Ihlara belongs to the province of Aksaray and is located about 40 kilometers from the city of Guzelyurt. The town is famous for the nearby valley of the same name, which extends over 16 kilometers along a canyon formed after several eruptions of Mount Erciyes and that is a maze of houses and churches carved into the rock. Crossing the tuff runs the Melendiz river.
The Ihlara canyon is located further from the center of Cappadocia and there are excursions that will take at least half a day to visit its many attractions, especially hewn churches, among which we recommend:
Yilanli Kilise (The Church of the Serpent): a cruciform church with a horseshoe-shaped apse. It owes its name to the snakes represented in the frescoes, attacking women as a symbol of the torments of hell for sinners.
Agacalti Kilisesi (The Church under the tree): A church different from other Byzantine churches in Cappadocia, with bright red, green and yellow colored frescoes, that give it a great contrast.
Sumbullu Kilise (The Church of the hyacinth): This church with a vaulted nave was part of a two-story monastery. Its name came from the abundant hyacinths around.
Kokar Kilise (The Church of odors): is located between the town of Ilhara and the main entrance of the canyon. Access to it is through a ruined apse.
Seki Purenli Kilisesi (Church with Terrace): It is located about 100 meters from the Kokar Kilise and about 25 on the river level. It has frescoes that although called “archaic”, are famous for their creativity and exquisite details.