4 Nights
Eastern Anatolia
Main Region
Fitness Level
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Tour Summary
  • Aghtamar Island
  • Akdamar
  • Akdamar Island
  • Armenia
  • Armenia churches
  • Brotherhood at Aghtamar and Sourp Khach
  • Carpanak
  • Holy Cross
  • Holy Cross Catherdral

This is a four day (five nights) tour of Armenian churches and monasteries south and east of Lake Van. Explore Lake Van and its surroundings, from Varakavank (The Seven Churches) to St. John’s church on Gduts (Carpanak) island and taking in Garmir Vank and, St. Thomas’ church near the village of Kanzak (Altinsac), before finishing with Arter (Kusadisi) and, of course, the beautiful Sourp Khach (Church of the Holy Cross) on Aghtamar Island built by King Gagik in the 10th Century. As a Catholicosate until 1916, Sourp Khach embodies a central place in Armenian religious history. One of only a few Catholicosates, the Brotherhood at Aghtamar and Sourp Khach had the authority to create new bishops and bless the chrism essential to important rites and sacraments such as marriage, baptism, funerals and the consecration of bishops.

Even today Aghtamar Island is celebrated within Armenian and local folk culture, with many songs and legends associated with it. It is a place of celebration, as well as worship. The backdrop for this unique tour is the incomparable Lake itself.

Regions Visited

Eastern Anatolia

Fitness Level Low - Able to walk up to 500 metres over level ground.
What is included?

All road transport (tolls etc) English speaking guide All state and local taxes All museum and site entries

What is not included

Lunch Personal expenses Beverages Insurance (unless otherwise stated) Airport Transfers

Terms & Conditions Please note that there is a 20% surcharge for single room occupancy.
Please note that it is essential that you have purchased travel insurance for all parts of Turkey. It is your responsibility to organise the correct cover but we are happy to advise.

2 thoughts on “A Pilgrimage to Akdamar & Lake Van

  1. Plenty here that is of interest! But not exactly what I am looking for.
    I am British but with a home in S Turkey. Have visited many of the major sites (including Trabzon, Gobekli Tepe, Haran, Mosaic Museum, Urfa etc. Now I am keen to have a few days in Mardin plus perhaps other places in that area. I hope to travel (via Istanbul or Ankara) in the first few weeks of May 2019.

    Can you help? Small group tour would be ideal.

    1. Thank you for getting in touch and my apologies for the delay in replying. You might wish to consider Treasures of Eastern Turkey Tour (or at least part of it), this tour goes from Kayseri to Trabzon via Nemrut, Urfa, Diabekir, Mardin and Van. Please contact nick@asternturkeytour mentioning this communication.

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A Pilgrimage to Akdamar & Lake Van image
A Pilgrimage to Akdamar & Lake Van brochure
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