set on a stark treeless plain between
ranges of craggy mountains,
is the last Turkish town on the highway
The border, 35km (22 miles)
to the east, helps to define the role
that Doğubayazıt (doh-OO-bah-yah-zuht,
alt. 1950 meters/6400 feet, pop. 36,000)
plays in life, as does the striking
18th-century Ishak Pasha Palace 5
km (3 miles) to the east.
You may be here to gaze upon legendary Mount
Ararat, or the giant
meteor crater 4 km (2.5 miles)
west of the border, or Eski
Beyazıt, the foundations of
a settlement thought to date from
Urartian times (800 BC). Unless,
of course, you're a soldier guarding
the border region.
Bus and car are
the only ways to reach this town. The
nearest airports and train
stations are at Erzurum and Van.
If you drive out here, don't
do as I did and get stuck! Follow
the locals' advice. (Read "Some
People Never Learn" from Bright
Sun, Strong Tea.)
According to TTP traveler Ed
however, the road south from Doğubayazıt
to Çaldıran is
now in good condition, with regular
minibus trips making the run.
from there, the road is fine to Van.
Distances & Travel Times
Ağrı: 87 km (54 miles) W, 1.5
km (752 miles) W, 17 hours
km (177 miles) W, 4 hours
Iğdır: 53 km (33 miles) N,
km (969 miles) W, 28 to 34 hours
km (139 miles) N (via Sarikamis), 4
km (191 miles) S (via Agri & Patnos),
dramatic Ishak Pasha Palace sits
on a promontory overlooking Doğubayazıt.
dramatic view of the valley from
the Ishak Pasha Palace.