• Cappadocia Planet

IHLARA VALLEY / Green Canyon

Beside Mt. Hasan on the western Cappadocia, Ihlara Valley is where you can see a complete different formation of Cappadocian Valleys. The only one with a stream and cave dwellings of numerous monks, Ihlara is 14 km long canyon of 150 m. deep and 200 m. wide.

It lays from Ihlara Village to Belisırma and to Selime. Because of the steep slopes and the many pieces of stones crumbled, there're 4 entrances to the valley. The paths you may walk are 4 km, 3 km and 7 km. Mostly it's easy to walk but on some of the parts of the path is where you need to go up a little bit to the slopes and down again on the path all along the stream of Melendiz. But the first half is where we recommend to see because of the churches with well-preserved and some rarely of uniquely depicted frescoes such as a depiction of 'Judgement Day' in Serpent Church, 'Seljuk Sultan Mesut II' in St. George Church. Kokar Church, St. Daniel Church and the Jacint Church are worth to see, too.

Besides the caves of the canyon as churches and cave dwellings, Ihlara offers you a piece of natural treasure. While you see the nearby area of the valley as a huge but barren plateu, you can see the valley as an oasis. All the poplar, silverberry, wild pistachio trees are all along it. Even in spring, asparagus grows in the valley. All these are thanks to the microclimate of the canyon. Possibly, that's why it seemed like a good idea to live in the valley.

Only, we recommed a day to visit the valley because the walking path is long and it's far from the towns like Göreme in central Cappadocia (1 hour drive). Including the visit to Selime Cathedral that is a cave monastery complex carved into the hill at the end of the valley, it would be better to spare a day in the valley.

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