ARARAT - Agri Dagi – the highest mountain range in Turkey, which consists of two peaks. Greater Ararat (Büyük Ağri Daği) is 5137 metres above sea level (in some sources 5122 or 5165 metres above sea level) and is a dormant volcano, Little Ararat (Küҫük Ağri Daği) is 3896 metres above sea level and is an extinct volcano. Mount Ararat is famous for the story of Noah’s Ark, which according to the Bible rested on this mountain after the great flood. Every year the top of Ararat is climbed by hundreds of tourists. In spite of the fact that Ararat is not a difficult mountain to climb, it is necessary to take a local guide and get a permission. You have to be prepared for 2-4 days of ascent and descent. Above 3500 metres above sea level some people (not all) suffer from altitude sickness. At the height of 4200 metres above sea level, where usually there is the second camp, the temperature is low, and at night very low, even in summer. Generally, the weather on Ararat is very changeable. From day to day we can observe the change of the weather – from rain and clouds to the sun and clear sky and on the contrary. That is why you need to be a little bit lucky to have a good weather, the sun and cloudless sky to be able to admire beautiful views from the mountain. Greater Ararat is linked with Lesser Ararat with Serdebulak mountain pass.
LITTLE ARARAT – also known as Mount Sis or Lesser Ararat , is the sixth tallest peak in Turkey remains in the shadow of Greater Ararat and its peak is seldom climbed by mountain hikers. It does not attract people with its height and there are few climbers. Though, if you want to go there, you need a guide and a car that will take you at the height of over 2000 metres above sea level. From there you can gat to the foot of the volcano in 2-3 hours. Then the mountain seems ours. Unfortunately, it is not so – the ascent is really hard because of the steep profile and slipping stones. After 2 or 3 steps we slip down with the stones. The climb is arduous but not impossible. On the top there is a small lake and commemorative stone with a carved inscription on it.
SÜPHAN DAĞI (Suphan Dagi) - an extinct volcano, located at the north shore of the biggest lake in Turkey – Van. In the volcano’s caldera there are small lakes. The highest point is the eastern peak, which is 4058 metres above sea level high. Suphan is a difficult mountain to climb. The initial trekking is easy, afterwards the ground changes and big stones appear, on which you have to hike. On the top dangerous, slippery and big patches of snow remain even in summer. The descent may last about 12-15 hours. A picturesque Lake Aygir is the reward after the difficulties of climbing if we decide to descend along the southern slope of the volcano. At the lake there is a small camping site and a restaurant where you can eat fish from Lake Aygir. The water in the lake, which is warm even in the morning, encourages you to swim in it.
NEMRUT DAĞI (Nemrut Dagi) - a dormant volcano that is 3050 metres above sea level high. It is located on the western side of the Lake Van. Its eruption caused the creation of the biggest lake in Turkey – Van (Van Gölü). You can climb it on your own – easy trekking or you can ascend by car. The diameter of the of the volcano is 8 km. There is a beautiful landscape, there are 5 lakes including hot springs. At one of the lakes there is a camping site, so you can also spend a night there.
MOUNTAIN PASTURES (yaylalar) – they spread over the whole mountainous east. People from cities and towns owning flocks of sheep and rams as well as goats in summer move to free mountain and upland areas and live under tents. They put up tents and live there for about 3-4 months. It is not only Mount Ararat or Suphan Dagi, but also many lower mountains. They are very beautiful and interesting places for tourists, which are appropriate for easy trekking and getting to know the life of Kurdish people – nomads.