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Van Lake Travel, Turkey Travel Guide

Van Lake Travel, Turkey Travel Guide

Van Lake Travel, Turkey Travel Guide

Being famous for its distinctive domestic cats, Van offers a ferry trip to a sacred destination- an evil eye bead for Turkey’s largest lake.

This remote but important city is settled in a verdant oasis at the foot of a rocky peak. An imposing ninth century BC citadel overlooks the new and old parts of the town. Steps carved in the rock lead to the Urartian fortress and halfway up inscriptions in cuneiform pay homage to Xerxes. Inside of the fortress are several Urartian royal rock tombs. In the old city the Ulu Mosque, Hüsrev Paşa Mosque, Kaya Çelebi Mosque and the İkiz Kümbet (Twin Mausoleums) reflect the Seljuk and Ottoman architectural styles. Van’s interesting Archaeological Museum is in the new city, inland from the uninhabited old district. Still very much part of a traditional lifestyle, the women of Van produce beautiful kilims (rugs) woven in blue, red and white patterns. The exotic Van cat that is a symbol of the city has thick white fur and eyes of one colour eachblue and green. The philatelic sections of major Turkish post offices have beautiful Van cat stamps for sale.

At Van İskelesi (Van Pier), friendly tea gardens and restaurants invite you for a break and Edremit, a holiday resort 14 km to the southwest, has nice beaches available for both swimming and camping. In the same direction is Gevaş, where you can visit a Seljuk cemetery with numerous decorated headstones and the lovely Halime Hatun Mausoleum.

“Van, the ancient Urartian capital of Tuşpa, tempts visitors with its location on the eastern shore of the lake with the same name.”

Lake Van, the largest lake of Turkey, is located at an altitude of 1720m and is ringed by beautiful mountains. Mount Süphan (4058m) is on the northwest side and the İhtiyar Şahap Mountains are to the south of the region. You can go around the lake, visiting several ancient Urartian sites as well as other places that represent the legacies of the various peoples who inhabited the area.

Some of the islands on Lake Van have monasteries and churches. Forty-one kilometres southwest of Van, Akdamar Island (a half-hour sail from shore) is the most important of these. On the island stands the 10th century Akdamar Church whose stone walls are richly carved with Old Testament scenes and figures. The church, hosting a religious ceremony once a year, now serves as a museum. After sightseeing, swimmers and picnickers can enjoy themselves around the island’s almond groves. Should you have time, visit Çarpanak Island to drink in its landscape and to wander around the 12th-century church, which is now a museum.

Among the interesting geographical features around Lake Van, the Muradiye Waterfalls, 88km north of Van, with a peaceful tea garden and restaurants and Gahnispi-Beyaz Çeşme Falls, 60km south of Van, are worth visiting.

Çavuştepe, 35km from Van on the Hakkari road, is an important Urartian citadel. It was excavated in 1970. Today you can see temples, a palace, a sacrificial altar and inscriptions there. On the pastoral, winding road to Hakkari, the Zernek Dam Lake offers itself as a resting spot on the way to Hoşap, 60km from Van, where a 17th century fairytale castle rises above a small hill. The interior is badly damaged, but the exterior walls, crenellations and turrets are well-preserved.


Van Lake or the local name Van Sea is a volcanic rock assumed to be formed by the waters that accumulate in the crater that formed the explosion of the Nemrut volcanic mountain within the boundaries of the Tatvan county. The surface area of ​​Van Lake, which has many bays, is 3,713 km². Van Lake is a different aquatic ecosystem than both freshwater and marine ecosystems. The water is salty and sodised. The salinity of the lake water is 19% and the pH is 9.8. The lake water level rises and falls depending on the climate. However, on average, the height from the sea is 1646 meters. The average depth of the lake is 171 meters and the deepest point is 451 meters. In the eastern part of the lake there are four islands. These; Akdamar, Çarpanak, Adir and Bird islands. The islands have historical and touristic characteristics and were declared Archaeological Site in 1990.

Lake Van is the world’s largest soda lake is also the largest lake in Turkey. Salt-spilled waters of the lake limit biological diversity. There are 103 species of phytoplankton, 36 species of zooplankton and one species of fish, pearl kefal (Chalcalburnus tarichi). The lake is 430 km from the land. According to local people, a monster lives in the lake. Many scientific research teams have been working in the region to investigate the rumors that the purpose of the writers is to attract tourists to the region. Istanbul-Tehran railway lines are also connected. Turkey and Iran connected to the railway was built in 1970.
It is from the province of Van that the name of modern Lake of Van, which is known as Thospitis Lacus or Arsissa Lacus by the ancient Greek geographers, is included in the borders of the name. The capital of the Urartu Kingdom, BC Between the 10th and 8th centuries, the lake was established on the east coast. Throughout the Van Lake estates and on many of the islands can be found remains of the Armenian church and monasteries. The best preserved is the Holy Cross Collection of the tenth century. Akdamar Island ‘is located. It was built by King Gagik Artzruni between 915 and 921. The reliefs on the outer walls provide stories such as the sacred temple Adam and Eve (Adam and Eve), Jonah and the whale (Dolphin and Whale), David Davud and Goliath (Golyat). The other important historical monument is the Van Fortress on the shores of the lake. Modern Van city is located to the east of this castle. The face is 3,713 km2. The height of 1.646m from the sea exceeds 457m in depth. Akdamar, Çarpanak, Adir and Kuş islands are located to the east of the lake. These islands are a tourist attraction. It has been declared as a site. The water is sodal and salty. At the same time the world’s most soda-containing lake. The climate on the Van coast is softer than other places.

Van’s Gevaş districts are waiting to be touched by the untouched nature, the blue sea, the beach and the green.

After a journey of about 3 hours in Van Lake, the locals in Ağın province are not looking for the beauties in the Aegean and Mediterranean regions.


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