Welcome to Lake Van


The most conspicuous feature on the map of southeastern Turkey, this 3750-sq-km lake was formed when a volcano (Nemrut Dağı) blocked its natural outflow.

Travelling south around the lake between Van and Tatvan offers beautiful scenery, but there's little reason to stop. The exception is 5km west of Gevaş, where the 10th-century Church of the Holy Cross on Akdamar Island is a glorious must-see.


Top experiences in Lake Van

Travel guides

Starting at $36.39

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Lake Van activities

$74.80 Transfers & Ground Transport

Private Arrival Transfer Van Airport to Van City Center Hotels

Skip the stress of finding a taxi or sharing a shuttle at the start of your trip. Simply enter your details when you book, pay in advance, and then show your voucher to your driver when you land at Van Ferit Melen Airport. Travel in a spacious sedan for up to three passengers. Sit back and enjoy the ride without worrying about taxi meters or getting lost. It’s a private transfer service to Van city center that’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Price is per car, based on three passengers per vehicle. The journey typically takes around 20 minutes, traffic depending.

$2980 Multi-day & Extended Tours

14 Days Small Group Tour of Eastern Turkey

Day 01: Cappadocia Arrival (B)Fly to Cappadocia and transfer to hotel (not included). Overnight in Cappadocia.Day 02: Cappadocia (B L)After breakfast pick up from your hotel. You will visit Devrent Imagination Valley, Zelve Open Air Museum, Pasabaglari, Avanos, Uchisar Rock-Castle, Esentepe and Goreme Open Air Museum. Overnight in Cappadocia.Day 03: Cappadocia (B L)Kaymakli Underground City, Soganli Valley, Sobesos, Keslik Monastery and Mustafapasa. Overnight in Cappadocia. Day 04: Cappadocia - Gaziantep (B)After breakfast, depart for Gaziantep. Enjoy lunch at Maras. Visit Mosaic Museum then the old city castle and copper bazaar. Overnight in Gaziantep.Day 05: Gaziantep - Sanliurfa (B) Drive to Sanliurfa. Visit Urfa Archaeological Museum and holy sites at the Ainzelha Lake, prophet Abraham's birthplace and local covered bazaar. Overnight stay in Urfa.Day 06: Sanliurfa – Mt. Nemrut (B)Visit Harran and see beehive houses. Drive to Kahta. On the way, visit Gobeklitepe Temple. In the afternoon hike to Mt. Nemrut (UNESCO site), watch the sunset. Visit the old castle Arsemeia, Cendere Bridge and Tumulus Tomb of Karakus. Overnight in Adiyaman.Day 07: Adiyaman - Mardin (B)Departure to Mardin. Visit this old, historical city. Take in fantastic views of the Plain of Mesopotamia. Visit Forty Martyrs Church, Zinciriye Madrasah, Monastery of Deyr-az-Zaferan. Walk in its busy streets and bazaars, and admire the stonework all around the town. Overnight in Mardin.Day 08: Mardin - Tatvan (B)Drive to Hasankeyf, with stop at the beautiful little town of Midyat to see the Monastery and ancient houses. Then, depart to Tatvan, a small village by the Lake Van. Overnight in Tatvan.Day 09: Tatvan - Van (B)Drive to Van. Take a ferry across the lake to visit the finest Armenian architectural wonder of the Church of the Holy Cross on Akdamar Island. Step over to the huge Van Castle. Overnight in Van.Day 10: Van - Dogubeyazit (B)Drive to Dogubeyazit. We will visit Muradiye Waterfalls, we will also see Mt. Ararat from all sides, the IshakPasa Palace. Overnight in Kars.Day 11: Kars (B) Drive to the medieval Armenian City of Ani. Also visit the impressive Kars Castle and Holy Apostles Church. Overnight in Kars.Day 12: Kars - Erzurum (B)Drive to Erzurum. Visit the 12th century Medrese (a Seljukian School), an old market place where the local black stone is mounted. Overnight in Erzurum.Day 13: Erzurum - Trabzon (B)Drive to Trabzon. On the way we will visit Karaca Cave. A short hike through the forest, visit the Sumela Monastery, also known as the Monastery of the Virgin Mary. Overnight stay in Trabzon.Day 14:Trabzon–Istanbul (B)Visit the city of Trabzon and Hagia Sofia Church. After city tour transfer to Trabzon Airport and fly back home.

Rail

London to Tehran by Rail

Imagine the opportunity to experience a whole slew of the world's most iconic cities. This epic 40-day journey will have you breezing by rail from London, southward and eastward through France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey, to underexplored Iran and the doorstep of the Persian Empire. History-lovers, culture-fanatics, and people-watchers alike won't want this adventure to end.

Rail

Istanbul to Tehran by Rail

You may have made your way into Turkey before, but now it's time to take it a little farther east and discover some of the greatest underexplored territory in the world. This 17-day rail tour will bring you through the Turkish countryside to see the highlights of the Cappadocia region and the elegant, lakeside city of Van. You'll cross into Iran to find yourself in bustling Tehran, roam ancient Persepolis, and sample Shiraz grapes in the city that gave them their name. Take a true adventure and experience a part of the globe that's made for small-group travel.

Rail

Budapest to Tehran by Rail

Discover once and for all what it really means to cross from west to east on this 28-day rail tour from Budapest to Tehran. Stroll the streets of Budapest, chug along through the incredible Romanian countryside, gaze upwards at the dome of Aya Sofia in ancient Istanbul, and then explore the main cities of Iran and wonder how it is you didn't make it here sooner. Your expert CEOs know just where to take you to make the most of your introduction to this part of the world.

Classic

Eastern Turkey Adventure

Spectacular mosques, rustic Armenian churches and towering stone castles reward those willing to get off the beaten path. From ancient mud brick cities to exotic bazaars and the mysterious fallen stone heads at Nemrut Dagi, this 8-day trip is Turkey at its most fascinating. Travel to the land beneath the snow-capped peak of Mt Ararat, the legendary resting place of Noah's Ark and immerse yourself in the magnificent sights and legendary hospitality of the people in this lesser-known, and lesser-travelled, region of Turkey.