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Turkey/Cappadocia 4: Hike from Çat to Gülşehir

Updated: Mar 1

My insider tip for Cappadocia/Turkey: Hike from Çat to Gülşehir. Discover stunning rock formations and an old caravanserai along the way!

Open Air Museum of Açık Saray in Cappadocia
Here black storks, squirrels and golden eagles say good night to each other.

The hike from Çat to Gülşehir in Turkey/Cappadocia ends at the Açıksaray (Turkish for Open Palace) open-air museum, a complex of Byzantine-era monastery, church and living quarters carved into the rock. The area of about one square kilometre was probably a Seljuk caravanserai in earlier times, providing food and accommodation for travellers.

Hiking in Cappadocia/Turkey - from Çat to Gülşehir

Turkey/Cappadocia 4: Hike from Çat to Gülşehir

-Factor: ♡♡♡♡

Starting point: Çat, 1110 m. (1.107 m)

End point: Road to Gülşehir at the Açık Saray Open Air Museum, 930 m.

Duration: 3:30 h

Distance: 9.7km

Difference in altitude: 10 m uphill and 180 m downhill

Refreshment stops: Unfortunately, there are none

Level of difficulty: blue - easy

Tip: If you are travelling by rental car, you can hike back to the starting point on the other side of the valley.


Those arriving by public transport start the hike at the eastern entrance to Çat. The trail follows a wide gravel road southwards.

After about 2 km, a narrower hiking trail leads down into the valley on the right. Soon you will see perforated rock walls on the right. For the next 3 km, the trail follows the course of the valley. Then a section on the left must be bypassed via a road. Once back on the trail, it follows the valley past curious stone formations and perforated rocks to the Açık Saray open-air museum. From here, buses return to Nevsehir and Göreme.

Hiking in Hiking Cappadocia/Turkey - Hiking guide

Bilal Coskun shows us the hike between Çat and Gülşehir, which he opened up 20 years ago.

He came to Cappadocia for the first time in 1991 on a group trip as a hiking guide and immediately fell in love with the country and its people - namely his future wife.

Of course we want to know why he chose this somewhat remote route in particular.

"It is much quieter here than in Göreme National Park. With a bit of luck, you can see black storks, squirrels and golden eagles here. You can also see the different stages of erosion particularly well here"

he says and promptly stops at an oversized mushroom. So it's not a spongy one to eat, but a hardy one to climb.

The hike ends at the Açıksaray (Turkish for Open Palace) open-air museum, a complex of Byzantine-era monastery, church and living quarters carved into the rock. Probably about one square kilometre in size, the area was a Seljuk caravanserai in earlier times, providing food and accommodation to travellers.

I will tell you about 4 hikes with GPS data in the next blogs:

If you want, you can also read the article in ALPIN magazine 03/2023 (only in german. You can order the magazine here.

Click on the first picture to start the photo gallery of the hike from Çat to Gülşehir


General information and some photos and films for a first impression are available at:


From the airport in Kayseri (ASR) it takes one hour by bus to Göreme, which is the best starting point for all adventures.

Maximum flexibility? Then a rental car is a good idea; these can be rented relatively cheaply directly at the airport (research, for example, at Caution: Many hotels are in small alleys and have no parking space. It's best to ask beforehand


April to May and September to October are the best times for an active holiday in Cappadocia.

Spring is beautifully green and there are lots of flowers, but the humidity can make it hazy.

In autumn, nature is parched and brown, but the air is clear and the weather tends to be more stable.


The travel guides I found are out of date. The most recent one is from 2016. There are no printed hiking guides (at least I couldn't find any).


So far there is no detailed walking map (at least I couldn't find one) of Cappadocia.

There is not really good map material yet I have saved some tours with GPS data on my blog

If this is too wild for you, you can also book a hiking guide.


Ali is a Turkish original with Berlin roots, or the other way around. His family comes from Cappadocia and he came back 30 years ago. Since then he has been showing visitors his country with a great sense of humour and in perfect German.

Ali Kaya +90 532 614 4132 (WhatsApp),

Bilal also speaks perfect German, can be booked for hiking and sightseeing.

Bilal Coskun +90 533 719 99 42 (WhatsApp),


Hiking shoes with a good tread, rain and sun protection, and - for cooler days - warm clothes are recommended. Göreme is situated at 1104 m. We had sub-zero temperatures and snow at the beginning in March.

Click on the first picture to see the beautiful Henna Hotel


The Henna Hotel is so Influencer-worthy that we hardly dared to book there. Balloons fly over a perfectly appointed terrace with fresh fruit and silver teapots that look like Aladdin's magic lamp. A 400-year-old tea room in velvety green and with stained glass windows resembles my idea of 1001 Nights luxury.

muhammara at Seten Restazrant Göreme

The rooms are beautiful, the staff super helpful, the breakfast a rich blast and although the hotel was always booked up, the roof terrace was never crowded. Priceless? Not even that: double rooms with breakfast start at 45€ in low season.

At Hotel Utopia in Ürgüp you can sleep in original cave rooms. These look super great, but are not necessarily something if you don't like narrow rooms and want to sleep with an open window at night.

The hotel has a great hammam and delicious breakfast is served on the roof terrace. The only drawback is that the balloons rarely pass by here.


Our absolute favourite restaurant with mega scenery and rooftop bar is Seten in Göreme. We found the meze particularly delicious - especially the muhammara made of peppers, tomatoes with pomegranate and walnuts.

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