Published On: Thu, Apr 11th, 2024

The incredible train line that stops at beautiful towns | Travel News | Travel

Travellers to Turkey will soon be able to take in some beautiful towns often overlooked by tourists thanks to a new train.

The Mesopotamia Express will take in some of the breathtaking and historical treasures around the nation’s inner, eastern, and southeastern Anatolian regions.

Departing from the capital, Ankara, it will include destinations such as Kayseri, Malatya, and Elzig. Better yet? There’ll be plenty of time to do a bit of sightseeing.

The first passenger service will depart from Ankara on April 19. It will return from Diyarbakır on April 21, reports Euro News.

Mehmet Kaya, president of the Diyarbakır Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Turkish media: “It is crucial for developing tourism in our city and region.

“We have made every effort to ensure people see and get to know the region. It will be a crucial tool for people to see and get to know the culture.”

The Mesopotamia Express boasts nine sleeping cars and a dining carriage, meaning it can carry up to 180 passengers.

Cabins sleep two people and prices start at TL9,000 – around £220 – for the outbound journey and TL 8,000 – approximately £197 – for the return. 

Passengers will get seats that convert into their bed overnight as well as amenities such as a fridge, sink, wardobe and heating.

The 1,051-kilometer (653-mile) journey will take in rugged desert landscapes and the snow-topped peak of Mount Erciyes, the dormant volcano that reaches altitudes of 3,916 metres.

The train will make three stops during its journey. Passengers will have three hours to wander around Kayseri and Malatya and a four-hour stop in Elazig.

Each stop will give travellers the chance to enjoy regional dishes and look around the historic destinations.

Kayseri is the historical capital of Cappadocia. It is renowned for its Seljuk sites, such as mosques, tombs and theological schools dating back to the 13th century.

It is home to Turkey’s oldest Seljuk mosque, which dates back to 1238. The Hunat Hatun Mosque complex even includes a working hamam with seggregated sections for men and women.

Malatya is another of Turkey’s ancient cities that is home to the UNESCO-designated Arslantepe Mound, an open-air museum of palaces and statues dating back as far as 3,000BC.

Known as the “land of apricots”, the Malatya region supplies around half of the fresh apricots in Turkey as well as 95 percent of the dried fruit. 

Elazig meanwhile is home to some of the finest cuisines in Turkey. Diners can tuck into Kelecoş – fried meat and onion served on flatbread that has been softened in yoghurt – or  Işkın yemeği, a wild rhubarb dish.

Another popular dish in the region is the komme, a baked filo pastry round stuffed with layers of meat and walnut paste.

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