In the east of Anatolia on the banks of the Vansees, lies the city of Van. Home to more than 350,000 inhabitants and popular with tourists from both home and abroad, this city serves as the heart of the region. The scenic lakefront and historical buildings dominate the cityscape, giving visitors plenty to feast their eyes on when they arrive. SunExpress makes it easy for travellers to get to this city with minimal fuss, with flights to Van with brief transfers at other popular destinations, including Izmir (ADB) and Antalya (AYT). In Van, you’ll find the perfect blend of old and new, with centuries-old traditions and culture combining with a more modern movement. Whatever your reason for visiting, make sure you take some time to truly savour this special city, and don’t forget to pick up a few mementos of your trip while you’re meandering through the bustling markets in the heart of town.
Other nearby cities include Edremit, Göründü, Gevaş and Çitören. Whether you’re heading back home to reconnect with family, or simply want to enjoy some sunshine, find low-cost flights to Van the easy way, with SunExpress.
Renamed after the Turkish politician, Ferit Melen, the airport that serves Van is one of the busiest in the country. Handling around 900,000 passengers annually, with a varied schedule of domestic flights, there’s no better travel hub for exploring Turkey. Typical destinations from Van include Istanbul, Antalya and Izmir. SunExpress is one airline that operates out of this airport, with low-cost flights readily available to help you shave a small fortune off the cost of your holiday or trip back home. The airport is located on the Havaalanı-Yolu road, about 8 kilometres from the city centre, making it incredibly easy to get to. Taxis are readily available and affordable, so you can get from the terminal to your next destination in no time. If you’re looking to save a little money, make the most of public transport, with buses available just a short hop from the terminal building. Buses depart the airport for Van city centre twice an hour during peak times.
If you’re looking to savour the sights of Van in style, consider a boat trip on the Van Lake. Excursions are readily available and let you explore the islands on the lake itself, or simply take in the majesty of the shore from a new perspective. Passengers can grab their cameras and take some treasured snaps, or feast their eyes on idyllic surrounds and nature. One essential stop on this journey is Van Castle, a historic site that gives you a fascinating insight into the distant past of this city. The Archaeological Museum is also well worth a visit for history buffs, with plenty of exhibits on offer throughout the year, giving visitors a chance to uncover the centuries of history that have gone into making this spectacular city what it is today. Once you’re done exploring for the day, it’s time to unwind. Take your pick from a first-rate selection of restaurants and bars, serving up everything from your fast-food favourites to more regional fare and Turkish specialities. You’ll love the fish dishes on offer, often made with produce caught from the lake itself. If you’re after something more laid-back, consider a picnic on the shores of the lake.
With an average of 7.8 hours of sunshine per day and a yearly average temperature of 9.3 degrees Celsius, Van provides a pleasant place to visit throughout the year. The hot summer months make this city a must-visit destination for sun seekers, with average highs of 28 degrees Celsius. There are several places to dip your toes or enjoy a swim, with easy access to the local lake. Another essential excursion is Akdamar. This island is not far from Van and houses historic buildings dating all the way back to the 10th century. The Armenian Church of the Holy Cross has been extensively restored and continues to be used for services to this day. It can be viewed from the outside and stands as an important cultural monument. Šarduriḫinili, a historic fortress, is another first-rate stop for sightseers.