Mt. Nemrut, rising from the southern front of the Anti-Taurus mountains, looms high above the Euphrates valley, beyond which are the lands of Harran in which Abraham is said to have spent much of his life. Nemrut’s summit is distinguished from the higher snowcapped peaks around it by the presence of a fantastical ancient tomb adorned with giant statues of Greek and Persian gods. The mountain is the resting place of King Antiochus I of Commagene, whose images decorate much of the surrounding area.
Although the mountain is a moderately popular destination for tourists, most come to spend a short time on the summit, take a driving tour of several of the other historical attractions in the area, and then depart. But the mountainsides around Nemrut offer many days’ worth of exploration on foot. Travelers can delve into the scenery and the lesser-known archaeological remains, passing through tiny mountain hamlets along footpaths that were the only ways around the mountain before the relatively recent addition of dirt and paved roads. Some of these winding footpaths are said to date back to Roman times or beyond.
The Nemrut Region is at high elevation, and during the winter months the mountain is covered in snow and not accessible by hiking without proper equipment and preparation. The time at which snow melts and the mountain becomes accessible varies from year to year, but most of the mountain should be accessible by late March to early April.
Day Hike: Karadut to Mt. Nemrut – Hike from Karadut up the slopes of Mt. Nemrut to admire the fabulous tomb of King Antiochus
Day Hike: Karadut to Arsemia – Skirt the high summit of Mt. Nemrut, taking a placid country path past country villages and views of a lush river valley
Three Days: Mt. Nemrut Loop – Begin in Karadut and climb to the summit of Nemrut, camping or staying in a hotel near the top; then head down the mountainside to Arsemia. Complete the loop via the back route across the mountainside from Arsemia back to Karadut. Three days of fantastic views, flowing streams and tiny villages make for a great visit to Mt. Nemrut
Karadut has several hotels, all of which can arrange transportation to the top of Mt. Nemrut or to other locations in the area and which generally offer pickup from Kahta or from the Karadut turnoff on the Kahta-Gerger road (may cost extra). Be sure to check availability in advance – many of these accommodations options are only open seasonally.
Otherwise, wild camping is the best option – each stage has points at which camping is possible or where campers can pay a small fee to use bathrooms of a nearby hotel.
|Stage||Location||Name||Type||Price||# of beds||Contact Information (+###) [country code]||Amenities|
|1/A1||Karadut||Karadut Pensiyon||G||From 55TL/$25 per person for bed, dinner, breakfast
5TL/$2.20 for camping (with own tent) and use of bathrooms/wifi
|10 rooms||+90 (0) 266 896 11 37
|air conditioning, wifi, meals, shuttle service, laundry|
|1/A1||Karadut||Kervansaray Hotel||H||Single – $63
Double – $84
Triple – $107
Family – $127
|20 rooms – 46 beds||+90 (0) 416 737 21 90
|meals, swimming pool, shuttle service, wifi, laundry|
|1/A1||Karadut||Hotel Euphrat||H||Single – from $47
Double – from $58
Triple – from $72
|46 firstname.lastname@example.org||meals, wifi, shuttle service, television, laundry, heating|
|1/A1||Karadut||Cesme Pensiyon||G||From $77||5 rooms||+90 (0) 416 737 20 32
|meals, wifi, air conditioning, shuttle service|
|1||near summit of Mt. Nemrut||Gunes Motel||H||From $102||13 rooms, 28 beds||+90 543 876 72 71
|air conditioning, meals, shuttle service|
|2/3||Arsemia||Campsite||C||10TL/$4.40||showers/restrooms, snack shop|
F – Family Stay
G – Guesthouse (small, locally-owned establishment with private rooms)
H – Hotel
Hs – Hostel (accommodation offering dormitory options)
T – Bedouin Tent (usually dormitory-style sleeping on mats on the floor of a large tent)
S – Shelter (a few areas have free hiker shelters, which are a simple room with cots that hikers can use)
C – Camping (a paid or free place to put down a tent, may or may not have facilities)
Getting to the Abraham Path in the Nemrut Region
Major cities and many small towns in Turkey are connected by a system of comfortable minibuses operated by a variety of companies. Often, though, domestic flights offer travelers a quicker journey at a comparable price.
The closest airport to the Nemrut Region is the Adiyaman Airport (ADF). Within the region, the towns of Karadut and Narince are serviced by buses. The remainder of the region is inaccessible by public transportation.
Airport Transport to the Nemrut Region:
Domestic flights are available to the Adiyaman Airport from Istanbul (~2 hours, from 84TL/$37) and from Ankara (~1 hour, from 70TL/$30).
To access the Abraham Path’s Nemrut route from the Adiyaman Airport, travel by minibus from the airport to Kahta (departs roughly every 15 minutes; 3TL/$1.30). From Kahta, a bus departs every 1-2 hours for Gerger. This bus stops in Narince and at a turnoff about 2km from Karadut.
Travel by bus to the Nemrut Region:
Buses travel to Adiyaman and Kahta from a number of nearby hubs. Sanliurfa and Gaziantep are both a 2-3 hour bus ride away; Kayseri is about 6.5 hour away. Each of these cities offers multiple public transportation options to other major cities throughout Turkey.
Most nationalities can purchase a 90-day multiple-entry visa upon arrival in Turkey (most commonly €15/$20 payable only in foreign currency – not Turkish Lira).