ARMENIA + GEORGIA + EASTERN ANATOLIA TOURS
FOUR-DAY TOUR TO EASTERN ANATOLIA
Includes visiting the capital cities of Armenia of different periods: Van, Kars, and Ani.
The tour goes through Gyumri, Akhaltsikhe, Kars, Ani, Igdir, Bayazet, Berkri, Van, Akhtamar Island.
As the tour is pretty dense and concentrated, we should start from Yerevan from very early morning. Passing second Armenian city Gyumri we head to Armenia Georgia border. Passport control may take 1-2 hours depending on the certain reasons. Then we head to Akhalkalaki and Akhalsikhe. On the way to Akhaltsikhe we pass by Khertvis fortress, which is built on the bank of the river Kur. We might have some coffee break before crossing the Turkish border. After some 140 km we are in Kars, the 10th capital of Armenia /928/. Overnight in Kars.
After breakfast we head to the Lake Van. The largest saline soda lake in Turkey, receiving water from numerous small streams that descend from the surrounding mountains. The ferryboat will take us to the 10th century Armenian Church of the Holy Cross on the Island Akhtamar. We will surely taste the Tarek (or Trekh) - 'jewel' of Lake Van. Found nowhere else in the world, this fish thrives in the lake's salty and carbonated waters, which are inhospitable to other forms of fresh water and marine fish. Van city is some 45km away from the Island and was the capital of Armenian Kingdom in the 9th century BC. It remained an important center of Armenian culture until 1915. Today, Van has a Kurdish majority. Overnight is in Van.
After breakfast we head to the waterfall Berkri. After exploring the natural wonder we continue our way to the slopes of Mount Ararat. Passing Igdir located along the border with Armenia, Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, and Iran and populated of Azeris and Kurds. The final destination of the day is Kars the capital of the medieval Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia and check-in at the hotel. After dinner we enjoy free evening.
Possibilities to explore the city with its restaurants historical constructions and streets or the swimming pool/bath in the hotel.
After breakfast we head to Ani, a ruined medieval Armenian city, since 961 king Ashot III (953–77) had transferred the capital from Kars to Ani attained the peak of its power during the long reign of King Gagik I (989–1020). A small town remained within its walls at least until the middle of the seventeenth century, but the site was entirely abandoned by the middle of the eighteenth. This is the final destination in Eastern Anatolia. After a meal in Akhaltsikhe we return to the nowadays capital of Armenia, Yerevan.
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