There are many cave monasteries in the region. We visited the one at Selime which is at the northern end of the Ihlara Valley.

You can get to this monastery as part of a guided day trip from Göreme or, as we did, hire a car then drive around 60km back towards Nevşehir before turning left onto the road for Ihlara.

If you opt for the car you should aim to get there before 3pm when the guided tour minibuses arrive.

We had the whole site to ourselves for almost two hours and it is a magic place.

There are the remains of churches, monks’ cells and communal rooms but also a small labyrinth of tunnels, passages and narrow staircases all carved into the rock.

You can lose yourself in this fantastic place, but not for long, as it isn’t that big and each time you emerge onto a rock shelf facing south, you are treated to more lovely views of the Ihlara Valley.

Then you see a tempting flight of sandstone steps and off you go again exploring.

Whilst this is an official site maintained by the Ministry of Culture, there is little information available save for the fact it was dedicated to St Basil.

The man at the entrance takes your money and points up the hill.

After that it’s up to you unless you do visit as part of a guided group, in which case they may know more.

We were quite happy to explore on our own.

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