One of Turkey's most important mountaineering
and winter sports centers, Mount Erciyes, rises from the south of the Kayseri
valley. The Sultan Marshes lie to its west and to the south falls the Develi
valley. Its summit always covered with snow and ice, Mt. Erciyes ranks as
central Anatolia's tallest volcano.
Approximately 18 kilometers in diameter and covering an area of 1000 square
kilometers, the mountain's stratification and geology make it a fascinating
The region's climate, influenced by that of the Anatolian plateau is typical
steppe. Winter brings considerable snowfall to higher elevations. The northern
side of the mountain enjoys a more temperate climate encouraging the cultivation
of vast areas of vine and fruit orchards between 1100 and 1600 meters. Above
that altitude, expanses of meadows stretch far into the distance. The higher
elevations display typical alpine vegetation. Herds of animals graze year round
on the east, north and west slopes of the mountain.
Trips and Climbs
Mountaineers attempt Mt. Erciyes either on the northwestern flank or
from the south and find the best climbing in June, July, August and September.
Tourists visiting the area should also see the fantastic rock
formations, underground cities and fabulous frescoes in rock carved churches in
neighboring Cappadocia. The Sultan Marshes, a habitat for many different species
of birds, has been fortunately designated a national park and wildlife preserve.
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