Ihlara Valley Churches & cathedrals

Our most recommended Ihlara Valley Churches & cathedrals

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

1. 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.

Cappadocia: Ihlara and Underground City Tour with Lunch

2. 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. 

Cappadocia: Derinkuyu Underground City and Ihlara Valley

3. 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.

Cappadocia: Ilhara Valley Guided Day Trip with Local Lunch

4. Cappadocia: Ilhara Valley Guided Day Trip with Local Lunch

The first stop of the day’s adventure is Selime Monastery. This 13th-century monastery was cut directly out of the volcanic mountain and is the biggest religious building in Cappadocia. Wander around the cathedral-sized structure and see the well-preserved kitchens, monks’ quarters, stables, staircases, and more. After marveling at Selime, stop by Belisirma, a popular local establishment where you can have some tea or eat some snacks before beginning the hike. You’ll then proceed to Ilhara Valley where you’ll go on a 2.5-hour or 7 km hike, exploring the immense area of natural rock formations. Stop by hidden churches, see picturesque waterfalls, and observe the breathtaking landscape of the canyon. Following the hike, you’ll have a delicious traditional Turkish lunch. After that, you’ll head to Derinkuyu underground city. At its peak, this ancient, multi-level underground city was said to have sheltered almost 20,000 people! Explore the wonders of Derinkuyu’s underground before heading back to your accommodations after a day well spent.

Istanbul: 3-Days, 2-nights in Cappadocia & Hot Air Balloon

5. Istanbul: 3-Days, 2-nights in Cappadocia & Hot Air Balloon

First day 07.00 Pick up from your hotel and transfer to Istanbul airport. 08:00 Depart from Istanbul for Kayseri 09:00 Arrive in Kayseri airport, meet in the airport. Transfer to Cappadocia. 13:00 Check in hotel 16:00 Atv tour Back to hotel Second Day 04:30-05:00 Hot Air Balloon Tour 07:00 back hotel Cappadocia Tour 09:30: Join in the first day tour of Cappadocia including Uçhisar castle viewpoint, Goreme Open Air Museum, Cavusin old village, lunch in Avonos, pottery demonstration in Avanos, Paşabağı Fairy Chimneys, Devrent Valley (magic valley), Urgup fairy chimneys, Urgup Carpet Factory. After the tour transfer to hotel and stay the night in Goreme. Overnight stay in Cappadocia (Boutiquestyle Hotel; Göreme Cave Lodgel, Alaturca House or Harman Cave Hotel *standard rooms) Third Day 09:30 You will attend the tour which begin with the Göreme Panaromic view. Here, you will be given information about the geological and historical background of the city, then you will visit Underground City which was constructed as a temporary shalter against invasions and raids. The next step will be a small hiking in the Ihlara Valley, followed by a lunch break in Belisirma village. At the Yaprakhisar Panorama, you will see Selime Monastry, which is important because you can see all the different sections of a monastry in one composition. Finally, our tour will be finished with the Pigeon valley and onyx demonstration. In day transfer to airport and fly to Istanbul Arrive Istanbul and transfer to your hotel Plase Note:If hot air balloon cancel because for weather we give you 75 euro per person Tours days can be change

Cappadocia: 1-Night 2-Days Highlights Tour by Car and Hike

6. Cappadocia: 1-Night 2-Days Highlights Tour by Car and Hike

Day 1 –Fly from Istanbul to Cappadocia - Full Day North Cappadocia Tour (Lunch) Pick up from transfer to airport, fly to Cappadocia. Transfer from Kayseri or Nevsehir airport to start the tour directly… In the morning, firstly you will see the lunar landscape of Cappadocia: rock formations beyond belief in Devrent Valley. Visit to Pasabag “fairy chimneys” where the voice of wind mixes with the “songs of fairies” near Zelve. Lunch in Avanos, centre of terra cotta work of art since 3000 BC. and a demonstration in a traditional pottery workshop. Afternoon visit to the famous Goreme Open Air Museum and see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia in rock–cut churches with frescoes and paintings (10th to 13th century). Continue to 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 is the highest point of the Goreme region. Return to hotel around 17: 30pm. Overnight in Cappadocia Cave Hotel Day 2 – Full day Green Cappadocia Tour - Pick-up from hotel at 09: 30am. Start your day visiting the Tour to Derinkuyu Underground City, one of the largest and deepest underground city in Cappadocia. Drive to Ihlara Canyon; Walking in Ihlara Canyon, a ”mirage” in the Steps of Anatolia up to Belisirma village, the ancient Peristrema: ”Valley of the Sky” along the Melendiz River. Rock-cut churches spread across a wild plantation, surprise you with the successfully painted representations from the Bible. Lunch at a local restaurant in Belisirma by the river. Continue to Selime, a village with cave houses and on the edge of the Canyon, landscape like a ”STAR WARS”. Our last stop is Pigeon Valley as panoramic view, and transfer to the airport for your flight back to Istanbul.

Cappadocia: Private Day Tour with a Local Guide

7. Cappadocia: Private Day Tour with a Local Guide

Go back in time as you learn about the history of Cappadocia on this guided day tour. Explore historical sites, have lunch at a local restaurant, and see the magnificent Selime Monastery all in one day. After meeting your guide, commence your tour by discovering the underground city in Cappadocia that was once a refuge for thousands of Christians. See the ancient bedrooms, church, meeting hall, and food storage rooms in this eight-story city connected by 30 kilometers of corridors and passageways. Then, head over to the Ihlara Valley, a deep and narrow river gorge cut by the Melendiz River. It is a great trekking route for those who enjoy trekking. You can also marvel at the churches, monasteries, and cells of anchorites found in it. Afterward, have lunch at a local restaurant on the Melendez River. Lastly, finish your tour at Selime. Visit the Selime Monastery, which is the largest of the many rock-cut religious buildings in the Cappadocia region. Learn about the story of the monastery and walk around Selime village before driving back to your hotel.

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

The Ihlara valley was beautiful, and the guide did a good job of leading us on the hike. Lunch was delicious, but it was highly disappointing to not have lunch on the river. This is a highlight of the end of the hike. I would have preferred to have the option to pay for lunch out of pocket and sit on the river. Also visiting the gem store was such a waste of time, and I found it extremely inappropriate.

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.

ASA ZISUL ORAS SUBTERAN NU TE IMPRESIONEAZA INSA CANIONUL IHLARA MERITA VAZUT SI TRAVERSAT IN TOTALITATE. IN DE MASA DE DUPA NU VA FACETI ILUZII, CIORBA DE LINTE SI FELUL DOI LA ALEGERE.

Our guide Reific was super awesome! Very professional and friendly. We had an amazing time and lunch was great too. Thanks to our amazing driver for getting us around safely.

The tour was great! Our guide was very clear, kind and open to any question. Totally recommended!!!