Avanos – Derbent – Urgup

Avanos

Avanos is the greenest part of Cappadocia and divides the Kizilirmak (Red) River into two. Its hills are full of vineyards and fruit fields. In the entrance of Avanos there is a pottery monument with an inscription reading, “Even the blind know the way to Avanos / Full of broken jars and glass pieces”. The region’s pottery making workshops are also here. In each workshop you can try to make a vase yourself by getting behind the potter’s wheel and dipping your hands into the clay. Prices for the works by real potters are very reasonable should you want buy gifts for your family and friends. Before the turn on the road to enter Avanos there are stalls full of carpet, rugs onyx pottery and very various other souvenirs. There are many hand crafted souvenirs here, either locally produced or brought from other parts of Turkey. In the village of Avanos women weave the most beautiful carpets in Turkey. Throughout every part of the region carpet weaving is widespread.
In Avanos, known as Vanessa in the Roman era, you can visit the 14th century Alaaddin Mosque and the underground city of Ozkonak on the way to Kayseri, which is as yet only partly open to visitors. In the place called “the palace” there are the ruins of an old monastery.

Derbent: the Fairy Chimneys Valley

When you turn onto the Urgup road you pass through the Derbent Valley, with this part being called the “Pink Valley”. There are amorphous rock shapes and interesting rock formations that look like whatever the human imagination makes of them, a dinosaur turned into stone, a seal, a horse on his two hind legs. Let you imagination float. It is as if it is a natural statue gallery. Kozakli, to the north of Avanos, is renowned for its healing waters.

Ürgüp

It is the most developed tourism centre of the region in respect to numbers of visitors and the variety of tourism facilities. Some of the houses carved into the rock are still inhabited, while there are also some hotels and restaurants with part of their structure cut into the stone. New houses built in the region are constructed of stone and in keeping with the local character. The highest point in the town is Temenni Hill, the location of the tomb of the Seljuk Sultan Kilic Arslan. It is an appropriate position to get an overview of Urgup. The town was an important settlement in the 19th century, a place of 70 mosques, five churches and 11 libraries. Nowadays it is a town centre with a population of no more than 10,000. However, it has the highest tourist bed capacity bed of any town in the Cappadocia region, as well as being the leading local wine producer. Urgup is the venue for an annual international wine festival. In comparison to other places in the region, it has a lively nightlife, with many bars and different types of music and entertainment.

 

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