• Urgup

    Of the major villages in Cappadocia, Ürgüp strikes a balance between preserving its Anatolian traditions and cultivating an unobtrusive yet irresistible tourist infrastructure.

    To meet the rising demand, hoteliers are all too eager to create magical and otherworldly accommodations for an increasingly upscale market. Crumbled hovels are snatched up for a song, human odors of food and sweat are scraped away with the top layers of porous tufa, and perfectly charming romantic retreats materialize. Of course, one day, all of those abandoned terraced houses will sprout brand-new facades, a gentrification process that, while polished and attractive, will probably be devoid of the character that drew us here in the first place.

    The process has already begun, particularly in the wake of press provided by the highly popular Turkish soap opera, Asmali Konak. But for now, Ürgüp remains a tranquil yet convenient corner of Cappadocia that makes an ideal base from which to explore the surrounding valleys.

    Attractions

    With an easy blend of tradition and convenience, Ürgüp makes the perfect base for day excursions to the open-air museums of Göreme and Zelve, the nearby valleys, and neighboring villages.

    The village is also a peaceful retreat for some quiet time, where you can walk around the old deserted section of town or enjoy the view from the lookout point atop windy Temmeni Hill, known as The Hill of Wishes 30YKr (20¢).

    A mysterious tunnel (closed; don’t bother with those pestering kids) almost 8km ( 1/2 mile) long leads from around the 13th-century Kebir Camii to the Sel√ßuk tomb of N√ºkrettin at the top of the hill; to this day, no one knows who built it or why. The tomb was dedicated to the Sel√ßuk leader Kili√ßarslan IV, or the Sworded Lion, and a hilltop cafe allows you to relax and take it all in.

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