The Valley of Ihlara

The Valley of Ihlara cappadocia The Valley of Ihlara Turkey
The Valley of Ihlara
 Approximately twelve kilometers from Aksaray on the road to Nevsehir-Göreme, a large signpost indicates the deviation to Ihlara, 35 kilometers inland. The good asphalt road traverses half a dozen charming villages still unspoiled by mass tourism. Gücünkaya, Göztük, Selime, Yaprakhisar and Ziga Hamami (this latter one with sulphorous hot spings), all have something interesting to offer for the photographing or filming traveler. Each village has its troglodyte colony and in some places the road actually passes beneath the overhanging remains of a rock-cut dwelling or church.

The Valley of Ihlara is a long, deep and rugged canyon with the Melendiz stream flowing along its entire length. Accessible from the official entrance by means of long flights of stairs with terraces and benches at regular intervals to accommodate elderly people. With its scenic beauty, historical and artistic past, the first impression of Ihlara is a sensation of immense tranquility. It must have been a peaceful region even during the most turbulent epochs of Cappadocia’s past, because it lies far from ancient caravan routes, which the ravaging foreign armies had usually followed.

There are 4000 counted caves and 105 accessible churches and chapels in the valley between the villages of Belisarma and Ihlara located on either side of the Melendiz stream.

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