride is designed to allow you to experience Cappadocia’s most beautiful sights by mountain bike. It is challenging in places, and there are some sections where you may need to push the bike. Your guide will offer full instruction, and you will gently and securely tackle the route at your own speed over the course of the day. Starting at the Middle Earth Travel office in Goreme, we begin with a gentle spin down through the village, soon turning up into some of the region’s most dramatic countryside. Here, nearby incredible “fairy chimney” rock towers, we have time to explore a little on foot. Your guide will explain how the geology of Cappadocia formed and its social and historical contexts. Moving on, a level and well surfaced dirt road takes us deep inside Zemi Valley- one of the greenest and most captivating places. Returning along the same track, we take a short detour uphill to visit the impressive El Nazar Chruch. From here, a fantastic undulating track passes through an unbelievable area of cave dwellings, rock cut churches and even a monastery complex, known as Swords Valley. Now climbing into Rose Valley we visit one of the most impressive churches in the Goreme area- the Church of Columns. Taking our time, we reach the small, historical village of Cavusin easily and stop for a leisurely and enjoyable 4 course meal at a highly rated restaurant.
In the afternoon we begin with a visit to the 6th Century Church of St John the Baptist- one of the largest and oldest cave churches in Cappadocia. After spending some relaxing time sightseeing in Cavsuin, we head off on the bikes once more, crossing the valley plain and reaching the entrance of Love Valley (sometimes known as White Valley), where we’ll visit an area of incredibly phallic “fairy chimneys”, and possibly stop again here to explore on foot. Returning through the valley along a different path, a last challenging climb takes us to an elevated position above Goreme where you will enjoy unmatched views over to Cavusin, Rose and Red Valleys and the Boz Dagi table top mountain beyond. The end of a fantastic days ride!
Goreme Panoramic (Easy-Moderate)
Route: Goreme – Uchisar – Uchisar Castle – Love Valley Panoramic – Cavusin – Swords Valley – Goreme
Distance: (19km / 450m Climbing) Start: 10.00 Goreme Finish: 16.00 Goreme Grade: Physical 2 / Technical 2 Best for: View seekers, photographers, historians and adventurous cycling novices Lunch: House of Memories Restaurant, Uchisar- delicious open buffet of Turkish meze, soups, main course and dessert in a wonderful atmosphere. Price: 180 Euros per person (1 pax), 120 Euros per person (2 pax), 100 Euros per person (3 pax), 90 Euros per person (4+ pax) Includes: professional guide, bike and helmet hire, restaurant lunch and emergency assistance.
- Climbing to the summit of Uchisar Castle for the best 360 degree views of the area.
- Photographing the towering “fairy chimney” rock towers in Love Valley
- Enjoying a great lunch from a beautiful, panoramic terrace
- Taking mountain biking detours through Swords Valley as recommended by your expert guide.
- The unforgettable view of Goreme village from the “panoramic” dirt road trail
Itinerary: This is a circular bike tour from Goreme that takes in many of the regions most unmissable views and stunning landscape panoramas. It’s also possible to start and finish in Uchisar if you’re staying there. The tour is suitable for all, and although there are options in the afternoon to go “off track”, stays mostly on dirt roads and well surfaced paths. Starting at the Middle Earth Travel office in Goreme at 10.00, we begin a steady and fairy long climb, first up through the village itself, and then up towards Uchisar on a dirt road that affords increasingly wide views over the valley below. We pass by Pigeon Valley and stop to fotograph the incredible valley scenery there. In Uchisar we visit Uchisar Castle- a natural rock outcrop fortified to protect Christians during volatile Byzantine times. Climbing to the top of the castle takes us to the highest point in the region, and a chance to capture incredible 360 degree views. We enjoy a leisurely lunch at a characeterful restaurant overlooking Pigeon Valley, Ortahisar and on clear days all the way to Erciyes volcano in the distance.
After lunch, we relax with a long, gentle downhill freewheel along the edge of Love Valley canyon- always on smooth, easy to handle tracks and never too steep. There’s an option to ride into the valley itself to explore the “fairy chamineys” in more detail- your guide will advise. Crossing the valley flats to Cavusin we visit the 6th Century Church of St John set amongst towering, crumbling cliffs. The final section back to Goreme through Swords Valley (Kilicalar) is full of interest, passing through an immense landscape of fairy chimneys, rock-cut dwellings and even a thousand year old monastery complex. Here there are options to try “single track” biking too- ask your guide. You’ll return to Goreme, from where we’ll drive you back to your hotel.
Goreme Pathways (Moderate – Challenging)
Route: Goreme – Cavusin – Pasabagi – Devrent Valley – Urgup (lunch) – Red Valley Panoramic – Kiliclar – Goreme (Total 30km / 540m Climbing / 540m Descent)
Distance: (30km / 520m Climbing) Start: 09.00 Goreme Finish: 16.00 Goreme Grade: Physical 2-3 / Technical 3 Best for: Anyone wanting to explore the region’s sights on easy to handle dirt tracks and back roads Lunch: Cappadocia Restaurant, Urgup- a selection of tasty local dishes in one of the best places Price: 180 Euros per person (1 pax), 120 Euros per person (2 pax), 100 Euros per person (3 pax), 90 Euros per person (4+ pax) Includes: Transfer to and from your hotel, quality bike and helmet hire, professional guide, restaurant lunch. Excludes drinks and tips.
- Exploring the incredible “fairy chimney” scenery at Paşabağı
- Biking through the dry and barren Devrent Valley and “camel rock”
- Sampling the best local food in one of Urgup’s best restaurants
- Enjoying superb panoramic views and unmisable photo opportunities
- The best mountain biking on only the easier trails.
- Descending through the “cake icing” rocks of Red and Rose Valleys
Itinerary: This circular ride from Goreme is a mid-level dirt road and easy singletrack tour that circumnavigates the imposing table top mountain of Boz Dagi. It is suitable for all, but nonetheless challenging. Leaving Goreme, the ride soon ascends onto a paved and then dirt road which heads north towards the small, historic village of Cavusin. Enjoying fleeting glimses down into Love Valley to the left, and Rose, Red and Kiliclar Valleys to the right, almost instantly we are enjoying the area’s very best views. Stopping in Cavusin to visit the impressive 5th century Church of St John the Baptist, we set off on a relatively flat, sandy dirt track via the incredible “fairy chimneys” of Pasabagi, to the dry, barren landscape of Devrent Valley. From here, a brief asphalt climb rewards us with an easy cruise downhill to the vibrant and youthful town of Urgup- where we enjoy a good restaurant lunch on the town square.
From Urgup we take a gently climbing dirt road up a delightful, shady valley that is awash with butterflies and wildflowers in the early season. We gain height relatively easily, and without too much excertion arrive at the Panormaic Viewpoint above Red Valley- to enjoy one of the region’s most fantastic landscapes. From our high point here, we decend on smooth, ever-narrowing and eventually very steep trails that bisect a spur separating Rose and Kiliclar valleys. The final section of the tour is on singletrack paths, but even first time mountain bikers will enjoy their smooth, undulating nature as we wonders back to Goreme via the stone stacks, rock-cut pigeon lofts and age-old churches of Swords Valley (Kiliclar). The end of a fairly challenging but hugely rewarding day!
Cappadocia Weekend Warrior (Moderate Singletrack)
Route: Goreme – Gorkundere – Swords Valley – Meskendir ridge (up) – Mesekdir Valley (down) – Rose Valley 2 (up) – Grapes Church (lunch) – Red Valley Sunset – Rose Valley 1 (down) – Cavusin loop – Love Valley loop – Goreme
Distance: (27km / 780m Climbing) Start: 09.00 Goreme Finish: 16.00 Goreme Grade: Physical 3 / Technical 4 Best for: Improving mountainbikers looking to ride Goreme’s best trails Lunch: Red Valley Restaurant- wonderful 3 course meal in a paradise off-grid eco cafe Includes: Quality bike and helmet hire, professional guide, restaurant lunch. Excludes drinks and tips.
- Downhilling through the tunnels, caves and rock arches of Meskendir Valley
- Discovering the 8th century Columns Church- voted by many as the best in the area
- Improving your singletrack skills and learning techniques specific to the local terrain
- Biking the Moab-like trails around Cavusin’s “table top mountain”
- Riding the 2007 XC MTB Euro Cup course through Gorkundere
- Getting rude with the massive “fairy chimneys” of Love Valley
- All the best trails with less blood, sweat and tears
Itinerary: From Goreme we soon hit top class singletrack and ride a section of the 2007 Euro XC Cup course. Taking things slow, this is a great place to develop trail skills, and our guides will offer detailed and thorough tuition. We stay close to Goreme, enjoying some steep, smooth singletracks and through Swords Valley (Kiliclar). From there a scenic ridge climb ticks all the must have photoshoot boxes, before a technical descent brings us into Meskendir Valley. Here a fast flowing, often steep, trail descends through tunnels, canyons and steeply terraced gardens to a beautiful valley cafe where we can stop for drinks. Now climbing, we tackle the super-steep terraces of Rose Valley- stopping to draw breath and admire the phenomenal rock-cut “Church of Columns”. Crossing a grassy plateau brings us above Red Valley and onto a sheer sided rocky spur that affords a “hot air balloon” view to the valley below. We enjoy a delicious lunch in an off-grid eco-sensitive local restaurant and have time to chill on the sofas there as we digest.
In the afternoon, we ride an amazing half-pipe bowl trail down into another branch of Rose Valley, putting into practice the safe descending skills we learned earlier. We carry on to the historic small village of Cavusin and follow a challenging but hugely rewarding singletrack high above the village- through some unique and photogenic rock formations. Finally, we cross the valley plain to Love Valley, and enjoy an easy circuit amongst the “fairy chimneys” there. One final panoramic track brings us soon back to Goreme, where the ride ends.
From the Jungle to the Moon and Back (Moderate – Endurance)
Route: Goreme – Uchisar – Gemil – Kavak – Gomeda Valley (down) – Uzengi Valley (down) – Urgup (lunch) – Red Valley Sunset Point – Meskendir ridge (down) – Swords Valley – Goreme
Distance: (39km / 900m Climbing) Start: 09.00 Goreme Finish: 17.00 Goreme Grade: Physical 5 / Technical 4 Best for: Fit cyclists with some off road skills looking to discover the untouristic side of Cappadocia Lunch: Cappadocia Restaurant, Urgup: A selection of tasty local dishes in one of the best places. Includes: Quality bike and helmet hire, professional guide, restaurant lunch. Excludes drinks and tips.
- Awesome panoramic views of Uchisar Castle and Pigeon Valley
- Meeting the locals in Kavak village’s traditional tea shop
- Choosing lines through the volcanic moonscape of the Kavak Flow
- Stream crossings, pools and splash downs in the lush paradise of Gomeda
- Drinking naturally carbonated mineral water from the Uzengi spring
- Fast, flowing panoramic downhill trails along the Kiliclar ridge
- Discovering rock cut pigeon houses and cave church complexes in Swords Valley
Itinerary: Todays ride takes us out of the Goreme valley system and into an area of even more epic proportions. It’s a long and fairly challenging ride, roughly half on singletrack trails and half on fast and open inter-village tractor tracks. We begin with a steady climb up the hill to Uchisar and after a brief warm up enjoy a steep technical climb over Gemil hill- the highest point in the area with incredible views. Heading out to Kavak village sees us amongst rural, non-touristic Central Anatolia, and it’s nice to spend some time taking in the pace of life and local smiles in this totally authentic farming town. Before long we reach an amazing descent into the Gomeda Valley. This is like a natural BMX track with so many different lines to be ridden and natural carves and bowls like a man-made pump track! After a challenging final descent, we ride along the valley on jungle-like, overgrown singletracks (long sleeves recommended) with numerous technical stream crossings, log bridges, splash-downs and rocky river beds to contend with. Heading on into the Uzengi Valley we check out some of the finest multi-storey rock-cut pigeon lofts plus a “natural wonder” water spring. From here it’s an easy coast downhill to Urgup, where we eat a wonderful meal in one of the best local restaurants.
After lunch we ease into the afternoon with a gentle valley climb up on a shady dirt track beside uncultivated fields that are awash with wildflowers and butterflies in spring and early summer. Regaining our height without too much effort, we soon arrive at the Sunset Panoramic point high above Red and Meskendir valleys, and begin a fast, sometimes steep downhill along the Kiliclar ridge. Offering amazing views on both sides, this trail is one of the region’s best. Returning to Goreme through the undulating trails of Swords Valley, we can spend time exploring cave church complexes and stop to photograph some of Goreme’s most iconic landscapes.
Goreme Epic Singletrack (Hard)
Route: Goreme – Swords Valley – Meskendir ridge (up) – Mesekdir Valley (down) – Rose 2 (up) – Columns Church – Grapes Church (tea break) – Red Valley Sunset – Balkon – Cavusin (lunch) – Love Valley (up) – Pigeon Valley (up) – Zemi Valley (down) – Gorkundere Euro XC Cup Course – Goreme
Distance: (32km / 960m Climbing) Start: 09.00 Goreme Finish: 17.00 Goreme Grade: Physical 4 / Technical 5 Best for: Experienced riders used to steep, loose terrain with some rocky sections drops and exposure Lunch: SeyyaHan Restaurant, Cavusin: 4 course meal incl. mezes, soup, salad, pottery kebab and desert Includes: Quality bike and helmet hire, professional guide, restaurant lunch. Excludes drinks and tips.
- Natural rock cut tunnels, caves and arches in Meskendir Valley.
- Steep technical climbing through the terraced gardens of Rose Valley.
- Utah-esque canyon scenery of the Balkon trail and the awesome views below.
- Fast, switchback trails, drops and jumps through the forst of Zemi Valley.
- Picking downhill lines through Gorkundere’s 2007 Euro XC Cup course.
Itinerary: From Goreme we warm up with some easy trails through Swords Valley before hitting a scenic ridge climb with stunning photo opportunities to Goreme and the “fairy chimneys” below. A technical descent into Meskendir Valley descends through tunnels, canyons and steeply terraced rock gardens. After a fresh orange juice we tackle the super-steep climbs of Rose Valley- stopping to draw breath and admire the “Church of Columns”. Crossing a grassy plateau brings us to a sheer sided rocky spur above Red Valley and nearby here we stop for a tea break in an off-grid eco-sensitive local cafe. A climb to the Panoramic Viewpoint brings us to the The Balkon: great trail riding through boulder strewn and deeply eroded gullies reminiscent of Zion, Utah, and Red Bull’s Rampage. We descend to the small village of Cavusin and relax over a great restaurant lunch there.
After lunch we head across the plains, soon arriving at the base of Love Valley, and began an awesome singletrack ascent up through the incredibly phallic “fairy chimneys” there. The climb gets steeper and more challenging towards the top, and from our vantage point just below Uchisar village we’re launched straight into it again, this time in Pigeon Valley. After another technical ascent we reach the final part of the route- an epic descent through the forested trails of Zemi- where there are drops, jumps and limbo-style tunnel obstacles… Finally a fast run out through the rutted rocks of Gorkundere (Euro XC Cup course) brings us right back to Goreme in time for a well earned beer. A tougher day than the modest km’s suggest, but world-class trail riding in every respect.