Noah’s Ark Site in Turkey: What to Expect & Best Travel Tips in 2024


Is the real Noah’s ark site in Turkey? Many archeologists and expeditions have searched for it over the years on Mt. Ararat in eastern Turkey. Near Mt. Ararat and the city of Dogubeyazit, Turkey is the site of a strange, boat-shaped formation. In 1987, Turkey recognized it as the remains of Noah’s Ark and designated it as Noah’s Ark National Park. How did they come to the conclusion that this is the Noah’s ark site?

Today’s post is shared by Mary Nell (Wyatt) Lee, whose late husband, Ron Wyatt, began exploring what he believed to be Noah’s ark in 1977. Mary Nell has continued Ron’s work in sharing his discoveries.  In 2007, I traveled from Antalya to Dogubeyazit to visit the site with Mary Nell and my father, Randall Lee. The information she presents about the site is fascinating and well worth a read to come to your own conclusion.

#1 Top Pick
Tehran Boutique Hotel
  • Dogubeyazit City Center – 30 minutes to the Noah’s Ark site
  • High ratings, clean & modern
  • Walkable to markets and restaurants

Noah’s Ark Visitor Information

Below you’ll find everything you need to know to visit the Noah’s Ark site in Turkey.


There is a small fee to enter the visitors center. You can walk down to the structure for additional fee.


Typically business hours are daytime hours between May and October.

Best Time to Go

May to October is the best time for you to visit the Noah’s Ark site. The weather is warm in the summer and cooler in the fall. There could be rain late fall, but you can still visit the site. Between November – April there is a high possibility there will be snow and it will be hard for you to access.


The Noah’s Ark site is about 36km (30 minute drive) from the Dogubeyazit city center.


Parking is free at the visitors center.

Time Needed to Visit

We recommend allowing 1 – 2 hours to visit the site. You may want to stay even longer if you plan on going down to the structure.

Noah’s Ark Site Travel Tips

  • Visitors’ Center | The visitor’s center is on-site and has more information about the history and discovery of the structure. We recommend traveling with a local guide, so they can call ahead and the center will be open when you arrive.
  • Site Access | In most cases, you can walk down to the structure for an additional fee. You can view from the visitor’s center, which gives you a hilltop view of the site.
  • Landscape Views | You have beautiful landscape views of the site, Mt. Ararat and Little Ararat from the site.
  • Photography | An early morning visit to the site is best for photos, and great views of Mt. Ararat if the weather is clear.
  • Food & Drinks | There is a cafe in the visitor’s center where you can drink Turkish coffee, tea, water & soft drinks.
  • Restrooms | There are restrooms on-site.
  • Itinerary | Go to the Noah’s Ark site, then head over to Ishak Pasha Palace. Also, go see the anchor stones and Noah’s house near the village of Arzap. Another option is making a stop at the site before starting your hike up Mt. Ararat. We recommend working with a guide to get the most out of your time in Dogubeyazit.

Noah’s Ark Site Fast Facts

What to See at Noah’s Ark National Park

There are several things to see at Noah’s Ark National Park and Dogubeyazit. See below for our list of recommended sites.

✔️ Noah’s Ark Site in Turkey

Noah’s Ark National Park near Dogubeyazit is home to the that Turkey recognizes as the Noah’s Ark Site. There is a minimal entrance fee into the center where you’ll find additional information about the the discovery. Inside the center you’ll see images, artifacts that have been found onsite and additional information. You’ll be able to view the site from the center.

✔️ Noah’s Ark Structure

We highly recommend walking down to the structure to explore for an additional fee. You can view the rib timbers and walk around and on the structure which is over 500 feet long.

✔️ Ark Anchor Stones

Once you’ve viewed the ark site, you don’t want to miss the other Noah sites nearby. The anchor stones, also called drogue stones, are located in the village of Arzap. You’ll see that they have crosses that are carved into the rock. They are believed to have been added to the stone in more recent years. There are many throughout the village – some in people’s backyards. The biggest one is accessible to view without trespassing.

You may see some of the village children come out to see you. In our experience, they love candy but please don’t take photos of them.

✔️ Noah’s House

On the way to the village of Arzap to see the anchor stones, you’ll pass small reminents of what is believed to be Noah’s house which has also called a church by the locals. There is not a lot to see there, but its on the way to the anchor stones and worth a quick stop.

noahs ark visitors center

How to Get to Noah’s Ark

To get to Noah’s Ark National Park from Istanbul, you have a couple of options on how to get to Dogubeyazit.

From Van

Our recommended option is to fly from Istanbul to Van. In Van, you will rent a car and you can drive to Dogubeyazit. You can rent a car online and pick the car up outside of the airport. The drive is about 107 miles and takes a little over 2 hours.

The main thing you need to know is that there are several check points along the way. The army will want to see the passports of everyone in the car, but other than that should not have any issue.

If you do not want to drive, you can contact a local travel agency in Van to take you to the site. After visiting Dogubeyzit, spend a day in Van seeing the local sites.

Pro Travel Tip:

Remember to eat at one of the Turkish breakfast salons Van is famous for!

From Igdir

Another great option that our family did on the last Noah’s Ark trip was to fly from Istanbul to Igdir. The bus ride is about $5 and takes approximately 2 hours to Dogubeyazit. Then, you can take a taxi to your hotel.

From Erzurum

Another more time intensive option is to fly from Istanbul to Erzurum. In Erzurum, you can go to the bus station and take the bus to to Dogubeyazit. The bus ride is approximately $10 and will take 3.5 – 4 hours to arrive in Dogubeyazit.

Where to Stay Near Noah’s Ark

We have 1 place that we recommend staying in Dogubeyazit when you visit the Noah’s Ark site. We’ve stayed here personally and had a great 3 night stay.

Tehran Boutique Hotel

This Tehran Boutique Hotel is in the city center of Dogubeyazit. Its a great place to stay because the area is walkable and easy to get around. The only downside is finding parking. The hotel itself is simple but it is clean & modern. Breakfast is included. The hotel is about a 30 minute drive to the Noah’s Ark site.

History of the Discovery of the Noah’s Ark Site

The Noah’s Ark site was discovered in the 1950s when NATO conducted an aerial survey of the region looking for Soviet missile bases during the cold war. Turkish photo analyst, Captain Ilhan Durupinar, noticed the strange object in the photo (seen below left) and brought it to the attention of his superiors. He believed it could not be a natural formation. Word spread, and an expedition from the United States traveled to examine it. The story made headlines when Life Magazine featured the expedition. You can see an image from the of the Live Magazine story below:

noahs ark life magazine

The expedition blew holes in the object but saw nothing they recognized. They concluded there was nothing of any archaeological interest there.

Renewed interest beginning in 1977 by Ron Wyatt

The site was forgotten – until 1977 when Ron Wyatt, who had read the 1960 Life Magazine article, saved enough money to travel to the site and see it for himself. By then, no one even remembered where it was.

He believed it was the most likely candidate for the remains of Noah’s Ark for two main reasons. First was the size. The article stated that it was “about” 500 feet long. He concluded that Noah’s Ark would have been a little over 500 feet long because the cubit stated in Genesis would have been the Royal Egyptian Cubit of 20.6 inches since there was no Hebrew cubit at that time. The other reason was that it was in the “mountains” plural, of Ararat (Urartu) instead of the recent volcanic Mount Ararat where everyone else was looking for Noah’s Ark.

Ron Wyatt first examined the site in 1977. At that time, the object was surrounded by dirt and only the top was visible.

Noahs Ark Ron Wyatt 1977

The 1978 earthquake that revealed more evidence

In late 1978, an earthquake in the region dropped the soil around it making the sides visible.

At this time, Ron was the only person interested in the site. When he returned in 1979 after learning about the earthquake, he was amazed at what he saw- it looked like an ancient shipwreck with ribs visible around the sides.

Ribs of Ark

The earthquake had also caused a crack along the entire length of the site, and he took measurements of the internal depth and took small specimens.

He measured the length and discovered it was 515 feet long. The Biblical record states that Noah’s Ark was 300 cubits. 300 Royal Egyptian Cubits is exactly 515 feet. It was a fact impossible to ignore.

Metal detector scans revealed a pattern of iron lines consistent with a massive ship

The next piece of evidence to consider is the pattern of metal readings on the entire outside of the object. In 1984, with a deep-probe metal detector provided to him by White’s Electronics, Ron discovered a pattern of metal readings on the surface of the object.

A massive ship would need metal fittings to hold the ship together and the Bible gives evidence that the knowledge of metallurgy was well established by the time of Noah. The Biblical account tells of Tubal Cain, who was the 7th generation from Adam and well before the time of Noah: And Zillah, she also bares Tubal Cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron. Genesis 4:22.

Soon others took interest in the site and joined the research. In 1985, a complete metal detector scan was performed, and rocks were placed at every metal reading. Then tapes were used to connect the readings.

metal detector readings

The readings showed a pattern of damage to the western side where it appeared that the object had been impaled on a massive outcropping of limestone.

Radar scans revealed a pattern of the internal structure

In 1986, sub-surface interface radar showed a pattern of structure within the object.

Radar results

Tests of a specimen from the site yielded evidence of fossilized objects with organic carbon. This proved that the objects being tested had been once living, such as wood.

Dedication of Noah’s Ark in Turkey

In December of 1986, Turkey announced to the world their decision, that this site is the remains of the great ship of Noah. They held a dedication ceremony in June of 1987 in which Ron Wyatt was invited as a guest of honor. His ten years of research on the site proved to them that the site was the massive ship that preserved the lives of Noah and his family.

noahs ark national park ground breaking
ark visitor center ground breaking
The ceremony consisted of a ground-breaking for the visitors center to be built directly above the site.

New evidence revealed at the 1987 dedication ceremony

At the dedication ceremony, the Governor of Agri, Sevket Ekinci, asked Ron to demonstrate the radar for the Turkish dignitaries and television. As Ron scanned, an image appeared on the radar readout that Ron told the men looked like timber just beneath the surface. He had never been allowed to dig on the site, only do a non-destructive investigation. But Gov. Ekinci ordered a soldier to dig right where Ron told him to dig.

ark scan radar readout

What emerged was a petrified specimen of timber that was broken on one end, and the other end was the finished end of a long timber. It was broken before being fossilized.

Sectioning of the specimen showed it to consist of 5 internal layers of wood. The finished end showed what looked like pitch or bitumen oozing out of end. This specimen appeared to be laminated wood, like our plywood today, only much larger.

john larsent at noahs ark

Recent Research at the Noah’s Ark Site

In 2014, John Larsen of New Zealand obtained a permit to do a thorough resistivity scan of the entire site. Resistivity scanning can provide much deeper information than ground-penetrating radar and provide 3-D images of what lies beneath the surface of the earth.

In October of 2014, John, assisted by Randall Lee (my husband and Dania Demirci’s father) performed the scans. The results showed what looked like the remains of a massive shipwreck under the earth.

resistivity scans of noahs ark

Noah’s Ark Videos

If you’re looking for additional resources about the Noah’s Ark site in Turkey, we’ve got your covered. See below for videos from the Ron Wyatt YouTube Channel.

Noah’s Ark Evidence

The story of the evidence which led Turkey to recognize the discovery of Noah’s Ark and dedicated Noah’s Ark National Park in Dogubeyazit in Eastern Turkey.

Watch the video: Noah’s Ark Evidence

Resistivity Scans

Mary Nell Wyatt Lee takes you on a tour of the ark as John Larsen and Randall Lee perform the scans. This is especially for those who would like to see the entire ark site and understand the remains.

Watch the video: Noah’s Ark Resistivity Scans

FAQs : Noah’s Ark Site

Can you visit Noah’s ark in Turkey?

Yes, to reach the Noah’s ark site, you will travel to Eastern Turkey to Dogubeyazit. The site is free to visit. Be sure to call ahead to ensure the visitor’s center will be open.

Where is Noah’s ark in Turkey?

The Noah’s Ark site is in Noah’s Ark National Park 36km from Dogubeyazit, Turkey.

Is the real Noah’s Ark site in Turkey?

Turkey dedicated the site as Noah’s ark site in 1987. It’s up to you to review the research and information and decide for yourself. You can learn more about the site at the Ron Wyatt YouTube Channel.

What do I wear to Eastern Turkey?

We suggest wearing comfortable clothing for travel in Eastern Turkey. Women should dress modestly. You can learn more about what to wear on your trip to Eastern Turkey in our Turkey Travel Packing Guide.

Can I use my Musuem Pass to enter the Noah’s Ark site?

Entrance to the Noah’s Ark Nationa Park is not included with the Turkey Museum Pass.

Conclusion: Noah’s Ark Site in Turkey

Our family had so much fun when we visited Dogubeyazit and the Noah’s Ark site in Turkey. It was an interesting site to explore, plus there were so many other things we were able to see and do while we were there.

When you plan your trip, call ahead to the visitor’s center to make sure they will be open when you arrive.

For more things to do in Turkey, see the lastest on Bucket List Experiences in Turkey.

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