Ihlara Valley

Ihlara Valley: Our most recommended tours and activities

Cappadocia: Green Tour in the Ihlara Valley

1. 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 the 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.

From Istanbul: Cappadocia Highlights 2-Day Tour with Balloon

2. 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. See the fascinating Göreme Open Air Museum, watch a pottery demonstration, and marvel at the dainty Urgup fairy chimneys. Day 1Begin with a pre-dawn pickup at your Istanbul hotel and head to the airport for an early flight to Cappadocia. After landing in Cappadocia, drive to your boutique hotel before beginning your tour of Cappadocia. First, stop at the Uçhisar Castle viewpoint for 360-degree views of the valleys below. Spot Mt. Erciyes and the eerie cave dwellings in Uchisar Valley. Continue to the famous Göreme Open Air Museum to visit the ancient villages and monasteries cut into the rock itself. Next, head to the rock city of Love Valley, and explore the fascinating buildings built into the rock. Stop in Avonos for lunch (included) before watching the experts at work at a pottery demonstration. Drive by the delicate fairy chimneys made of rock in PaşabağıValley before turning into Devrent Valley. Finish your day with a visit to Urgup to see its fairy chimneys and to visit a carpet factory before spending the night in your hotel. Day 2 Start your day before dawn with a pickup from your hotel to your hot-air balloon experience. Board a hot-air balloon and marvel at the valleys and rock formations below as the sun rises. Around 8:00 A.M., return to your hotel for a break before heading out for your day tour. Begin with a panoramic view of Göreme, followed by a visit to the mysterious Derinkugu Underground City, constructed as a temporary shelter against invasions and raids. Next, enjoy a short hike in the picturesque Ihlara Valley, followed by a lunch break (included) in Belisirma village. After lunch, stop at the Yaprakhisar viewpoint for a stunning view of Selime Monastery before heading to Pigeon Valley for an onyx demonstration. In the evening, return to Kayseri Airport for your return flight back to Istanbul and your hotel there.

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

3. 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.

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.

Cappadocia: Ihlara and Underground City Tour with Lunch

5. 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. 

Göreme: Full-Day Red Cappadocia Tour

6. 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: 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.

Cappadocia: Travel Pass with Balloon Ride & 20+ Attractions

8. Cappadocia: Travel Pass with Balloon Ride & 20+ Attractions

Make the most of your time in Cappadocia with a convenient 2, 3, 4, or 5-day travel pass. Enjoy access to hot air balloon rides, winemaking experiences, off-road jeep safaris, and much more. Fully included in the card price: • Hot air balloon ride• Ancient winemaking experience at Mazen Winery • ATV tour through the Magical Valley • Birth of Cappadocia video projection visual show• Traditional Ürgüp cuisine experience at Tık Tık Women Co-op Eatery• Turkish night with dinner, folk, and belly dance show• Whirling dervishes sema ceremony• Wonders of Cappadocia red tour• Gondola ride on the Red River• Zipline adventure over the Red River• Jet boat ride on the Red River• Ihlara Valley Canyon tour• Jeep off-road safari • Monster ride safari• WhatsApp traveler support Discounted with your card:• Private transfer to/from Kayseri• Private transfer to/from Nevsehir• Sunrise photoshoot with hot air balloons • Private Goreme Open Air and panorama tour• Private Ihlara Valley and Underground City tour• Private Goreme Open Air and Underground City tour• Private Soganlı Valley tour with Rock-Cut Churches • Retro and classic car ride at sunrise• Sultan’s Turkish bath experience at Ürgüp Hammam

From Istanbul: 2-Day Trip to Cappadocia w/Balloon+Cave Hotel

9. From Istanbul: 2-Day Trip to Cappadocia w/Balloon+Cave Hotel

Day 1:The adventure starts with pickup from your hotel in Istanbul. Travel to the airport where you'll take an early flight to Cappadocia. Stop by the hotel to drop-off your luggage before starting the Red Tour at 10:00 AM. The first stop is Devrent Valley, also known as Imagination Valley due to the countless Fairy Chimney formations, some dating back 30 million years. Next, head to the Göreme Open Air Museum, one of the oldest settlements in Cappadocia and a UNESCO site. See the cave town's dwellings built into the rocks and learn about the site where Christians and Muslims in harmony. Stop by a local shop to admire artistic techniques dating back to the Hittite period. Finally, set down for a buffet lunch in a local restaurant. The second half of the tour includes a visit to Pasabag, where you'll admire Fairy Chimneys that resemble those seen in the Hobbit and Smurfs. At the end of the day, return to the hotel for an unforgettable night sleeping in a cave. Day 2: Start with a sunrise balloon ride at Soğanlı Valley. Afterwards, return to the hotel for breakfast and check out. The driver will then pick you up for a stop at Göreme Panorama. Next, drive to Kaymaklı Underground City to learn how early Christians protected themselves from centuries of persecutions and invasions. Hike through Turkey's largest canyon, which features over 2,670 different plants that thrive in the valley's microclimate. Afterward, drive 1.5 hours to Ihlara Canyon for a 3.8-km hike along the river. After working up an appetite, enjoy lunch in Belisırma. Next, visit Selime Monastery, the biggest religious building in Cappadocia with a cathedral-size church. Before returning you to your hotel, your guide will stop at Pigeon Valley, the best photo spot in all of Cappadocia. The day ends with transport to the airport in Cappadocia. Once in Istanbul, a driver will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel.

Cappadocia: Ilhara Valley Guided Day Trip with Local Lunch

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Ihlara Valley

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 54 reviews

Lovely tour packed with great highlights of the region. The locations are bit further out from Goreme so you will spend some time travelling but this time was well used by our wonderful guide Merve! She is very knowledgeable about the culture and history of the region and answered everyone's questions very well. It gave much more meaning to the experience. The tour had a good pace with a reasonable amount of time to explore and take photos. Lunch was delicious and we had a great time meeting the other group members. We were so happy with this tour that we booked with them again! Thank you for the experience!

I took this tour in September and found the places we visited weren't overcrowded so you didn't have to wait to have a look at things and take pictures. There was plenty of daylight and the group hiked quickly enough that we even got to visit some additional scenic places after we had seen the main stops of this tour. Our guide, Ali, was really tentative and friendly and was very clear about where and when to meet throughout the tour. A really enjoyable and interesting tour, would highly recommend.

The guide was very good, knowledgeable, respectful, friendly and very professional! The stops were all very good except for the One about jewelry, it’s crazy expensive and the explanation is not very good, the guy speaks a broken English and it’s not very interesting

Excellent. The tour guide Salem and the driver are very nice. Very knowledgeable and friendly. Plus the Price is worth it!

The trip was excellent and the tour guide is very informative and is quite worth of the value.