"Ilhara Valley" Ihlara by TomorrowsAngel

Ihlara Travel Guide: 19 reviews and 60 photos

Ihlara Valley is an impressive canyon, 14km long and up to 110m tall, formed over millions of years, helped by the Melendiz River. It starts in Ihlara (Yebilyurt) village, and ends in Selime village.
There are an estimated 150 churches and several monasteries in the canyon between the two villages. Byzantine rock chapels covered with frescoes pierce the canyon walls. Some of the best known are the Agacalti (Daniel) Church, the Yilanli (Apocalypse) Church and the SumbulIu (Hyacinth) Church.

A walk through the tranquil 14 km gorge is a delight. The dappled light under poplars and wild olive trees as well as the constant murmur of the water provide relief from an unrelenting sun and the monotony of endless wheat fields that make up the Cappadocian landscape. Near villages, the river continues to be the focus of village life: women wash their laundry amid chatter and laughter, children splash nearby and shepherds bring their animals for a drink.

For the adventurous, the entire length of the Ihlara Valley is a wonderful place for exploration. The children know the hidden entryways and they offer some of the most incredible 'tours' to be found in Cappadocia as they share their extraordinary playground, scampering up tracks through the rocks to a labyrinth of caves and tunnels that open to unexpected hideaways.

  • Last visit to Ihlara: Apr 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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