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Mesopotamia Express: discover Türkiye’s cultural treasures with this new train route

Travellers to Türkiye will soon be able to explore some of its historic treasures and culinary delights with a new tourist train.

The Mesopotamia Express departs from the capital Ankara and meanders through the country’s inner, eastern and southeastern Anatolian regions.

The train stops at destinations including Kayseri, Malatya and Elazığ with enough time for sightseeing.

The first passenger service is expected to begin on 19 April departing from Ankara with the return journey from Diyarbakır on 21 April.

The Mesopotamia Express has nine sleeping cars and one dining carriage and has a maximum capacity of 180 passengers.

The cabins sleep two people and prices start at TL 9,000 (€257) for the outbound journey and TL 8,000 (€230) for the return.

Passengers can expect seats that convert into beds overnight plus amenities including a fridge, sink, wardrobe and heating.

During the 1,051-kilometre journey, the train wends through rugged desert landscapes and past the snow-dusted peak of Mount Erciyes, a dormant volcano that reaches an altitude of 3,916 metres.

The train makes three stops along the way. Passengers have three hours to explore Kayseri and Malatya and a four-hour stop in Elazığ.

During the stops, travellers can taste regional dishes and visit archaeological attractions.

Kayseri, the historic capital of Cappadocia, is renowned for its Seljuk-era sites – mosques, tombs and theological schools dating from the 13th century.

The city is home to Türkiye’s oldest Seljuk mosque dating from 1238 – the Hunat Hatun Mosque complex still includes a working hamam with separate sections for men and women.

Near Malatya, another ancient city passengers can visit the is UNESCO-designated Arslantepe Mound, an open-air museum of palaces, temples, mural paintings and statues dating as far back as 3000 BC.

The Malatya region is known as the ‘land of apricots’ and supplies around 50 per cent of Türkiye’’s fresh apricots and 95 per cent of its dried.

In Elazığ, travellers can find one of the richest cuisines in Türkiye. Look out for Kelecoş, fried meat and onion served on flatbread softened in yoghurt, Işkın yemeği, a wild rhubarb dish and Kömme, baked filo pastry rounds stuffed with layers of meat and walnut paste.

Travelling by train in Türkiye

Here’s some further reading for those who like the idea of travelling around Türkiye by train.

A beginner’s guide to Train travel in Turkey

Source: euronews.travel

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