Cappadocia’s Grand Canyon, the 328 ft (100 m) deep Ihlara Valley (Ihlara Vadisi)
was formed by the Melendiz River thousands of years ago.
Around 4,000 people lived in the valley and there were 80 churches carved into the cliff faces, 12 of which can be visited today. These days the valley is home to one of the most popular hiking trails in Cappadocia with 26 bends along an 8 mile (14km) route that passes vineyards and pistacio trees.
The valley begins at the village of Ihlara and ends at Selime Monastery in the village of Selime, but there are two other entrances depending on how far you are willing to hike. Around 2.8 miles (4 km) into the valley is the most popular entry point with 300 steps down to the valley floor. Or you can drive to the village of Belisirma in the middle of the valley. The best section for seeing churches is between Ihlara and Belisirma.