Kars Province captivates with its Russian-inspired architecture and lively university culture, home to impressive historic sites. Venture out the city to explore ancient ruins, traditional Turkish villages and one of the country's top national parks.
Things to do in Kars Province
The Heritage-listed ruins of Ani recall Turkey's rich history. The former Armenian capital was once a key stop on the iconic Silk Road trading route and is studded with towering stone buildings. The setting is suitably dramatic, with most of the ruins perched on a windswept plateau overlooking the Arpacay River.
Kars Castle, which has been rebuilt numerous times since the 12th century, is set on the banks of the Kars River and has seen Byzantine battles, Mongol attacks and World War II invasions. Wander around the barracks, peer into the small mosque and enjoy refreshments at the on-site cafe.
Nature lovers flock to Sarikamis-Allahuekber Mountains National Park, which stretches across the Allahuekber Mountains and is a mecca for hikers, campers and wildlife watchers. The lush Caucasus forests are an important habitat for bears, wolves and wild cats.
Famous for its golden honey and creamy cheese, Kars Province serves some of Turkey's best cuisine. For an upscale experience, snag a table at Ocakbasi Restoran, one of the best eateries in Kars. It serves excellent Turkish dishes, including kofta meatballs with aubergine puree and zesty yoghurt dressing.
Getting around Kars Province
The city of Kars is easy to get around on foot, while taxis, hire cars and private drivers are also available. Kars Airport is six kilometres south of the city centre.