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The City of Van

Van is a city situated in the eastern Anatolian Region of Turkey and on the eastern shore of the largest lake in Turkey known as ‘Lake Van’. The city is a great place to visit, particularly in the spring time, when you can go hunting and trekking in the surrounding Rocky Mountains. Of course you could also take a moment to enjoy the beach or visit the historical sites.

Where to go

Van Castle
The Van Castle stands 5km away from the center of the city. It was founded in the 9th century and is the most outstanding castle of Urinian evolution.

Akdamar church
Akdamar church is a ruined cathedral, dating back to the 10th century. It is well known for the interesting reliefs carved on the outer walls.

Hosap castle
Hosap castle is a large medieval castle located 60km away from the center of Van City. The leftover structure that you can see today dates back from 1643.

Spend some time searching the market stalls and why not pick up one of Turkey’s famous for carpets. You can also find some quality gold and silver jewelry at a bargain price.

Van cats
The famous Turkish Van cat has a pure white coat and distinctive auburn markings on the head and tail along with different colored eyes.  They are also known for their bizarre love of the water and they very much enjoy swimming or paddling around in lakes, ponds and streams. Unfortunately, the Van breed in the Van area itself is becoming rarer to see, so make sure you keep a close eye out.

A popular dish eaten in Van is called the ‘Kurt Kofte’ which is a sort of meatball made with herbs and wheat.  Another well-liked food is the Turkish ‘Sucuk’, which is salami and can be served with liver kebabs and fresh bread to make a tasty meal.  And for desert, a favorite from the menu is usually the ‘Dondurma’ which is ice-cream and it’s crucial that you get the chance to try the different flavors.  As for beverages, the traditional drink in Van is a cup of tea. It really is a drink they devour through all the day and the locals believe that tea is a sign of friendship.

Image courtesy of Jordan Sitkin

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