The Churches and Trails of Red Valley

A Guide for History and Hiking

Red Valley is Cappadocia's finest natural treasure. This network of stunning valleys features the best fairy chimneys, cave churches, and hiking trails in the region. 
The helpful guide, complete with maps and pictures, explains everything for your visit to Red Valley (aka, Rose Valley). The first half provide essential information for hiking and biking the valleys. The second half provides a complete analysis of Red Valley's best 15 churches. The Churches and Trails of Red Valley is the perfect guidebook for hikers and historians. 
The author, Jason Borges, is a Ph.D. student at Durham University. Based in Cappadocia, he has hiked Red Valley many times.
The book is available in shops throughout Cappadocia and at
Citations and Credits   
  • The description of expanding a women’s monastery (p. 27): Byzantine Monastic Foundation Documents: A Complete Translation of the Surviving Founders’ Typika and Testaments, eds. John Philip Thomas and Angela Constantinides Hero (Dumbarton Oaks, 2001), 652–53.
  • St. Basil’s description of ancient pigeon farming (p. 29): Saint Basil the Great, “Letter 10,” in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Volume VIII, trans. Blomfield Jackson (Eerdmanns, 1894), 123-24.
  • All photos were taken by the author Jason Borges, except the following. Mountain biking images (pp. 16, 18) are from Hami Bek of the tour agency Mountain Biking In Cappadocia. The picture of the Ayvalı Church interior (p. 53) and the winter scene (p. 95) is from Murat Gülyaz, Director of the Nevşehir Museum. I thank them for their generous permission to include those photos.
  • Citations of the Bible are from the NRSV, New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
  • For further study of the Byzantine-era cave churches in Red Valley, see Nicole Thierry, Haut Moyen-Age en Cappadoce (2 vol., Paris, 1994). Robert Ousterhout, Visualizing Community (Dumbarton Oaks, 2017) also discusses several of the main churches.

© 2019 Jason Borges

photo credits


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