Cost: Free public access
Great for: Nature, Idyllic Village Life, Strange Geology
The village of Oğuldere (sometimes referred to by its old Armenian name: Buban) is a town known mostly for the short fairy chimneys that top a number of the hills surrounding it. The current location of Oğuldere is rather recent as the old town was mostly destroyed in an earthquake just short of 30 years ago. The brilliant green valley from the new town to the old is well worth exploring as it runs between fairy chimney-topped hills and up to the ruins of the old town where there are a couple cave homes, natural caves, as well as pasture land full of livestock. The entire area is quite picturesque and holds some great hidden gems.
How To Get There
Head north out of the city center taking the Bingöl Sancak road (sometimes referred to as the Kartal Road) until you reach the town of Sudüğünü where you will make a right turn to the east and continue on for about 5 km and reach the new village of Oğuldere. You will notice that many of the hilltops have these fairy chimneys though the best lay a little way past the town towards the old town.
Above the old town as well as across the valley from its ruins are a number of caves; some natural, some carved as homes into the rocks. Unless you feel like doing some extended exploring you may want to ask for directions as some are very hard to find.
Where To Stay
Oğuldere is on a minor road that doesn’t lead to anything even close to major. The only place certain to have accommodation within a few hours’ drive is the city center of Bingöl which is only about an hour away.
As this was once an Armenian village locals may think that you’re treasure hunters looking for buried gold and may not be so friendly. Other than getting to know a local I’m not certain how you should avoid this. For starters don’t carry a metal detector or shovels.
Have any tips or info to add? Spot any mistakes? We’d love to hear about it.