Urgup has traditionally been the tourism center of Central Anatolia’s Cappadocia region, though nowadays nearby Goreme Town has become an equally important touring base.

It used to be that Urgup was for upscale visitors and tour groups, and Göreme for backpackers, but that has changed. There are now excellent boutique hotels and inns in both towns, although Urgup does have many more of these.

The center of Ürgüp (EWR-gewp, pop. 15,000) boasts many fine old houses of carved Cappadocian stone. The soft  volcanic tufa lends itself to carving for decoration and to expansion: if the house needs a new room, the residents merely hollow one out of the hillside into which the house is built.

Like most Cappadocian towns, Ürgüp clings to the walls of a valley and tumbles down along the valley floor for some distance.

The town has many fine inns with cave roomssuch as the Esbelli Evi, as well as cheaper pensions. On the outskirts of the town toward Kayseri are large modern hotels designed for tour groups.

The best restaurants in Ürgüp are Ziggy Caféand Dimrit, just down the hill from the Esbelli district.

The center of Ürgüp hasshops, a historic hamam (Turkish bath), and the Temenni Hill, a high rock ledge looming above the very center of town, with a saint’s tomb at its edge. Temenni was a favorite place to go for the fine view, and to watch the sunset. In spring 2007 a section of the rock collapsed on several buildings in the town, so the viewing terrace is now smaller.

If you plan to take a hot-air balloon flight, and you’re staying in Ürgüp, your ballooning company will pick you up from your Ürgüp hotel and drive you to the launch site.

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