If you like apricots, you'll love Malatya, the apricot capital of Turkey, 675 km (419 miles) southeast of Ankara, and 344 km (214 miles) east of Kayseri (map).
Malatya's farmers produce huge harvests of excellent apricotsand cherries which, fresh or dried, are shipped throughout the world. The city, on the north side of Nemrut Dağı (map), is a base for visiting the mountain (although some prefer the south approach from Kahta).
There has been a town here for at least 3000 years, known in Hittite times as Milidia, in Roman times as Melitene, today as Malatya (mah-LAHT-yah, alt. 964 m, 3163 ft.; pop. 400,000).
İsmet İnönü, Kemal Atatürk's comrade-in-arms and second president of the Turkish Republic, was born in Malatya.
Good hotels include the Anemon Hotel Malatya and the Grand Hotel Sinan.
If you use Malatya (instead of Adıyaman or Kahta) as a base for your ascent of Nemrut Dağı, it will take you longer to reach the top, but you can stay overnight in a hotel and thus easily witness both sunset and sunrise at the summit.
Turkish Airlines flies daily nonstop between Malatya, Ankaraand Istanbul, which is a lot more air service than to Adıyaman, so if you need to fly in and fly out quickly, Malatya is a better choice.
You could conceivably fly from Istanbul or Ankara to Malatya, rent a car, drive up Nemrut Dağı, explore the summit, drive back down, stay the night, and be back in Istanbul or Ankara the next day.
Daily express trains connect Malatya with Ankara, Kayseri, Sivas, Elazığ and Diyarbakır, but the bus is faster and usually more comfortable.
You can walk from the north (Malatya) side of the summit to the south (Kahta) side, or vice-versa, but there is no scheduled transportation from either side. Have all your luggage with you (which is a hassle), walk to the other side and ask to see if there's an empty seat in a car or minibus descending that side.
Distances & Travel Times
Adıyaman: 185 km (115 miles), 3 hours
Diyarbakır: 252 km (157 miles), 4 hours
Erzurum: 421 km (262 miles), 7 hours
Gaziantep: 247 km (154 miles), 3.75 hours
Istanbul: 1124 km (698 miles), 18 hours
Kahramanmaraş: 223 miles (139 miles), 4 hours
Kahta: 225 km (140 miles) N, 3.5 hours
Kayseri: 354 km (220 miles), 6 hours
Nemrut Dağı (Summit, North): 72 km (45 miles), 3.5 hours
Sivas: 247 km (154 miles), 3.75 hours
Tatvan: 263 km (163 miles), 4.5 hours
—by Tom Brosnahan
|Eastern Turkey Tours|