Akdamar is the biggest island on Van Lake. It is on the 45 kms southwest of Van.There is a church on the Island. Akdamara church was built in 915-921. The Church's architect was Monk Manuel. Akdamara church was built Armenian's King I.Gagik.
There are small boats to reach to Akdamar.
The origin of the name "Akdamar"
On a tiny island filled with almond trees and surrounded by cliffs where silver-winged gulls nest there once lived a beautiful girl called Tamara. Her father, who was one of the priests at the monastery on the island, guarded his daughter so jealously that he did not allow even the birds to come near her and refused to let her leave the island or strangers to set foot there. A young kurdish shepherd living in one of the villages on the shore of the lake, encircled by high mountains, was filled with curiosity about the forbidden island and one day swam over and met Tamara. They quickly became friends, and before long had fallen in love. The young man used to swim over for their secret nightly assignations after seeing the candle which Tamara would light to show him the way. But one of the monks realised what was going on and reported it to Tamara's father. The following night was stormy and Tamara remained at home, but without her knowledge her father took a lighted candle down to the shore. When the young man saw the signal he braved the rough waves, but the priest kept moving about to confuse him, and finally, exhausted from battling with the stormy sea, the young man sank beneath the waves crying out 'Akh Tamara!' Hearing his voice Tamara rushed down to the shore, and when she discovered that her beloved was dead threw herself into the stormy sea and drowned too.