This time I was aiming for a small village called Ihlara - a tricky place to reach on public transport.
I arrived just before sunset.
|Sunset in Ihlara|
Ihlara Valley is a 7km canyon cut into the dry Cappadocian wilderness by the Melendiz River. The floor of the gorge is lush and verdant. There are lots of rockcut Byzantine churches hidden in the vertical valley walls. It was a favourite place for early Christians to hide from Roman persecution.
To get to the valley floor I walked down the 360 steps of this staircase.
The valley was free of tour parties. I did a little lurking outside the churches, but I didn't really have to...
|Non-essential lurking location|
Some nice frescoes...
But the main pleasure here was the natural beauty of the valley rather than the religious art.
There were some farms in the valley too.
Finally, the canyon opened out and I passed some more of Cappadocia's famous fairy chimneys
It took 7 hours to get to Selime at the other end of the valley. A great day's walking though my neck was quite stiff by the end as I had been carrying my full pack all day.
Probably the best day's walk so far, and the most beautiful valley I've ever visited. Strongly recommended to anyone who visits Cappadocia.