"The Ihlara Valley" Ihlara by acemj
Ihlara Travel Guide: 19 reviews and 60 photos
The Ihlara Valley is a beautiful gorge that cuts through cliffs that comprise the 8th largest canyon in the world at the southern end of Cappadocia about 45 kilometers southeast of Aksaray. Melendiz Suyu, the river winds its way down the valley floor adds to the overall atmosphere with the sound of the cold water running downstream about 16 kilometers from Selime to Ihlara (I walked the opposite way upriver).
The valley was once a popular retreat for monks in the area and evidence of its religious history is scattered along the edges of the river in the form of dozens of churches that were carved into the soft cliffs. You're also likely to be accompanied by birds and some other small wildlife that seem to enjoy the sound of the stream and the peaceful environment here.
There are four entry points to the valley, but the most popular is the main parking lot between Ihlara and Belisirma, which offers hikers a respectable 2 to 3 hour trek that includes the majority of the churches in the canyon.
I came here with a small tour group, but it's possible to reach the valley from Aksaray. There are four minibuses per day that come through Selime and arrive in Ihlara.
At an altitude of 3253 meters, Mount Hasan can easily seen from various points south of Aksary as you approach the... more travel advice
Belisirma is undoubtedly the best place along the valley to stop for a bite to eat as there are four restaurants right... more travel advice
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