Ihlara Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey

After our visit to Kaymakli, we walked part of the Ihlara Valley. We entered the park through entrance 1, payed our 8 Lira fee and started our descent down the stairs to the river. The trail in itself is fairly easy, wide and almost flat. But what makes it challenging and interesting is to visit all the rock carved churches. For each and every one of them we had to climb an impressive fight of stairs, when multiplied by the quantity of churches it amounts to a good workout! We started our walk on the west side of the river, visiting Kokar church and Purenliseki church.

When we arrived at the second entrance, there were many groups starting their hike so we decided to skip the churches in that area and keep them for our way back. We visited St. George church and then decided to turn around as we didn’t really feel the need to go to Belisirma village to see mostly restaurants. We made our way back to the second entrance, this time crossing the bridge to visit Serpent church, Dark Castle Church and Egritas Church. 


It was very interesting to see the frescoes that remain in the churches. They also have different styles, some with columns  others simpler rectangles. After our adventures in Ihlara Valley, we got back in the rental car for a short drive to Selime Cathedral. The Cathedral was also built in the rocks and there are many rooms to explore. It looked different than Ihlara churches mainly because  of the size and the rock type.

 

 
Kokar Church
Purenliseki Church
 
 
 
 
 
St. George Church
 
Yilanli Church
Dark Castle Church
Egritas Church

Here are a few pictures of Selima Cathedral:

 
 
 
 
 

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