Identified with Turkey’s largest lake Van, the city regularly welcomes a great number of tourists who want to explore the cities unique values.
Surrounded by natural wonders and a location of stunning beauty Van is a destination worth the visit. Particularly Lake Erçek is a natural wonder not to be missed.
Akdamar Island is perhaps one of the most intriguing of the precious legacies of Van province. The church bearing the same name as the island was built sometime around 915-921 AD, and was dedicated to the Holy Cross. Make sure to listen to the stories told by the locals if you visit this fairy tale island.
The Van Castle from the Urartu period and with a history going back to 840 BC is one of the most visited places in the province. In addition, Cavustepe, Hosap, Ayanis castles attract the attention for their impressive architecture and scenery.
The crossroads of different religions and the home of a multitude of religious monuments, Van is surrounded with beautiful places of cultural and historic significance.
The Bartholomeus, Altinsac and Lim Monastery and Seven Churches in addition to the Hüsrev Pasha, Kaya Celebi and Izzettin Sir mosques are among the religious sites worth to sightsee.
The site of many archaeological excavations and monuments, Van takes visitors on a time travel to the ancient times. The Altıntepe, Kalecik and Yoncatepe necropolises and Tilkitepe, Karagunduz and Dilkaya mounds bear traces of the city's earliest settlements. The Meher Gate, Yesilalic Rock Niche and Analı Kız (Mother and Daughter) Open Air Temple are some of the most important monuments.
Besides historical treasures Van offers also a wide range of activities. One can take part in a variety of cultural tours or just explore the beautiful natural sceneries.
You can take a sojourn into nature and enjoy the beautiful view of Kesis (Monk) Lake and visit Yalinca or Norduz plateau and fill your lungs with oxygen-laden fresh air. The province of Van is among the favorite locations of professional mountaineers as the region is rich in mountains such as Artos, Suphan, Erek and Nemrut Mountain. Mountaineers visiting the area can chose from a variety of climbing routes. The Akdamar, Adir and Reşadiye regions are highly suitable places for water sports. Visitors can engage in hobbies such as scuba diving or bird watching as the area is also the habitat of different bird species like flamingos and gulls.
Van is also of great value in terms of health tourism as the region is home to a number of thermal springs located in the towns of Ercis, Catak and Baskale. Do not miss the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate at one of the thermal spas in the area.
The breakfast lounges of Van are another major tourist attraction as they are well known for offering a wide range of delicacies and breakfast options. What’s more, the local cuisine includes a variety of delicacies such as kurut aşı (traditional soup with kashk), ciğer köfte (liver patties), tandır balığı (tandoori fish), çiriş pilav (pilaf made with herbs) and fried plums.
There a variety of reasons to explore this great city with a rich historical and cultural legacy. If you are intrigued by this city, Van is ready to welcome its guests any time of the year.