10-11-2022 - Places

Everything About Ihlara Valley

Ihlara Valley, which can be mistakenly written as Ilhara Valley, is a canyon with a depth of around 120 meters and was created by the Melendiz River thousands of years ago. 

To enjoy this amazing natural beauty, Cappadocia Travel Pass offers you a 7 hours long exceptional FREE tour! There are many more to see in Cappadocia, here check out 25+ FREE attractions!

Where is Ihlara valley?

Ihlara Valley has located 40km from the city of Aksaray, 7km from Guzelyurt, and 85km from Goreme. It is a historic valley that is one of the most beautiful must-see natural spots in Turkey. The valley is a result of volcanic activities from thousands of years ago.

Ihlara Valley holds a significant position in history and landscape among all the canyons in the world. It has a length of 14km, with a depth reaching up to 120 meters. Historically the valley is one of the biggest canyons in the world where people have actually lived.

About Ihlara Valley

Ihlara Valley has become one of the most important cultural centers of the world. With hundreds of churches, shelters, and fairy chimneys to discover, you encounter some truly beautiful sights. The water flows through the middle of a steep valley as the wind comes and goes. In order to observe some of these natural beauties, visitors must walk around 380 steps of some fantastical stairs.

These stairs are well-known even to people who have never visited the Ihlara Valley. The stairs, which have exactly 380 steps, are both fun and challenging to ascend. Those who do not have a specific breathing condition can climb the steps, which are not particularly steep, by taking brief breaks. In the first step, the breathtaking view that the area offers its guests starts to attract the viewer's attention. You notice a shift in the local weather as you descend.

As you make your way around you will discover many carvings, chimneys, churches, and monasteries belonging to the civilizations that took place there in the past. The Ağaçaltı Church, where the stairs come to a finish, attracts both domestic and foreign visitors.

Tourists from all over the world are not only attracted to these natural creations but also to the magnificence that surrounds the area. A visit to the Ihlara Valley is highly recommended. When taking a tourist trip through the Ihlara Valley, look for the barracks built on the Melendiz Stream. The houses, which are pleasant places to relax, have a snack, and drink, are also essential for photographers to capture their lovely journey in photographs.

Formation of the Ihlara Valley

The surface of Hasan Mountain, a volcanic mountain, has been affected by tectonic processes and erupting volcanoes. The region's structure has undergone significant structural changes as a result of spring water coming from the nearby Ziga Thermal Springs. Fairy Chimneys were created by the rocks that shifted as a result of tectonic activity, and a vast valley was created by the area that collapsed. Natural occurrences play a role in the construction of the valley, whose depth eventually reaches 120 meters.

The Ihlara Valley takes on its current shape over time, with a depth that can reach up to 120 meters at some locations, as a result of the impact of floods, natural occurrences, and high winds that occur in the area today. The primary source of life in this region is the Melendiz River, which forms and sustains the Ihlara Valley. ,

The valley is one of the most significant sites of culture and civilization in the globe thanks to the hundreds of churches and other rock-carved structures that have been chiseled out of the nearby, easily accessible rocks. A surprising fact about the valley is, in contrast to the continental climate in the area, the valley floor shows a climate type similar to the Mediterranean climate. It has a microclimate area and with this feature, it is similar to Iğdır and Rize in our nation. At the bottom of the valley, many plants, particularly pistachios, can develop without difficulty. All we need to do is take in the breathtaking scenery provided by mother nature, go for walks in the legendary environment, and breathe in the breezy air.

Churches in Ihlara Valley

The natural and well-protected formation and state of the valley make it one of the most important Christian centers of the world. Since the 4th century, it’s been a significant monastery center including many churches and the arts. The major point about the churches is that it’s not entirely known when they were built. Hence, it holds a major prominence for people like researchers and archeologists around the world.

The churches can be visited every day of the week. There are around 104 churches yet 14 can be visited by the public. The churches that can be visited are Agacalti Church, Sumbullu Church, Yilanli Church, Kokar Church, Prenliseki Church, Egritas Church, Direkli Church, Saint George's Church, Karagedik Church, Ala Church, Bezirhane Church, Bahattin Samanligi Church, and Batkin Church.

How to get to the Ihlara Valley

You can certainly take your private car to the valley; as it will be around 1.5-2 hours if you are coming to visit from Cappadocia. You can also take advantage of the daily tours offered FREE with your Cappadocia Travel Pass®. Going on a tour will allow you to see and hear about all the special spots of the valley, and it’s highly recommended especially if you did not come with your own vehicle.

What to wear

Make sure to check the weather and bring your raincoat and umbrella; light or warm clothes accordingly. Wear outdoor shoes.



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