When you tour Cappadocia, the ideal starting point is Urgup, a town with a rich history. For thousands of years, Urgup has been an important settlement area in every period. It’s one of the busiest towns in Cappadocia, and with its charm, convenience, and authenticity, it attracts thousands of visitors every year. Its main attractions include fairy chimneys, cave dwellings, and churches.
Despite not being a very large town, it has hosted many civilizations including Seljuk, Ottoman, Byzantine and Roman. Its historical background and fascinating architecture of stone-cut buildings are what attract international visitors. The symbol of Urgup is the Three Graces or Three Beauties; which are the three beautiful fairy chimneys. They are the reason why it’s called the house of the Three Beauties. The district’s natural beauty, attractions, and cultural heritage would definitely fascinate the tourists.
The largest settlement in this region, Urgup has had different names during different periods. In the Byzantine Period, it was called Osiana (Assiana), during the Seljuk era it was called Bashisar, and its name was Burgut in the Ottomans. It’s just 21km away from the center of Nevsehir. In the Byzantine era, it was a religious hub for Christians, and several rock churches and monasteries were constructed.
All this combined with the fact that it lies on the Silk Road and it’s in the middle of civilizations that connect Istanbul to Jerusalem makes it even a more sought-after place.
How to reach Urgup?
The nearest airports are at Kayseri (Erkilet Airport) and Nevsehir (Kapadokya Airport). Nevsehir Kapadokya Airport is 47km away from Urgup and it receives direct flights from Antalya, Istanbul, and Izmir on a few days of the week. However, from the Airport, there is no public transportation available to reach Urgup; you have to use a taxi, private transfer vehicles or car rental to reach the town.
Ideal seasons to visit the town
During every season, more like every month, the city has a different color and different beauty. Spring and summer are the best seasons, but it gets crowded. Autumn could be the best season for you to visit the town, as it has fairly warm weather and fewer crowds. The winter season is also a good time, as the town looks good in snow. In the end, it’s all about what you prefer, go when you want to go.
Best foods to try
The best way to experience the local culture is to try the local foods. The local cuisines in Urgup are highly influenced by the traditional food culture of Central Anatolia. There are several restaurants that offer delicious foods and are as famous as anything else in the town. One of the most famous foods is the pottery kebab, which offers a special taste and is highly recommended. Another recommended dish is the crispy pitas, which most restaurants prepare with minced meat, tomatoes, peppers, and seasoning.
What to buy
There are many shops from where you can buy traditional handmade carpets, hanging lamps, home decor items, and other souvenirs. If this is your first visit to Cappadocia, the ideal way for you to tour the region is to join the daily sightseeing tours. It will allow you to visit different places during the day and get information about the sites. The tours include museum entrances, meals, and transfers. But, if it’s not your first time or you have enough knowledge, you should explore it on your own.
Urgup is the most ideal base to explore the region of Cappadocia. You can see the churches, cave dwellings, fairy chimneys, and visit the nearby valleys. If you want a peaceful, silent time you can walk around the old deserted section of town. It has got everything, the urban rush, the rural peace, and the reference to ancient civilizations. So, there is no need to think anymore, when visiting Cappadocia, make Urgup your first stop.