View Full Version : Anyone ever been to Ani, Turkey/Armenia?

Scott Davis
15-Dec-2009, 07:54
I read something about Ani, Armenia the other day and I'm thinking about going there. I'm wondering if anyone here has been there before and has any advice on logistics for getting there. Is it better to go there from Yerevan, or go to Istanbul and approach from the Turkish side? Any particular must-dos or no-nos?

15-Dec-2009, 07:55
I've never been but would love to go....

Eric Woodbury
15-Dec-2009, 14:09
My sister lived in Turkey for 13 years. Here is her comment....

We've been there from Kars, which is on the border. I'd go to Istanbul and then to Kars, but how? Not now, with the snow on the roads. If you go to Yerevan, you have to cross the border into Turkey and how easy is that? It's not even open, is it? When we were there you couldn't take photos, but this was probably 15 years ago. Little boys who hang out in the ruins watching animals will rat on you to the guards if you try it.

15-Dec-2009, 16:10

I have been to Ani a few times. It is only accessible from the Turkish side. So, what I have done in the past is fly to Kars from Istanbul and arrange for a taxi ride with a driver. However, it is sometimes cheaper to see if someone working at a hotel has an off day to drive you there.

Photography used to be forbidden because Ani was considered a sensitive security zone since it borders Armenia. Thankfully, that has all changed and photos are now permitted.

I hope to go back soon...but you should wait for the spring thaw!



Scott Davis
15-Dec-2009, 18:56
I'll definitely be waiting for the spring... although it would be rather neat to shoot it in the winter snow. But I'll probably be waiting until April/May time frame (tax refund season!).

16-Dec-2009, 06:50
make sure if you go you see the wedding cake church . if you can, take a trip to lake van.
the armenian churches for the most part are made of tufa stone and covered with carved ornament often times depicting
biblical scenes, aghtamar is no exception and is covered with more relief-friezes than any of the other church.

sounds like a fun trip!


Raymond Bleesz
16-Dec-2009, 08:26

I recently (June) toured Turkey with a photo guide and got as far East as the area of Cappaddocia-------flew into Istanbul, met the guide, flew to Kasyeri & vanned back westward along the coast of Turkey. We had a fantastic experience in Turkey and our guide, a registered one with the state travel dept, was a walking encyclopedia of fact, & he knows Eastern Turkey as well (Turkey is indeed a very large country). If I were to travel eastern Turkey, I would hire him without question. Our experience was a real pleasure in all aspects, & we credit our guide to that. Mehmet has worked with American photographers in the past.

His name & info is enclosed.
Mehmet Ozbalci

Note on Turkey: I'm degreed in history & have done post graduate work (degree/thesis interupted due to the '68 Tet Offensive--never finished), and I was totally in awe of the influence the Greek & Roman empires had on Asia Minor, especially the Roman and into Eastern Turkey as well. Totally amazing!!!!!!!

Raymond--in the Vail Valley

Raymond Bleesz
16-Dec-2009, 08:36
Scott--wrong spelling for suggested guide & site web site



12-Jan-2010, 14:55
Ani is only accessible from Turkey side. Over the dry river bed, there are a long bar-wired seperated Armenia and Turkey. I backpacked there in May 2006, all the way hopping on a long-distance bus from Istanbul to Kars.

If you are an able body, then I would suggest a guide is not necessary useful. They probably can't speak English well enough to explain the sites. There are guide to hire in front of the ticket place if you wish, much cheap.

You can find a taxi to go to Ani, perhaps about 20 miles from Kars, a day trip should be fine. I wasn't able to find any closer town without spending days to get around it. So Kars is your best bet, there are plenty hotels/cheap accommodations available.

I can say without regret, it is one of the best hidden place (albeit it is a cluster of mud/bricks) in the world. Also about 1 days away, there is the beautiful Ishak Pasa Palace.

Let me know if you need anything else.