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Ihlara Valley

Ihlara Valley: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Istanbul: Cappadocia Highlights 2-Day Tour with Balloon

1. From Istanbul: Cappadocia Highlights 2-Day Tour with Balloon

Discover Cappadocia on a 2-day tour from Istanbul that includes round-trip flights and an overnight stay at a boutique hotel. Detailed Itinerary Day 1 3:45 AM Pick-up at your Istanbul hotel and transfer to the airport 7:10 AM Depart Istanbul Airport for Cappadocia 8:40 AM Arrival at Kayseri or Nevşehir airport and transfer to Cappadocia hotel 9:30 AM Tour of Cappadocia that includes the Uçhisar Castle viewpoint, Göreme Open Air Museum, Cavusin old village, lunch in Avonos, a pottery demonstration in Avanos, Paşabağı fairy chimneys, Devrent Valley, Urgup fairy chimneys and an Urgup carpet factory Overnight at your boutique hotel in Cappadocia. Day 2 3:45 AM Pick-up at your Cappadocia hotel for hot-air balloon tour 8:00 AM Return to hotel 9:15 AM Pick-up at your hotel for the tour 9:30 AM Tour begins with a panoramic view of Göreme and visit to Derinkuyu Underground City, constructed as a temporary shelter against invasions and raids. Enjoy a short hike in the Ihlara Valley, followed by a lunch break in Belisirma village. See Selime Monastry from the Yaprakhisar viewpoint before ending with a visit to the Pigeon Valley and an onyx demonstration 8:25 PM Depart Kayseri Airport for Istanbul 9:55 PM Arrival in Istanbul and transfer to your hotel

Cappadocia: Green Tour in the Ihlara Valley

2. Cappadocia: Green Tour in the Ihlara Valley

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel and get a panoramic view of Göreme en route to Derinkuyu Underground City. Marvel at the subterranean city, used by the Romans to shelter against invasions by the Arabs. Get explanations about the area's deepest underground city before moving on to the Ihlara Canyon, formed by volcanic activity from Mount Hasan and erosion by the Melendiz River. Learn how early Christians carved churches from the rock on a 3.5-kilometer hike through the Ihlara Valley, and pause for lunch at a riverside restaurant. Next, visit the rock-carved Selime Monastery and learn about monastic life in Cappadocia. Continue to Pigeon Valley to learn how the locals have used pigeon eggs and droppings for different purposes and why they carved pigeon houses on the slopes of the valley. End with a visit to an onyx factory in Uçhisar and watch a demonstration about how volcanic stone is shaped by a master craftsman.

Cappadocia: Ihlara and Underground City Tour with Lunch

3. Cappadocia: Ihlara and Underground City Tour with Lunch

Visit sights in Derinkuyu, the Ihlara Valley, Belisırma, and Göreme, all on this guided multi-stop trip in Cappadocia. Take in the fresh air on a hike, try Turkish cuisine during lunch, and explore the Selime Monastery. Take advantage of included entry fees and round-trip transportation. After pickup, your first stop is Derinkuyu, the biggest underground city of Cappadocia. It goes to a depth of 85 meters and has several floors. Here, see a variety of rooms: storage rooms, cellars, stables, refectories, churches, wineries, and more. Vertical staircases provide access to the third and fourth floors, leading to the cruciform church on the lower floor. A ventilation shaft 55-meters deep was also used as a well. Although Derinkuyu Underground City was opened to visitors in 1965, only 10% of the city can be visited to this day. Then, trek through the scenic Ihlara Valley. The early Christians built their houses and temples carved into the rock, carving tuffs in the Ihlara Valley, along the Melendiz River. After trekking through the Ihlara Valley, get ready for a good lunch in Belisırma, featuring a mix of Turkish and Western cuisine with a dessert. With full stomachs, stop at the outskirts of Göreme, which opens up the Pigeon Valley with age-old rock-cut dovecotes. Next, head to the Selime Monastery to witness the huge kitchen and the high chimney. The center of the structure carved into the rock is the church, surrounded by a gallery and stables with feeders and many other remnants of the Middle Ages. The final destination will be Göreme Esentepe. Here you will see solidified lava flows dating back to the Neocene period. It formed an incredible landscape of tuff and ash in Göreme. Thousands of years of erosion have left visitors a real miracle of nature to see. 

From Istanbul: 4-Day Small Group Istanbul & Cappadocia Tour

4. From Istanbul: 4-Day Small Group Istanbul & Cappadocia Tour

Your guide will meet you at your hotel between 08:00 and 08:30. Visit the Istanbul old city area which includes Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar and Topkapi Palace. Have lunch during the tour. The average duration of this tour is 8-hours. At the end of the tour, your guide will leave you back at your hotel. On the second day, your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby between 08:00 and 08:30. During this tour, you will visit the Golden Horn, the old city walls of Istanbul, the Spice Market and Dolmabahce Palace or Chora Museum. There will be a lunch stop during the tour. The tour will end at around 17:00. Please do not forget to take your luggage in the morning. After the tour, you will be transferred to airport for your flight to Cappadocia. Once you arrive in Cappadocia, you will have organized transfer from the airport to your hotel.  On your third day, your guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel at around 09:00. You will enjoy a tour of southern Cappadocia, also known as the Green Tour, which will include the following sites: Derinkuyu Underground City (the largest underground city in the area with 7 floors 85 meters deep; not recommended for claustrophobic guests) and Ihlara Valley (1.5-hour trekking). Have a lunch stop in the village of Bellisirma. Afterwards, you will visit Piegon Valley (panoramic visit), Selime Monastery and Esentepe (panoramic view). After the tour, you will be dropped back off at your hotel. On the fourth and last day, your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby at around 09:00 and take you on a tour of northern Cappadocia, known as the Red Tour, to Rose Valley, Goreme Open Air Museum (important early Christianity center), Monks Valley, Cavusin village (one of the oldest settlements in the area), Avanos village (with stop at a traditional pottery workshop), Uchisar Castle and Dervent Valley. The average tour duration will be 8-hours. After the tour, you will be transferred back to the airport for your return flight to Istanbul.

From Kayseri: 2-Day Tour of Cappadocia with Balloon Flight

5. From Kayseri: 2-Day Tour of Cappadocia with Balloon Flight

Day 1 After meeting at Kayseri airport in the morning, you will drive for approximately one hour to Cappadocia. Your tour will start with a panoramic view of Göreme, where you can marvel at the hoodoos, also known as fairy chimneys. The second destination is Derinkuyu, an 3,500 year old underground city where you will have the chance to descend 8 floors. After, you will head to Ihlara Valley where you will hike around 3.5 km and then enjoy lunch in a nearby village. After lunch the next stop will be Yaprakhisar, here you can view conical shapes similar to those in the Star Wars Movie. Next, you will be taken to Selime Monastery where you will have the opportunity to learn about what life was like in the monastery before heading to view Pigeon Valley. At the end of the tour, you will visit the Onyx Factory, a volcanic stone workshop. Your tour will finish at 5:30 PM and you will be dropped at your hotel. Day 2 On your second day in Cappadocia, you will have the option to join a 6:00 AM hot air balloon tour. After getting picked up from your hotel at 9:15 AM, your first stop will be Uçhisar Castle where you will learn about the history of Cappadocia. The next and the most important stop is Göreme Open Air Museum where you will learn about the influence of the religion Christianity. After this stop, discover the Çavuşin Old Village and Paşabağı and then enjoy an open buffet lunch at Han restaurant in Avanos. After Lunch, experience a pottery demonstration before visiting Devrent Valley, also known as Imagination Valley. Discover the hoodoos in Devrent Valley, some of which resemble animals and one the hat of Napoleon Bonaparte. Enjoy the most beautiful and breathtaking hoodoos in Cappadocia, Three Beauties of Ürgüp. At the end of the tour visit Carpet Factory where you can find hand-made Anatolian carpets. Your tour will finish at 5:30 PM and you are able to be dropped off at Kayseri or Nevşehir airport.

Cappadocia: Ihlara Valley & Derinkuyu Underground City Tour

6. Cappadocia: Ihlara Valley & Derinkuyu Underground City Tour

After your guide’s introduction to Cappadocia at the Goreme panoramic viewpoint, you will drive 1 hour to discover the most spectacular gorge in Turkey, Ihlara. Take a peaceful 6km hike through the Ihlara Valley where you will see the Melendiz River. Pass Byzantine rock chapels decorated with frescoes and have lunch in a riverside restaurant in the Belisirma village. After lunch, you will see the biggest rock-cut monastery of Cappadocia, Selime Monastery and Cathedral. Then, head underground where the magnificent city of Derinkuyu lies. One of the biggest settlements in Cappadocia, this 8-story underground city is the deepest of the region. Explore the caves of this city as your guide informs you of its fascinating history. Starting at 9.30am, you will arrive back at your accommodations at around 17:00.

Cappadocia: Derinkuyu Underground City and Ihlara Valley

7. Cappadocia: Derinkuyu Underground City and Ihlara Valley

Your day will begin as you are collected from your hotel at 9:30AM in the morning. Following your guide’s introduction to Cappadocia at the Goreme panoramic view point, you'll drive for around 1 hour to visit the most spectacular gorge of Turkey: Ihlara. This 6-kilometer hike through the Ihlara Valley is bound to be a highlight of your day. The Melendiz River has carved an impressive canyon through the verdant valley and you will walk about 2 hours along the river passing Byzantine rock chapels decorated with frescoes. For the first half of the hike you will be the only tourists walking, which is guaranteed to be completely peaceful. You'll later end the hiking portion of the tour near Belisirma Village, where you will have lunch in a quaint riverside restaurant. Following lunch you'll stop at the biggest rock-cut monastery of Cappadocia, the Selime Monastery and Cathedral. Selime is located at the end of Ihlara Valley, and has been used as a fortress by both Byzantine and Seljuk armies during the 10th to 12th centuries. Following this monastery, you will make your way to the Derinkuyu Underground City. Previously known as Melagobia, Derinkuyu was one of the biggest settlements in Cappadocia. Its 8-level underground city is the deepest of the region today. You will explore the caves of this interesting city as your guide explains about the way of life there. With its floors extending to a depth of approximately 60 meters, it was large enough to shelter approximately 20,000 people together with their livestock and food stores. It is the largest excavated underground city in Turkey and is one of several underground complexes found across Cappadocia. Derinkuyu itself connects to Kaymaklli via an 8-kilometer tunnel. Following your exploration of Derinkuyu, you will be driven back to your hotel where you will finish the tour at around 5:00PM.

Göreme: Full-Day Red Cappadocia Tour

8. Göreme: Full-Day Red Cappadocia Tour

Your experience begins as you are picked up from your hotel. From there, begin by visiting the Derinkuyu Underground City - the biggest underground city in the region. As you discover this vast underground region, learn how it was used as a shelter for great lengths of time during invasions. From there, explore the volcanic crater lake of Narli Gol, before advancing to Ihlara Canyon. Whilst at the canyon, enjoy a pleasant and easy 4-kilometer hike alongside a beautiful stream which runs all the way through the middle. Belisirma Village is next on your agenda, where you can appreciate the authentic unspoiled village life and enjoy lunch. Following lunch you stop by Selime - a surreal ancient monastic site which boasts great panoramic views over the Ihlara Valley. At the conclusion of your experience, your guide drops you off to your hotel.

Cappadocia: 3-Day Guided Trip

9. Cappadocia: 3-Day Guided Trip

Discover Cappadocia on a 3-day, 2-night trip accompanied by an expert guide. Visit the ethereal Devrent Imagination Valley, the Byzantine tombs, the Derinkuyu Underground City, and enjoy local cuisine and comfortable accommodation. Day 1, blue tour with lunch: Book an early morning flight to Cappadocia (Kayseri Airport) and arrive by 8:00 AM at the latest. The local partner will organize the shuttle transfer to your hotel in Cappadocia accordingly. Your guide and driver will pick you up from the hotel between 9:30 AM and 10:00 AM. The first stop is Devrent Imagination Valley, where you'll walk through the ethereal lunar landscape and admire the dramatic rock formations. You'll also visit the Pasabaglari, fairy chimneys, and you'll see a pottery demonstration using the Hittite technique at Avanos. Tuck into a traditional lunch at a local restaurant and then head up to Uchisar Rock Castle, the highest point in the region and the best place to watch the sunset. Catch amazing panoramic views of the Goreme Valley from Esentepe, and visit the Goreme Open Air Museum. Day 2, green tour with breakfast and lunch: Before your 9:15 AM pickup from the hotel, you have the option to book an early morning hot air balloon ride. Otherwise, your first stop will be Kaymakli Underground City and then it's on to Soganli Valley where you'll take a relaxing walk along Byzantine rock tombs. Continue on to Sobesos, a Roman bath from the 5th century, then Taskinpasa Medresesi, an Ottoman theological school, and Mustafapasa where you'll see Ottoman and Greek architecture. Day 3, red tour with breakfast and lunch: Get picked up from the hotel at 9:15 AM, and then head to the Derinkuyu Underground City, the largest in the region, Narli Gol a volcanic creator lake, and Ihlara Canyon. Enjoy Lunch in Belisirma Village, Selime, a surreal ancient monastic site with great panoramic views of the Ihlara Valley. At the end of the trip, you'll transfer to Kayseri Airport and fly back to Istanbul or another part of Turkey to continue your travels.

Cappadocia: Ihlara Valley and Underground City Private Tour

10. Cappadocia: Ihlara Valley and Underground City Private Tour

Get an insider’s view of Cappadocia’s most iconic spots in one day. Hear commentary from your guide along the way about fascinating sites like Derinkuyu Underground City, Ihlara Valley and Selime Monastery. Benefit from round-trip transfers from your hotel. Start the tour at the ancient multi-level underground city in Derinkuyu. See the wells, kitchens, schoolrooms, oil presses, church, bathhouse, winery, and living space of this former self-contained metropolis. Marvel at the underground dwellings going eight floors down, reaching depths of 85 meters. Then, drive further south to the lush, deep canyon of Ihlara Valley. Walk alongside the Melendiz River for an hour, covering a distance of 6 kilometers. Stop for a traditional Turkish lunch in a restaurant on the river in the village of Belisirma. After lunch, move to your next destination, the Selime Monastery, the largest rock-cut monastery in Cappadocia. Admire the astonishing rock-cut construction and a cathedral-sized church cut directly into the volcanic tuff. Learn about the architectural style from the 13th century AD in the Anatolia region.

Other Sightseeing Options in Ihlara Valley

Want to discover all there is to do in Ihlara Valley? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Ihlara Valley

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 54 reviews

This is the “green tour” that you will see advertised everywhere. We covered a lot of ground during the 8 hour tour. The underground city was amazing. Ihlara Valley hike was rather short, only a few km. If hiking more of the valley is what you are looking for then I wouldn’t recommend this tour. Overall great experience and great English-speaking guide.

Absolutely beautiful experience. The guide, Funda is very well versed in the history of every place. The itinerary was full and full of value... Lunch was a 3 course meal... Brilliant!!! Started at 9:30 and finished at 18:30

We can only recommend the tour! The staff are very hospitable and accommodating! The tour is very diverse and you learn a lot about Cappadocia. Thanks to our guide Selim Ayas who made the tour unforgettable!

The tours were great and Stoneland travel did a great job setting up it all, being available for any questions at all times on WhatsApp and helping with extra travel arrangements while we were in town.

Great experience learning more about Cappadocia and its history