Things to Do in Urgup
The Göreme Valley is only 4 miles (6.5 km) from Ürgüp and is a UNESCO World Heritage site, due in large part for its fascinating rock formations known as Fairy Chimneys and for the Christian churches and chapels carved into the soft volcanic rock. Many of these are richly decorated with Byzantine frescoes of religious scenes and Göreme Open Air Museum is open every day.
Ürgüp is also known for its wineries, and this region produces most of Turkey’s increasingly award-winning wines, many of which are still aged in the traditional method of cellars dug directly into the rock. It is also a place to find the fine weaving of Turkish carpets.
One of the main draws of Ürgüp is to stay on of its hotels hollowed out of the rock. When they need a new room, they simply dig deeper into the hill! Another great thing to do here is take a hot-air balloon ride over Göreme National Park with its unique rock formations. It’s a view you’ll never forget.
Famous for the castle-like rock formation looming 90 meters high above the town, Ortahisar, or Middle Castle, is, well, right in the middle of the Cappadocian towns of Goreme, Urgup, Uchisar, and Neveshir.
Though it is becoming more popular with visitors, Ortahisar is still a quiet farming town that’s sleepier than many of the other Cappadocian hotspots that are today bursting with boutique hotels. Life in Ortahisar is based around the cobbled streets which extend from the central square, and wandering the streets lined with stone houses is a great way to get a taste of life in a traditional Cappadocian town.
The town is also known for the Culture Museum Restaurant, where a series of dioramas in the upstairs room displays traditional life in Cappadocia, while downstairs the restaurant isn’t a sideline next to the gift shop, it’s in the actual museum. Just a few kilometers is a museum of another kind, Goreme Open Air Museum. You can walk there from Ortahisar if you have good hiking legs! Also, 1km northeast of the town center, you can visit Hallacdere Monastery where intriguing animal heads are sculpted on the walls.
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