The Ihlara Valley is an incredible gorge with a stunning river running right down the heart of the valley for 16km within the volcanic rock. It is near the province of Aksaray but still considered part of the southern Cappadocia region. It’s a great spot for a relatively easy walk amidst some peaceful, leafy nature as well as being a hub for cave churches, of which you will find many along the trail.
The Ihlara Valley is mostly comprised of the section running from Selime to Ihlara Village. Along the route, you will come across lots of churches. 16 of the 105 churches are open to visitors and there in intact paintings and carvings inside.
For a few hours, you can forget you are out in the dry, desert and experience the sounds of the forest as you walk beneath tree arches, clamber over boulders and stroll through the grassy openings. Wildflowers of all colors paint the sides of the path and lead your eyes off the trail and toward the towering cliffs on either side of the gorge. There’s even a waterfall you can swim in, which is why it makes it one of the top ten things to do in Cappadocia.
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