Sunday, February 11, 2024

Ihlara Valley

Ihlara Valley

Ihlara Valley (often misspelled as Ihlara Valley), near Mount Hasan and Mount Melendiz (two of the three volcanoes of Cappadocia) is a canyon with a depth of approximately 100m and was formed by the Melendiz River thousands of years ago. It begins at Ihlara old village and ends with Selime Monastery at Selime village after making 26 bends along 14 kilometers. 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 Old 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 local 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 Old Village until Belisirma Village where you can see most of the churches and natural beauty.

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