Ihlara valley and Derinkuyu underground city tour
Highlights of this tour include Göreme Panorama, Derinkuyu Underground City, Ihlara Valley Hiking (one hour), Selime Monastery and Pigeon Valley.
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Activity ExcursionsHoliday Type Guided Groups
Activity Level Leisurely
Group Size Medium Group
Ihlara & Derinkuyu Underground City Tour also known as Green tour at Lonely Planet’s recommendations. It’s a great itinerary which covers all highlights of the South Cappadocia. When you combine with North Cappadocia tour (Red Tour) on another day, these two tours will include all highlights of Cappadocia that you can’t be missed.
- Professional tour guide
- Entrance fees
- Open buffet lunch
- Transfers from / to accommodation
- Drinks and meals which are not listed on the itinerary
- All personal expenses
- All customary tips to guide & driver
09:00 - 09:30
Goreme Esentepe for Panoramic View
You will be picked up from your hotel for the tour around 09:00 - 09:30 depending on your hotel location. The first stop of the tour is the panoramic view of Goreme. You get information from our professional tour guide about the brief history of Cappadocia and how the formations of spectacular landscape and fairy chimneys formed. Following the information, there is some free time for photos before we move to next destination.
Derinkuyu Underground City
After driving about 40 minutes, our next visit is Derinkuyu Underground City, the deepest underground city in the Cappadocia region. This underground city was firstly used by the local people as a natural deep freeze, later by the late Romans as a shelter against potential Arabian invasions. Derinkuyu is 85m deep and contains all the usual rooms found in an underground city like stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, churches, wineries etc. This underground city was opened to visitors in 1965 but so far only 10% can be visited.
With the clear explanations of your guide, you will spend almost 1 hour here.
Approximately 45 minutes later, you will be at the entrance of Ihlara Valley. Ihlara Valley is a canyon with a depth of approximately 100m and was formed by the Melendiz River and the volcanic actions of Mt. Hasan many thousands of years ago.
Early Christians have constructed their rock houses and temples by carving the tuffs in the valley of Ihlara. It is believed that the valley housed more than four thousand dwellings and a hundred cave churches decorated with frescoes.
You will hike for about 3.5 km that will take about 1 hour 15 minutes. Then you will arrive at the restaurant in the valley, next to the river where your lunch will be served. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of Melendiz River, your meal will start with the soup and salad, the main dish of your choice from the list. Lunch will be over with seasonal fruits.
After lunch, we continue to a unique place, Yaprakhisar. Since the area is very similar to Star Wars Film Set, Yaprakhisar is known as “Star Wars Movie Set”. You will see the nicest examples of conical fairy chimneys. Your tour will go on with another movie- set-like place, Selime Monastery, an astonishing rock-cut structure incorporating a vast kitchen and soaring chimney. A church with a gallery all around it, stables with feeding troughs and other evidence of the troglodyte lifestyle.You get information about the monastic life in Cappadocia.
Next up is Pigeon Valley, you will stop on the outskirts of Goreme village and look down into Pigeon Valley to see the centuries-old pigeon houses carved from the cliffs. Pigeons have always been important for Cappadocian people. Throughout the years' farmers have used pigeon manure as a rich source of fertiliser for their crops. Their eggs and droppings were used for different purposes. Your tour will finish around 17:30 and you will be dropped back to your hotel.