Welcome to Ihlara Valley


Following the Melendiz River – hemmed in by jagged cliffs – as it snakes between painted churches, piles of boulders and a sea of greenery ringing with birdsong and croaking frogs, is an unforgettable experience. The best times to visit are midweek in May (when spring blossoms abound) or September, when fewer people are about.


Top experiences in Ihlara Valley

Travel guides

Starting at $36.39

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Ihlara Valley activities

$401.40 Multi-day & Extended Tours

2 Day Cappadocia Tour from Istanbul

A 2-day Cappadocia Turkey tour for both Northern and Southern parts of Cappadocia with an optional choice of Hot Air Balloon (at own expense), as well as with English or Spanish speaking guides, lunch, transportation and all entrance fees. Round trip aiport transfers in Cappadocia mentioned in the itinerary. Round trip airport transfers in Istanbul mentioned in the itinerary. Accommodation at Cave Boutique Hotel in Goreme town with open buffet breakfast. Round trip flight tickets with all taxes. All meals mentioned by the itinerary (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner) 1 Day Small Group tour (max 15 pax)  with Guide, Lunch, transportation and all entrance fees. Day 1: Istanbul-Cappadocia Flight and and Southern Cappadocia day tour (L)Early morning pick up from your hotel and transfer to  airport  for one hour flight to Cappadocia. Upon arrival to Cappadocia you will be welcomed at the airport with your name and transferred to the office in Goreme town. At 9:30am, depart for a daily South Cappadocia tour (Green Tour). You will see, Pigeon Valley, the Underground City of Derinkuyu then you will continue a walk to the Ihlara Valley and Glenn grave along the countryside. Amazing crags settling date back to Christian times, Then Selime Monastery and some any different areas in the region.At the end of this tour, you will be transferred to Cave Boutique hotel.Day 2:  Northern Cappadocia tour and Flight from Cappadocia-Istanbul (B, L)Hot air balloon ride between 5am to 8am is optional and recommended (at own expense). 09:30 Pick up from the hotel after breakfast and departure for Northern Cappadocia day tour.You will see Üçhisar Castle, Göreme Open Air Museum, Devrent Valley with its animal and fairytale as rock creations, the old towns of Ürgüp and Avanos known for its red clay pottery. By the end of the tour transfer to hotel. Pick up from hotel and transfer to airport according to flight time and flight from Cappadocia to Istanbul, Upon arrival to Istanbul, and we will meet you in airport with your name and transfer back to your hotel.

$871.62 Multi-day & Extended Tours

4 Day Turkey Tour: Cappadocia, Ephesus and Pamukkale

Day 1: Istanbul to Cappadocia Flight and Daily South (Green) Cappadocia Tour (L)At 5AM you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for one hour flight to Cappadocia at 7AM. Upon arrival in Cappadocia, you will be met at the airport with your name and transferred to the office in Goreme Town. 09:30AM you will depart for a full day South Cappadocia Tour which is called Green Tour as well. On that day you will see: Pidgeon Valley, the Underground City of Derinkuyu after keep going on to the Ihlara Valley, Glenn grave along the countryside. Also amazing crag settling date back to Christian times. Then Selime Monastery and some any different areas in this region. At the end of the tour you will be transfer back to the hotel.Day 2: Flight from Cappadocia to Izmir (B,L)Here, an optional Hot Air Balloon Ride is highly recommended between 5AM to 8AM. Pick up from the hotel and transfer to airport according to flight time, one hour flight to Izmir, Upon arrival to Izmir we will meet you at the airport with your name and transfer to hotel in Selçyuk or Kuşadasi, 4 Star quality and best location Boutique hotel.Day 3: Daily Pamukkale and Hierapolis Ancient City Tour and Transfer to Kusadasi (B,L)At 8AM there is a pick up from the hotel after your breakfast and departure for a full day Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour. On that day you will see: Old Gates, Cemetery and theater of Hierapolis (James Bond film shoot), the calcified pools (one of the famous one Cleopatra Pool) and waterfall known as Travertines, you may swim at the Cleopatra pool beyond the ancient ruins. At the end of the tour you will be transfer back to the hotel.Day 4: Daily Ephesus Tour and Flight Back to Istanbul (B,L)On your last day at 9AM there will be a pick up from the hotel after breakfast and a departure for a Full Day Ephesus Tour. On that day you will see: Temple of Artemis (one of the 7 Ancient Wonders of the World), one of the biggest Amphitheater, the Celsius Library which is still alive, a lot of amazing ruins left from an ancient city, House of the Virgin Mary, her last dwelling. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped to the airport for one-hour flight back to Istanbul. Upon arriving in Istanbul, and again you will be met at the Istanbul Airport and transferred to your hotel where this wonderful and memorable journey has started.

$57.69 Day Trips & Excursions

Ihlara Valley Tour from Cappadocia: Derinkuyu Underground City, Selime Monastery and Yaprakhisar

Leave your Cappadocia hotel and travel by air-conditioned coach to Derinkuyu Underground City -- the deepest of the region’s intriguing subterranean cities. Carved by Turkey’s prehistoric Troglodytes, this incredible underground world contains courtyards, stables, churches and wineries all intertwined in an extensive network of tunnels. Explore underground with your guide and see where ancient civilizations once worked, slept and worshipped. Near Derinkuyu is Ihlara Valley – a 10-mile (16km) gorge that was formed thousands of years ago from a volcanic eruption. The valley is a popular route for hikers who come to be at one with nature and see its rock-carved churches scattered along its path. Rather than walking the full length of the gorge, enjoy its beauty from the comfort of your coach as you follow it along Melendiz River. Stop for lunch on the way and relax before your tour continues.At the northern edge of the gorge is Selime Monastery, so stop here to explore. This fascinating complex was carved into the rock face by monks in the 13th century and comprises a church, kitchen and stables with feeding troughs. Wander around the secret passageways and peer out of its open ‘tunnel’ windows for panoramic views over the valley.Before returning to your hotel, enjoy a final stop at the cave village of Yaprakhisar, nested into the Ihlara Valley canyon, to see the legendary Yaprakhisar panorama. Several scenes from the Star Wars movies were filmed here and the viewpoint boasts unforgettable views of the cave village, Selime Monastery and countless fairy chimneys.

$74.55 Tours & Sightseeing

Small Group: Cappadocia Green Full Day City Tour

(Optional: Pre-sunrise Cappadocia hot air balloon tour. 6am – 8:30am) Pick up from your hotel at 9:45am. Start the tour with a spectacular view over Göreme from Esentepe. See the panaromic view of Göreme valley and village with its fairy chimneys, rock formations and cave houses. Journey to Derinkuyu Underground City, one of the best preserved and deepest underground cities in Cappadocia. Discover the unique rooms found in an underground city such as stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, churches and wineries. Visit the second floor that housed the missionary school and study rooms Travel to the Ihlara Valley. Look at over one hundred rock carved churches and houses that line the gorge. Walk along the river in the valley. Explore the hidden churches. Relax by the river at Belisirma Village where lunch is served. Following lunch continue on to the Selime Monastery. Visit this 13th century monastery carved out of the rock by Christian monks. Stop at Yaprakhisar Panorama for a great photo opporturnity of Selime Monastery featured in the 'Star Wars' films. The last stop; jewellery store (it is up tou guest's requirement) Return to your hotel at the conclusion of the tour around 4:30pm.

$338.33 Multi-day & Extended Tours

2-Day Cappadocia with Sultan Cave Suites from Istanbul

Day 1: 5.15 am Pickup from your Istanbul hotel and transfer to Istanbul airport. You will receive your PNR code after reservation.  You will be met at the Cappadocia airport with your name written on a paper.  Red tour:Start the day visiting Devrent Valley, also known as “Imagination Valley”, this is the most surreal-looking landscape. Your next stop will be Pashabagi also called the Monks Valley because Christian hermits chose to locate hermit cells and churches in these three-headed pinnacles symbolic of the Holy Trinity, it is possible to see all the stages in the formation of fairy chimneys at this spot. Proceed to Avanos the pottery centre of Cappadocia, this village is set on the banks of the Red River. You will have lunch in a local restaurant before continuing to Goreme Open Air Museum. The world’s most important Byzantine cave churches are found in these once remote valleys where monks and nuns pursued monastic life from the 3rd century on. Here you can see the best preserved Byzantine cave wall paintings and frescos from the Iconoclastic period through to the end of Seljuk rule.Panoramic view point Esentepe. With a spectacular view over Goreme, see the complete view of Goreme valley and Goreme village: fairy chimneys, rock formations and cave houses. End your day with Uchisar Castle. This tall rock, the highest point of the Goreme region.After the tour, Transfer to your hotel and overnight stay in Sultan Cave Suites Hotel. Day 2:(Optional: Pre-sunrise hot-air balloon flight. Hotel pickup: around 06:30 during winter and 04:30 during summer)Blue tour:After pickup from your hotel at 9.45am, hike along the Red and Rose Valley, the most breathtakingly and mysteriously beautiful valleys in the region. Conclude your hike at the Cavusin Cave Village. Marvel at the rock castle and troglodyte dwellings where people lived until the 20th century. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant.Descend towards the center of the earth with a trip to the Underground City of Kaymakli, one of the largest and deepest of Cappadocia’s many such settlements. Discover this underground city and its stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, churches, and wineries.Visit the Pigeon Valley. See spectacular view of dovecotes (pigeon or dove houses), old abandoned cave homes and old Greek houses of Uchisar and Ortshisar Castle, the biggest mass of fairy chimneys in Cappadocia. There is also an optional pre-sunrise hot air balloon tour for those who want to see sights from the air.(6 pm) Check out of your hotel and then finish your package with a transfer to Kayseri Airport or another Cappadocia hotel.

$240.84 Multi-day & Extended Tours

3-Day Highlights of Cappadocia Tour

Day 1: Pick up from Kayseri or Nevsehir Airport and transfer to Hotel (Accommodation: 4-star hotel or standard cave hotel) Day 2: Pick up from hotel and Full-day Cappadocia Tour (B, L) *Goreme Panorama: View the landscape of Cappadocia And Goreme National Park from this panoramic point. *Uchisar Cave Houses: We enter one of the cave houses which is still being used as a cafeteria and offer you an apple tea. Here you will witness how the cave house could be spacious and charming with a stable temperature around 12 Degree Celcius. Cave house of Cappaodcia does not need A/C. It is cooler than outside in summer and warmer in winter. *Pigeon Valley Photo stop (We view the valley which is full of dove-cote and if we are lucky some of the pigeons may be visible there). *Goreme Open Air Museum: Goreme Open Air Musuem has a lot of rock cut churches and monasteries and once it was housing around 300 monks and nuns. Here was a school where they studied the Christianity and stayed at the troglodytes. We visit the rock-cut churches and monasteries with beautiful frescoes painted around 9-12 C AD. *Pasabagi: The fairy-chimneys valley. The mushroom shaped natural rock formations of Cappadocia were named fairy chimneys by locals of Cappadocia. *Avanos: The pottery town of Cappadocia, Avanos has been a handcraft town since 1600 BC, The Hittites Era. The kick wheel of the pottery was invented here and in recent centuries Avanos became a tile production town. *Dervent Valley: A photo stop to see seating stone camel. *Urgup Fairy-Chimneys: They are called the family fairy-chimneys because they are five altogether, grandfather, grandmother, the parents, and the child. *Rose Valley and Swords Valley: We watch the sunset in the valley with a little wine party. (Accommodation: 4-star hotel or standard cave hotel) Day 3: Pick-up and continue Cappadocia Tour including Ihlara valley. (B, L) * Ihlara Valley: Ihlara is a 14 km long , 150 meters deep canyon and has around 4000 manmade caves and 100 rock-cut churches and chapels . Here we walk 3 Km and visit some of the churches of Ihlara such as Agacalti church, Sumbullu church, Snake church. * Lunch in Belisirma Village in middle of Ihlara valley. * Selime Monastery: The biggest rock-cut monastery in Cappadocia, which is carved into a cliff . The scenery here is so unusual. It was used in the background for some parts of the Stars Wars Movie. * Derinkuyu Underground City (optional to visit): Among several underground cities of Cappadocia, Derinkuyu is the biggest one in Cappadocia and was used as shelter in the dangerous times like the other underground cities of Cappadocia. * Transfer to Airport (Kayseri or Nevsehir) (Note: Hotels in Cappadocia - Dinler Hotel, Nevsehir, Sos Cave Hotel, Gedik Cave Hotel.)

Ihlara Valley in detail