The vast high plateau of Eastern Turkey is dominated by the extinct volcano of Mount Agri (Ararat), which soars to a height of 5,165 m (16, 945 ft). The surface of Lake Van reflects the summits of the surrounding peaks. Trapped by the mountains, the lake has no outflow. In the south, the eastern extension of the Taurus range crumbles suddenly into the sun-baked Mesopotamia plain.
Van was once the seat of the sophisticated Urartian Kingdom.
The rough frontier town of Dogubeyazit was home to fiercely independent Kurdish princes. Kars, the 10th century Capital of Armenia and access point for Ani, has been fought for many times buy Russian and Turks.
From the baking plains of Upper Mesopotamia to the Icy heights of Mount Agri (Ararat), this vast region of Turkey is relatively undeveloped and unspoiled, making it a natural target for the more adventurous traveler.