Top things to do

Church in Ihlara Valley

Direkli Kilise

This cross-shaped church has four columns, with lovely partially preserved frescoes of saints. The large adjoining chamber originally had two storeys, as you can see from what's left of the steps and the holes in th…
Turkish in Ihlara Valley

Star Restaurant & Pension

Right beside the river, this friendly, family-run place has a wonderful shady terrace and is just the spot for lunch and chilling out with a beer after a hike. Local trout is the specialty, but there are also meaty …
Church in Ihlara Valley

Bahattın'ın Samanlığı Kilise

Sitting on Belisırma village's cliff face, next door to the Direkli Kilise, this tiny church contains defaced but still vivid frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Christ. It's named after a local who used to s…
Church in Ihlara Valley

Yılanlı Kilise

Many of the frescoes are damaged, but it's possible to make out the one outlining the punishments for sinners, especially the three-headed snake with a sinner in each mouth and the nipple-clamped women (ouch) who di…
Turkish in Ihlara Valley

Çatlağın Yeri Restaurant

Across the road from Selime's Ihlara Valley trailhead, this large riverside restaurant with friendly staff dishes up plenty of köfte (meatball), fresh local trout and güveç options. Camping is available on the groun…
Monastery in Ihlara Valley

Selime Monastery

The monastery at Selime is an astonishing rock-cut structure incorporating a vast kitchen with a soaring chimney, three churches, stables with rock-carved feed troughs and other evidence of the troglodyte lifestyle.
Turkish in Ihlara Valley

Tandırcı Restaurant & Camping

Tour groups often bypass this restaurant, leaving a mellow, shady spot and a chance of scoring a river platform for a lunch of local trout (₺15) or hiking fuel-up of meat güveç (₺20). Campsites are free.
Church in Ihlara Valley

Kırk Dam Altı Kilise

Although badly graffitied, the frescoes are still gloriously vibrant, and above the entrance you can see St George on a white horse, slaying a three-headed snake.
Turkish in Ihlara Valley

Belisırma Restaurant

Popular with tour groups, this place serves up standard trout and güveç (stewed meat) mains with friendly service. They also have free campsites.
Church in Ihlara Valley

Kokar Kilise

This church has some fabulous frescoes – the Nativity and the Crucifixion for starters – dating from the 9th and 11th centuries.