Turkey

KARS – MOUNT ARARAT- LAKE VAN 2023


Tour Details

DATE: May 23 – June 01, 2023

TOUR PRICE:  4300 Euro (must be completed before 60 days of tour departure)

ENROLLMENT DEPOSIT:  500 Euro (non-refundable after 60 day remaining  to tour departure)

GROUP SIZE: 6-8 people

ACCOMODATION: Included (see below)

MEALS & BEVERAGES: Included (see below)

TRANSFER: Included (see below)

-Terms & Conditions-


Overview

Istanbul has become a highly multinational touristic metropolitan. This creates both opportunities and challenges for street photography. Moreover, one can still find less-travelled spots to take authentic pictures particular to local touch.

Kars is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ani, which is located on a secluded plateau of northeast Turkey overlooking a ravine that forms a natural border with Armenia. This medieval city combines residential, religious and military structures, characteristic of a medieval urbanism built up over the centuries by Christian and then Muslim dynasties. The city flourished in the 10th and 11th centuries CE when it became the capital of the medieval Armenian kingdom of the Bagratides.

Mount Ararat (Mount Ağrı)  5137m highest mountain peak in Turkey! Most people think of Noah’s Ark when they hear about Mount Ararat. According to the Bible, this is where Noah’s Ark came to rest when the floodwaters receded. The name of the mountain is mention in the old testament in  Hebrew.

Lake Van (Van Gölü in Turkish) is the largest lake in Turkey, and the second largest in the Middle East. It’s also the biggest sodium water lake in the world. The lake lies on the high grounds of Eastern Anatolian region near the border with Iran. One of the Lake’s islands, Akdamar,  is very popular because of a well preserved Armenian church, The Holy Cross from 10th century.

During this whole trip we will have to chance to experiment on street photography. Whenever a possibility arises, we will stop the car and try to interact with local. We will visit surrounding villages.  For indoor or outdoor portrait photography, we will be working with models in authentic vestments, craftsmen’s ateliers. Landscape photography containing alternating subjects like people, historical structures. We will embark on a boat journey at Van Lake to get different angles of the surroundings.

Astro photography (whenever weather allows).

For landscape photography we will be leaving the hotel before the down and get back to hotel after the sunset.

Ishak Pasha Palace

ITINERARY

DAY 1 | May 23:  Istanbul

You will be picked up from the airport and transferred with a private car to your hotel which is located in the old city. You will be free for the first day.

 

DAY 2 | May 24: Istanbul

We will meet at the hotel lobby and hold a  small meeting.  You will meet with the rest of the group. After a short brief and equipment check  we will start to wander the vibrant and colorful bazaars of Istanbul. Throughout of day we will be in outdoors, visiting predominantly landmarks of old city and spots where good pictures may happen.  We may give small coffee brakes during the day. We will have our lunch in a local restaurant. We will be continue on the streets till sun sets.

Then we will have our dinner in a local restaurant, and turn back to our hotel.

 

DAY 3 | May 25:  City of Kars

Early in the morning we will fly to the city of Kars. We will visit the city center and later we will go to a village where we will photograph javelin throwing game on horseback, which is traditional to this region. We will have  the chance  to experiment on continuous focusing and panning.

We will stay over in Kars.

 

DAY 4 | May 26:  Ani Ruins

Ani,  now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. was most notably the capital of the Armenian kingdom under the Bagratides during the 10th and 11th century. It prospered as a major city on a section of the Silk Road trade route until the invasion of the Mongols. It was then destroyed in a devastating earthquake in 1319. The Silk Road changed course and the fortified city was basically abandoned by the 18th century. You will be perplexed by the mightiness of 1000 years old of the Temple and the Cathedral.

We will have a dance team ready in traditional clothes to photograph on the foreground.

We will stay over in Kars.

 

DAY 5 | May 27:   City of Iğdır and Surrounding Villages

We are leaving Kars and  we move on along  the Armenian Border. Mount Ararat  will slowly  disclose itself. We will visit the surrounding villages and interact with them. Ararat is a dormant volcano; the last eruption was on 2nd of June 1840. The summit of Mt. Ararat is 5,165 meters (16,945 feet) above sea level. Over the years various groups havee xplored Ararat in the hopes of finding remains of Noah’s Ark. Both Josephus in about 70 AD and Marco Polo about 1300 AD mention its existence on the mountain, but their reports are based on others’ accounts

We will try to interact with the locals, take pictures of the Mighty Ararat. We will stay over in Doğubeyazıt.

 

DAY 6 | May 28:   The Mount Ararat and the Ishak Paşa Palace

Ishak Paşa Palace was built in 1784. It Combines Ottoman, Seljuk, Georgian, Persian and Armenian design elements., The Governor, İshak Paşa, governor of Çıldır and Ahıska,  ended up being banished when the Ottoman authorities realized that he was scheming to set up his own domain.

It is an emblematic structure to be photographed with Mount Ararat on the background.

We will stay over in Doğubeyazıt.

 

DAY 7 | May 29:   Muradiye, Erciş, Ahlat

Ahlat  is literally an open-air museum. Historical tombstones and domes, ruins of a castle, old mosques, and cave houses await you here. A special place to visit is the Tombstones of Ahlat at the Uranian and Ottoman citadel, which are some of the most outstanding tombstones and mausoleums of the early Turkish period in Anatolia.

Erciş is located on the northern coast of Lake Van and the Urartian tombs, Erciş Castle, and Ardzvaber Monastery here are worth visiting. Muradiye Waterfalls, Seytan Bridge (Devil’s Bridge), built in the 19th century, and Saint Stephanos Church in Muradiye.

We will visit a cane atelier and photograph.

We will stay over in the city of Van.

 

DAY 8 | May 30:  Boat trip in Van Lake, Isles of Akdamar and Çarpanak

Akdamar Island, is the the largest among the islands on the lake and is home to an old Armenian church called the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. The church is tentatively on the list to become recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the future.

We will take a private boat to cross to Akdamar island.  We will do some shooting with models in traditional cloths.

We will stay over in the city of Van.

 

DAY 9  | May 31:  Back to Istanbul

We will transfer to the airport to  fly back to Istanbul. We will have our dinner in a local restaurant.

We will spend the night in our hotel in Istanbul.

 

DAY 10 | June 01:  Farewell

Private transfer to Istanbul airport.

SERVICES (INCLUDED & NOT INCLUDED)

INCLUDED

ACCOMODATION:

  • Istanbul: 3 Nights Bed & Seven Hills Palace, located in the old city.
  • Kars : 2 Nights Half-board Kars 4* Büyükkale Hotel
  • Doğubeyazıt: 2 Nights Half-board 3* Grand Ağa Hotel
  • Van : 2 Nights Half-board Van Grand Hotel

MEALS:

  • All meals (starting from the day of we sit down for Welcome Meeting in Istanbul and to the end. (including the diner we will have (after) our arrival  to İstanbul from Van.

TRANSPORTATION:

  • Domestic flights from/to Istanbul
  • Pick up & drop-off at Istanbul Airport .
  • We will be using a Mercedes Sprinter or similar dedicated to our group for general transportation.

GROUP LEADERS:

  • You will be together Faruk Akbaş for all matters concerning the photography. Another English speaking certified guide will be with you as well for from day one to the end who will be handling logistics, accommodation.

GENERAL EXPENSES & MUSEUM ENTRY FEES::

  • We will take care all the tips and payments concerning the models, locals or organizational contributions. Museum entrances.

NOT INCLUDED

  • The dinner first day you arrive to Istanbul
  • Soft drinks taken during the meals.
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Meals or beverages received to your room or from minibar
  • Totally optional: tips to guide and drivers.
  • Any other service not mentioned in the “INCLUDED” section.

PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR

Below, you can find a summary of  the required photo equipment  during the tour/workshop. If you do not have or do not want to carry a tripod we may arrange you a good quality rental tripod as we will receive your camera info.

  • DSLR/mirrorless camera and a sturdy tripod.
  • A medium zoom lens, such as a 24-70 mm lens.
  • Or prime lenses of your preferences
  • A camera bag to transport all your equipment.
  • A cable or wireless shutter for night photography
  • A headlamp for the night shootings.

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