Five kilometres from Avanos, Zelve is located on the slopes of Aktepe. Zelve consists of three separate valley’s and was inhabited until 1952 when it was deemed too dangerous to live in and the inhabitants moved to Yeni Zelve (New Zelve). There is the highest population of fairy chimneys in Zleve, they have particularly sharp points and thick trunks. The pasabagi is a cluster of fairy chimneys, one with three heads. It is not known when people started living in Zelve, however, it is known that the area was a religious centre from the 9th to the 13th centuries. The first seminars for priests were held in this area.
There is an open-air museum in Zelve, however, it is far less impressive than the one in Goreme. Unfortunately, erosion is rapidly destroying many of the churches including; Balikli Kilise (the Fish Church), Uzumlu Kilise (Grape Church), Geyikli Kilise (Church with Deer) and Yazililik Kilise (Church with Scriptures).