Kilistra
Historic SitesAncient RuinsReligious Sites
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Duration: More than 3 hours
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3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles18 reviews
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Marco_Polo499
Milan, Italy272 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
Kilistra is an ancient cave-settlement located about 60 kilometers southwest of Konya, around the tiny village of Gökyurt. The hills around the village, for an extension of about one kilometre, dominate the valley with long and high rocky walls, and caves have been dug in these rocks for residential and other purposes. The site is somewhat similar to the much more famous cave-settlements of Cappadocia, but the site has not been developed and still is in a pristine status: you can roam freely and no one will disturb you, but you must be aware that your visit will be more like an exploration than a sightseeing tour.

The view of the long and steep rock walls studded with caves is absolutely impressive. The rural village of Gökyurt is located on the top of one of these cave-settlements, in a very dominant position, and is also worth a short visit: life and buildings there are still in the old traditional style. At a difference from Cappadocia, however, very little or nothing is to be found inside the caves. The only caves which I found of some interest are a minuscule church not greater than a chapel, but without any decoration inside, and another small chapel with a big cross sculpted on a wall. The main interest of visiting the site therefore consists in walking through this fairy landscape, and try to imagine how life was for the settlers.

Be aware that exploring the settlement is not a light task, since the various sites of interest are distant from each other, they are not easy to find and they can often be reached only through nearly impassable roads. Some amount of physical fitness is also required for moving around, and a reasonable exploration can easily take three hours.

Supposedly, Kilistra was settled about 2300 year ago by the Greeks who, at that time, inhabited great part of Western Anatolia. By browsing through the web I obtained very scarce information on Kilistra, most of it being fragmentary, sometimes contradictory, and sometimes even unrealistic. For example, a certain degree of confusion is made between Kilistra (a modest settlement, after all) and Lystra, a now disappeared town whose remains lay about 30 km south of Kilistra and was an important city on the Greek and Roman times. Legends are also spread about a possible stay of St.Paul in Kilistra for making apostolic work and about some miracles that he made in this place, but it appears more likely that these events took place in Lystra.

Some travel agencies in Konya organize guided private tours to Kilistra, but the price proposed is not light. I resorted to go there by taxi. In Konya I could find a reliable driver who is native of the area of Kilistra and therefore knows very well the site; moreover he speaks a satisfactory English and seems used to take there archaeologists on a scientific mission. It cost me 700 Turkish Liras (about 45 € in May 2022) for the round trip and an appropriate waiting time; the driver also guided me in discovering and visiting the most interesting places, even those of difficult reach. His name is Abdullah; he can be contacted by mail at “taxiabdullahcagdas” on the domain “hotmail.com”

For information on Kilistra and other attractions in the vicinity of Konya you can ask the very helpful Konya Tourist Office, located in Mevlana Cd. 73: in particular, you can rely on Ms. Havva, a kind and obliging girl who speaks excellent English and German (and possibly other languages).
Written June 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ekaterina S
12 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
You can stop by while passing by. We drove from Antalya to Konya and it was great as a break on the road.
A small cave town, there is a preserved early Christian church
Google
Written November 18, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Konyalı
Konya, Türkiye1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
There was no way to go up to the ancient city. There are no signs on the road. We found our way by asking the villagers. In my opinion, it's not worth seeing. The municipality did not care at all. I don't recommend you go alone. If you break something, etc. no one will know.
Google
Written August 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Kilistra, Konya

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