Avanos Cappadocia: 2024 Holidays, Top Things to Do & See

Avanos is a historic town located in the heart of Cappadocia, Turkey. Known for its rich cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and traditional handicrafts, Avanos is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the region.

Avanos in a Nutshell – Top Facts

Here are the top facts about Avanos and what you can expect from your visit:

  1. Red River: Avanos is located on the banks of the Kızılırmak River, also known as the Red River, which is the longest river in Turkey. The river is famous for its red color, which comes from the iron oxide in the soil.
  2. Pottery: Avanos is known for its traditional pottery, which has been produced in the town for over 4,000 years. Visitors can visit local workshops to watch master potters at work and purchase unique and beautiful pottery pieces.
  3. Zelve Open Air Museum: The Zelve Open Air Museum is located just outside Avanos and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The museum features several historic churches and homes that were carved into the rock by early Christians.
  4. Cappadocian Wines: Avanos is home to several wineries that produce Cappadocian wines, which are known for their unique taste and quality. Visitors can sample these wines at local wineries and enjoy the stunning vineyard landscapes.
  5. Traditional Turkish Cuisine: Avanos is known for its traditional Turkish cuisine, including dishes such as kebabs, meze, and baklava. Visitors can sample these delicious dishes at local restaurants and cafes.
  6. Handicrafts: In addition to pottery, Avanos is also known for its traditional handicrafts, including textiles, carpets, and ceramics. Visitors can explore local shops and markets to purchase these unique and beautiful items.
  7. Balloon Rides: Visitors to Avanos can take a hot air balloon ride over the town and surrounding area, providing breathtaking views of the stunning landscapes and unique rock formations.

What to Expect?

Avanos is situated nearby the Kizilirmak River and attracts big number of visitors with its European town look. The town is also the center of terracotta artworks since 3000 BC., as well as the most green place in Cappadocia.

Being one of the important art and tourism centers of Cappadocia, Avanos attracts its visitors with its vibrant life and scenery. While the town is situated a bit outside of the fairy chimney centers of Cappadocia, it takes attention with its pottery, carpet making and winemaking.

Aerial view of the Avanos cave city in Cappadocia, Central Anatolia, Turkey

The clay obtained with the red soil and miles coming from the Kizilirmak river passing through the middle of the town caused both the existence of this pottery art and the creation of an income source for the local people.

A visit to Avanos offers a unique and unforgettable experience. With its rich cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and traditional handicrafts, Avanos is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Cappadocia. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or just enjoying local cuisine and handicrafts, Avanos has something to offer everyone.

Video Tour

You can watch the below video your to see how Avanos looks like.

Things to Do & See

From ancient cave dwellings to well-preserved ruins, there’s plenty to explore. And if you’re interested in trying your hand at some traditional crafts, Avanos is also home to several studios where you can watch artisans at work. From pottery to carpentry, there’s sure to be something that catches your interest.

The Statue of Canakci, the Dereyamanli Church, the Alaeddin Mosque and Sari Han Caravanserai are the historical sites that worth a visit and see while you stroll along the streets of Avanos.

Avanos also offers great day and night time activities in its lovely ceramics and jewelery stores as well as entertainment programs such as Turkish Night Show held at the great restaurants and facilities.

Walking areas along the Kizilirmak River and Suspension Bridge

The walking paths near the Kizilirmak River are very attractive that you may spend a great day out there by strolling along the river, passing the bridge on the river, having your drink at the lovely restaurants and cafes.

The famous swinging Suspension Bridge, which allows you to see both sides of the Kızılırmak River, is perfect for enjoying the view.

The Kizilirmak riverside is always lively and full. You may also take a gondol boat trip through the Kizilirmak River and have a wonderful day out activity.

View of the Red River Kizilirmak with the Mosque.

Fun Gondola ride on Kızılırmak Red River

The Red River in Avanos town is always lively and full. You can have a romantic gondola ride along the Red River and have a fun and wonderful day out activity.

This is a perfect attraction for families and couples. You’ll have a 15 minutes stroll on the waters of the Red River with the Venetian type gondolas, and then have a celebration on the shore. More on kapadokyajet.com

Jetboat ride on Red River

For those who look for an adrenaline day out along the Kizilirmak Red River in Avanos town, then head out to Jetboat ride.

With this speedboat adventure, you’ll have great fun while experiencing the ultimate adrenaline-filled adventure, 360-degree Hamilton turns, speed slides and other exciting maneuvers as you explore the Red River and the surroundings. More on kapadokyajet.com

Pottery Workshops

In Avanos, you’ll see variety of great traditional pottery workshops and demonstrations and you may glimpse into the world of pottery while you stroll along the streets of Avanos.

When you get into one of this pottery hops, you’ll have the opportunity to make your own clay pot if you wish, with the local craftsmen to help you polish up your skills.

Ceramics & Pottery for a Day

Another enjoyable activity of Cappadocia is making hand-crafted pottery in Avanos, with a pottery workshop on every corner where the artists generally practice their father’s profession. You, too, can make one and take it with you. Immerse yourself in the secrets of the traditional pottery workshops and demonstrations. The ancestral techniques and know-how of the craftsmen workshop will show you all the secrets.

Classes are typically around half a day in length and include everything from clay preparation to decorating glazing. At the end of the session, you can take your unique creations home with you as mementos of your time spent in magical Cappadocia.

Wanna learn more about pottery and ceramics for a day in Cappadocia? >>

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Guray Museum of Ceramics and Pottery

This is a private underground museum of ceramic and pottery located in Avanos. This unique museum is home to a collection of traditional pottery and ceramics that have been crafted by the Guray family for generations.

You will find a huge ceramic art work and pottery, world-renowned contemporary and traditional ceramic artists’s works, fine arts such as drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics and photography are exhibited at the museum.

Visitors can also learn about the traditional techniques used in the pottery-making process and admire the unique craftsmanship of the region. There are also workshops where visitors can try their hand at making their own pottery.

  • Address: Yeni Mahalle Dereyamanli Str. No:44 50500 Avanos, Cappadocia
  • Tel: +90 384 511 23 74

Chez Galip Hair Museum

This is a private museum located in Avanos. One of the most interesting museums in the world, more than 16,000 women hair samples are exhibited at the museum.

This quirky and offbeat museum features a collection of hair samples from women all over the world. All parts of the museums are covered with locks of hair from women with their addresses on the papers hold on the hair locks. Visitors can learn about the history and culture of hair and enjoy the unique atmosphere of the museum.

  • Address: Yukari dist., No: 24, Str 100, Avanos, Cappadocia
  • Tel: +90 384 511 42 40

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Hot air balloon ride is one of the most attended tours in Cappadocia. It is also as one of the most interesting and exciting attractions in the world.

Going on a balloon tour and watching the valleys from the sky is another fantastic attraction that we recommend during your Avanos holidays. With a hot air balloon, you can see the unique beautiful valleys of Cappadocia from a bird’s eye view and enjoy the magnificent views.

More Info & Booking

Sightseeing Tours

If you want to discover the popular sights, fairy chimneys, valleys, underground cities and the most beautiful spots of Cappadocia, than you should take take the sightseeing tours.

There are variety of sightseeing tours that covers all regions of Cappadocia. Most of the sightseeing tours are named in colors like Red TourGreen Tour and Blue Tour.

Eating Out – What to Eat?

While the pottery tradition is famous in the region, the pot dishes cooked in casserole are at the top of the list. Among the local dishes of the region, there are dishes made of various legumes, dishes cooked with meat and in casseroles.

Jug kebab, pot beans, stuffed apricots, wedding soup and homemade wines are indispensable flavors of Avanos cuisine.

Shopping – What to Buy?

Avanos is famous for its pottery tradition. You’ll find many lovely pottery shops selling handmade items. Here you can buy souvenirs for your loved ones such as pottery ornaments, candle holders, jugs or casseroles.

In addition, you can buy delicious homemade wines in Avanos. You can also buy and present hand-woven carpets, rugs or runners. You can also choose fairy chimney sculptures and magnets, which are a miniature of the architectural structure of the region, as gifts.

Accommodation in Avanos – Where to Stay?

If you’re looking for a historical and cultural experience, Avanos is the perfect place for you. This region of Cappadocia is considered the birthplace of art, and there are plenty of opportunities to appreciate its rich history.

Avanos is at the tip of the Cappadocia area, which means that it is a bit less touristic than Goreme and Urgup and may be far from some of the common tourist attractions.

Avanos is known as the artistic district in Cappadocia and is famous for the Avanos Houses. For those interested in a truly authentic experience, and okay with being further away from the tourist attractions if it means interacting with the locals, then Avanos is the ideal place to stay.

Located amid beautiful natural valleys, with plenty of artists, and small pottery businesses, the town is easily explored by foot. Guests can stay in a boutique hotel and can then take a car or mini-bus to explore the other popular attractions.

How to Get to Avanos?

Avanos is a historic town located in the heart of Cappadocia, Turkey, and is easily accessible from nearby towns and cities. Whether you’re traveling by car, taxi, or local bus, you can easily reach this historic town and explore its many cultural and historic landmarks, including the Red River and the Avanos Museum.

How to get to Avanos from Goreme, Uchisar, and Urgup?

Getting to Avanos is easy and convenient, with a range of transportation options available from nearby towns and cities.

  • From Goreme: The easiest way to get to Avanos from Goreme is by car or taxi. The town is located approximately 9 kilometers from Goreme, and the journey takes around 15 minutes by car. Alternatively, you can take a local bus from Goreme to Avanos, which runs regularly throughout the day.
  • From Uchisar: If you’re staying in Uchisar, the best way to get to Avanos is by car or taxi. The town is located approximately 12 kilometers from Uchisar, and the journey takes around 20 minutes by car. You can also take a local bus from Uchisar to Avanos, which operates on a regular schedule throughout the day.
  • From Urgup: To get to Avanos from Urgup, you can take a car or taxi. The town is located approximately 10 kilometers from Urgup, and the journey takes around 20 minutes by car. There are also local buses that run from Urgup to Avanos, which operate on a regular schedule throughout the day.

Traveling to Avanos

Avanos is situated about 300 km. from Ankara, 747 km. from Istanbul, 777 km. from Izmir, 58 km. from Kayseri, and 12 km. from Nevsehir.

There are NO direct international flights for Cappadocia region. Nearest local airports are situated in Nevsehir and Kayseri. You can find direct domestic flights to these cities from Istanbul and Izmir.

Nevsehir Kapadokya Airport (NAV) is the closest one (44 km.) to the Cappadocia, while you can find more flights to Kayseri Airport (ASR) (75 km.).

After reaching Kayseri or Nevsehir by land or plane, you can reach Avanos by minibuses in about 30 minutes from the airports. But this would be a hard way. Taking a taxi from the center, bus station or airport is another option.

As Cappadocia region is NOT a metropolitan one, mostly has a rural life, we highly recommend you take airport transfers to get to your hotel in Avanos, Goreme, Uchisar or Urgup town of Cappadocia. So that you can have a safe, comfortable and easy transport option to your hotel.

The Shared Shuttle (about €8 per person) or Private shuttle (about €80 per person) is the most comfortable and convenient way to travel between the airports and Cappadocia and all neighboring regions.

As for private shuttle transfers to Avanos, we highly recommend KiwiTaxi as we recently tested them and had a great trip to our hotel. It offers low-priced, fixed rate private shuttles that include meet-and-greet airport pickups and luggage assistance.

Their large selection of comfortable taxis, minivans, luxurious cars and 6-19+ passenger minibuses can match any need while ensuring quick and safe travels to and from Kayseri airport (ASR). They met us inside the airport, helped with our luggage, brought us in front of the hotel and there also helped us with our luggage.

It is so easy to make a booking: you just choose a vehicle, specify time and place of departure and destination. The driver will meet you, help with baggage and take you to the agreed address.

Faster and more comfortable than shuttles, buses and taxis. Free cancellation. All prices include fees & tip.

Book your Private Shuttle

Check out and book your transfer from the below best and cheapest options

Book your Shared Shuttle

These are the other options for those who would like a shared shuttle transfer

Book Your Balloon Ride

Below you can find our recommendations. Each company directly operates the hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia with their team of experts. So you will book your flight directly from the company. No men in the middle.

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Related Reading

Local Recommendations from Cappadocia4U team

If youʻre visiting Cappadocia for the first time, we have you covered. Below are some of the top recommendations, tours and experiences!

Some useful info

  • Cappadocia is the name of the region situated in the middle of Turkey. It is mostly known by the three popular towns of Goreme, Urgup and Uchisar but actually it is the name of the very big region spread through the cities of Nevsehir, Kirsehir, Nigde, Aksaray and Kayseri.
  • If you are first-time visitor, want to get familiar, please read our Cappadocia for first timers guide.
  • If you are not sure how to travel, please read our Traveling to Cappadocia guide.
  • If you don't know where to stay, please read our Where to Stay in Cappadocia guide for regions, and Accommodation guide for hotels.
  • If it is hard to plan your days, please read our Ideal 3-Days Cappadocia itinerary.

Top Attractions & Sights

There are 6 must do and see in Cappadocia that you won't want to miss!

  1. Hot Air Balloon Rides (the most exciting attractions in the world)
  2. Goreme Open Air Museum (some best-preserved examples of Byzantine rock-cut architecture and frescoes in the world)
  3. Pasabag Monks Valley (one of the most popular fairy chimneys areas)
  4. Uchisar Castle (highest point, the biggest fairy chimney)
  5. Derinkuyu Underground City (one of the largest underground cities in the world, 8th century BC)
  6. Ihlara Valley (fantastic canyon with a depth of about 100 mt. and 14 km. length)

Tip-1: One of the best ways to explore Cappadocia is by taking a sightseeing tour, so that you can cover all the top sights. Three main sightseeing tours available: Red Tour (covers the highlights of the region), Green Tour (best of natural and historical sites), and Blue Tour (lesser-known sights, off-the-beaten-path experience)

Tip-2: Private Tours are also good choice within a well-planned and custom itinerary along with a private vehicle, driver and professional guide. Great for those who don't have a car or don't know the region well.

For leisure activities we'd recommend 2 must-take attractions! Don't miss! Wine Tasting and Photo Shooting