Karabek Geçidi is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.994m (9,822ft) above the sea level, located in the Van Province of Turkey. It’s the highest motorable pass in the country and one of the highest mountain roads in Europe.
The pass is traversed by the Bahcesaray – Catak road. It has gravel and asphalt sections but is being improved the last times. The road encompasses miles of stunning views through twisty hair pin corners, high elevations and steep grades.
Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime and can sometimes block some sections of the road, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice. Conditions can change quickly and be harsh. It’s the last road to open at the end of winter in the country.
The road still remains an adrenaline-pumping journey and is definitely not for the faint of lungs, heart, or legs. A quick glance at the map, at its sheer drops and serpentine twists and turns, confirms that this is no hype. The road is in dreadful condition and requires strong nerves to negotiate it. The road includes a serie of thrilling hairpin bends. Here the spring arrives with a blaze of glorious colourful wild flowers. It is said by the locals that they ‘belong to God for half the year.
Pic: Jelle Verheij