Ayazini village, located in the Phrygian Valley, boasts an amazing resemblance to the Cappadocian landscape, well-known to many travelers. In its vicinity, there are beautiful valleys that encourage hiking, and unusual rock formations, including - so-called fairy chimneys. In the village, you can find a church, tombs, and houses carved into a rock. All these attractions have one significant advantage over Cappadocia - as Ayazini is rarely visited by tourists so it can be explored and enjoyed in solitude.
The main historical attraction of Ayazini is a church from the Byzantine period, partly carved into the rock. This building has a vault, supported by six columns. A baptistery was carved deep into the rock. The outer part of the church consists of a semicircular domed apse. Three smaller and one larger window were carved in the apse. The church is located at the entrance to the village.
Further along, the road stretches a necropolis from the Roman period carved into the rocks, as well as a monastery complex and living quarters. Some of them are still used by the villagers - as storerooms and housing for the animals.
One part of the necropolis is situated over a modern cemetery. At this location, it is possible to find a rock tomb with the remains of columns in the Ionic order. It consists of two floors, each with ten niches used for burial. In the Byzantine period, the tomb was converted into a church. Another tomb is decorated with reliefs depicting two lions. It is worth spending some time to explore these rock tombs. Many of them can be entered, though sturdy boots and good physical condition are recommended. Villagers may also invite you to visit rock dwellings that are still in use.
A path leading towards the north-western direction branches of from the main road leading through Ayazini (coordinates: 39.012501, 30.570168). It leads through a picturesque gorge that gets narrower as you continue the hike. In the spring a stream flows in the ravine making the trek a bit more challenging as it might be necessary to wade in the icy cold water.
After about 2 km the gorge opens into the fields and meadows, with a towering rock formation called Avdalez Castle (tr. Avdalez Kalesi). Visually it reminds the rock fortress in the Cappadocian town of Uçhisar - it is also a rock with carved corridors and rooms. A stone staircase provides access to its interior.
To return from Avdalez Castle to the village of Ayazini, there are two options. The first one is going back through the gorge. The second option involves finding the rural road leading to the village over the next ravine. At the end, you can see some fairy chimneys - the rock formations also known from Cappadocia.
Ayazini lies on the route of the so-called Phrygian Way (tr. Frig Yolu) - a new hiking trail that runs through the Phrygian Valley. If you start from Ayazini, after 10 km you will reach Göynüş Valley (tr. Göynüş Vadisi), where there are impressive Phrygian rock tombs.
By public transport: there are several minibuses a day from Afyon to Ayazini. Before embarking on a trip, check the return hours.
By car: the easiest way is to drive to Ayazini from Afyon. Go to the north along D665 road, through Çayırbağ and Gazlıgöl, and after driving 29 km, turn east to Ayazini. The total length of the route from Afyon is 34 km.
There are no hotels or guesthouses in Ayazini. The nearest accommodation options you can find in Afyon and Gazlıgöl where you can stay overnight in one of many spa hotels.