Tabriz – Ankara train ride belongs to a well-known Transasia Express route. It can be considered as more than half of way of the Transasia Express because it still consists of 3 rides, two trains, and one ferry, and covers nearly 2000 kilometers. Have you ever dreamt of experiencing the longest train trip in your life? Then you should definitely choose the Transasia Express. You will see picturesque landscapes of Anatolia, pass near Urmia lake, cross Van lake on board of the biggest ferry in Turkey, watch a reddish color of the longest river in entire Turkey, Kızılırmak River, and more. You will sleep and wake onboard, make new friendships with other tourists, try to find a common language with locals, and simply enjoy the serenity of the provided opportunity.
In fact, a few words should be said about Iran and Turkey. These countries are united for tourists not only thanks to the collaboration of Turkish and Iranian railways but also to a long history. They have a lot of common cultural aspects but you can also find some differences like in clothing style, etc. However, during your trip, it is likely that you will find answers to your questions and break stereotypes on your own. Keep reading to learn what is waiting for you during the journey and how you can become one step closer to a new adventure.
The Transasia Express is a journey that comes 3 in 1. At first, you will get on the Iranian train in Tabriz which departs at 11:00 on Thursday. You will share a compartment with 3 other travelers. What a great chance to make new friends and get some tips from experienced backpackers, right? On the way before passing some towns, you will see Urmia lake, one of the largest lakes in Iran. The train also makes a stop in Kapıköy where all passengers are required to pass passport control and get a stamp on the border. You will get to Van in the evening on the same day.
The ferry is the biggest one in Turkey and is capable of transporting 40 wagons and 350 passengers. And this is your second ride. It lasts approximately 4 hours and is aimed to take you from one coast of the lake to another one. Van lake is the largest in Turkey and there are a few islands located on it, however, as you will cross the lake at night, you will not be able to see them. Maybe it is worth coming back here next time? Onboard, there are some cafeterias and you can take a cup of tea and chat with other excited travelers, or just to try to have a nap.
Time flies, and you are already in Tatvan. Here the Turkish train is waiting to pick you up. It is alike the Iranian train with 4-people compartments and shared toilets in each wagon. There is a dining car as well and you can have a wholesome breakfast the following morning. It was said that you will share a compartment with 3 other travelers, and also all bedding is left for you, so you could have restful say and night. At 7:43 on Saturday morning the train arrives in Ankara. By the way, the railway station is located nearby all main touristic spots, so don’t miss this chance!
The Transasia Express is a combination of 3 rides during one journey. Be ready to get new memories, make a lot of acquaintances, observe fantastic landscapes, enjoy silence and nature. On two trains, Tabriz-Van and Tatvan- Ankara, you will share a compartment with 3 other travelers. If you prefer having more privacy, you will have to reserve all the compartments for your name. All bedding is provided so you shouldn’t bring anything yours. Moreover, there are places to eat on boards of 3 means of transport, that is why you will never stay hungry. However, you are also allowed to bring your own food. What a relief if you have some dietary limitations or unusual preferences.
Onboard there is no WIFI, moreover, you can experience some trouble with the internet in Iran. That is why we highly recommend that you have your own mobile data and do not depend on WIFI. Another important point is the plastic cards. You can only pay in rials in Iran because your cards do not work there. On the opposite, you can use credit or debit cards in most places in Turkey. Therefore, before getting on a train, be sure you have exchanged some money and you have both Turkish liras and Iranian rials for your comfortable trip.
There is gender segregation at the sleeping time in Transasia Express. You can avoid it by booking for 4 people and you can have a private compartment for yourself.
Get on a Transasia train in Tabriz at 11:00 on Saturday morning and open the western part of Iran for yourself. You will see Urmia lake, cultural villages, and untouched nature. You will sit in a compartment where seats are converted into beds at any moment. So, in case you are tired, you can use this opportunity.
The ferry ride from Van to Tatvan lasts more than 3 hours and is perfect to enjoy lake surroundings while drinking a cup of hot tea. Take a chance to have a ferry trip on the biggest lake in Turkey, Van lake, and you will definitely want to come back to explore more.
The last trip within the whole Transasia journey goes to the Turkish train from Tatvan to Ankara. It lasts nearly 24 hours, and it is the greatest part of your trip. You will watch a lot of beautiful views of the Middle Anatolia. Finally, you will reach the Turkish capital 07:43 on Saturday morning.