Türkiye’s Eastern Express opens for new season

1,310 km in 26 hours with 50 stops for touristic train
2024-01-06
/
/ New Delhi
Türkiye’s Eastern Express
Türkiye’s Eastern Express opens for new season

Eastern Express' journey begins in Türkiye’s capital, Ankara, continues to Kırıkkale, Kayseri, Sivas, Erzincan and Erzurum & concludes in Kars

Regarded as one of the world's most beautiful railway lines, Türkiye’s Eastern Express is set to begin its journey for 2023-2024 season, with stops around Türkiye’s capital, Ankara to continue to Kırıkkale, Kayseri, Sivas, Erzincan and Erzurum and Kars.
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Türkiye’s Eastern Express has announced the commencement of its journey, recently completing its first service of the 2023-2024 season. 

In a press statement, Türkiye Tourism Board says that the train journey begins in Türkiye’s capital, Ankara, continues to Kırıkkale, Kayseri, Sivas, Erzincan and Erzurum and concludes in Kars, spanning approximately 1,310 km.

The board adds that the journey lasts for about 26 hours, allowing passengers to observe the diverse geography of Türkiye along the route. Guests can see how the eastern provinces transform into extraordinary winter destinations during the season.

Touristic Eastern Express

A touristic version of the Eastern Express was added to the route in 2019 to meet the high demand

Two separate trains operate on the Ankara-Kars route, the Eastern Express and the Touristic Eastern Express. A touristic version of the Eastern Express was added to the route in 2019 to meet the high demand. The train features Pullman and Couchette wagons and has approximately 50 stops, whereas the Touristic Eastern Express includes sleeping and dining wagons and has 29 stops. While the Eastern Express has limited break times, the Touristic Eastern Express has two- to three-hour breaks so that the passengers can see more along the route, the statement says.

The statement adds that touristic Eastern Express’s new season service makes sightseeing stops at the Erzincan and Erzurum stations in the Ankara-Kars direction and at the İliç, Divriği and Sivas stations in the Kars-Ankara direction, the return route. The Touristic Eastern Express has eight sleeping beds and one dining car. Each sleeping car has 10 compartments with two beds.

Kars, Türkiye’s magical winter city

The board says that the rising popularity of the Touristic Eastern Express has made it a popular winter destination for travellers, especially Kars, the final stop on the journey and the other picturesque Anatolian cities.

Touristic Eastern Express

Eastern Express’s new season service makes sightseeing stops at the Erzincan and Erzurum stations

In north-eastern Türkiye, Kars is one of the oldest settlements in Anatolia, having hosted the Urartians, Persians, Eastern Romans, Seljuks, Ottomans and Russians, among many others. The city’s location at the crossroads of numerous essential trade routes, including the Silk Road, resulted in the development of a multi-layered, architecturally and culturally rich destination.

The statement adds that the hotels in the Kars city centre host guests in magnificent Baltic-style buildings and the city’s restaurants, famous for their Caucasian shows and cosy atmosphere on cold winter evenings, also make the city unique. Kars’ rich cuisine, famous for its distinctive flavours, especially its regional cheeses and seasonal goose dishes, are just a few of the many pleasures the city offers visitors.

Touristic Eastern Express

While the Eastern Express has limited break times, the Touristic Eastern Express has two- to three-hour breaks so that the passengers can see more along the route

A stroll through the city centre reveals several splendid basalt-stone buildings. These highlights include the Fethiye Mosque, the Kümbet Mosque, Kars Castle and the structures surrounding the Kars Stream. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Ani, an archaeological site, is undoubtedly one of the area’s most extraordinary stops. From the walls surrounding the ancient city to the diverse collection of cathedrals, mosques, caravanserais and bridges that have survived intact to the present day, Ani offers a striking picture, with structures that bring the religious, administrative, military and civil architectural examples of the period to the present.

A famous skiing destination, Kars is home to the Sarıkamış Ski Centre, featuring the world’s third-highest altitude ski track and the powder crystal snow seen only in the Alps. Another delightful Kars experience is celebrating a centuries-old tradition by riding horse-drawn sleighs on Lake Çıldır, which freezes in late November with meters-thick ice.

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