Mount Ararat in Turkey has been associated with many legends. During the “cold war” era, Soviet authorities, for example, claimed that enthusiasts searching for the biblical Ark of the Covenant were actually spying on Soviet military installations. Fortunately, times have changed, and at least for now, the mountain poses a challenge for adventure seekers. Trekking on Ararat is a great expedition, and proper preparation for the journey, good knowledge of the terrain, and awareness of the weather conditions on the mountain are essential.
Culture and history
Flight to Istanbul
We will begin our adventure to Ararat with passport and baggage check-in, as well as a flight to Istanbul.
After arriving in Turkey, we will transfer to the hotel and rest after the journey.
Istanbul is often referred to as the City of Mosques. Not without reason, as there are over two and a half thousand mosques in the city. Full of exoticism and a blend of cultures, it reconciles tradition with modernity.
We will start the day with a flight from Istanbul to Van – a city that, according to legend, was founded by Queen Semiramis.
After lunch, we will drive to the city of Dogubayazit, located 15 km southwest of Mount Ararat. During the journey, we will stop at the spectacular Muradiye waterfalls. Along the way, there will be an opportunity to see Mount Ararat for the first time.
Dinner and overnight stay in Dogubayazit.
At 8 a.m. the next day, we will take a minibus to the base of Mount Ararat at an altitude of 2200 meters above sea level. From there, we will begin our 4-hour climb to Camp 1, located at 3200 meters above sea level.
After setting up our tents, we will have a warm meal for dinner.
Ararat (acclimatization 4200 meters above sea level)
This day is reserved for acclimatization to ensure the success of our trekking expedition. We start at 9 a.m. with a 4-hour climb to Camp 2 located at an altitude of 4200 meters above sea level. After a short rest, we return to Camp 1 where a hot meal will be served for lunch.
Ararat ( 4200 m n.p.m.)
We will start our second approach to Camp 2 at 8 a.m. and reach the destination after a 4-hour hike. The afternoon will be spent relaxing and preparing for the ascent to the summit of Mount Ararat the following day. A hot meal will be served for dinner
Ararat ( 5137 m n.p.m.)
Our goal for today is to summit the holy mountain of Armenia – Mount Ararat.
According to the Old Testament, the summit of Ararat is the place where Noah’s Ark came to rest after the Flood. The mountain, which has two peaks at heights of 5137 and 3896 meters, is located in an area long inhabited by Armenians, but it is currently within the territory of Turkey – 28.8 km from the border with Armenia.
We will begin at 2 a.m. Depending on the snow conditions, crampons may be needed for the final 200 meters. We expect to reach the summit of Mount Ararat around 8 a.m.
Then we will return to Camp 2, where hot soup and tea will be served. After some rest, we will pack up our tents and return to Camp 1 for dinner and overnight stay
Today we bid farewell to Mount Ararat. We will descend from Camp 1 to the pickup point where a vehicle will be waiting for us. Then, we will return to Dogubayazit by minibus and check into the hotel for accommodation.
After breakfast, we will visit the Ishak Pasha Palace. We will also see the Noah’s Ark, fossilized rock formations resembling a ship, which according to the hypothesis of some archaeologists, may be the remains of the biblical Ark.
After lunch, we will visit the hot springs in Diyadin, the perfect remedy for tired feet! We will return to Wan for dinner.
In Wan, we will see the fortress standing on a steep hill, overlooking Lake Van. We will also visit Akhtamar Island, where the historic Armenian church of the Holy Cross from the 10th century with valuable frescoes stands. This concludes our tour.
We will then head to the airport for our flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival, we will transfer to the Lady Diana Hotel for accommodation.
Departure from Istanbul
After breakfast, we will begin our sightseeing tour of Istanbul.
First, we will visit the Topkapi Palace, which served as the residence of the Ottoman Sultans for nearly 400 years.
Our next stop will be the Roman Hippodrome. After lunch, we will head to the Hagia Sophia, also known as the Church of the Holy Wisdom.
Next, we will visit the Sultanahmet Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque. We will also stop by the tomb of Sultan Mahmud and the ancient Ottoman cemetery, Cemberlitas, and finally, we will explore the Grand Bazaar.
In the evening, we will return to the hotel. For those interested, there will be a ‘Turkish Night’ – an evening cruise on the Bosphorus, where you can enjoy a show of Turkish dances and taste Turkish dishes and drinks.
We will then transfer to the airport for our flight to Chicago.
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The company is not responsible for any loss of customer's property due to burglary, theft, loss, etc. We also do not assume responsibility for any losses incurred by the customer in motels. Rek Travel reserves the right to change the itinerary due to circumstances beyond its control. The customer is obliged to comply with the tour regulations. Tour participants are insured according to the requirements of the US Department of Transportation for a total amount of $500,000 (insurance policy available upon request). Participants may opt for additional insurance coverage for hospital and outpatient treatment of illnesses acquired during the tour, as well as accidents in visited facilities (further information available at the office) for an additional fee.