Excursions to the Far East and Black Sea Coast: Places to Explore


  • Ayder

    At 4,000 feet and surrounded by snow-capped mountains and tumbling waterfalls, the mountain village of Ayder, with its wooden chalets and wandering cows, can seem like a piece of Switzerland transported... Read more

  • Çamlıhemşin

    The small village of Çamlıhemşin, at the junction of two rushing rivers, serves mainly as a gateway to mountain valleys above, particularly to the village of Ayder, but it's a pleasant and quiet overnight... Read more

  • Diyarbakır

    On a bluff above the Tigris River, the ancient city of Diyarbakır, one of the oldest cities in the northernmost region of Mesopotamia (the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers) is encircled by... Read more

  • Doğubeyazıt and Mt. Ararat

    The scrappy frontier town of Doğubeyazıt (doh-oo-bay-yah-zuht) is a good base from which to enjoy views of Turkey's highest and most famous mountain, the majestic Mt. Ararat (Ağrı Dağı). Not far from the... Read more

  • Gaziantep

    Gaziantep, the economic capital of Turkey's southeast, has an inviting mix of modern vitality and ancient tradition. Responsible for a good chunk of Turkey's industrial output, from bulgur wheat and pistachios... Read more

  • Harran

    A quick ride from Urfa, the ancient city of Harran is well worth a visit. The Urfa region is rife with dubious biblical legends, but there seems to be almost unanimous agreement that this Harran of modern... Read more

  • Hasankeyf

    Just a short drive from Midyat, Hasankeyf makes for a good half-day trip. Come, explore, have lunch by the Tigris River and then return to Midyat, Mardin, or even Diyarbakır. This small town has a magical... Read more

  • Kâhta

  • Kars

    The setting for Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk's somber novel Snow, Kars, not far from Turkey's border with Armenia and Georgia, looks like the frontier town it is: forbidding and grayish, set on a 5,740-foot... Read more

  • Lake Van and Environs

  • Mardin

    With historic stone houses clinging to a citadel-topped mountain that overlooks a vast plain below, Mardin has a magical setting. It was hit hard by the violence of the 1980s and'90s, and the city, which... Read more

  • Midyat

    Not far from Mardin, the lovely old town of Midyat is an architectural gem that has remained largely untouched by the blight of concrete—although the new part of the city is dismal. Formerly almost an... Read more

  • Mt. Nemrut and Environs

  • Şanlıurfa (Urfa)

    With its golden-colored stone houses, religious shrines filled with visiting pilgrims, and a very authentic bazaar displaying mounds and mounds of the local specialty, crushed red pepper, in various shades... Read more

  • Sümela/Mereyemana

  • Trabzon

    Trabzon has a dramatic location, perched on a hill overlooking the sea, with lush green mountains behind. Once the capital of the empire founded in 1204 by Alexius Comnene, grandson of a Byzantine emperor... Read more