Dogubayazit Castle, Dogubayazıt, Ağrı, Turkey 

Dramatic Doğubayazıt, set on a stark treeless plain between ranges of craggy mountains, is the last Turkish town on the highway to Iran.

The border, 35km (22 miles) to the east, helps to define the role that Doğubayazıt (doh-OO-bah-yah-zuht, alt. 1950 meters/6400 feet, pop. 36,000) plays in life, as does the striking 18th-century Ishak Pasha Palace 5 km (3 miles) to the east.

You may be here to gaze upon legendary Mount Ararat, or the giant meteor crater 4 km (2.5 miles) west of the border, or Eski Beyazıt, the foundations of a settlement thought to date from Urartian times (800 BC). Unless, of course, you’re a soldier guarding the border region.

Epic Turkey Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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