The picturesque Ihlara Valley, with its stunning natural beauty, is located between the Nevsehir and Aksaray roads. It is one of the most unique canyons in the world, captivating visitors with both its breathtaking, awe-inspiring natural scenery and the fascinating churches and monasteries carved into the soft rocks, creating an awesome atmosphere.

This miraculous natural wonder is renowned for the dreamy ‘’Melendiz River,’’ also known as the ‘’Potamus Kapadukus’’ (meaning Cappadocia River). Moreover, this splendid valley, which is 14km long and approximately 150m high, holds great historical importance.


Ihlara Valley was formed thousands of years ago as a result of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. During times of war, it was used as a settlement and sanctuary to protect against attacks. In the 4th century, during the Byzantine (Roman) era, Christians used the area as a main religious center and built numerous churches, chapels, and monasteries, such as Sümbüllü Church, Yılanlı Church, Kokar Church, Agacaltı Church, Pürenliseki, Egritas, Kırkdamaltı, Bahattin, and Samanligi Churches. It is believed that the valley hosted more than four thousand dwellings and a hundred cave churches furnished with frescoes.

Aside from these features, this refreshing natural masterpiece was once used as a hermitage and relaxation place by priests and monks. Even today, visitors feel as if they are in paradise and experience an inner journey due to the valley’s mystic atmosphere.

Currently, people visit the valley to take a leisurely stroll, read a book, and relax.

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The Kokar Kilise, also known as The Smelly Church, is located in the main quarter of the valley, between Ihlara Village and the first entrance. It dates back to the 9th century. Due to a landslide, the original entrance has been blocked, and visitors must enter the church through a single nave and tunnel vault ornamented with a large cross motif, using the destroyed gathering (apse).

This magnificent church, painted in a dense grey color, includes a funeral hall and various frescoes reflecting the Gospel, Visitation, Escaping to Egypt, Last Supper, Virgin Mary, and Jesus Christ, emphasizing the Genesis, the holy book of Christians.


Located to the south of the entry, the Agacalti Kilise, also known as the Church Under the Tree, is a cross-planned church with a tunnel vault and three abscissas. It is decorated with vegetative and geometrical figures and contains icons of the Flight into Egypt, the Baptism, and the Dormition of the Virgin.


At Tour Maker Turkey, we are passionate about helping you experience the wonder and beauty of Ihlara Valley and its surrounding area. Our team of knowledgeable and experienced tour guides will take you on a journey through the valley, showing you the most breathtaking sights and hidden gems that the region has to offer.

Whether you are interested in exploring the valley’s ancient churches and monasteries or simply want to take in the stunning natural beauty of the area, our tours are designed to cater to your specific interests and needs. We offer a variety of tour options, ranging from full-day excursions to multi-day adventures, so you can choose the itinerary that best suits your schedule and budget.

During your tour, you will have the opportunity to walk along the Melendiz River, explore the many cave churches and monasteries that dot the landscape, and take in the awe-inspiring scenery of the valley. Our knowledgeable guides will provide you with detailed information about the history and significance of each site, ensuring that you come away with a deeper appreciation for the rich cultural heritage of the region.

At Tour Maker Turkey, we pride ourselves on providing our guests with the highest quality tour experiences possible. From comfortable transportation to delicious local cuisine, we take care of every detail so that you can relax and enjoy your time in the valley.

If you are ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through Ihlara Valley, contact Tour Maker Turkey today to learn more about our tour options and to book your adventure. We look forward to helping you discover the magic of this unique and breathtaking destination.