Turkey is a spellbinding vacation destination offering impeccable culture and rich heritage. It is considered to have the most beautiful tourist places blessed by the goodness of nature. There are historical attractions, vibrant cultural celebrations, delicious foods, and numerous things to do that guarantee ultimate entertainment and fun on your trip.
If you are into something adventurous, head to Mount Nemrut. It is one of the top attractions in Turkey, drawing adventure lovers for a memorable trip. So, grab your bags and essentials and get ready to explore this beautiful part of Turkey like never before.
Mount Nemrut Overview
Mount Nemrut is one of the tallest peaks of the Eastern Taurus Mountain range, nestled at an incredible height, overlooking the Euphrates River. It is located in the southeast region of Anatolia and is a popular attraction in Turkey.
The major draw is the ancient tomb and funerary mound marked by massive stone statues, which date back to the first century BC.
The world-famous head statues are the icons of Mount Nemrut. They are a gem of eastern Turkey and a significant ancient. Although visitors often experience eerie vibes, they are amazed by the ruins that have been preserved for centuries.
History of Mount Nemrut
Mount Nemrut, or Nemrut Dagi (in Turkish), is a beautiful peak located in the Eastern Taurus Mountain range. The pinnacle of the mountain is built in a pyramidal shape (a burial mound) with smaller stones and rocks – and is known to contain the tombs of King Antiochus I of Commagene. Surrounding the peak, there are a series of stone statues that are around eight to nine metres in length.
The statues were built in 62 BC for the king. There are two sets of statues, out of which one set can be seen on the west terrace and the other on the east terrace. These statues consist of Greco-Persian gods, including Hercules, Zeus, Apollo, Commagene, and the King himself. On either side of these gods sit lion and eagle guardian statues, which just add to the beauty of these icons.
Between 109 BC and 72 AD, the kingdom of Commagene is known to have ruled the region for about two centuries. This period was considered the most powerful rule by the Commagene Kingdom in the region. King Antiochus I used to practice an eccentric religious behaviour that included not only the gods of Greek, Persia, and America but even the members of the King Family. He also supported the cult as the communicator of salvation and happiness.
However, the cult did not last long after the death of King Antiochus I many successors built their tombs on the mountain, out of which most stays buried under the snow for around half of the year.
Mount Nemrut: What to Expect
Before you plan on hiking Mount Nemrut, be warned that the peak of the mountain is 2134 meters high. If you are not used to the altitude, then the 600-metre hike from the car park to the spot might be challenging for you. Don’t worry; there are several benches along the trail for your breaks to catch your breath, so don’t give up.
Another major concern is that altitude brings chill and cold. Even if you feel safe where you stay, the expedition can turn cold as you go up. If you are visiting at sunrise or sunset, make sure to keep yourself warm.
The east terrace is one of the best places to witness the gorgeous sunrise and consists of completed statues, while the west terrace consists of less completed and more dotted statues, but the heads are well-preserved. The west terrace is the best place to witness the sunset.
Best Time to Visit Mount Nemrut
The best time to visit Mount Nemrut is between April and October. During the winter, half of the peak is covered in snow and it becomes challenging to explore the mountain. But the months of June and August are considered to be the peak seasons, which will make your experience crowded. Also, don’t forget that these months are the hottest in Turkey, so planning to hike up the mountain will mostly be a sunny, scorching, and sweaty affair.
Which is Better: Sunrise or Sunset?
Well, it’s a tricky question, but the most complete statues are located on the east terrace of Mount Nemrut, so the best views of these statues can be captured during sunrise. The first sunrays illuminating the rocks offer a mesmerising sight to witness.
On other side, the west terrace houses the head statues, which are well-preserved and offer equally mystical scenery. If you truly want to explore Mount Nemrut, you can visit both terraces and enjoy the unforgettable moments of life.
Activities and Sights near Mount Nemrut
Explore Nemrut National Park that features many top attractions to amaze you. Some of them include:
- Arsameia is an ancient site packed with various stone reliefs dotted across the hillside.
- Severan Bridge is a spectacular Roman bridge and one of the hidden gems of Turkey.
- Karakus Tumulus is a funerary monument surrounded by three groups of limestone Doric columns standing nine meters tall.
- Castle Viewpoint
Essential Things to Carry Before your Visit
- Hiking boots or trains
- Comfortable and breathable clothing
- Extra layers for warmth during chill times
- Loads of water to stay hydrated, especially if you are visiting during the summer months
- The camera is optional, but if you want to capture those magical moments, don’t forget one
- A head torch is one of the most essential tools for hiking.
Mount Nemrut is one of the most majestic sites to visit in Turkey. While there are numerous historical places in Turkey, if you are up for some adventure and want to be rewarded with the most epic sights, make sure to explore Mount Nemrut.