The Monastery Valley is one of the most attractive and less-explored trekking racecourses and valley of Cappadocia. It is located in downtown Guzelyurt (Gelveri), and the valley runs for 5.3km between Guzelyurt and Sivrihisar Village. The valley features rock-cut churches, chapels, and dwellings, so it would give you an expression of an open-air museum. It also has several underground cities.
The Monastery Valley has 49 rock-carved churches, but you won’t only see the structures, you can also see the birds and lush greenery. So, we can say that the valley is perfect for a scenic stroll. It is 21 Km far away from Ihlara Valley and can be regarded as a small copy of Ihlara Valley. The valley also has a small brook flowing through the middle of it.
To begin your hike, you need to get to the Sivrihisar Village, located 5.9 Km southwest of Guzelyurt. There is not just one route for you to take, you can either take the shorter route, which is recommended if you have less time, or the longer route that’s ideal if you have a good time on your hands.
Located at a distance of 48 km from Aksaray city, the valley is a phenomenal place to spend a few hours. Getting to the valley from Aksaray is quite straightforward, you can either ride a bus or travel in your own vehicle and just follow the well-marked path.
If you go out of the valley and explore the district, you can see the beautiful stone houses built by the Greeks over a century ago. The houses have vaulted ceilings, and most of them have two levels, but there are three-story houses as well. If you look above the doors, you can see the construction date and prayers engraved in Greek. The houses have spectacular exteriors and the interiors are no less stunning as well.
If you review the history books covering the Byzantine period, you would see that a lot of them focus on areas like Ihlara and Goreme, and there are only a few publications on the structural work of Guzelyurt, which too have not yet reached the masses. The monastery and churches in the area, as we have mentioned before, are less explored and have not been examined properly. So this means, it attracts a smaller number of visitors, which is a good thing for you, as you can explore this area peacefully. However, constant work has been carried out to restore the buildings and other constructions, giving a new life to the area’s beauty.
Between the 4th and 6th centuries, the town was a very important religious center, when the Greeks were settled here, as per many historical resources. How many more reasons do you need to visit this place. If you love to travel and have an affinity for history, you must visit this area, at least once in your life.