Getting there: Van is linked by Turkish Airlines with Istanbul and Ankara. Turkey has an excellent bus network and Van can be reached from every corner of the country. The Rock can be reached from Van on foot; otherwise a minibus connects to the Rock from the center of the city.

Where to stay: The best choice in Van is the Büyük Asur Hotel (0423 216 8792). The owner, Ercan Bozbay, speaks English and offers guided tours of the area. The hotel is also reputed to be the home of one of the rare Van cats, a white, fluffy breed endowed with one gold and one blue eye.