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  • 48 hours

    in Van

    First Day

    The day starts with the famous Van breakfast in one of the traditional Van breakfast halls.

    After breakfast, go to the Van Museum, which is 10 minutes from the city center. It is home to many valuable archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, with displays of Urartu, Ottoman, and Seljuk artifacts; in fact, it is the richest museum in the world in terms of Urartu artifacts. Then, you can visit Van Castle and move on to old Van city, where the ruins of the Hüsrevpaşa Complex, Kayaçelebi Mosque, Horhor Mosque, Red Minaret Mosque can be seen. 

    At the Foreigners (Rus) Bazaar, in the city center, you can shop for souvenirs and jewellery shops selling silver products made with niello. From here, you can visit the rug shops where the world-famous Van kilimi is sold, and you can sample Van otlu cheese at the Historical Cheese Makers Bazaar, just five minutes from the rug manufacturers. To see the old Van Houses, you can go to the Kalecik District, which is 20 minutes away. 

    For lunch, try one of the local Van specialties, such as keledoş, ayran aşı, sengeser, kürt köftesi, acem köftesi and Van fish.

    After lunch, one can visit the Yüzüncü Yıl University Central Campus, 10 minutes away, and see the Van Cat Villa, which houses hundreds of Van Cats with mismatched eyes (one amber and the other blue).

    Afterwards, Muradiye Waterfall, which is 40 minutes away, and Deliçay in the Erciş district, can be visited. The pearl mullets that leap amid the streams during the breeding season can be observed here.

    A 45-minute journey brings you to Erçek Lake, where you can see the flamingos and other bird species that stay, feed, and breed here from June to October.  

    Finish the day by listening to local music performed by the Van Oturma Gecesi team at dinner.

    Second Day

    After breakfast in Van, head to Çavuştepe Castle, which is a 45-minute drive via the road to the Gürpınar district; there, you can see earth works used as a granary three thousand years earlier.

    After a 30-minute journey, you can visit Hoşap Castle, with its magnificent castle gate and enchanting high walls. You can cross the centuries old Evliyabey Bridge, which is located just below the castle.

    Then, you can move to Başkale district, 60 minutes away, and discover the unique nature of the travertines in Dereiçi village and Vanadoccia in Yavuzlar Village.

    The Kümbet of Halime Hatun and the historical Seljuk Cemetery can be visited in the Gevaş district, a 50-minute journey. Then, you can visit the 500-year-old İzzettin Şir Mosque and Tomb in the district’s center.

    You can go to Akdamar Island, named for a legendary love story. After reaching the island via a 20-minute boat ride, you can see the reliefs on the outer walls of the Akdamar Church, featuring scenes from the sacred books, along with the frescoes on the inner walls, and the wishing well, in the museum.

    At the end of the day, you can sample the famous Edremit köftesi, Van tandoor fish and ayran aşı by walking along Edremit beach. In the evening, you can watch the sunset from the Edremit Viewing Terrace or Van Castle.