973 - TCDD passenger train - JeffPassenger

The new touristic train routes of Turkey

Vangolu Express

One other tourism train is another popular overnight train: Vangolu Express.

Currently, it’s running twice a week in each direction between Ankara and Tatvan, small town at Van Lake. Sleepers are sold out very quickly on this route.

There are many attractions on route of this train.

Vangolu Express route

Here’s the scorecard of Vangolu Express:

Departure point is good

Dogu Express is departing from Ankara. Ankara is in the popular touristic destinations of Turkey. But it has very strong transport connections with many regions in Turkey. Accommodation and shopping in city is very good.

Vangolu Express. Photo: Jeff Hawken

Arrival point should be strengthened

Vangolu Express arrives at Tatvan. This town may fail to meet the demand. However, on the other side of Van Lake, there’s Van city. Attractions around Tatvan are Ahlat and Akhdamar Island/Church.

Akhdamar Church. Photo: Mishukdero

Best attraction: Nemrut

A stop on way for Nemrut will make train unique. If timetable is arranged well, it may be possible to watch sunrise at Nemrut.

A stop at Elazig is a good opportunity to see Harput Castle.

Timetable should change

Currently train departs at noon and arrives at Malatya at midnight. For Nemrut visit, departure from Ankara should be later. In case a longer excursion including Erzincan, train may last two nights and Ahlat/Akhdamar excursion may start in new day.

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9 replies »

  1. How about some connection to northern turkey. Would love to travel to Trabzon, Rize and Artvin to stay in highlands. Seems to that there is not much options to reach them rather than bus and minibuses.


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