Mustafapasa Village, Urgup, Cappadocia (Top Things to Do & See)

Located about 6 km from Urgup, the Mustafapasa village (Sinasos: City of the Sun) is an old Greek village that fascinates its visitors with its history and culture, magnificent historical mosques, madrasas, churches, monasteries, stone houses and natural beauties. As a village awarded by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, it still preserves its former naturalness, and has approximately 1300 residents. Mustafapasa can be considered as one of the most natural villages of Cappadocia region.

History of Mustafapasa Village

Dating back to 9th century, the village was first known as Sinasos in ancient times, and there are about 200 registered buildings in the village from the Byzantine period, the Ottoman period, and the early Republican period.

When we have a quick look at the history of Mustafapasa, it is known that until the population exchange in 1924, it was a village where wealthy Orthodox Greeks selling wine and medicinal products lived and there were approximately 700 stone mansions.

With the exchange, the people of the village are sent to Greece and the Turkish population is settled in their place. In the following periods, stonework developed considerably. In fact, the architects of the period, according to rumors, came from the border of Mardin and Syria. With the similarity of the magnificent stone houses in Mardin and the stone houses of Mustafapaşa, this rumor seems to be quite strong.

Mustafapaşa is currently under protection by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and was opened to tourism in 1981. There are 93 houses and about 30 historical churches and chapels in Mustafapaşa that we can see as cultural heritage.

Where does the name Mustafapasa come from?

Rumor has it that the name Mustafapasa comes from a high-ranking government official named Seyyid Mustafa Pasha. With the donations of fountains made by this person during his period, the water problem of the village was solved to a large extent and it was started to be called Mustafapasa.

Mustafapasa Top Things to Do & See

Chez Ismail

Located at the entrance of Mustafapasa and serving as a gift shop, Chez Ismail is also a frequent destination for visitors to the region. Here you can buy souvenirs and also learn about the area from Chez Ismail, who has a reputation for being extremely kind and hospitable.

Mehmet Sakirpasa Madrasa

Mehmet Şakirpaşa Madrasa is located in the square of Mustafapasa village. It was built in 1899, and is the most striking and most important Ottoman monument here. It’s worth to be seen. Today, the madrasa serves as the Cappadocia Vocational School.

Just across the madrasah are the Cami-i Kebir, the oldest mosque in the region, built in 1601, and the Sheikh Ali and Sipahi Mosque.

St. Nicholas Monastery

St. Nicholas Monastery is also one of the most impressive historical places of the region. The monastery, whose construction date is unknown, is partly masonry and partly carved into rock. Although most of it has been destroyed today, it is still worth seeing.

Constantine Helena Church

Inside of the Greek Orthodox Church dedicated to Emperor Constantine and Helen, in Mustafapasa, Cappadocia

Constantine Helena Church, which is one of the basilica planned churches that is open to visitors and has been able to protect itself until today, is located close to the Mustafapasa square. As it can be understood from the inscription on the door of the church, the building was built in 1729 during the Ottoman period.

Saint Basil’s Church

St. Vasilios Church, which is located near the Bey Creek Valley and was carved from the rock in the 19th century as Post-Byzantine, is one of the important historical monuments of Mustafapaşa. Inside the church, there are pictures of saints and apostles and a fresco of St. Yuannis.

St. Basil’s Chapel

The historical St. Basil’s Chapel, located in the west about 2 km from Mustafapasa, is impressive and worth seeing with its flat ceiling, two-nave chapel and rectangular planned architectural structure. In the apse of the nave, there are three Maltese pilgrims and palmettes with the names of the patriarchs. The large cross motif on the ceiling is also decorated with geometric and vegetal shapes.

Cappadocia Museum of Art and History – Doll Museum

This is a private museum located in Mustafapasa and housed in 150 years old mansion.

More than 2000 pieces of hand made dolls from Turkey and all over the world in their unique costumes, the wall paintings of Kostas Meletiyadis, the mansion’s historical star windows, yards, rooms, doors and accessories can be admired at the museum.

  • Address: Yukari dist. Gazi Str. No: 6 Mustafapasa, Urgup, Cappadocia
  • Tel: +90 384 353 52 21

Gomeda Valley

Gomeda Valley is located in the west of Mustafapasa village along Urgup. The valley is known as “Small Ihlara”. Just like in Ihlara Valley, you will experience and enjoy variety of rock-cut houses and churches, shelters and a river running through the valley. Gomeda Valley is also called the “Devil’s Creek”, due to its pleasant trails with hollows, tunnels and dovecotes.

The 1,5 km hiking trail of the Gomeda Valley offers a different atmosphere for its guests. One of the caves has been used as a reservoir for rain water since ancient times, and it continues to be used to irrigate poplar trees, which can be seen frequently while walking.

When you continue through the valley, you’ll reach Uzengi valley, and the total hiking trail of these 2 valleys is 6 km.

Asmali Konak (Old Greek House)

The famous mansion (an old Greek house from 1800) in Mustafapasa is currently serves as a hotel and restaurant as the “Old Greek House”. Serving with 2 floors, 15 rooms and 32 beds, Asmalı Konak restaurant is also worth a try. It’s best known for partaking in Turkish TV series starring Nurgül Yeşilçay and Özcan Deniz.

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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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