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12 days: Culture: Istanbul - Lake Van - Foot of the Ararat to the  Black Sea 

description:  the journey from Eastern Anatolia from Lake Van to the Black Sea  Nature and culture in - If you think of Turkey, you think of the Turkish Riviera, Antalya, sun and beach holidays. But Turkey offers a lot more. This sparsely populated and untouched region of Turkey is steeped in tradition and history. Treat yourself to the famous pistachio baklava in Gaziantep, join the conversations with Arameans in Midyat, enjoy the breathtaking view of Mount Ararat (you might think you can see the silhouette of Noah's ark ...!), Wander through the original Garden of Eden and the holy basin of Abraham and pet one of Van's famous cats with green and blue eyes.

  • Visit to the monastery church on Akdamar Island in Lake Van, which dates from the 10th century. Legends and myths are not only about Mount Ararat, but also about this Church of the Holy Cross.

  • Visit the İşhak Paşa Palace, which was built high above a wide plain near Doğubayazıt in the 17th century and for decades controlled caravan traffic on the Silk Road below.

  • Visit the hot springs of Diyadin, which are often compared to the springs of Pamukkale and are a wonderful photo opportunity.

  • The hospitality of a Kurdish nomad family will always be characterized by unforgettable moments during a cozy dinner.

Day 1: ARRIVAL Flight from Germany – Istanbul Transfer to the hotel, which is located in the middle of the old town. Sightseeing depends on flight time, the rest of the day is at your leisure. Dinner and overnight stay (-/-/D)

Day 2: ISTANBUL From our hotel we walk to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, later to the Bosphorus, where we can enjoy the unique atmosphere while eating fish on the Bosphorus Bridge and collect many impressions. Overnight stay in Istanbul

Day 3: VAN transfer to the airport in Istanbul and flight to Van. Transfer to the hotel, after check-in, drive to the old town of Van and visit the castle rock of Tushba, the capital of the Urartians, with the rock tombs of the kings and their cuneiform walls; Dinner; Overnight in Van. 

Day 4: LAKE VAN, AKDAMAR We drive to the Armenian monastery island of Akdamar with the recently renovated Holy Cross Church, which became world famous especially because of the unique biblical scenes on the outer walls; In Lake Van (about seven times larger than Lake Constance) with its special alkaline water quality, we of course also have the opportunity to swim. Afterwards we look at Kilise, which means seven churches, in a village near Van Yedi. Remains of a total of 7 churches remain here. Overnight in Van

Day 5: VAN, DOGUBAYAZIT The Iron Age culture of Urartu (the “Land of Ararat” of the Old Testament) is the focus today. Southeast of Van we drive to the ruins of Çavuştepe (8th century BC) and further over the picturesque waterfalls of Muradiye through the bizarre lava landscape of the Tendürek volcano and reach the foot of Mount Ararat near the Iranian border. In the old Dogubayazit we admire the Ishak Pasha Palace (the “Neuschwanstein of Turkey”) and see a meteorite crater that was originally 60 meters deep. Overnight stay in Dogubayazit 

Day 6: ARARAT - NOAH'S ARK The 5165 m high, snow-covered Great Ararat with its 3937 m little brother to the side majestically dominates the landscape in the four-country triangle Turkey-Iran-Armenia-Azerbaijan. The nearby suspected “landing site of Noah's Ark”, a natural terrain formation with ship-like structures, which are passed off as authentic in the local “Noah's Ark Museum” is original and attractive. Afterwards, after a short drive, we will see the north side of Ararat with ruins of an ancient Armenian settlement. Nothing is known historically about this place. Overnight stay in Dogubayazit

Day 7: DOGUBAYAZIT - KARS We drive from Dogubayazit towards Kars. On the way we visit a salt mine. Kars is the setting for Orhan Pamuk's book “Snow”. The high plateau creates excellent conditions for the production of yogurt, milk, cheese, honey and meat. Carpets and kilims are made there, known for their special color combinations and unique designs. In Kars we first drive up to 1800 meters to the fortress hill with the citadel “Kars Kalesi”, below which the Kars Cayi (river) meanders. From here you have a beautiful view over the city. What is particularly striking is the Armenian Apostle Church, which today serves as a mosque and has reliefs of the twelve apostles. After these impressions we move into our hotel. Overnight stay in Kars

Day 8: ANI, KARS Drive to the wildly lonely ruins of the legendary medieval Armenian capital Ani, which everyone who travels to the region must have seen. The city, which once had a population of 100,000, extends on a sprawling rocky plateau bordered on three sides by deep gorges. It is located directly on the Turkish-Armenian (formerly Soviet) border, a deep riverbed of the Aras (Armenian Akurian). Overnight stay in Kars.

Day 9: KARS - ERZURUM Drive to Erzurum, the “capital of the East”, where magnificent mosque buildings from the Seljuk and Ottoman times await us: double minaret - mosque, Ulu Cami, vizier mosque. Overnight in Erzurum

Day 10: TRAPEZUNT, HAGIA SOPHIA Drive through the Pontic Mountains to Trabzon, the capital of the Byzantine Empire of Trebizond. After checking into the hotel, we visit the cross-domed church of Hagia Sophia from the 13th century with its well-preserved, colorful frescoes. Like its big sister in Istanbul, Trabzon's Aya Sofya was converted into a mosque. Finally, an evening walk along the Black Sea. Overnight in Trabzon.

Day 11: SUMELA, TRAPEZUNT Today we visit the Sumela Monastery (original name: “Holy Mary of the Black Mountain”), which is located like an eagle’s nest on a rock face, the highlight of every Trabzon visit. In the year 385, the Greek hermits Barnabas and Sophronius, following a mystical instruction, are said to have recovered an icon of Mary personally painted by the evangelist Luke, for which they built a sanctuary. It later became a well-known pilgrimage site. The relics of the monastery, in addition to the icon a splinter from the cross of Christ, are now in Greece, where a new Sumela monastery was built. The Greek Orthodox monastery became a national heritage site in 1970.

Day 12: RETURN FLIGHT Trabzon – Istanbul – Germany


Level 1: easy
It is a nature and culture trip in easy terrain with short, easy hikes.

12 Tage Kultur VAN bis Trabzon Karte.png


  • Group size        : 4 - 12 people

  • Travel time           :  12 days
  • Overnight hotel accommodation   :  11 nights


  • German-speaking tour guide

  • All transfers in an air-conditioned coach

  • Accommodation in hotels *** in a double room with shower / toilet

  • Full board including drinks (except alcoholic drinks), vegetarian meals are possible

  • Tents and sleeping mats are provided

  • Regional guide

  • All permits

  • All visits and excursions including admission according to the itinerary

  • Registration in van

Detailed Travel information →

pdf indir.webp

Price:      €1720 per person

Single room supplement: €200


01.06 -12.05.2024

01.09 -12.09.2024

 05.10 -16.10.2024

19.10 - 30.10. 2024

Program changes:

On this trip, despite careful preparation, changes to the program due to unforeseeable events must be expected. These can arise due to weather conditions or short-term changes as a result of legal regulations, political decisions or health problems of participants, etc. In any case, we will try to carry out the travel program within the framework of what is responsible or, if not possible, to organize an equivalent alternative program.

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