The Ihlara Valley is 40 km away to Aksaray. It has been shaped by the lava blasted by the Hasandağı volcano. The Melendiz çay (Melendiz river) had been flowed her efor milions of years and shaped the 14 km long and 110 meters high canyon. In the early history Melendiz river called Poramus Kapadukus which means ‘River of Cappadocia). The 14 km long Ihlara valley starts from Ihlara and ends in Selime. Along the valley you can see numerous of rocks, carved caves, tombs and churches. The decorations of the churches in the Ihlara valley has started from the 6th century and continued untill the end of 13th century. Some shelters and churches are connected to each other by tunnels like the other underground cities.
After inform you about the history of Ihlara valley, we would give you the information about the valley himself. When you intend to the Ihlara valley it seems that you are in heaven on earth. First you must have your museum card with you (would be given by your tour guide) to enter the valley. When you entered the valley you need to stay at the left side without fainting against the unique beautiful view. Thereafter you can walk slightly downstairs. Now you can experience the beautiful atmosphere of the valley while you wil walk down the stairs. There are even people who are counting the steps of the stairs while they even don’t like to use the stairs in daily life. After we have passed this section with taking pictures we can enter the Ihlara valley. The magnificent air of the nature and the beauty of creation will take you to other places. But if you are not tired, you can continue with the Green Tour. This tour will show you the valley along the river. At the end of this tour, tables and seating are waiting for you which are established in the middle of the river. The ducks and geese will visit you during your relaxing moment. Anyone who experience one time this peace, will visit once again the same feelings and plan their next trip to Ihlara valley.
Until you reach the end of the river what welcomes you at the end you think? Churches! Ihlara valley is known because of her unique churches and is the first place which all foreign tourists visit. There are 100 caves where churches carved into the caves. It seems impossible to go to the church, even to enter. Because when you are not be careful by walking to the church, you can slipped beside the river drift. When you roll down from these churches it seems to be impossible to survive. The shaped churches on the rocks were used by the monks lived in the ancient times as a place of retreat. It is not known how they have provide the access to the churges and how they shaped the rocks into churches during the time they fulfilled their religion.
The Snake church is known as the oldest church in the Ihlara valley. The name is given because of the frescoes telling the story of 4 woman who were attacked by snakes on the western wall of the church. The church still retains its strength and consists of two parts. The Snake church has been covered with barrel vault and you can see the monks graves at the North wall.
It is very easy to see all these on their place. When we have gone to Cappadocia we started with the Green Tour and started our visit from the Ihlara Valley. After we had joined our tea by the river and reviewed some of the churches we had a real tough job..to climb up the stairs! We tried to get out all tiredness of Ihlara valley in the evening in the hotel. We talked about how beautiful nature the place had and seems that it is a piece of heaven given to the mankind. After our visit we visited the place over and over again. Every time when we go to the Ihlara valley we discover a new beauty. If you want to go to Ihlara valley we advice you to go with a guide and listen to all historical stories and absolutely; don’t forget your camera!