Alex Buie explores underground city in Guzelyurt, Turkey. Below, he squeezes into an underground tunnel.
We had a wonderful time hiking the Ilhara Valley -- probably the best hiking in Cappadocia, Turkey (kind of like the Grand Canyon in the U.S. , though the latter is on a much grander scale). The village life of Guzelyurt is like traveling back in time a thousand years. The terrain of the Ilhara Valley varies so much -- from canyons to peaks to valleys and fields, not too dry or dusty, always close to the river (Melendiz Seyu). It is said to be the deepest gorge in Asia Minor.
We stayed at the other worldly Karballa Hotel, a 19th century monastery "in the historic heart of Turkey."
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- To get to Guzelyurt, take a commercial bus to Aksaray (two hours from Kayseri), and then a dolmus (smaller bus) for a 45-minute ride.
- You'll probably have to take a cab from Guzelyurt to the Ilhara Valley entrance, about 60 lira ($45) round trip for three people, meaning the driver will pick you up and, if you call him, return you to your hotel in the evening.
- Rick Steves: Guzelyurt -- Cappadocia Without Tourists
- Wikipedia entry on Guzelyurt
- Displaced Greeks, Turks Gather at Guzelyurt Festival
- Cappadocia's Grand Canyon, Alluring Ihlara
- Magical and Extraordinary Cappadocia (links to our previous blog posts on the region)