Drive to Ihlara, Walking thru Ihlara Canyon, a “mirage” in the Steps of Anatolia up to Belisirma village, the ancient Peristrema: “Valley of the Sky” along the Melendiz River. Rock-cut churches,Sumbullu Church, Aachaltı Church, Purenli Seki Church, Kokar Church and Yilanli church spread across a wild plantation, surprise you with their successfully painted representations from the Bible,.Lunch in Belisirma, a local restaurant by the river. Stop by Selime, a village with cave houses at the end of the canyon and a “star wars” like landscape.
Return to your hotel at around 17:30pm.
Derinkuyu Underground City
Although all towns and villages in Cappadocia once had safe and secure secret rooms dug out of the soft tufa (tuff) rock, the underground cities of Derinkuyu is intrinsically different because its size, scale, and evidence of underground city planning. Up to 50 meters deep and 3 kilometers wide, as many as 5,000 people were able to hide safely underground out of site of the enemy, with their store of food that could last for months if necessary.
The Melendiz River, originating from a spring and fed by the melting snows from Mount Hasan (3,268m) has carved a 14 km long gorge with depths of up to 110 meters through rock deposited during volcanic eruptions. We know this volcano was active during Neolithic times because of the wall painting found at Catal Hoyuk (now on display at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara).
Lunch at Belisirma (the middle village)
gives an opportunity to sample local dishes of fish while relaxing to the sound of the water flowing by. After lunch, it is fun to visit the remains of the two mills, one for flour and the other for linseed oil which was used for lighting before electricity arrived. Finally you'll pass through the village of Selime where the pinnacles down the valley side formed the dramatic landscape for part of the original Star Wars film.
Agzikarahan Caravanserai (13th century)
is on the Silk Road which was probably used for 3,000 years by Assyrian traders. However, it was the Seljuks who built the Caravanserais (motels for camel trains) every 10-15 kilometers, a day’s walk on foot. There are roughly 350 of them in Turkey, 7 of which are in Cappadocia. A caravanserai was at the same time a fortress, a hotel, a stable, and a market place where silk, paper, carpets, gunpowder and spices were traded. These caravanserais are the first Turkish works of art in Anatolia and are where some of the best decorative Seljuk architecture can be seen.