Akdamar Island, On Lake Van
Lake Van, the largest lake of Türkiye, is located at an altitude of 1720m and is ringed by beautiful mountains. Mount Süphan (4058m) is on the northwest side and the İhtiyar Şahap Mountains are to the south of the region. You can go around the lake, visiting several ancient Urartian sites as well as other places that represent the legacies of the various peoples who inhabited the area.
Some of the islands on Lake Van have monasteries and churches. Forty-one kilometres southwest of Van, Akdamar Island (a half-hour sail from shore) is the most important of these.
Akdamar, the largest island on Lake Van, hosts one of the most stunning views of Van. There is also the Surp Cross Church, which is also known as the Akdamar Church, a must-see place during a visit to the Lake Van area. It offers great views in terms of architecture. Plant and animal motifs on the exterior of the church are amongst the most remarkable details
The Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Akdamar Island, in Lake Van in eastern Türkiye, is a mediaeval Armenian Apostolic cathedral, built as a palatine church for the kings of Vaspurakan and later serving as the seat of the Catholicosate of Aghtamar. The stone walls are richly carved with Old Testament scenes and figures. The church, hosting a religious ceremony once a year, now serves as a museum. After sightseeing, swimmers and picnickers can enjoy themselves around the island's almond groves.
Should you have time, visit Çarpanak Island to drink in its landscape and to wander around the 12th-century church, which is now a museum.