Let's go to Ararat!

Meet Ararat. Where is it located and how to get there


- a mountain (volcano, volcanic massif), located in the Anti-Taurus mountain range, in the Armenian Highlands, in the eastern part of Turkey, in the Eastern Anatolia region, on the border of the provinces: Ağrı and Igdir. This region is often referred to as Turkish Kurdistan. The language of communication is Turkish and Kurdish.

- consists of two cones of dormant volcanoes connected by their bases: Big Ararat, 5137 m (the highest point in Turkey) and Small Ararat, 3896 m. The distance between the peaks of Big and Small Ararat is 11 km. The volcanoes are separated by the Sardar-Bulak saddle. The base of both peaks is about 130 km in circumference. Big Ararat, starting from a height of about 4250 m and above, is covered with eternal snows. There are about 30 glaciers in the massif (the largest is the St. James Glacier, more than 2 km long). 

- historically has several names:

  • Armenian - "Masis" or "Black Mountain"
  • Turkish - "Crooked Mountain" or "Mountain of Pain"
  • Persian - "Mountain of Noah"
  • Arabic - "Mountain of the plowman"
  • Kurdish - "Fiery Mountain" or "Weeping Mountain".


🔹 Altitude above sea level 5137 m (according to other data and a sign on the top of 5165 m.)
🔹Mount Ararat is located in Turkey, in the Eastern Anatolia region on the territory of two Ils (districts) of Turkey - Argi and Ygdir (Igdir).
🔹Climbing Ararat starts from the city of Dogubayazit. Officially, the ascent to Ararat is carried out only along one route of Eli Chiftligi: Dogubayazit - pos. Topkatan - der. Eli.
🔹Nearest Airports: Ygdir (Igdir) - 55 km, Argi - 100 km, Van - 210 km. Locals prefer the Agri airport, since the city of Dogubayazit belongs to the Agri silt.
🔹Tourist activities in Turkey and in the Ararat region are regulated by the following authorities:
➡️Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey - http://www.mfa.gov.tr)
➡️TÜRSAB (Association of Turkish Travel Agencies) - https://www.tursab.org.tr
➡️ Ministry of Defense
➡️ Turkish Mountaineering Federation

 i. To climb Ararat, local and foreign citizens need to obtain permission from the competent authorities (visiting the melitarized zone) and buy a permit.
Brief extract from the official document (ORIGINAL):

This protocol covers the foreign nationals whom will ascend to mountains located within the military restricted areas and security zones with the tourism and sportive activity purposes and relevant transactions and activities relating herewith.
5.3.d) The foreign national citizens ascending to mountains as accompanied by mountain hosts commissioned by the Mountaineering Federation of Turkey are charged with 50.-USD or equivalent YTL ascension fee per capita. The fee is deposited to the following accounts opened on behalf of Mountaineering Federation of Turkey; 2000723 numbered YTL account or 4000722 numbered USD account opened at Türkiye Vakıflar Bankası T.A.O. GSGM Office. The deposited cash is used for expenditures concerning materials, communication and safety relating to ascension to mountains under this protocol, for office services and other long term services such as construction of search and rescue stations at the mountains, etc. within the frame of the law.
5.4. Wage of the Mountain Host:
a) Per Diem of a mountain host is 150.-USD or corresponding YTL equivalent. The per diem might be subject to rearrangement by Mountaineering Federation of Turkey, should the conditions change and provided not to be less than once per year. As regards the ascension of groups to be organized by tourism agencies, the wage of the host shall be paid by the tourism agency. If personal ascensions are in question, the wage shall be paid by the concerned person.
b) The wage of the host is calculated on the basis of days spent on the mountain. The normal ascension period is minimum four days and can cover longer periods.

ℹ️. How to do it better and not have problems‼️
Previously, there were two options for foreigners:
1. It was possible to fill out a questionnaire for climbing at the consulate of your country (2 months in advance)
2. Use the services of a local company. This is a simpler option - you, preferably at least a week in advance (now it is possible upon arrival), give the company representative a copy of your passport and the date of your arrival. And he registers everything electronically with local authorities, including the gendarmerie and the military police. From now on, he is responsible for you!!
Currently, only Option-2 works.
✅In this regard, for consultations and permits, we recommend that you contact the time-tested company - Mount Ararat Trek (http://www.mtararattrek.com/our-services).
   🔹Head of the company - Burhan Çevarun (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010684030321)
   🔹E-Mail: topararat@gmail.com
   🔹Mobile, Whatsapp: +90-544-569-8604
   🔹Skype: burhanararatARARAT‼️ 

How to get to make the ascent

Traditionally, all expeditions to Ararat start from the city of Dogubayazit. You can get here in the following ways:

1. Arrive by plane to the airports of the cities of Agri and Igdir (as an additional airport of the city of Van). Agri Airport is an international airport, both direct international flights and local flights from cities throughout Turkey arrive here. Igdir Airport is a local airport, planes fly here mainly from Istanbul and Ankara. The cities of Agri and Igdir are located at a distance of 95 and 50 km from the city of Dogubayazit, respectively. You can get from these cities to the city of Dogubayazit by bus or minibus. But, as a rule, all tourists arriving to climb Ararat are met by representatives of local travel companies.


2. Access by road from Georgia.

  • Get to the region of the city of Akhaltsikhe, the village of Vale by your own transport, where to cross the Georgian-Turkish border. From the Georgian side you will have a checkpoint - Vale, from the Turkish side - Posof. Then it remains to get to the city of Dogubayazit. The total distance Tbilisi - Dogubayazit is 570 km (Tbilisi - Vale checkpoint is 220 km).
  • Get to the Valais checkpoint by any vehicle, cross the border on foot. As a rule, all tourists traveling to Ararat, on the border with the Turkish side, are met by representatives of local travel companies.

How to make a comfortable and successful ascent to Ararat

As it was written above, the height of Big Ararat is 5137 m. And this means that for a successful and comfortable ascent to Ararat you need to get a good and smooth acclimatization! How to get it and what can you think of in this region?

You can choose from the following programs:

- As part of one tour, make three interesting and not difficult ascents in ascending order: Nemrut crater, 2948 m (overnight in a tent at an altitude of 2200 m), Suphan volcano, 4100 (overnight at an altitude of 2750 m) and Ararat, 5137 m (overnight at altitudes of 3200 m and 4200 m). The total duration of the tour is 11 days.

- Within the framework of one tour, ascend two ascending peaks of Ararat: Small, 3896 m (one-day ascent from Dogubayazit, 10 hours + 4 hours road) and Big, 5137 m (overnight stays at altitudes of 3200 m and 4200 m). The total duration of the tour is 7 days.

There are standard programs for climbing Ararat. Here are the basic options:

  • The most popular program is Climbing Ararat with intermediate camps at 3400 m and 4200 m and with additional acclimatization at 4200 m. The total duration of the tour is 7 days. This 7-day tour is chosen by most climbers!!! But! Please note that this program does not include a reserve day for acclimatization, weather, etc. This issue must be discussed in advance, being before leaving the mountain in the city of Dogubayazit. You may have seen that the weather forecast is very bad, etc. Only in this case, food products will be raised to the upper camps and other organizational issues will be resolved. Additional payment required!
  • Climbing Ararat with intermediate camps at 3400 m and 4200 m and with additional acclimatization at 4200 m. Total tour time - 8 days. This program already has a reserve day for a group of participants
  •  Climbing Ararat with intermediate camps at 3200 m and 4200 m and without intermediate acclimatization at 4200 m. The total duration of the tour is 6 days. This tour is chosen by climbers who are in good health and have an acclimatization of about 4000 meters!!!
  • Climbing Ararat with intermediate camps at 3200 m and 4200 m. Total tour time - 5 days. This tour provides for the return immediately after the ascent to the city of Dogubayazit. This tour is chosen by climbers who are in good health and have an acclimatization of about 4000 meters!!!
  • Climbing Ararat with only one intermediate camp at 4200 m. Total tour time - 4 days. This tour provides for the return immediately after the ascent to the city of Dogubayazit. For strong athletes with good acclimatization.


  • Please note that all programs include all transfers, things to go up/down on horseback (you go light), full board, tents, cats, compulsory local guides, cooks, climbing permit, cultural program, etc.
  • In early spring and late autumn, when the weather is still / already unstable, sometimes it can snow a lot and be cold, the height of the Base Camp can be below 3400 m, in a more comfortable place. In addition, the next day, the horses will not go above the Base Camp. The location of the high-altitude (second) camp can be located at an altitude of 3600 - 4200 m, and participants carry all their belongings on their own! In case of bad weather, it is possible to reach the summit immediately from the Base Camp!


Nemrut crater (2948 m) and Suphan volcano (4100 m)


On the trail: in the BC 3400 m and at an altitude of about 4900 m

Top of Ararat, in good weather

Big and small Ararat

What else is offered in the tour program

As a rule, most standard tours include a local cultural program (to choose from) : visiting the places of Ishak Pasha (Ishak Pasha's palace), a trip to Iran's Borderee meteorite crater, Noah's Ark Park, a visit to the Turkic bath, fish lake, etc.

Palace of Ishak Pasha

See more photos below..

What is included in the tour price

As a rule, the standard cost of the tour includes:

  • all transfers according to the program
  • 2 nights at the hotel in Dogubayazit
  • food on the mountain
  • 2 liters of water per day
  • guide service
  • horses for transporting things
  • tent, crampons, sleeping mats
  • climbing certificate
  • cook service
  • permission (permit) to climb

What personal items and equipment to bring

Personal items:

  • waterproof windproof jacket and trousers
  • warm jacket or puff, hat, buff
  • tracksuit (fleece pants/jacket, polartec, etc.)
  • set of thermal underwear, t-shirts, shorts (replaceable)
  • sleeping bag (comfort from -10°С)
  • trekking shoes (mountain boots for crampons)
  • change of shoes for the camp (sneakers)
  • backpack (bag) 80-100 l for transporting things
  • assault backpack up to 40 l
  • seat
  • rain cover for yourself and backpack
  • sun protection: panama, cream, glasses
  • work and warm gloves
  • thermos and flask for water with a total volume of 1-2 liters;
  • headlamp (spare batteries);
  • first aid kit individual
  • camera, etc.

Equipment (usually provided by the organizers)

  • tent
  • mattress or polyurethane foam mat (you can bring your own)
  • trekking poles (you can bring your own)
  • crampons (you can bring your own)
  • mug, spoon, bowl, knife (the camps have it all, but it can come in handy on a trip)


In order not to forget anything or not to take too much, read the articles:


  • Carefully read the tour program and what is included in its price
  • Pay attention to the recommended list of personal items and equipment and what the tour organizer has to offer
  • Check out the additional terms of the tour, regarding children, additional services, route changes, weather, etc.

More of our programs in Turkeylook

Our office in Turkey (Ararat) works on the principle of 24/7/365 days a year

Come, we are always glad to see you.

And finally, the collection of photos

Two Ararats, view from large to small and back

Ararat at different times of the year. From October to May on Ararat real winter

This is the kind of food waiting for you in Ararat

Nemrut crater, you can swim!

Climbing Suphan. Remember! You can climb on your own, but registration is required!

As an option for acclimatization or a separate tour, climbing to the top of Zor (3226 m). Excellent view from the western side of Ararat

Well, now you can think about a comfortable rest. As it was written earlier, participants are offered a tour of their choice.

Ishak Pasha Palace and Bayazet Fortress

Thermal springs

Noah's Ark Park

Fish lake

Additionally, you can order the following excursions:

Salt therapy center (salt mines), Igdir city

The ruins of the medieval city of Ani

If you are arriving/departing from Van city, you can view

Akdamar Island (Gevash City, Van City)

View Hoshap Castle in Guzelsu village

Muradiye waterfall (on the way to/from Van city)

You can visit the museum, sports shop and drink tea in the old courtyards

Van city, fortress, seals, parks, lake, etc.

Well, there are a lot of photos and videos in our group on FB - Ararat 5137

More of our programs in Turkey - view

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