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Plan Your Far East and Black Sea Coast Vacation

Eastern Turkey may not have the resorts, luxury hotels, and chic restaurants found in the more-visited parts of the country, but the rewards of travel here—impressive natural and man-made sites—are many.

Eastern Turkey offers much to the adventurous travelers who leave the more Europeanized resorts and cities of western Turkey behind. The landscape varies dramatically; in the north are the rocky beaches of the Black Sea, rising to lush, impossibly green foothills and soaring up to the snowcapped Kaçkar Mountains. As you head south, it changes once more into the stark highlands that lead to vast Lake Van and then again to the arid semi-desert borderlands of Syria, Iraq, and Iran. This southeastern region shows Turkey at its most Middle Eastern, where the call to prayer comes from intricately carved stone minarets and bazaars are filled with locals buying daily necessities rather than tourists buying souvenirs. Kurdish and Armenian histories are intertwined with Turkey's own history and this fascinating crossroads is littered with ancient history of much biblical significance.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Marvel at the ruins of Ani This dramatically situated ancient city was once the seat of a wealthy Armenian kingdom.
  2. Swim in Lake Van When visiting the monastery on the uninhabited island of Akdamar, take the opportunity to cool off in the startlingly blue water.
  3. Explore the countryside The numerous Syriac Orthodox churches and villages offer a fresh insight into Turkey's complex history.
  4. Journey up Mt. Nemrut The massive stone heads looking out over the horizon are an unforgettable sight.
  5. Visit the cliff-side monastery of Sumela The climb is fairly strenuous, but the exquisite detail of this remarkable sight makes it worthwhile.
  6. Wander through the bustling bazaars of Urfa and Gaziantep Craftsmen in these ancient cities continue to practice age-old crafting traditions.

When To Go

When to Go

Spring and fall are generally the best times to visit these areas, with the exception of cities like Kars and Van, where summers are quite cool...

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Itineraries

The Far East and Black Sea Coast Itineraries

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