Lake Van Express: Scenic Transportation Alternative in Eastern Turkey


Lake Van Express (Vangölü Ekspres) which passes through beautiful landscapes conjures up a magical feeling during the colder months as it traverses the snowy mountain slopes also offers an alternative solution for travel lovers in terms of money.

Travelers who want to experience the journey while watching the snow and the romantic misty landscapes as the train crosses the mountains will certainly be delighted if they choose to take the Lake Van Express.

The train, operated by Turkish Railways (TCDD) has a capacity of nine wagons and 320 passengers. Departing from Ankara, it passes through Kırıkkale, Kayseri, Sivas, Malatya, Elazığ, Bingöl, Muş and reaches the shores of Lake Van in Bitlis’ Tatvan district in eastern Turkey after about 26 hours of travel. The express, which brings together travel enthusiasts on long journeys, also offers economical convenience for travelers looking for cheaper options.

The express has the potential to be an alternative to the famous Eastern Express, which also departs from Ankara and passes through beautiful lush, snowy landscapes on a similar route to the city of Kars in the northeast.

Traveler Mehmet Fidan, who said the ride was comfortable and he didn’t feel tired while traveling on the Lake Van Express, said, “It’s really beautiful and I’m very happy. I’m going from Van to Izmir. From there I will return to Van with the Lake Van Express. We are comfortable on the train, there is no fatigue. We bring our own food and there is a cafeteria at the Turkey is a paradise Turkey is a blessing to the world.

The exterior view through the window of a train carriage, Bitlis, eastern Turkey, March 1, 2022. (IHA Photo)

Mehmet Fettah Yıldırım, who said the services on the train were very good and felt no discomfort, said, “I am going to Tatvan from Ankara. It is a very beautiful blessing, both materially and spiritually.”

Yıldırım also praised the cafeteria, its tea, food and other train facilities and explained that he bought his ticket online for just 82.50 TL ($5.94). “The seats on the train are very comfortable and warm,” he added.

Passengers get off the Lake Van Express at its final destination, Tatvan Station, in Bitlis, eastern Turkey, March 1, 2022. (IHA Photo)

Inside one of the Lake Van Express carriages, Bitlis, eastern Turkey, March 1, 2022. (IHA Photo)

Nurgül Özel, who said that trains offer the most comfortable journey of all modes of transport, said that “the most amazing journey is the journey by train. If you ask me, I would prefer traveling by train as an alternative, to both financially and spiritually”. .”

Inside one of the Lake Van Express carriages, Bitlis, eastern Turkey, March 1, 2022. (IHA Photo)

Inside one of the wagons with cheering passengers in the Lake Van Express, Bitlis, eastern Turkey, March 1, 2022. (IHA Photo)

Highlighting the high level of passenger satisfaction on the Lake Van Express, retired teacher Şehmus Ceyhan said, “The trip is very enjoyable. The staff are also very friendly. So it’s an enjoyable trip. I always prefer the train in my travels. Passenger satisfaction is at a high level.”

When the passengers got off at Tatvan, the last stop of the train, they were greeted by loved ones and experienced emotional moments.

An exterior view from inside one of the Lake Van Express carriages, Bitlis, eastern Turkey, March 1, 2022. (IHA Photo)

An exterior view from inside one of the Lake Van Express carriages, Bitlis, eastern Turkey, March 1, 2022. (IHA Photo)

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