Rising from the common borders of Turkey and Iran, Mt. Agri (Ararat), an inactive volcano capped year round with ice and snow, reaches 5137 meters. The Old Testament records that it was on this mountain that Noah’s Ark came to rest after the great flood. Southwest of the mountain, the Little Mt.
Adri (Ararat) reaches up to 3896 meters. The Serdarbulak lava plateau (2600 m) stretches out between the two pinnacles. Whatever your motivation for visiting this region and exploring the mountain range, climbing the spectacular Agri (Ararat) is a challenging and rewarding experience.
In the summer, the weather in the area and on Mt. Agri (Ararat) itself is sunny, warm and dry. However, in the winter and spring, cold and harsh conditions prevail, and mountain climbers occasionally face blizzards and turbulent weather. July, August and September are the months when most world mountain climbers come to the area and when the climb up Agri (Ararat) is most enjoyable. Despite the usual sunny and clear weather at that time of year, high altitude mountain weather prevails above 3000 meters. The Southern face of the mountain offers the easiest and safest ascent to the summit with the best routes and communication, transportation and safety considerations. It is not advised to climb Mt. Adri (Ararat) alone and without a guide.
The Trabzon-Erzurum-Teheran international transit highway, an excellent asphalt road, skirts the Western and Southern flanks of Agri (Ararat) before heading into Iran. Dogubayazit, 270 km from Erzurum, and nearby Igdir, the two closest towns to the mountain, are situated on this route. Daily planes, trains, and buses connect Erzurum with Ankara.
The area surrounding Agri (Ararat) has retained its natural beauty and the local population still engages in the traditional lifestyle. During the summer months, whole villages move to the yayla, the summer pasture, to find fresh grazing for their herds of sheep, goats, cattle and horses.
Women continue to weave carpets and kilims in time-honored designs; Ortulu village is particularly renowned as a center of beautiful handicrafts. Other nearby tourist attractions include the Ishakpasa Palace, a fabulous 18th century castle of a local potentate, and a meteor crater near the Iranian border.