Dogubeyazit Travel Guide

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Dogubeyazit, or jocularly referred to as "Doggy biscuit" is a small but pleasant town on the road to Iran. Situated in the far East of Turkey at the side of sweeping grass plains that run all the way up to Mount Ararat (supposed restingplace of Noah's Ark) you will enjoy the small size of the town, the unexpected friendliness and be able to talk to Iranians spending their holiday abroad. Be sure to visit the Ishak Pasha Palace!

On the main road there is a small travel agency where you can book a nice evening -programm with local music in a authentic atmosphere below the ishak pasha palace. There is also the possibility to book half- or full day tips to Noahs ark, the slopes of the ararat mountain, visting small villages and the meteore inside the no-mans-land between the NATO-country Turkey and Iran.

Another travel agency (Tamzara, the Dogubayazit office) is located at Hotel Urartu (opposite the post office) offering similar half-day tours (visiting Ishak Pasha palace, Noah's ark, meteor crater, stopping in Kurdish villages on the way) and day tours including visiting the hot springs in Diyadin.

On demand, they organise a trip to the Ice Cave where the special microclimate turns the cave into a fridge during summer, whereas temperature rises in the winter. The tour to the Fish Lake takes you to one of the highest lakes in Turkey. Climbing permits for Mount Ararat can be arranged, tours to Mt Ararat and Mt Suphan are operated all through the year.

To climb Mount Ararat, you will need a permit (50USD). It has to be obtained in advance, and the planned date(s) of your climb has to be specified in the application. Allow at least 45 days for the processing of your application. The application may be submitted by yourself at the Turkish Embassy nearest you, or via a registered Turkish travel agency. If you apply for yourself, the embassy may ask for a supporting letter by the guide you plan to go with (also asking for his registration and licence number). If you apply through a travel agency, you will need to send the information of your passport's photo page, the intended dates for your climb. Make sure, you do get the permit from the travel agent/guide before your climb as you need to have it with yourself in case the jandarma is checking it.

There are plenty of hotels in Dogubeyazit, most of them pretty basic. If you are looking for cheap and clean accommodation, Hotel Saruhan may be your choice. Altough it has only shared showers and toilets, it is kept clean all day through. The rooms range from singles to triples, and on average cost 7YTL/person. Another good choice is Hotel Tahran with ensuite rooms. Hotel Urartu is one more grade up, however busy during school time, since many of the teachers coming from other parts of Turkey take up residence there.

There are many small restaurants on Emiyet Caddesi, Tad is to be recommended (clean and good food). The serve the usual range of food from soups to kebabs, pide, and other day specials. For sweets and breakfast, go to Manyolia pastahane in the same street.

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