Ihlara Valley

Ihlara Valley

Between the 3rd and 4th centuries, the Ihlara Valley served as a religious center for Christianity. Early Christians often used the natural protection to establish themselves in the valley. The place became an ancient monastic settlement where many churches were decorated with frescoes and paintings during different periods of time.

The churches of which the founder is known are highly significant for historians and archaeologists since the construction dates can be determined with greater certainty. The churches with one or two naves carved into rocks and a Greek cross plan that were built on the slopes of Melendiz Stream all line up along both sides.

Ihlara Valley

Since its natural features provide solitude, the Ihlara Valley has been a popular destination for hermits and priests from 4th century on. Christianity had spread among people from different languages as literacy was low and Latin unpopularity made proselytizing difficult. To communicate the story of Jesus Christ to those who spoke differently, church walls were decorated with frescoes depicting events in his life.

In the painted churches such as the Sümbüllü (Hyacinth), Yılanlı (Serpent), Kokar (Fragrant), Ağaçaltı (Beneath-a-Tree), Pürenliseki (Platform), Eğritaş (Crooked Stone), Kırkdamaltı (St. George) and Bahattin Samanlığı (Bahattin's Granary), scenes of the Birth of Jesus, Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Visitation, Flight into Egypt and the Last Supper can be seen.

Ihlara valley is about 100 kilometers from Goreme, which takes roughly 1.5 hours. There are four different entrances to the valley: Ihlara town entrance, main entrance, Belisirma Village and Selime Village. If you start from Ihlara Town entrance, it takes you through Purenli Seki, Kokar and Agacalti Churhes before joining you to the second main entrance with many tourists to see as well. If you walk left from there at Sumbullu church or Kırkdamaltı Church then reach Belisirma Village where numerous restaurants await your visit.

The distance between the first and second entrance is 4 kilometers and another 3 kilometers to reach Belisirma Village. If you walk from Belisirma for 7 more kilometers, you will eventually arrive at Selime Monastery and Village. Tourists can visit the monastery for free of charge with proof of Ihlara Valley entrance ticket purchase.

One of the biggest challenges is getting to your car after arriving. You can get some help from the officers in Selime or hire a private driver for €100 that will drop you off at the beginning of the valley and pick you up at the end and drive you back to your hotel.

There is an entrance fee of 55 Turkish Lira per person for Ihlara Valley with which you can enter Selime Monastery as well. The GPS Coordinates of the beginning of the valley is 38°14'36.2″N 34°18'29.6″E.

We offer Small Group Classical Green tour with lunch for 45 Euro per person including professionally licensed English speaking guide, entrance ticket and transportation and lunch. We also have Private Green Cappadocia Tour visiting Ihlara Valley.