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How to Reach

By Air

Van Ferit Melen Airport (IATA: VAN, ICAO: LTCI) is an airport in Van, the city in eastern region of Turkey.It is named after the Turkish politician and former prime minister Ferit Melen (1906–1988).

By Train

From Istanbul’s Haydarpasa station (on the Asian side) there are trains direct to Tatvan, a town on the west side of Lake Van, two times a week, on Mondays and Fridays.This train (Vangolu Express) departs from Haydarpasa at 10:55PM and calls in a number of cities and towns across Anatolia, including Eskisehir, Ankara, Kayseri, Sivas and Malatya among others.According to the timetable all the way between Istanbul and Tatvan takes almost 40 hours (arriving in Tatvan at 2:17PM on Wednesdays and Sundays) frequent and probably long delays discluded.This is the longest (both in terms of miles traveled and time spent inside the train) non-international train journey in Turkey and gives a through panorama of almost all regions of inland Turkey. Inter Rail pass is accepted in this train. Once arrived in Tatvan you can take the ferry which crosses the lake to Van.

By Ferry

Van is connected with Tatvan, which is 96 km away on the opposite shore of Lake Van, by a train ferry that helps to avoid the necessity to build a 250 km railway through difficult mountainous terrain.The railway will be constructed when traffic increases sufficiently.

By Bus

Buses leave to most destinations in Turkey.A ticket to Diyarbakir costs 20 TL (09:00, 12:00 and 23:00, 6 hours), to Malatya costs 25 TL (08:30, 9 hours) and Trabzon costs 50 TL (07:30 and 12:00, 12 hours).Remember that most departure times are from the Otogar, a few km's out of town. Free shuttle buses run from the main ticket offices in the town centre but remember to be there at least half an hour before the scheduled departure time.As always, check details when buying the ticket.Minibuses to Dogubeyazıt and Yuksekova for border crossings to Iran.There are also two buses a day to and from Urmia in Iran costing only 15 Euros.

Key places to visit
Van Castle, Akdamar Church, Artos Mountain, Akdamar Island, Kaya Celebi Mosque, Van Museum, Muradiye Waterfalls


Places to Visit

Van Castle

is a castle of ancient kingdom of Urartu in the form of the mass of stone and was built by the Urartian capital Tuspa's bird's eye to building a fortress.Van Lake and the coast, 5 km away from the city of Van, this castle was built on a steep cliff.Construction of 1800 m long, 120 m wide and 80 m high.Castle 9 BC century, the son of Lutipri'nin Sarduri by 840 BC - 825 has been established between the dates.present a large number of such istihkamlara Armenia, Turkey and Iran are also common.Usually these kinds of structures within the earth is made out of rocks and hillsides.This kind of foreign armies to counter the castles are usually not used for the control of the region.Van outskirts of the city ruins of this structure, its walls of the Middle Ages supports also been made.

Akdamar Church

is a Holy Cross church, from Jerusalem to Iran after the 7th abduction the rumor of a piece of the True Cross Van century in order to accommodate the King I.Gagik in the order of 915-921 years has been built by the architect Manuel.The church was established in the south east of the island, the medieval Armenian art in terms of architecture are counted among the most brilliant works.The exterior of the church which was built of red stone, andesite, rich plant and animal motifs in low relief in the form of processed and the Bible is decorated with scenes that received the diagnosis.The church property also has a unique position in the history of Armenian architecture.Northeast of the chapel of the church between 1296-1336, the west jamadun (community house) on 1793, the bell tower in the south of 18 were added at the end of a century. In the chapel on the north is unknown.Along with many other Armenian monuments in the east in 1951, the government orders the destruction of the Church of Aktamar agreed on June 25, 1951, demolition work started at that time a young journalist, and who are aware of the incident by chance Yasar Kemal's intervention was stopped.

Artos Mountain

Artos, Gevas located within the boundaries of a mountain.Height of 3550 meters.Other name of the mountain is a tent.Due to more hunting and lost most of the natural animal existence but the bear, rabbit, partridge and animals such as wolves still alive.Located on the mountain of lead ore.At the same time because of the wind speed blowing from the wind turbines is an area available to install.

Akdamar Island

is located between the cities of Lake Van, giving rise to the largest in the island.Van Gevas town on the island located within the boundaries of the Armenians 'dating from the church is located. 70.000 square meters of surface area of ​​the island's total length of 3 kilometers of the coastal reaches. The highest point is 1912 meters above sea level in the western ends of the island's steep cliffs reach height is 80 meters.According to the story of where the name of the common folk of the island, the head of Armenian monks living in the time of the legendary beauty of this island has a daughter named Tamar. Villages around the island, a young shepherd who falls in love with this girl. Floating to the island every night to meet this young Tamar'la. Place him in the darkness of the night, to a certain Tamar it waits for a lantern. Informed that the girl's father, goes to the shore of the island in a stormy night, with lanterns in the hands of young people, and constantly changing in the swim for nothing, leads to the loss of power. Lost the power of swimming, she's choking and choking the last breath of tired young shepherd "Ah, Tamar!" he cries. Hearing this, the waters of the lake itself immediately after the girl leaves the island after that day, Tamar Ah! discusses with the name. Armenian poet Hovhannes Tumanyan legendary story telling this story.

Kaya Celebi Mosque

The second building of Old Van that has managed to survive is the Kaya Celebi Mosque, which stands about 150m from the Husrev Pasa Mosque.Repairs have been made in recent years and it is open for worship and in regular use. This mosque closely resembles the nearby Husrev Pasha Mosque in terms of construction technique and ornamentation.The location and form of the minaret, the son cemaat yeri covered by fıve domes, the stone facing in two colours on the wall of the mosque, the sixteen windows with pointed arches on the drum of the dome, the arched buttresses supporting the drum, the three-lobed recesses of the windows in the east wall are all echoes of the Husrev Pasha Mosque.The square scole of the minaret, which is at the north end of the west wall, is like the exterior of the harim, faced with beige and brownish-red cut stone.The transitional section is faced only with brown cut stone but body its main body is again faced in stone of the former type.The facing of the domes and the arched buttresses supporting the drum of the dome are all of brown stone.

Van Museum

The small Van Museum boasts an outstanding collection of Urartian exhibits.The Urartian gold jewellery is the highlight, but the bronze belts, helmets, horse armour and terracotta figures are also well worth seeing.The ethnographic exhibits upstairs include local Kurdish and Turkoman kilims and a carpeted sitting area, such as is found in village houses.The Genocide Section is a piece of one-sided propaganda displaying the contents of graves left from the massacres of Turks and Kurds by Armenians at Cavusoglu and Zeve.The museum has a good bookshop with plenty of foreign-language titles about the region.

Muradiye Waterfalls

located about 90 km north of Van are the perfect place to rest while listening to natures harmony at one of the restaurants or tea gardens around the falls.Very few people know Tirsin pasture in Van.The rocky area of this 2.400 m high pasture is an open-air museum.There are thousands of pictures the rocks: Schematic pictures of bulls and bison dating between Mesolithic and Bronze Ages.These pictures created by the hunters support the thesis that the area was thickly forested in prehistoric times.

Right Time to Visit

November - March
June - October