This small valley, halfway along the turn-off road to Zelve, has a three-headed rock formation and some of Cappadocia's most famous examples of basalt-topped fairy chimneys. Monks once inhabited the valley and you can climb inside one chimney to a monk's quarters, decorated with Hellenic crosses. Wooden steps lead to a chapel where three iconoclastic paintings escaped the vandals; the central one depicts the Virgin holding baby Jesus.

Paşabağı is on the typical Cappadocia tour route and gets crammed with tour buses from around 10am, so if you want to miss the crowds try to get here first thing in the morning. In 2019 plans were afoot to charge an entrance fee to the valley (a planned combined ticket with Zelve). Fencing now surrounds the site and a large tourist complex building with cafes and tacky souvenir stalls aplenty is now the only way you can enter. Tickets were still not being charged when we were last there.

For independent travellers, Paşabağı is easily reached as it's on the Ürgüp–Avanos dolmuş route. Going to Avanos, it reaches the valley at around 20 to 25 minutes past the hour. Heading in the opposite direction for Göreme and Ürgüp, you can flag it down on the road when it trundles past at approximately 20 minutes past the hour.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Cappadocia attractions

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