The mysteries of Lake Van - 4 Days

Covered with a halo of mystery, the Lake Van – about which many have heard but few have seen – located in one of the most remote and hard-to-reach regions of Turkey.


The water in this several million years old unusual reservoir is not fresh, and not even just salty – it is a saline soda! The amazing turquoise hue and tremendous transparency of the lake are due to the fact that ordinary algae cannot live in it.

However, there is life in the Lake Van. For example, there is a unique Pearl Mullet (turk. İnci-Kefali or Darex), which spends most of its life in the lake, but rises to spawn in rivers, since sprawling required pure fresh water. Small fish overcome turbulent rapids, jumping out of the water making their way against the roaring stream. Spawning of Pearl Mullet stretched over time and usually lasts from late April to early July.

Various ancient civilizations arose and perished on the shores of Lake Van, the most famous of which was the Kingdom of Urartu. Its capital Tushpa was located on the eastern shore of the lake, near to today’s modern Van city. Ancient ruins of well-preserved fortress, tombs of kings and monumental cuneiform inscriptions carved into the rock – with most famous King Xerxes from the Achaemenid dynasty – impressive to this day.


Day 1

Participants arrive at Van “Ferit Melen” airport in the morning*.
Transfer, check into the hotel. Late welcoming “Van breakfast”.
Meet-and-greet, organizational questions. Free time.
* We schedule in accordance with Sun Express flight from Antalya with departure at 08:50 and arrival at 10:40. You can also join from Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir with no problem.

Day 2

In the morning we visit the ruins of old Van, the fortress of Van, the Urartu archaeological museum, and the “cat shelter”. Afterwards we drive to Akhtamar Island. At a restaurant near the pier we have lunch (you can have a taste of unique Van fish – mullet of pearl, which can be found only here). Then we take a boat trip on the lake to the island. Excursion around Akhtamar. Return to Van.

Day 3

We leave Van east of the lake. We will visit the medieval fortress of Khoshap, the ruins of St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral where, according to legend, the Apostle himself was buried, Vanadocia – the “little sister” of Cappadocia with its fanciful stone sculptures, the Armenian church Soradir and Van travertines, which are almost like in Pamukkale but without the tourists. Picnic lunch in nature format, lunchbox ordered

Day 4

After breakfast, transfer to the airport. Departure.

The price of the program includes

  • Boutique hotels along the entire route with breakfasts.
  • English -speaking guide
  • Comfortable transfer
  • Dinners
  • Water/tea/coffee in the bus
  • Insurance

The trip cost excludes

  • Airfare
  • Lunches
  • Entrance tickets

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

The mysteries of Lake Van

Trip Facts

  • Cancel up to 48 hours in advance to receive a full refund

  • +

  • German, English