- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Lake Van (Van Gölü)
Lake Van (Van Gölü) Review
Turkey's largest and most unusual lake consists of 3,738 square km (1,443 square miles) of eerily blue water surrounded by mighty volcanic cones, at an elevation of 1,725 meters (5,659 feet). The lake was formed when a volcano blew its top and blocked the course of a river, leaving the water with no natural outlet; as a result the lake is highly alkaline and full of sulfides and mineral salts, six times saltier than the ocean. Lake Van's only marine life is a small member of the carp family, the darekh, which has somehow adapted to the saline environment. Recreational water sports are limited, and beaches along the rocky shores are few and far between. Swimming in the soft water is pleasant, but try not to swallow any—it tastes terrible.
The towns of Adilcevaz and Ahlat, on Lake Van's north shore, are worth visiting only if you're in the area; you'll probably want to head instead to Van and the nearby island of Akdamar, along the lake's south shore.
- Address: Lake Van, Van
- Location: Lake Van and Environs
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
It is 10:15PM in this part of the globe. Read more
My wife, Joanne and I (from London, Ontario, Canada) went on our first "Bus Tour" and our first tour organized by Gate 1 Travel through a recommendation of a friend, Larry (from North Carolina) in late Read more
My wife and I have planned to be in Istanbul this summer and we were wondering what other travelers' experience has been with the street food there. Read more
· News & Features
After the recent debut of his Grand Cayman-inspired novel The Forever Girl, author Alexander McCall ... Read more
When's the best time to go?... Read more
The world's northernmost capital is a charming destination in all seasons.... Read more