The extinct volcano Ağri Dağı (Mount Ararat) is, at 5,165 metres, the highest peak in Turkey. It is the final cone in the chain of volcanoes which march across the bare savannah of the central Anatolian plain. The ascent follows the southern route spreading the climb over three days up and one day down. We will be using two campsites at 3200m and 4200 metres, and mules to carry supplies to the first camp. The trek starts from Eliköyü, an abandoned village in the foothills and sticks to a ridge for much of the way, thus avoiding the Ulker glacier which careers down the face into deep and jumbled gorges below. The path, though rocky, is clearly marked. Above 5000m are permanent ice fields, so crampons, ice axes and ropes are required. The summit is reached via a long ridge and is no more than a rounded hump marked by cairns.
Mount Hasan (3268m.) ranks as the second highest mountain of central Anatolia. This tour starts with a long but easy walk in the Ihlara Valley. But on the way it is possible to visit one of the famous underground cities. Ihlara Valley -13 km hike- is one of the most popular day treks. The walls in the valley are carved with churches and some have really unique wallpaintings inside.
Mount Erciyes (3917m.) is one of the best mountaineering and winter sports centers in Turkey. This dormant volcano rises south of the city of Kayseri. Erciyes is exposed to every kind of atmospheric movement and winter brings heavy snow on it. On the way we visit Soğanlı Valley, it is an ideal introduction to the riches of Cappadocia, helping you to understand how different cultures have shaped the development of this region steeped in history. On a historical note: there is a fire worshippers’ (Zoroaster/ Zarathustra) temple around the summit. Monks in historic times have visited this summit several times. The first known successful climb in modern times was performed by WJ Hamilton in 1837.
The Aladağlar massif boasts the region’s highest peak (Demirkazık summit, which stretches to 3756 m). The geology of the area is responsible for the interesting rock formations and waterfalls. The erosion of limestone has created a fascinating karstic topography and hydrography, especially in the Yedigöller (Seven Lakes) valley, where the karstic underground rivers and caverns collect the surface water.