The "East Express" from Turkey, considered one of the most famous railway routes in the world!
The Turkish East Express, considered one of the most famous railway routes in the world and offering a journey from central to eastern Turkey, has already started carrying passengers. The Eastern Express recently completed its first service for the 2023-2024 season. With a length of approximately 1.310 kilometers, the train journey starts from the Turkish capital, Ankara, continue to Kırıkkale, Kayseri, Sivas, Erzincan and Erzurum and then ends at Kars. Duration is around 26 hours, the journey allows passengers to observe the vast landscapes of Turkey and also see how the eastern provinces transform into extraordinary destinations for the winter season.
A "one of a kind" adventure
Two separate trains operate on the Ankara-Kars route, the Eastern Express and the Eastern Tourist Express. Recently that train has become so popular that a tourist version was added to the route as early as 2019 to meet passenger demand. The Eastern Express consists of Pullman, compartment cars and has approximately 50 stops along the route, while the Tourist Eastern Express includes sleeping and dining cars and has only 29 stops. The East Express has limited breaks, the Tourist East Express has breaks of two to three hours so that passengers can see more sights along the route.
The new seasonal service of the Touristic Eastern Express
The new seasonal service of Touristic Eastern Express makes sightseeing stops at Erzincan and Erzurum stations on the Ankara-Kars direction and at İliç, Divriği and Sivas stations on the Kars-Ankara direction, which is the return route. Touristic Eastern Express has eight sleeping berths and a dining car, which are quite comfortable. Each sleeping car has ten compartments (rooms) with two beds.
Although passengers can enjoy breakfast and dinner in the dining car, a growing trend - influenced by social media - is to dine in the comfort of their own compartment, where passengers can prepare and decorate a meal according to their taste with delicacies that they bring or order them. road stops.
The last stop is Kars, Turkey's magical winter town.
The growing popularity of the East Tourist Express has led many travelers to consider this route unique for the winter season. The beauty of the city of Kars, the last stop of the journey, and the other picturesque cities of Anatolia along the route are factors that contributed to the formation of this image. In northeastern Turkey, Kars is one of the oldest settlements of Anatolia, home to the Urartians, Persians, Eastern Romans, Seljuks, Ottomans, and Russians. Kars is located at the intersection of many essential trade routes, including the Silk Road, and this factor has led to the development of an architecturally and culturally rich destination.
Hotels in the center of Kars
Hotels in the center of Kars house guests in buildings built in the Baltic style, and the city's restaurants, famous for their Caucasian performances and cozy atmosphere on cold winter evenings, make the city unique. The rich cuisine of Kars is famous for its distinctive flavors – especially regional cheeses and goose dishes.
A walk through the city center reveals several basalt stone buildings. These attractions include Fethiye Mosque, Kümbet Mosque, Kars Castle and the structures around the Kars Stream. The Ani archaeological site, included in the UNESCO World Heritage, is one of the most extraordinary attractions of the area.
From the walls surrounding the ancient city to the diverse collection of cathedrals, mosques and bridges that have survived intact to the present day, Ani offers a striking picture, with structures that exemplify the city's religious, administrative, military and civil architecture. Also known as a famous ski destination, Kars is home to the Sarıkamış Ski Center with the third highest ski slope in the world. Another delightful experience is to celebrate in Kars a centuries-old tradition of riding horse-drawn sleighs on the frozen Çıldır Lake at the end of November.