araratDominating the plains surrounding Doğubayazıt in the far east of Turkey near the Iranian border, snowcapped Mt Ararat is often said to be the place where Noah's Ark finally came to rest.

The mountain actually has twin peaks: Büyük Ağrı (Big Ararat, 5165m) and Küçük Ağrı (Little Ararat, 3925m). The three-day climb up Büyük Ağrı will be a highlight of a visit to this area for enthusiastic outdoor types.

Venturing up it is a serious matter not to be entered into without proper planning. The usual course of action is to take at least three days about the venture, climbing with a guide and porters.

Since 2010 it’s been possible for local guides to obtain the necessary permits to climb the mountain in one day. There’s also a shop in Doğubayazıt that sells basic mountaineering and camping gear, although you’re probably better off bringing your own.

The climbing season runs from June through to September, and if you make it to the top you will no doubt look back on your visit to Doğubayazıt with great affection.

Less hardy types will need to look for a hotel room with a view in Doğubayazıt and then hope for a clear day.

Friedrich Parrot. The İshak Paşa Sarayı (Palace) in Doğubayazıt contains a room dedicated to the memory of this German traveller who was the first man to climb the mountain and leave a record of it in modern times (1829).parrot


Although the climb up the mountain will require you to camp you will probably start and end you trip by overnighting in Doğubayazıt, one of the least inspiring towns of Eastern Turkey with a range of accommodation that rarely rises above so-so.

Transport info

The neaest airport is in the town of Ağrı where you will have to travel to the town centre to find an onward bus to Doğubayazıt. Other airports at Erzurum and Van are likely to be busier. 





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