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Erzurum, Kars, Ardahan

Highlights: Sarikamis Ski center, Palandöken ski resort

43 kms from Kars is the ruined city of Ani . In order to visit it you need to obtain permission from the tourist office in Kars, Known to the Turks as Ocaklı, it was founded by the Armenians in the 4th century BC, and reached the height of its prosperity under King Gagik I. Its city walls, Medieval churches and grand cathedral are magnificent. 

Erzurum was located on one of the main caravan routes between Europe and India, and was, therefore, fought over by many different civilisations. Most that remains of interest today is from the Seljuk era including the religious seminaries, the Çifte Minareli Medrese with its twin minarets, and the Yakut Medrese. Also impressive is the Byzantine citadel, from which there are excellent views over the city.