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ÖZKONAK

aoz1North of Avanos in Cappadocia, Özkonak is home to one of the area's many underground cities, this one supposedly discovered when the local imam was digging his garden and suddenly found himself staring into a hole. 

Since then Özkonak has been acquired by the state which means that access is now much more organised. Recently souvenir stalls and small cafes have sprung up around the entrance too. 

Like most of the underground cities this one descends deep into the ground where there are many tunnels which can only be walked along while bent double. These lead to small rooms whose precise purposes can only be guessed at. Many people will most vividly recall the huge rolling stones that were once used to seal the tunnels against invaders.aoz2

Elsewhere in the village you'll find a few examples of the sort of fine stone houses that are such a feature of Cappadocia.

More striking is the wild Yavuz Selim Vadisi, a valley whose walls are hollowed out with caves, most of them probably used for storage. It's an unexpected sight right inside the village. 

Sleeping

There is nowhere to stay in Özkonak. The best choice of hotels nearby is in Avanos. 

Transport info

There are infrequent buses from Avanos to Özkonak (22km). These stop within easy walking distance of the underground city as do equally infrequent buses from Nevşehir.

Driving from Avanos to Özkonak you might also want to visit the abandoned village of Sarıhıdır.

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