Dogubeyazit is a town in Ağrı province, in Eastern Turkey. This charming town combines Turkish, Armenian, and Persian architecture and historic sites that provide many interesting sites to visit while you’re there. This town lies on a dramatic landscape – a treeless plain surrounded by mountains.
This off-the-beaten-path destination is a great way to get close to Mount Ararat, a popular climbing location, and the possible location of Noah’s Ark. Whether visiting with family or friends, the below Dogubeyazit travel guide will help you get the most out of a trip to this Turkish town.
Doğubeyazıt Fast Facts
BEST TIME TO GO: May–October
CURRENCY: Turkish Lira (TL)
PLUGS: Standard C | 220 V | 50 Hz
- Hot summers
Mild spring & fall
Cold snowy winter
BEST TRIP TYPES:
History of Dogubeyazit
Dogubeyazit has a long, rich history that extends 2700 years. Before the Ottoman Empire, the town was known as Daruynk. It once was home to the Princes of the Bagratid dynasty of Armenia. It was an important trading town lying on the Trabzon trade route. Through the years, multiple civilizations conquered the town, hence its varying styles of architecture seen today.
In the 16th century, the town was renamed Beyazıt. At this time, it was led by generals who spoke Turkic. After multiple wars, the town was rebuilt in the 1930s on a flat plain lower than the initial town. At this time, it was named Doğubeyazıt, which translates to East Beyazit. Dogubeyazit remains a trading hub for animal products in the area.
How to Get to Dogubeyazit + Map
Only two modes of transportation allow you to reach Dogubeyazit – bus or car. The below options will help guide you to this historic town.
Fly Istanbul to Van – Rent a Car and Drive to Dogubeyazit
A flight from Istanbul to Van on a local Turkish airline like Turkish Air, Sun Express or Atlas Jet takes about two hours once in the air. Then, you can rent a car and drive to Dogubeyazit, another few hours away. It’s best to avoid overscheduling yourself on the first day, as you’ll be traveling about 4.5 hours total via this method.
On our trip, we flew from Antalya to Van. We rented a car and drove to Dogubeyazit. We did go through several checkpoints, where they checked our passports on the way there but on our return to Van, had no stops.
Fly Istanbul to Igdir – Taxi or Bus to Dogubeyazit
Additionally, you can take a plane from Istanbul to Igdir. It is slightly cheaper to fly this route. The length of the flight is about two hours. Then, you can take a bus or taxi to Dogubeyazit. A taxi ride will add about 45 minutes to your travel time. In comparison, a bus ride will take about 1.25 hours. However, it’s much cheaper to ride the bus.
We have family that went this route and they loved it. They took the bus and enjoyed driving around the base of Mount Ararat and seeing the country side on the way to Dogubeyazit.
Hire a Guide and Driver for Your Trip
The final method you can use to travel to Dogubeyazit is hiring a guide and driver. Generally, you can arrange a guide and private driver through your hotel or accommodations. This option is the ideal method of transportation if you do not have a strict budget and a packed itinerary for your trip.
Best Things to Do in Dogubeyazit, Turkey
Below, you’ll find information on the top attractions in Dogubeyazit. These attractions include historical sites, the majestic Mount Ararat, and the Noah’s Ark site.
Ishak Pasha Palace
Ishak Pasha Palace is a top-visited attraction in Dogubeyazit. It’s listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative list. There is an entrance fee to enter the palace or you can use your Turkey Museum Pass.
The palace was built in an Ottoman style of architecture yet borrowed heavily from the Anatolian, Persian, and North Mesopotamian styles. You can explore the palace’s courtyards, kitchens, Turkish baths, and more. Some rooms even offer a view of the surrounding area, including the mountains. The palace is open to the public for exploration except on Mondays. On average, it takes about 2 hours to walk through the palace complex.
The Urartu Castle lies a short distance from the district’s center, near Ishak Pasha Palace. It’s built atop a steep, rocky area; this castle is another must-see in Dogubeyazit. Visiting this castle offers the opportunity to view the ruins of a fortress initially built in the Urartu period (9th century BC).
This is a stop that you can easily include on your itinerary after Ishak Pasha Palace due to its proximity.e U
Hike Mount Ararat
Mount Ararat is a dormant volcano with the country’s highest peak. It consistently has a layer of snow on the summit, regardless of the season. You can hike the mountain over four days or extend it to a week, depending on how many hours you want to hike daily. It is required to have a licensed guide and climbing permits when hiking Mount Ararat.
This hike is an excellent option for those who are fit and can climb hills. The most challenging part of the hike is adjusting to the change in elevation, so most guides include an extra day for you to adjust.
Visit the Noah’s Ark Sites
In the 1950s, an unusual boat-shaped formation was found after NATO performed an aerial survey. It was thought to not be due to natural causes. Multiple people speculated that this formation was the final landing place of Noah’s Ark due to its size, markings, and other factors. However, Ron Wyatt was a driving factor of the Ark Site, as he continued to discover evidence about the site throughout the years and kept it relevant. Eventually, Turkey announced that this is indeed the site of the famous ark listed in the bible.
The site is open to the public and can be visited for free. It’s located in Noah’s Ark National Park. Below are a few top attractions related to the ark.
Noah’s Ark Visitor Center
It’s best to visit with a pre-arranged guide, as they can help you explore the area as all the Noah’s ark sites are not all located in the same place. When at the site, you can visit the visitors center, which offers information on the site’s history. Additionally, you can view the site from the visitors center. You are able to walk down to the site for a fee. See the site manager
Nearby the ark site in Araxes Valley, approximately a few miles away, lies an old stone house with a unique fence pattern extending from it. North of the home is an ancient altar that Ron Wyatt discovered. This altar contains two grave sites, considered the final resting places for Noah and his wife. Because of the grave sites, it is assumed the home on the property is Noah’s House.
You can visit the spectacular site of Noah’s House after spending time at the Ark Site via car. This will allow you to view the related sites in one day, along with the anchor stones noted below.
Anchor Stones (Drudge Stones)
Another important attraction near the Ark Site are the anchor stones in Kazan (a nearby village). These stones were thought to have once been connected to Noah’s Ark. These large standing stones were found by Ron Wyatt during his examination of the ark site. They are thought to be drogue stones, which were used to help weigh down the ark while it was at sea when the waters were rough.
These types of stones have been found in various areas, including in the Mediterranean area. They have a distinct shape – flat with a hole at the top, which was used for tying a rope to the stones. These stones were thought to have helped stabilize boats as they would create drag in shallow waters. Some say the stones are “holy stones” used by Christians many years ago. While there is still debate on whether or not the stones are related to the ark, it’s an exciting attraction that allows a peek into the area’s history.
Learn more about the Noah’s Ark Site in Turkey via this guest author post written by Ron Wyatt’s wife, Mary Nell Lee.
Where to Stay in Dogubeyazit
Tehran Boutique Hotel
This newly built Tehran Boutique Hotel in Dogubeyazit (2014) won the Traveler’s Choice Award in 2021. It’s an excellent family-friendly option for visitors, offering easy access to the center of Dogubeyazit. It’s only a short distance from Ishak Pasha Palace and the local shopping area. Additionally, you can see stunning views of Mount Ararat from the terrace. You can take advantage of the delicious breakfast served each morning.
Where to Eat in Datca
Evin Yemek Restaurant
You can satisfy any Turkish comfort food cravings at Evin Yemek restaurant in Dogubeyazit. The inside of the restaurant features a casual vibe, and the food is quite affordable. This local restaurant specializes in Turkish cuisine, so you can try local meal items like bozbas (meat stew) and aptibey kofte (stuffed meatballs). The pide here was out of this world!
Beyzade Café & Restaurant
Beyzade Café & Restaurant is a great stop for those who want a more luxurious feeling meal without a high price tag. Friendly service and tasty kebabs are found at this restaurant. It’s close to Ishak Pasha Palace, making it an excellent stop before or after exploring the palace. There’s also an indoor play area for the kids here. This is an ideal spot for a meal or dessert and coffee stop.
Parasut Café & Restaurant
The Parasut Café & Restaurant lies right across from the Ishak Pasha Palace. During a meal here, you’ll find exquisite views of Ishak Pasha, Dogubeyazit Castle, and Dogubeyazit. The views are even better in the morning during breakfast or at night as the sun sets. A traditional Turkish dinner or breakfast spread featuring local products is available at this spot.
Final Thoughts on Dogubeyazit
Dogubeyazit is truly a hidden gem in Turkey and a bucket list worthy location for your Turkey itinerary. With its unique combination of architectural styles, incredible views of Mount Ararat, impressive historical sites, and local dining options featuring welcoming staff, Dogubayazit is a top choice for Turkey travelers wanting an off-the-beaten-path experience.