Mount Ararat



The 16,945-ft/5,165-m peak of Mount Ararat is allegedly the land first spotted by Noah after the flood. The peak is in eastern Turkey, 650 mi/1,045 km east of Ankara and near the rustic frontier town of Dogubeyazit, the last Turkish checkpoint on the way east toward Iran.

Nearby is the spectacular and isolated Isak Pasa Sarayi (palace), set atop a high mountain overlooking the town. One night in the area is adequate unless you're hiking up Mount Ararat. Dogubeyazit celebrates its strong Kurdish roots each summer with outdoor music, dance and theater as part of an annual arts and culture festival.

Be aware that because the mountain is near the borders with Iran and Armenia, it's only possible to climb it with a group that has official permission (check with the Ministry of Tourism in Ankara before you go). In addition, some people complain that the cost for the permit is unreasonably high.

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