Avanos (population 12,000), on the banks of the Kızılırmak River in Cappadocia (map), is all about pottery-making.
Though not as well known as Ürgüp, Göreme, or Uçhisar,Avanos has several good hotels (including a DoubleTree by Hilton) and restaurants, as well as plenty of shops.
The red clay from the riverbanks is excellent for traditional household pottery as well as industrial uses such as building blocks and roof tiles.
You can see pottery being made, and even take a pottery-making class and make some yourself.
Avanos's artisans also carve alabaster, the light-colored, translucent stone.
The Sarı Han (Yellow Caravanserai), a caravanserai built by the Selcuk Turks, is out in the country 6 km (4 mi) east of Avanos. Unless you're a good walker, hire a taxi to get there as there's little hitching traffic on the road to Sarı Han.
Avanos is 17 km (11 mi, 25 minutes) NE of Nevşehir, 8 km (5 miles) N of Göreme, 13 km (8.1 mi) NW of Ürgüp. and 70 km (44 miles) W of Kayseri (map). It's not quite as central as Ürgüp or Göreme to use as a base for your visit, but it's a bit less touristy, and still has a small selection of hotels and restaurants.
Distances & Travel Times
Göreme Open-Air Museum: 12 km (8 miles) S, 18 minutes
Göreme Town: 10 km (6 miles) S, 15 minutes
Kayseri: 90 km (56 miles) E, 1.5 hours
Nevşehir: 17 km (11 miles) SW, 20 minutes
Uçhisar: 11 km (7 miles) S, 15 minutes
Ürgüp: 8 km (5 miles) N, 15 minutes