Ihlara Valley situated at about 40 km (25 mile) from the province seat of Aksaray and 50 km (31 mile) near the town of Güzelyurt. The township is famed for the nearby valley of the same name, Ihlara Valley, which is a 16 km (10 mi) long gorge cut into volcanic rock in the southern part of Cappadocia, following several eruptions of Mount Erciyes. The Melendiz Stream flows through the valley.

It is believed that the valley housed more than four thousand dwellings and a hundred cave churches decorated with frescoes. Around eighty thousand people once lived in Ihlara Valley.

There are 4 entrances to Ihlara valley. The first one is at the start of the valley in Ihlara Village. The second one opens to the 4th kilometer of the valley and it is the most popular entrance, and has more than 300 steps down to the valley. The third entrance is Belisirma village which allows you to enter the valley by driving. It is located in the middle (7th km) of the valley. If you will visit the valley by your car, this is the best spot to park your car. Belisirma has also some restaurants by Melendiz River to have lunch. Most of the guided tours end their walking here after lunch. The last entrance is the end of the valley at the Selime Monastery. Some of the trekking tours which walk the whole valley start from this end. The best part of the valley is the first 7km part from Ihlara Village until Belisirma Village where you can see most of the churches and natural beauty.

It is very pleasant to walk through the Ihlara valley by the vineyards, poplars and pistachio trees to the soothing sound of the rushing water (Melendiz River), and surrounded by a rich wildlife of lizards, frogs, butterflies, birds and sometimes eagles and other mammals like lambs and sheep.

There many cave churches in Ihlara Valley. Most of them display scenes dissimilar to the scenes depicted in other Cappadocian churches. In fact, they are reminiscent of the early churches of Syria and the Coptic churches of Egypt. The texts in Ihlara churches are unusually long.

The Ihlara Valley district has few fine cave hotels. Ihlara Valley Hotels are; Karvalli Hotel, Karamanli Konagi, Kapadokya Ihlara Konaklari, Osmanoglu Hotel, Mayaoglu Hotel, Asrav Konak, Catlak Hotel, Narligol Termal Hotel etc.

We Recommend  : Kairos Travel  |  Unlu Hotel | Captivating Cappadocia
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