The Legendary Ararat by Sinan Haliç

The legendary Ararat Mountain is attracting tourists worldwide and offering an unforgettable adventure with unique cultural and geographical experiences.

Mount Ararat is lying on the border of Turkey, Armenia and Iran,is a volcano with 5137 meters altitude. Not the highest in Europe and Middle east but higher than Mont Blanc and 500 meter shorter than Elbrus which is accepted to be the highest of Europe and 500 meter shorter than Mount Damavand of Iran.

The summit view is surely a rewarding experience. One can view 3 countries at a time from the summit; Armenia in the north-northeast, Iran in the east and rest directions are all Turkey.

The summit of Ararat is accesible from 4-5 different routes but only the direct southern route is allowed by the officials. The best time to climb the mountain is between July - September. Anybody who is willing to climb the summit should have a basic experience about self arrest, ice-axe and crampon use. Minimum trekking experience of 5-6 hours in high altitude (Above 3000 meters) is essential.

With the guidance of "professional guides" the last 200 meters altitude offering the glacier, will be passed without any problem if the weather is good enough.

The permit procedure is seriously taking time (minimum 35-40 days) and the basic information of a passport is needed as well as the information about the closest Turkish Embassy/consulate in the hometown of the climber.

The most important thing about the safety, is the tour operator. There are many operators providing trekking services illegally in the internet. Because the region has not been so crowded yet, in the name of tourism, there are still misuse of the goodwill of foreigners, by some local and other illegal "operators"

In any case, the travel arrangements should be done with a full bonded A group travel agency licensed by the Ministry of Tourism of Turkey and should be a member of TURSAB (Turkish Travel Agencies Association) This will protect the climbers financially in case of bad hospitality & disagreement, and will provide an obligatory insurance coverage of the association.
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