Cross snow – covered Anatolia on a scenic train travel in winter and visit Van, Doğubeyazit Kars and Cappadocia.
Tuşpa, the capital of the Urartian Kingdom at Van.
İshak Paşa Palace
Mt Ararat ( 5.137 m)
Sarıkamış ski resort
Archaeological Site of Ani
Horse -drawn carriage ride
Frozen Lake Çıldır
Valleys and fairy chimneys of Cappadocia.
Day 1: Van
Following a morning flight to Van, breakfast in one of Van’s famous breakfast restaurants.
Bus ride to Van’s fortress, which was the capital of the Urartian Kingdom between the 9th and 7 th century BC . Then continue to Gevaş to take a boat to Akdamar island for a visit to the spectacular 10 th century Armenian church of the Holy Cross. In the afternoon head to Hosap Castle,built in the 16 th century by Mahmudi clan leader Süleyman Bey. The castle is located on the Silk route and is a very photogenic landmark.
Overnight: *** hotel in Van (BB)
Day 2: Van- Iğdır.
Early departure for visit to Ishak Paşa Sarayı in Doğubeyazit. Tea break at Muradiye waterfalls.Then head to Doğubeyazit for a breathtaking view of MT Ararat and visit to the Palace. The building of İshak paşa palace started in 1685 and it continued for decades. It’s rather a mixture of Anatolian, Iranian,and North Mesopotamian architectural tradition. It’s location, on a mountain top is spectecular.
Overnight: *** hotel in Iğdır (BB)
Day 3: Iğdır-Kars.
After breakfast depart for Sarıkamış which is located on Camurlu Mountain at an altitude of 2.634 m.Very tragic 60.000 Ottoman soldiers, almost half of the 118.000 – strong force- froze death on their way to Sarıkamış on December 22 1914. We will visit the memorial monument and Katerina hunting Lodge buit by Czar Nicholas II of Russia during the Russian occupation era in Kars. Then continue to Kars for a city tour with visits to citadel, the 12 apostles church ( Kümbet mosque) and stone bridge
Overnight: *** Kars (BB)
Day 4: Kars-Ani and Lake Çıldır.
Following a visit to amazing Ani, an Archaeological and UNESCO World heritage site we drive to Lake Çıldır. On the border of Turkey and Armenia this is Turkey’s second largest Lake in East Anatolia and almost totally covered with ice in cold winter months. When the ice is thick enough fishing enthusiasts break the ice and catch fish like eskimo’s and sleigh rides are possible. We then retun to Kars for some shopping and optionally Kafkas Show with dinner .
Overnight: *** Kars.(BB)
Day 5. Kars- Kayseri . Doğu express train travel.
After an early breakfast we embark on the Doğu express from Kars to Kayseri departure 08.00 A.M.we take our places in the couchettes and enjoy unforgettable snow landscapes, canyons, mountains, valleys and rivers, socialize with our companions and rest. After the train arrived in Kayseri at c. 01.15 hrs ( the next morning) Short transfer to hotel.
Overnight: *** Kayseri. (BB)
Day 6. Kayseri- Cappadocia – flight.
A last surprise awaits us today when we head to the valleys and fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, a dreamy slice of Central Anatolia. After visiting striking rock formations and small villages return to Kayseri to catch up flight to Antalya.
Onward travel and end of program.
Note: İf you join this tour from Ankara you can skip the Cappadocian tour and continue to Ankara.