The Best Tourism Villages: Taraklı & Mustafapaşa

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) announced the list of “Best Tourism Villages” during the General Assembly in Madrid. A total of 174 villages were proposed by 75 UNWTO Member States, and 44 were recognized as Best Tourism Villages last year. Two destinations from Türkiye are on the list as well. Taraklı village and Mustafapaşa village gained the label of “the Best Tourism Villages” around the world and are ready to reach their full potential ever since.

What does the Best Tourism Villages Network aim for?

UNWTO searches for villages across the world that are committed to the promotion and preservation of their cultural heritage and sustainable development through tourism. With the vision of making tourism a positive force for transformation, rural development and community wellbeing, the Best Tourism Villages Network aims to maximise the contribution of the sector to reducing regional inequalities and fighting against rural depopulation. It also seeks to advance the role of tourism in valuing and safeguarding rural villages along with their associated landscapes and cultural diversity.

Taraklı: Heaven for Calm Souls

Taraklı is a historic Ottoman village town in Sakarya province. This little village, which was home to several Anatolian civilizations throughout history, is now well-known for its slow and tranquil way of life. Moreover, the village has been a member of Cittaslow Network since 2011. The village also received the European Destinations of Excellence Award in 2013, certifying it as one of the best spots to visit for those in search of excellent destinations.

Taraklı is a place where natural and historical beauty coexists. Anatolian old houses that are scattered all over the village are examples of its well-preserved urban texture. Aside from its classical houses, Yunus Paşa Mosque and hammam, 700-year-old monumental plane tree in Yusufbey District, old Ottoman houses, historical bazaar, Hark Canyon and Cave, Karagöl Plateau, Güngörmez Waterfall, Kemer Bridge, Acısu, Hıdırlık Hill, Belengermesi, Ak Fountain and Çoban Fountain are all must-see sites of the village. Taraklı is an amazing option for those seeking a genuine rural vibe. It is perfect for a day trip or weekend getaway for families, couples or alone.

To learn more, visit the official site here and here.

Mustafapaşa: The City of the Sun

Mustafapaşa is a charming tiny village located in Nevşehir, near Cappadocia. It is the best-preserved settlement in the region. Mustafapaşa has a long history dating back to prehistoric times. During the Ottoman Empire, Mustafapaşa was known as Sinasos, which meant “City of the Sun.” It was a place where immense construction work took place back in the ancient days. Around 700 stone mansions were built, transforming the stonework into artistic architecture.

There are two public churches, over 30 chapels and numerous places of worship throughout the village. Mustafapaşa is an ideal choice for visitors looking for an authentic village atmosphere. The village’s setting makes every visitor feel like a time traveller.

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