05-01-2023 - Places

Avanos: Pottery, Red River, and Churches

Cappadocia is an amazing and magical place to visit. In Cappadocia, there are several things to see and learn about. The various districts there each have their own distinct character. This article will focus on Avanos, which is famous for its Red River and pottery workshops.

Millions of tourists come to this picturesque town every year, which is also well-known for its riverside and pottery. Avanos is a stop on the Red Tour, one of the daily Cappadocia trips. Don't forget that the Cappadocia Travel Pass® includes the Red Tour in addition to more than 25 other top sights.

Avanos is one of the most impressive districts of Cappadocia, located on the Aksaray-Kayseri caravan route, on both sides of the Kızılırmak, east of Nevşehir. Famous for handicrafts such as pottery and carpet weaving, Avanos has impressive places to visit such as underground cities, fairy chimneys, valleys, and historical buildings.


Devrent Valley (Dream Valley)

You can reach the region by using Avanos-Ürgüp road or Paşabağı-Zelve road. The most famous fairy chimney of the valley resembles a camel from afar. In fact, you can compare many fairy chimneys to different animals. Dervent, also known as Dream Valley, lives up to its name. The sunset view in this valley is dazzling.

Paşabag Valley (Valley of the Priests)

Paşabag is known as the Valley of the Priests, as it is a region where religious men such as monks and priests retreated in the early periods of Christianity. The most important feature of this valley is that it hosts fairy chimneys with hats. Fairy chimneys, where the hard rocks on the upper part have not disappeared yet, are not found everywhere. Paşabag Valley is a more special region in this sense.

Çavuşin Village

Located on the Göreme-Avanos road, this village is one of the most beautiful places in Cappadocia. Although Çavuşin Village is connected to the Avanos district, it is only 2 km away from Göreme. There are many fairy chimneys between Göreme and Çavuşin. In addition, this village is very famous for its churches, as it was a shelter for many Christian clergies at the time. John the Baptist Church, Çavuşin Church, Üç Haç Church, and St. Jean Church are some of them.


Güray Museum

Güray Museum, located on Dereyamanlı Street in the center of Avanos, is an underground cave where ancient and modern Turkish ceramic works are exhibited. We strongly recommend you to see this museum, where various pottery and many different artifacts are exhibited. Hunting and agricultural tools belonging to the periods before Christ are quite remarkable.

If you're curious, you should also stop by the workshop at the museum. Here, visitors can study the art of marbling, take the course and bring the jugs they have made. Güray Museum, which should be on the list of places to visit in Avanos, is the world's first and only underground ceramic museum.

Zelve Valley and Zelve Open Air Museum

About 5 km from Avanos. Zelve Valley is one of the places where Christianity first spread. For this reason, the ruins of monasteries and churches are very common. Geyikli Church, Baptist Church, Direkli Church, Balıklı Church, and Üzümlü Church are some of them. Zelve is known as one of the oldest settlements of Cappadocia. People living in stone cavities and caves in ancient times turned Zelve into a village. There are many rock houses and tunnels in the valley. But some of the tunnels are closed to visitors. The open-air museum, located in the Zelve Valley, is spread over a very large area. Zelve Open Air Museum consists of rock houses with a wonderful view. It is such an amazing atmosphere.

Hair Museum (Chez Galip Pottery Workshop)

This is a place that is unique in the world, listed in the "World's Most Interesting Museums" list, and entered the Guinness Book of Records in 1998. Let's explain the reason; Galip Körükçü is a pottery master from Avanos. A French tourist woman comes to the pottery workshop where she works in 1979. There is an emotional bond between these two and they love each other very much. When the French woman has to return to her country after a few months, Galip wants to leave a memory to the master and cuts a lock of her hair and gives it to him. Galip's master hangs this hair on his wall.

From time to time, other women who came to the shop were impressed by this story and started to hang a lock of their hair in this shop. Next to their hair, they would write their contact information on a piece of paper and attach it, saying, "If you ever get together, let us know." Master Galip, known as Chez Galip, has turned the place where more than 15 thousand women's hair has accumulated into a museum. You can visit the Hair Museum (Chez Galip Pottery Workshop) located in the center of Avanos. Every year, master Galip randomly selects some of these hair bundles, the contact information of which is written on the note next to him, and hosts the lucky ones in Cappadocia, covering all their expenses.


Özkonak Underground City

Located in the east of Özkonak Town, this underground city is about 15 kilometers from the center of Avanos. Özkonak Underground City, whose construction date is not clear, is estimated to be BC. It is thought to have been built in the 400s. This underground city, which was built on four floors, was like an apartment.

The ground floor is separated from a barn so that the animals can easily come inside. As you descend to the lower floors, large areas such as halls, rooms, cellars, and warehouses were built. Özkonak Underground City, which has not yet been completely cleaned and opened, is a huge place spread over an area of hundreds of meters. If you are not afraid of indoor spaces, we definitely recommend you visit.

Other places you can visit in Avanos center are Sarıhan (Saruhan) Caravanserai, Alaaddin Mosque, Stone Bridge, Avanos Suspension Bridge (Swinging Bridge), Underground Mosque, Çanakçı Statue, Hacı Nuri Bey Mansion, and Dereyamanlı Church.

Cappadocia Travel Pass® is created with 25+ years of experience in tourism to enhance your Cappadocia trip. In tourism, experience matters. Check out 25+ attractions including a hot-air balloon flight and the famous Red Tour. 

FAQ

What is a red tour in Cappadocia?

The Cappadocia Red Tour is a very popular sightseeing journey that visits the well-known landmarks and attractions of Cappadocia's northern region, including valleys, fairy chimneys, vistas, towns, castles, Avanos pottery workshops, and the Goreme Open Air Museum. The majority of tours are conducted with a driver and expert tour guide.

Is Avanos worth visiting?

Yes, Avanos is definitely worth visiting. It is a nice village with a beautiful river, many pottery workshops, and interesting places like the hair museum. 

What is Avanos known for?

The most significant business in Avanos is pottery making, which uses clay made from the red silt of the Kizilirmak and is thought to have originated during Ancient times. Due to its lovely ancient town and riverbank position, the town is also a well-liked tourist destination.

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