We will go to the top of Turkey Ararat the legendary resting place of Noah’s Ark. First we discover the uniqueness of Cappadocia. There are wild flowers everywhere; isolated gardens that abound with fruits and vegetables. We follow old paths to visit the rock-cut churches, monasteries and cave dwelling, all of which are set against a textured moonscape of bizarre volcanic erosions. After our short warm-up in Cappadocia, we’re ready to tackle a week’s moderate to strenuous trekking through mighty Taurus range passing glistening mountain lakes.
-Ishakpasa Palace -Lake Van
-Mt. Ararat -Blue Mosque
Day 1 : Kayseri Airport – Transfer to Cappadocia
Meet the group at Kayseri airport and drive to Capapdocia to our hotel.
Day 2 : Red valley – Pasabaglari
In the morning transfer to beginning of Pancarlik valley. It is a fantastic landscape, a tumble of waves with pastels colours, patchwork of vineyards and small gardens in terraces. We can see Sarica and Kepez churches, carved in the heart a fairy chimneys. They are interesting for their architecture. After lunch we will walk Kizilcukur valley (Red valley) which is know also sunset point. The Red Valley is an isolated valley behind Urgup town. It has beautiful rock formations with some great hidden rock – carved churches. The most interesting part of this area is the countless tracks connecting the small villages and towns through vineyards and gardens like a spider net. It is always possible to see villagers working in the area. We can visit some small churches during our walk, our walk will end in Cavusin village. Overnight hotel. (3-4 hrs walk)
Day 3 : White Valley – Mt. Taurus – Maden Valley
We trek thorough the Akvadi (white valley) eroded so perfectly by time, rain and wind during centuries. On our way following a seasonal river, many strange curious rock formations and fairy chimneys round us. If we are lucky we can also see some wild birds (like hoopoe) and some wild animals (like fox). In 3h walk our way gets us up to Uchisar village where we have lunch break in a restaurant. Uchisar village is settled around a high promoter, which is called citadel. We visit it walking to the top where we have rewarding panoramic view on all the surrealist Cappadoccia area. Afternoon transfer to Mt. Taurus (2h) pınarbası village 1550m the trailhead village, we will have our lunch here in Pınarbası and we begin our Trans-Taurus Trek with a 2 hours hike to Maden valley 1900 m . Overnight camp with all meals. (Ascent = 350m)
Day 4 : Maden Valley – Comce Lake
Today we begin our trek through the Aladag mountains. We trek up the Maden George, possibly seeing nomads at the yayla or mountain pasture where we stop for lunch. After lunch we climb up away from the river to our camp at Karagöl Lake, where the hardly can enjoy a well earned swim. The energetic may like to continue up past the lake towards Sigirasan pass, for superb views of Dipsizgöl and the north face of Demirkazık peak. Overnight camp with all meals at 2550m. (Ascent = 650 m / Desced =0)
Day 5 : Comce Lake – Yedigöller (Seven Lakes) Basin
We have a beautiful walk to Comce Golu (lake) and we contuinue through the Akcay valley summer pastures and walk up to Tekkekalesi pass 3200m, then head south to our campsite at Yedigöller, so called because of many lakes forming here in the beginning of summer from melt water flowing down from the surrounding mountains. While we’re here we expect to meet a family of friendly nomads who inhabit this valley during the summer months and whose black goat-hair tents are usually pitched close to our camp. We may be invited to join them for some traditional “ayran” a refreshing yoghurt based drink.2 nights camping with all meals at 3020 m. (Ascent = 600 m / Descent = 180 m)
Day 6 : Yedigöller – Mt. Embler Summit (3723 m) – Sokullupınar (2000 m)
Walk in the morning to summit of Mt. Embler 3723m. This is a non-technical 4-5 hours round trip, but does demand some scrambling and is considered moderate to strenuous. The views at the top, however offer a magnificent reward with a vista towards the southern face of Mount Demirkazık. Go on the walking along the Yalak Deresi trail to a narrow canyon with spring water. Then cross the rugged Çelikbuyduran Pass (3450 m). Down to valley passing some bizarre sandy coloured rock formations on the way, to our 2000m campsite at Sokullupınar. Its beautiful grassy setting provides a dramatic contrast to the rocky barren site at Yedigöller Camp. (Ascent = 430 m / Descent = 1450 m)
Day 7 : Sokullupınar – Emli (1850 m) – Sleeper night train EAST EXPRESS to Erzurum City
Departing our campsite we ascend the Tulu Valley, before climbing up again to the high pastures of the Eznevit yaylası (2538 m). Depending on the time of year, we may encounter the semi nomads of this area grazing their flocks. After lunch we gradually descend to our campsite at Emli valley, valley covered with firm and oak forests. About 5-6 hours walking. After we finish walking we take our bus to Kayseri. We take a night sleeper train to Erzurum city at 20h00. (Ascent = 500 m / Descent = 650 m)
Day 8 : Erzurum – Dogubeyazit – Visit Ishakpasa Palace
Arriving to Erzurum by train 09.00. Erzurum is the hub of eastern Anatolia, and has been an important centre of civilisation for centuries because of its natural and geo strategic position. Many Ottoman and Seljuk monuments, tombs and mosques stand in Erzurum and Transfer and drive to Dogubeyazit town (3.30h). Dogubeyazit has been established front of Ararat mountain. Here we will visit Ishakpasa Palace . Ottoman governor Ishakpasa constructed the palace in 17th century with a mixture of architectural styles. The palace was made by using red clay stones and it resembles the Topkapi and Edirne Palace. After visiting, transfer to Dogubeyazit back. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9 : Dogubeyazit – Mt. Ararat (Camp I)
In the morning transfer till Eli village . We begin to trekking to the Mt Ararat. It is a magnificent sprawling dome whose snow covered summit is 5.165m above sea level Trek to the base camp at 3200m, about 5 hours trekking. Our baggages will be carried by horses or mules. Dinner and overnight at camp. (Ascent : 700 m / Descent : 0)
Day 10 : Acclimatisation Day
Trek to camp II (4. 2OOm), about 4 hours trekking time. Return to camp 1 yesil camp 3200m . According to legend it is the site where Noah’s Ark came to rest after the great Flood. Free time for preparation. Dinner and Overnight Camp. (Ascent = 1100m / Descent =1100 m)
Day 11 : Mt. Ararat (Camp II)
Trek to camp II (4.2OOm), about 4/5 hours trekking time. All luggage will be carried by pack animals. A short course will be given on how to use ice-axe and crampons. A climb of Mt.Ararat is a tough walk (non-Technical) but requiring a good deal of stamina. The upper third of volcano covered in snow and the last hundred meters to the summit is icy. Overnight camp with all meals. (Ascent = 0m / Descent =1200 m)
Day 12 : Mt. Ararat Summit (5165 m)
Climb to the summit ( 5.165m) while is not technically difficult climb it does require stamina. Our ascension starts early in the morning. About at 4500 m glaciers and perennial snows are present, thus the most part of the ascent is done with equipment necessary for ice climbing. Anybody fit for high mountain walking or acquainted with ice climbing. Return to the base Camp I. Dinner and overnight camp. (Ascent = 1065m / Descent =2265 m)
Day 13 : Mt. Ararat – Dogubeyazit – Van
Descend to Cevirme Village about 2 hours and return to Dogubeyazit . After Lunch we drive to Van, is one the most important cities of the old Vaspurakan region. it is located on the east coast of Van lake and its ancient name is Tooshpa; the Urartian capital of Tuspa. Van Lake is the largest lake in Turkey. Overnight at hotel.
Day 14 : Van – Istanbul
In the morning transfer to Van airport and fly to Istanbul. Istanbul is the only city in the world which embraces two continents, one arm reaching out into Asia, the other into Europe. Considered as a leading metropolis in the world, for culture, arts, history, trade and business. After installation to our hotel opportunity to visit old part of Istanbul we may visit the Blue Mosque. Stroll in the world’s biggest covered market then spend the afternoon free visiting sites of interest at your leisure. Overnight at hotel in old city.
Day 15 : Istanbul – Home
Transfer to the airport and fly home.
Summits : Mt. Embler : 3723 m Mt. Ararat : 5165 m
Grade : III
Limit : 7 – 16 persons
Season : July- September