The Pleasure Palace of Ishak Pasha overlooking the Plains of Ararat- not simply a palace but the administrative centre of the region which in its heyday rivalled the Topkapi in Istanbul It is an amalgamation of different styles absorbed from the complex region it is in: Seljuk, Ottoman, Georgian and Armenian styles are all present. This region was briefly ruled by Russia who looted the palace-the gold plated doors that once hung at the main gate are now in the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg.
Leaving Dogubeyazit, we will travel to the Muradiye Waterfall for a relaxing picnic lunch. Moving on to Van we will explore the Citadel with its three thousand Urartian fortress and watch the sun go down over Lake Van.
Day 3 will bring us to the mountain-top ruins of Çavustepe (a Urartian fortress)
then onto Hosap castle, built on a rocky outcrop on the north bank of the Hosap River. The structure that we see today dates mostly from 1643 (1052 A.H.), when a Mahmudi tribal lord, and Hosap's governor Sari Süleyman Bey, rebuilt the castle on what was probably an earlier fortification from the Urartian Period (9th c.- 6th c. B.C.)'' .
On our way back to Van we will have the optional opportunity to see local artisans creating traditional rugs and learn about Turkish, Armenian, Kurdish, and Azeri rugs and kilims.
At Van, we will travel by ferryboat across Lake Van, stopping on Akdamar Island to see a spectacular 10th century church built by an Armenian king, eat a lunch of local fish, and swim in the lake.
After stopping for refreshments in Tatvan, we will drive to Mount Nemrut, one of the largest complete calderas in the world and have a picnic and swim at the adjacent thermal and cold lakes. We will then visit the tombs of Seljuk Kings in Ahlat and return to Tatvan for dinner.