Ihlara Valley

Ihlara Valley

A visit to this famous Canyon is a full day’s tour in itself which demands your undivided attention! The charming village of Guzelyurt is the first stop on the way into Ihlara. This village is a harmony of culture, history and architecture. A view point at the far side of town, above the 1,600-year-old Sivisli Church, offers sights of a lush and living gorge: troglodyte caves, Selcuk arches, and Ottoman facades.


The beauty of Ihlara Valley is astonishing and the impressive ravine boasts the deepest gorge in Asia Minor. The cave churches here were home to Christian monks who conducted services and offered Christian teachings to the local community. Most of the churches are beautifully decorated inside with ancient religious frescoes.


The Valley of Ihlara is blessed with the Melendiz River which flows through the valley and the old village of Ihlara creating an oasis of flourishing greenery with stunning shades of greens and blues. There is a fabulous riverside restaurant with fresh local food prepared and cooked in Turkish style for a relaxing lunch.


The full length of Ihlara Canyon is 14 km but there are various hikes offered: 3.5 km walk from the main gate to Belisirma Village; a 7 km hike from the beginning of the valley to Belisirma; and the full hike of 14 km along the river side right up to the Selime Monastery.




This 13 km hike is one of the most popular amongst our day treks. It is generally an easy walk, following the river; there are some short parts where we have to scramble on rocks.


Starting at morning after breakfast at the hotel, we pick up for the tour; our car takes us to Ihlara town centre (1.15 hours). After a short tea break, we walk about 3.5 hours and en route visit three rock-cut churches.


After a late lunch at around 13.30, we continue walking by the river down to Selime town, and the walk ends nearby Selime Monastery. After visiting the monastery and climbing the 300 steps up the passages, at the end we drive to hotel.