Things to Know

Van is a city located in Eastern Anatolia, surrounded by rocky mountain ranges and situated near the Van Lake. This city served as the ancient Urartian capital of Tuspa, and its history can be traced back to the 9th century BC. The most notable attraction in Van is the impressively intact citadel located on one of the peaks, which features steps carved into rock that lead to the fortress. Along the descent, visitors can observe cuneiform inscriptions that honor Persian King Xerxes from the 5th century BC. The citadel's walls also house Urartian royal tombs, which are worth visiting.

Van has many mosques and tombs, including the Ulu Mosque, Hüsrev Pasa Mosque, Kaya Çelebi mosque, and ikiz kümbet. The Archaeological Museum, located in the new city, exhibits Urartian artifacts. For a beach holiday, visitors can head to Edremit, which is 14 kilometers southwest of Van and offers recreational activities such as sightseeing excursions. Gevas is another nearby town that contains a Seljuk graveyard and Halime Hatun Tomb.

Lake Van is the largest and deepest lake in Turkey, formed by the eruption of the Nemrut volcano. The lake's surroundings offer a picturesque location for climbing, hiking, or hunting, providing both excitement and relaxation.

In addition to the beach and Urartian sites, visitors can explore Turkish culture and visit some of the islands located in Lake Van. Akdamar Island, the most important island, features the 10th-century Akdamar Church decorated in Old Testament reliefs. Carpanak Island, located 67 kilometers away from Van, is also worth a visit. Hosap Fortress, an impressive structure located 42 miles east on Hakkari Road, is another attraction for visitors interested in exploring Urartian sites.

Van's Old City and Fortress have been added to the Tentative List of UNESCO, recognizing the cultural and historical significance of the region.

Places to Visit in Van

Geographically Indicated Products in Van