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Lake Van, Van

#2 of 21 in Things to do in Van
Must see · Water Body · Nature / Park
Lake Van, the largest lake in Turkey, lies in the far east of that country in the provinces of Van and Bitlis. It is a saline soda lake, receiving water from numerous small streams that descend from the surrounding mountains. Lake Van is one of the world's largest endorheic lakes - a volcanic eruption blocked the original outlet from the basin in ancient times. Although Lake Van has an altitude of 1640m in a region with harsh winters, its high salinity prevents most of it from freezing, and even the shallow northern section freezes only rarely.
Lake Van is across at its widest point, averaging a depth of 171m with a maximum recorded depth of 451m. The lake surface lies 1640m above sea level and the shore length is 430km. Lake Van has an area of 3755km2 and a volume of.
The western portion of the lake is deepest, with a large basin deeper than 400m lying northeast of Tatvan and south of Ahlat. The eastern arms of the lake are shallower. The Van-Ahtamar portion shelves gradually, with a maximum depth of about 250m on its northwest side where it joins the rest of the lake. The Erciş arm is much shallower, mostly less than 50m, with a maximum depth of about 150m.
The lake water is strongly alkaline (pH 9.7–9.8) and rich in sodium carbonate and other salts, which are extracted by evaporation and used as detergents.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
273 reviews
  • Its the largest lake in Turkey and its not so far from the city Van, when you have time have tour on the lake and visit the Akdamar Church on the Akdamar island.  more »
  • A place you have to see. I hope one day will return again! Maybe this time in summer. The view of van in winter was just astonishing!  more »
  • Driving along the Lake on our way to Malatya from Dogubeyazit. We stopped by to take photos & enjoy the view. It takes nearly 2hours from right to left corner of the Lake. Should be in the list for visitor going to eastern Turkey
  • It was one of best day in my life.... çok güzeldi....
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