Central Anatolia

Just before WWI, British traveller Gertrude Bell travelled 42km northwest of the town of Karaman and recorded the existence of a cluster of Byzantine churches set high on a lonely hillside. Later Irfan Orga came here in search of the last remaining nomads, a journey recorded in his book The Caravan Moves On. There are no nomads these days, but four families live around the ruins of the roofless basilicas in the hamlet of Üçkuyu, where most of the remains are.

There are regular bus services from Konya to Karaman. From Karaman, there's no public transport to Binbirkilise. Either hire a car from Konya or take a taxi from Karaman. Taxis at Karaman otogar charge around ₺200 for the return trip; the drivers know where most of the churches are.

If you're driving, take the Karapınar road (signposted for Binbirkilise) out of Karaman and follow the signs as you head up into the hills. The first sizeable ruin pops up in the village of Madenşehir, 36km north, after which the road becomes more pot-holed as it twists up the mountain to Üçkuyu. There are fantastic views all along the road, which is just as well, as you'll have to come back the same way.

If you want to stay nearby, the nearest place to Binbirkilise with accommodation is Karaman. The Nadir Otel is a comfortable, friendly choice in the centre of town.

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23.33 MILES

Rising 20m above the surrounding flat Konya plains, the East Mound at Çatalhöyük is one of the most important, and largest, Neolithic settlements on earth…