Ihlara Valley

Ihlara Valley

During the 3rd and 4th centuries, the Ihlara Valley served as a religious hub for Christianity. Its natural protection allowed early Christians to establish themselves in the valley and turn it into an ancient monastic settlement. Over time, many churches were built and adorned with frescoes and paintings, making the valley a significant site for historians and archaeologists.

The churches built on the slopes of Melendiz Stream feature one or two naves carved into rocks, with a Greek cross plan, and are believed to have been founded by known figures. The positioning of these churches on both sides of the stream creates a picturesque view for visitors.

Ihlara Valley

The secluded nature of the Ihlara Valley has always been an attraction for hermits and priests, who sought solitude in the peaceful environment. As Christianity spread among people who spoke different languages, frescoes depicting the life of Jesus Christ were painted on the walls of churches to help communicate the story to illiterate people.

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

Located approximately 100 kilometers away from Goreme, Ihlara Valley is a beautiful destination that takes about 1.5 hours to reach by car. Tourists can enter the valley through four different entrances, namely Ihlara town entrance, main entrance, Belisirma Village, and Selime Village. If you start from Ihlara Town entrance, you will see Purenli Seki, Kokar, and Agacalti Churches before reaching the second main entrance, which attracts many tourists. If you take a left turn from Sumbullu Church or Kırkdamaltı Church, you will reach Belisirma Village, where there are numerous restaurants to choose from.

The distance between the first and second entrances is 4 kilometers, and it is another 3 kilometers to reach Belisirma Village. If you continue walking from Belisirma for 7 more kilometers, you will eventually reach Selime Monastery and Village, which tourists can visit for free with proof of their Ihlara Valley entrance ticket purchase.

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

The entrance fee for Ihlara Valley is 200 Turkish Lira per person, which also includes access to Selime Monastery. The GPS coordinates for the beginning of the valley are 38°14'36.2″N 34°18'29.6″E.

We offer Small Group Classical Green tour with lunch for 70 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.