Kahta is a farming and oilfield town set on the shore of a vast artificial lake.
Outside the town center, oil pumps nod and lift, bringing badly-needed local petroleum to the surface to feed Turkey’s growing need for fuel.
The only reason to come here is to use it as a base for visits to Nemrut Dağı.
Kahta (kee-YAHH-tah, pop. 75,000) is no beauty-spot, but it does have tour operators running minibuses to the summit of Nemrut Dağı, stopping along the way at Karakuş to see the tumulus burial-place of the royal ladies of the Roman-era Kingdom of Commagene; at Eski Kahta (Yenikale) to see a Mameluke fortress; and Arsameia, the Roman-period city of King Antiochus.
From the parking lot, you must walk to the temples.
Kahta has a comfortable hotel, and there are others in nearbyAdıyaman. You may roll into town, stay the night, ascend Nemrut Dağı the next day, stay another night in Kahta, then head out of town.
Distances & Travel Times
Adana: 532 km (331 miles) SW, 7.5 hours
Adıyaman: 32 km (20 miles) W, 30 minutes
Ankara: 807 km (501 miles) W, 12 hours
Diyarbakır: 232 km (144 miles) SE, 3.5 hours
Erzurum: 646 km (401 miles) E, 9.5 hours
Gaziantep: 181 km (113 miles) S, 2.5 hours
Istanbul: 1252 km (778 miles) NW, 18 hours
Kahramanmaraş: 200 km (124 miles) SW, 3 hours
Kayseri: 487 km (303 miles) W, 7 hours
Malatya: 225 km (140 miles) N, 3.5 hours
Nemrut Dağı (Summit, South): 52 km (32 miles) N, 1.5 hours
Şanlıurfa: 106 km (66 miles) S, 1.5 hours
Sivas: 446 km (277 miles) NW, 7 hours
Tatvan (Lake Van): 385 km (239 miles) E, 6 hours