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Excursions to the Far East and Black Sea Coast Travel Guide

  • Photo: Samet Guler / Shutterstock

Plan Your Excursions to the 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 sites, both natural and man-made—are many.

Wherever you decide to visit in eastern Turkey, you'll find much to see and do. The landscape begins with the rocky beaches of the Black Sea and rises through lush, almost subtropical

foothills up to the snowcapped Kaçkar Mountains, then through the stark highlands toward vast Lake Van and the arid semidesert borderlands of the Middle East. This 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. Ancient history is everywhere, and you're sure to see several churches and living monasteries that have been around for over a thousand years. Some believe this is also the place Abraham himself called home, as well as the final resting place of Noah's Ark.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Explore the ruins of Ani This ancient city was once the seat of a small Armenian kingdom.
  2. Float in Lake Van As in Israel's Dead Sea, the water is rich in minerals and very alkaline; you'll be remarkably buoyant in the startlingly blue water.
  3. Take the ferry to Akdamar The uninhabited island and its monastery are worth the trek.
  4. Journey up Mt. Nemrut The massive stone heads looking out over the horizon are an impressive sight to behold.
  5. Visit the cliff-side monastery of Sümela The climb is fairly strenuous, but just seeing this remarkable sight is unforgettable.
  6. Wander through the bustling bazaars of Urfa and Gaziantep Craftsmen in these ancient cities still work the same way they have for centuries.

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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