Tour around Lake Van
On this tour, we travel around Lake Van, the largest lake in Turkey. This area is equally rich in cultural and natural heritage. The tour starts from Van.
Day 1: We take a ferry from Van to Tatvan. After the scenic journey, we go to the crater lakes on Mt Nemrut (3050m). After sunset, we return to Tatvan. Hotel accommodation in Tatvan.
Day 2: After breakfast, we leave Tatvan and travel along the Northern shore of Van Lake. We stop by at the well-preserved seljuk cemetery in Ahlat.
While getting further East, the view is dominated by Turkey's second tallest volcanic peak, Mt Süphan (4050m). We reach Adilcevaz, famous for it's walnuts. The emblematic produce is so important that there is even a local festival celebrating walnut harvest in the autumn. Walnuts come in many forms in the shops: apart from the raw walnuts still in the shell, you can buy walnuts put in jars of local honey or even green walnut preserves. Leaving the sight of Mt Süphan behind, we are approaching Van. For the rest of the tour, Van will be our base.
Day 3: Today, in the morning, we visit Akdamar Island (a 15-minute sail from the shore). The island is famous for the 10th century Armenian Church of the Holy Cross. You can relax on the island and even take a pleasant swim. We have lunch at the lakeside restaurant - your chance to taste fresh local fish. In the afternoon, we return to Van and visit the "Rock of Van" or Van Kalesi, once a Urartian stronghold. After sunset, we return to Van for dinner.
Day 4: On our last tour-day, you will get to one of the less accessible, and thus much less visited Armenian churches. We go to Yedi Kilise, or Seven Churches. Once, there were 7 churches comprising the grand monastery of the Holy Cross. Today, there is only the Church of St George (dating back to the 13th century) left at the site.
Then, we visit Hosap Castle, a 17th century fairytale castle, 60 km from Van. On the way back, we stop at the Hittite site at Çavustepe.