Aladaglar & Mount Ararat trek

Tour Code : TRE 13

–    Camping & hiking in the Aladaglar national park 
–    Ascent to Mt. Emler summit 3.723m 
–    Hike up to seven lakes plateau 3.100m
–    Mount Ararat summit climb 5.137m
–    Dogubeyazit & Ishak pasha palace
–    Akdamar Island & the holy cross church


Best Season   
Jan / Feb / Mar / Apr / May / Jun / Jul / Aug / Sep / Oct / Nov / Dec


Duration of the Trip
14 Days / 13 Nights


Difficulty Level/walks (treks)
= D/E (Challenging/Demanding)
Trans Aladaglar & Ararat summit trek (11 routes on 11 days)


Mt. Ararat Permit
It is necessary for a Mount Ararat climb to apply a Permission (Permit) given by the government.
Therefore it is necessary to confirm your Mount Ararat climb 60 days in advance before the Tour begins and to send us all necessary Personal Details of each Group Member by time to complete all requirements.

Necessary Details we need 60 days in advance:
–           Your full name & surname (as indicated in the passport)
–           Date and place of birth
–           Nationality
–           Passport number
–           Issue & expiry date of passport (please make sure that expiry date is beyond your Travel Dates)


Hotel            :    4 Nights
Camp           :    8 Nights
Night train    :    1 Night

Day 1 : Istanbul

Meet at the Istanbul Ataturk Int. Airport with Demavend Travels representative and drive to the Hotel, located in the historical centre of Istanbul, known as Sultanahmet.
Transfer time: 30 min.; transfer distance: 18 km; (Istanbul Ataturk Int. Airport – Hotel)
ON: in Istanbul at the Hotel
Meals: – / – / – 

Day 2 : Istanbul sightseeing Hagia Sophia, Blue mosque & Hippodrome Square - fly to Kayseri and continue to Aladaglar national park

Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople, was the hub of the Ottoman Empire, and many of the grand buildings of this period are present today. You could easily spend a week in this city and still not have seen all the sites. Today we will explore the old Sultanahmet Area. We visit the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Hippodrome square. The Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) was built between 1609 and 1616. The design of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque is the culmination of two centuries of both Ottoman mosque and Byzantine church development. It incorporates some Byzantine elements of the neighbouring Hagia Sophia with traditional Islamic architecture and is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period. The Hagia Sophia is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum. From the date of its dedication in 360 until 1453, it served as the cathedral of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral. The building was a mosque from 1453 until 1931, when it was secularized. It was opened as a museum on February 1935. The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a circus that was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. Today it is a square named Sultanahmet Meydani (Sultan Ahmet Square) and largely follows the ground plan and dimensions of the now vanished Hippodrome. The surviving monuments of the Spina (the middle barrier of the racecourse), the two obelisks (Obelisk of Thutmose III & Walled Obelisk) and the Serpentine Column, now sit in holes in a landscaped garden. 
In the late afternoon we drive to the Istanbul Ataturk Int. airport and fly to Kayseri and continue from there to the Taurus Mountains Aladaglar National park. The Aladaglar become National park since 1995; via Camardi village, if time is permitting, we follow for a while on stabilized roads and continue on small paths into the Kaziklar Valley, 50 to 70 meters high walls leading us to the Emli Valley where we spend the Night at the Camp.
Transfer time: 2 h; transfer distance: 145 km; (Kayseri airport – Taurus Mountains Aladaglar National park)
Walking time: 2 h; ascent: 250m; descent: 80m
ON: Aladaglar national park at the Emli valley campsite (1.750m)
Meals: B / – / D

Day 3 : Aladaglar national park; Emli valley to Sokulupinar via Siyirmalik valley & Eznevit plateau

This morning you will leave the Emli valley behind as you walk up the Siyirmalik valley and climb up to Eznevit, a campsite inhabited by semi-nomadic families who might invite us for some drinks and will visit their tents to see their original life style during the time they spent in the mountains. From here you will be rewarded with good views over the surrounding area as you continue walking towards Sakartas. From Sakartas you will descend to Sokulupinar, where you will spend the night at the campsite.
Walking time: 6/7 h; ascent: 788m; descent: 538m
ON: Aladaglar national park at the Sokulupinar campsite (2.000m)
Meals: B / L / D

Day 4 : Aladaglar National park; via Celikbuyduran pass to Mt. Emler sumit (3.723m) & Yedigoller plateau

Our trek today takes us to our high camp. We begin by preparing our luggage for loading on the mules. After breakfast we head up to Karayalak Valley and climb up to Celikbuyduran Pass (3450m). It’s going to be our toughest day of walking as we will ascend for around 5 hours. Just before the pass we stop by the spring and have lunch. After Lunch with an easy walk we will ascend to Emler summit. It will take nearby 1 h to climb to the Summit from the Celikbuyduran Pass. From the peak it is possible to see the Mt. Erciyes (3.917m) to the North, the Mt. Hasan (3.268m) to the West, and the Bolkar Range to the South and all important Summits of the Aladaglar Range. After the pass we start descending down to Yedigoller (3.100m) plateau, with a gentle downhill slope. Our campsite is near the biggest lake of the area.
Walking time: 7/8 h; Ascent: 1.723m; Descent: 623m
ON: Aladaglar national park at the Yedigoller plateau campsite (3.100m)
Meals: B / L / D                                                         

Day 5 : Aladaglar national park; Yedigoller plateau to Karagol Lake via Teke Kalesi pass

We load up luggage on the mules and start our walk early in the morning. First we arrive at the second biggest lake of the area, and then climb up to Teke Kalesi pass (3.517m). With a spectacular view to the north-west we descend down via a narrow path where we may meet ibexes grazing. Via Yildiz (star) Lake we descend down to Karagol where Tea will be ready at the camp.
Walking time: 7 h; ascent: 417m; descent: 717m
ON: Aladaglar national park at the Karagol campsite (2.800m)
Meals: B / L / D

Day 6 : Aladaglar National park; Karagol Lake to Demirkazik village – Derinkuyu underground city & Cappadocia

Our last day trek will take us down to Maden gorge. We descend following mine roads and little creeks via Maden George to Pinarbasi village. At the end of the valley we will meet our vehicle and drive to the village of Demirkazik where we will have Lunch first before we drive to Cappadocia. On the way to Cappadocia we take time to visit the incredible underground city of Derinkuyu; opened to visitors in 1965. Only 10 % of the city can be visited. The city is approximately 85m deep and contains all of the usual rooms found in an underground city, stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, churches and wineries. Apart from these, a large room with a barrel vaulted ceiling on the second floor served as a missionary school, the rooms to the left used as study rooms. After visiting Derinkuyu we continue to Cappadocia where we spend the Night.
Optional Activity: Turkish bath (Hamam)
In the late afternoon/ or early evening it is optional possible to try a traditional Turkish bath, better known as Hamam. The Hamam combines the functionality and the structural elements of its predecessors in Anatolia, the Roman thermal and Eastern Roman baths.
Transfer time: 2 h; transfer distance: 125 km (Taurus Mountains Aladaglar National park – Cappadocia via Derinkuyu)
Walking time: 3 h; ascent: 0m; descent: 900m
ON: in Cappadocia at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 7 : Goreme open air museum - Meskendir valley; Red & Rose valley - Avanos - Kayseri & Night train to Erzurum

In the morning we start today’s first activity and walk out to explore one of the most beautiful valleys in Cappadocia. The Christian people at the heart of the Cappadocia realized that the soft rocks could be easily carved out to form houses, churches and monasteries. These Christian sanctuaries contain many examples of Byzantine art from the post iconoclastic period. The frescoes inside the Goreme Open Air Museum are a unique artistic achievement from this period.  After visiting the Goreme open air Museum we start our walking in the Meskendir Valley. We follow the path which is full with old Cave houses and complexes from the old Christian civilization. From the Meskendir Valley we cross over to the Red Valley, the most beautiful valley in Cappadocia with its spectacular formations and colours. In Red Valley it is possible, depending on walking pace and time, to visit some hidden churches like the Uzumlu church (Grape church / Red Valley), the hidden Cross Church and the Church of the Three Crosses (Rose Valley). These churches have been carved out of the cliff face, although it is not definite, the common believe is that these churches date back to the 8/9th century. The decorative reliefs and frescoes are added in the 10/11th Century. After walking through the Red and Rose valleys we will arrive in Cavusin, where our vehicle is waiting for us. Afterwards we take time to visit Avanos.
Optional Activity: visiting Pottery shaping Studio
The most famous historical feature of Avanos, which is still relevant and very visible today, is its production of earthenware pottery; it is also the most economic activity in the town. The ceramic trade in this district and its countless pottery factories date right back to the Hittites, and the ceramic clay from the red silt of the Kızılırmak has always been used. We will take time to visit one of the Pottery studios and you will try to shape by your own.
In the early or late evening (Night) we drive to Kayseri and take the Night train to Erzurum.
Walking time: 4 h; walking distance: 9 km; ascent: 85m; descent: 135m; (Meskendir Valley; Red & Rose Valley)
ON: at the Trains sleeper Wagons / 2 Persons per Cabin / Single reservation not possible
Meals: B / L / D

Day 8 : Erzurum to Dogubeyazit; sightseeing Ishak pasha palace

After arrival in Erzurum we continue to Dogubeyazit; a settlement with a long history. It lies 15 km southwest of Mount Ararat and 35 km from the Iranian border. The area has had a rich history since it was settled during the times of the first Armenian Kingdom of Urartu. The Area was subsequently conquered by Persians, Romans, Arabs and Byzantines all of whom would have used the plain to rest and recoup during their passages across the mountains. In Dogubeyazit we take time to visit Ishak Pasha Palace. The palace is built on a hill at the side of a mountain 5 km (3 mi) east of Dogubeyazit. It was the last large monumental structure in the Ottoman Empire from the “Lale Devri” period. It is one of the most distinguished and magnificent examples of the 18th century Ottoman architecture and is very valuable in terms of art history. 
Transfer time: 4 h; Transfer distance: 280 km (Erzurum – Dogubeyazit)
ON: in Dogubeyazit at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 9 : Ascent to Mount Ararat Camp I (Base camp) 3.200m

After Breakfast we load our luggage and camping equipment on our vehicle and drive via Topcatan village to Eli Village (2.000m), Between 2.000 and 2.400m (according to road conditions) we will start walking. Our luggage will be carried by mules and horses which will be arranged in advance, we have only to carry our own daily bags. On the way it’s possible to meet some semi nomadic families, who use the fresh green Plateaus of the Mt. Ararat for their sheep flocks. We walk to our first Camp Side (Base Camp) which is established at a high of 3.200m.
Walking time: 4 h; ascent: approximately 1.200m (depending on road conditions & starting point)
ON: at Mount Ararat base camp 3.200m
Meals: B / L / D

Day 10 : Acclimatization Day ; ascent to Camp II (High camp) 4.200m & return to Camp I (Base camp) 3.200m

Today we will walk up to 4.200m for acclimatisation. High altitude is defined as altitudes greater than 3.000m and AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) may appear above this level. After easy ascent we will arrive at the Kum Kamp at a high of 3.7000m where will have time to take a break. Afterwards we go on ascend to 4.200m where will have our second Camp (High Camp) on next day. At 4.200m we will take time to have a Picnic. We descent down to our Base Camp at 3.200m and prepare ourselves for the next day to move up to Second Camp.
Walking time: 5/6 h; ascent/descent: 1.000m
ON: at Mount Ararat base camp 3.200m
Meals: B / L / D

Day 11 : Ascent to Camp II (High camp) 4.200m

In the morning we ascend up to the second campsite at a height of 4.200m. After reaching the campsite, we set up our tents and we take a little rest. In the afternoon we can go higher to get acclimatized (optionally). We will have dinner today a bit earlier; we will go sleeping early in the evening, because we have to wake up very early in the Morning to begin our Mt. Ararat Summit climb.
Walking time: 3/4 h; ascent: 1.000m; descent: 0m
ON: at Mount Ararat high camp 4.200m
Meals: B / L / D

Day 12 : Mount Ararat summit ascent 5.137m & return to Camp I (Base camp) 3.200m

Between 2:00 and 2:30 in the morning we will have breakfast and start walking between 3:00 or 3:30 to get a good view at the sunrise on the top. After a very hard ascent, because of the steep slopes, we will reach the Glacier at 4.750m. After we fixed our Crampons we continue our ascent till we reach the Summit of the Mt. Ararat. If the weather is clear we can see the Mt. Damavand in Iran, the Elbrus in the Caucasus and the Kackar Mountains near the Black Sea. We enjoy the great panoramic view from the Summit and afterwards start descending to our Base Camp at 3.200m.
Walking time: 9/10 h; ascent: 937m; descent: 1.937m
ON: at Mount Ararat base camp 3.200m
Meals: B / L / D

Day 13 : Camp I (Base camp) 3.200m descent back to Dogubeyazit & drive to Van

In the morning we descend to the village of Eli; near the village our vehicle awaits us and we drive down to Dogubeyazit. After having Lunch in Dogubeyazit we drive to the city of Van. Archaeological excavations and surveys carried out in the Van province and environs prove that the history of the city itself goes back as far as 5000 B.C. Under the ancient name of Tushpa, Van was the capital of the Urartian kingdom in the 9th century BC. Today Van is more known as “The Pearl of the East” because of the beauty of its surrounding landscapes.
Transfer time: 2/3 h; transfer distance: 180 km (Dogubeyazit – Van)
Walking time: 3 h; ascent: 0m; descent: between 800 and 1.200m
ON:  in Van at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 14 : Van – Home

Transfer to Van airport where the Trip concludes.
Transfer time: 15 min.; Transfer distance: 10 km (Hotel – Van airport)
Meals: B / – / –

ON = Overnight accommodation / B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner

Price Includes
–    All transfers and transportations with private vehicles to the places mentioned in the Itinerary
      Days 1 & 2: One (one way) arrival/departure transfer from/to Istanbul Ataturk Int. airport/Hotel in Sultanahmet
      Transfers in Istanbul valid for Istanbul Ataturk Int. airport only/Extra transfer cost will be charged for each transfer
      Day 14: One (one way) departure transfer from/to Hotel in Van/Van airport
–    Demavend Travel English speaking Tour Leader/Mountain Guide
–    Hotel accommodations, rooms on double/twin share base;
      Bed & Breakfast (BB) and Half Board (HB) service; Important: HB Dinner Service available until 20:30/21:00 h
–    13 x Breakfast, 11 x Lunch (Lunch Packages & Restaurants where available), 12 x Dinner
–    All necessary Camping Equipment’s (Tents, Mattresses, necessary Kitchen Gears & Dinnerware)
–    Taurus Mountains Aladaglar National park Entrance & camping Fees
–    Ararat Permit Fees
–    Night Train from/to Kayseri/Erzurum (sleeper Wagon: 2 Persons per Cabin / Single reservation not possible)


Price Excludes
–    All International and Domestic Flights
–    Travel insurance
–    Extra Transports and transfers other than stated in the Itinerary
–    All kind of Soft and Alcoholic drinks, Bottled Water, Tea & Coffee
–    Meals other than stated in the Itinerary
–    All kind of personal expenses
–    All kind of Entrance fees for historical and natural sites
–    All kind of optional activities
–    Extra Nights
–    Single supplements
–    Single Tents
–    Personal Equipment
–    Tips