Welcome to Avanos
The Kızılırmak (Red River) is the slow-paced pulse of this provincial town and the unusual source of its livelihood; the distinctive red clay that, mixed with a white, mountain mud variety, is spun to produce the region's famed pottery. Typically painted in turquoise or the earthy browns and yellows favoured by the Hittites, the beautiful pieces are traditionally thrown by men and painted by women. Aside from the regulation tour groups (who, quicker than an eye blink, get bussed into the pottery workshops and then bussed out again), Avanos is relatively devoid of foreign visitors, leaving you alone to meander the alleys that snake up the hillside, lined with gently decaying grand Greek-Ottoman houses. Occasional (and slightly incongruous) Venetian-style gondolas now ply the river, but riverside is still the place to ponder the sunset as you sip your umpteenth çay.