From Van, drive 35 km (22 miles) south on the Hakkari road, where the side road to Çavuştepe is signposted on your right. Here you can clamber around the stone foundations of the ruined 8th-century BC Urartian fortress-city Sardurihinli. Nearby are temple ruins of perfectly cut basalt and the remains of a palace with great underground chambers. If you continue 15 km (9 miles) southeast on the same road, you'll reach Hoşap Kalesi, a dramatic fortress looming over a river chasm. The complex, built in 1643 by the local tribal lord Sari Süleyman Bey, was used as a base to "protect" (i.e., ransack) caravans and included a palace, mosques, baths, and a dungeon. The great gate, with its carved lions and an inscription in Farsi, is quite a show of strength; a passage, partly carved through bedrock, leads into the complex from here.
Çavuştepe, Van, Turkey