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Ilhara canyon

The Melindiz river flows along the floor of this dramatic, winding, 14km-long, 100-metre deep canyon from ther town of Ihlara to Selime monastery. Scores of churches, mostly from the 11th century, were cut into the rock when this was called Peristrema and had a population of around 80,000. Most of churches are between Ihlara (110km south of Nevşehir) and the village of Belisirma half away along, where there is vehicle access and riverside restaurtants. This is the more attractive part of the walk, and about 4km from Ihlara is another entrance to the valley, down 300 steps.

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Issue 66, December 2023 Turkey’s Centenary Issue
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