Located in the North East Anatolia and is on the Historic Silk Road, Kars is a border city whose foundation history extends to the BC 9000 - 8000 and the city is well-known for its historical and archeological ruins, natural beauties and rich folklore culture. In more recent years the city became more known after the Nobel prize winner Orhan Pamuk’s novel “Snow” where the story takes place in the snow-covered Kars. For some Kars is a city which at least once should be visited in winter time and I am included in that group as well. 24 hours train journey from Kars to Ankara has become very popular over the years in which you will be crossing Eastern Anatolia to Central Anatolia with an amazing scenery to enjoy.
Day 1 – Take the early flight from Istanbul and arrive to Kars where your guide will meet you and you will start the first day of tour Kars. The tour will start with the Caucasian Front War Museum which ended very sadly with more than 78,000 martyrs mostly by freezing, a very sad history for the country . After lunch break visit to Kars forth, Kars Archeological Museum, historical streets of Kars with many stone buildings from Russian era, churches turned into mosques will be visited. If this is a winter trip than in the evening you will be lucky to have goose dish which Kars is famous for.
Overnight in Kars
Day2 – After breakfast drive to Ani Ancient City which straddles the border between Turkey and Armenia. The ruins of Ani are the remains of a medieval Armenian kingdom also known as 1001 churches. There are a collection of stunning churches and beautiful mosques spread over a large area. In my opinion Ani is one of the most underrated sites in Turkey.
After Ani visit if it’s a winter time you will continue to Lake Cildir which is the biggest freshwater and the second largest lake in Eastern Anatolian region. The surface of the lake is frozen into ice during winter months and you can have a unique experience by riding horse-drawn sleighs and fishing on the frozen lake. Lunch break will be given by Lake Cildir to try the fresh water fish.
If your visit falls into a summer time we will continue to Sarikamis to see the Empress Katarina’s hunting lodge and the Sarikamis Forest which is one of the most beautiful forest in Turkey and in winter time there is a skiing center. Then continue to Airport to take the afternoon flight back to Istanbul.
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