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.