While in Turkey, we paid a visit to the Ihlara Valley in Cappodocia which is a smaller version of Grand Canyon. If you're a fan of nature's many wonders, you'll definitely like being in this place. It offers some of the best hiking trails and great sight-seeing adventures.
The valley is the result of the collapse of rocks following several eruptions of Mount Erciyes. Inhabited by monks from the 4th to the 14th centuries, the entire canyon is filled with rock-cut underground dwellings and churches from the Byzantine period.
I enjoy gazing at the beautiful views of the canyon from various vantage points.
The picturesque Melendiz Stream flows through the valley.
We spent a few hours hiking through this gorge and visited a couple of churches and this was one of them. Most of the churches were dug into the walls of the canyon.
The paintings inside are primitive, but resembles those in modern churches.
Every trail offers a unique hiking experience. There's so much to explore and trek around the valley.
Pigeon holes and cave temples can be seen on either side of the valley.
The journey for this hike is quite easy but there are a few short paths where we have to scramble over the rocks as we followed the stream. I strongly recommend good walking shoes which have good traction to prevent you from slipping on the rocks.
After a few hours of hiking and exploring we made our way out of the canyon and then headed back towards town. I'd like to go back again some day and do the challenging full-day hike, as we missed some of the more spectacular spots in the north side of the valley past Belisirma. It really is a beautiful spot to visit. It’s refreshing and a nice change to the more touristy spots we have been visiting.