Avanos is about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from Göreme.
The town has a lively shopping center with all the usual amenities
including a modern, tourist orientated hamam (Turkish
Bath). A travelling market visits Avanos on Fridays.
Starting just outside the shopping center the old village of Avanos
winds up the hills leading away from the town and is a beautiful
maze of old stone houses, some restored, some converted and some
sadly abandoned to their fate. In some of the abandoned houses the
features of traditional Ottoman architecture can be seen along with
ancient decorations, motifs and murals.
About 14 kilometers (9 miles) from Avanos is the underground city
of Özkonak and the 13th
century Seljuk caravaserai, Sarıhan
(which is now a museum), is only about 3 kilometers (2 miles) away.
The Kızılırmak (red) river separates Avanos from the rest of Cappadocia,
and is the longest river in Turkey. It is by this river that the
red pottery clay is found from which Avanos derives it's main livelihood
and it's foremost claim to fame.
Pottery has been produced in the Avanos area
for several centuries and some of the techniques still used date
back to Hittite times. Avanos is a mass of family run potteries,
most of which are only too pleased to let visitors have a go on
the potters wheel and give them a full history of the many and various
pottery goods on offer. Avanos pots make wonderful souvenirs and
are available at a wide range of prices from simple ashtrays and
mugs to ornate plates and chess sets.
Avanos is also famous for carpet weaving and, more unusually, for
knitting. Hand knitted garments can be found on sale along with
wool, needles and all the other equipment you might need if your
holiday is incomplete without that familiar click click !
Avanos really specializes in handicrafts, there is a permanent
handicrafts bazaar and a three day Handicrafts Festival in late