2015 GUARANTEED DEPARTURE DATES
Guaranteed Departure Days:
April 8th and 11th & April 22nd.
May 6th and 9th & May 20th and 22nd.
June 2nd and 3rd & June 17th and June 28th
July 2nd and 9th & July 20th and 23rd
August 4th and 6th & August 14th and 20th, 25th.
September 3rd and 6th & September 17th and 26th
October 1st and 8th & October 12th and 20th
Tour Name: Eastern Turkey Tour
Duration: 14 Days, 13 Nights
Transportation: Private van
Visited Places: Cappadocia, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Nemrut, Mardin, Tatvan, Van, Kars, Erzurum and Trabzon
Goreme - Day 1 (Cappadocia)
Arrival to Cappadocia. You will be met upon your arrival and transfer to hotel in Cappadocia.
Remainder of day at leisure and overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 2 (Cappadocia - Breakfast and Lunch)
Optional Hot air balloon flight at sunrise. Please do not forget to write us for the booking. You will return to hotel at 08:00-08:30. After breakfast at 09:00 in the morning pick up from your hotel.
Today, you will visit Devrent Imagination Valley and walk through this lunar landscape. Next, visit Zelve Open Air Museum, where you will witness houses carved into the rocks, a Seljukian mosque as well as traces of most, if not all, ancient civilizations, Pasabaglari (the world-famous Fairy Chimneys), the village of Avanos, where you will witness a Pottery-making demonstration using ancient Hittite techniques, lunch at a local cave restaurant, Uchisar Rock- Castle, (the highest point in the region, Esentepe (a panoramic view of Goreme valley) and Goreme Open Air Museum (Rock-cut churches, frescoes, monastery). After tour return to hotel and overnight.
Kaymakli Underground City - Day 3 (Cappadocia - Breakfast and Lunch)
Today, you will visit Kaymakli Underground City (See how the people lived in this multi level city complete with stables, kitchens, storage chambers and wine making rooms), Soganli Valley (Relaxing 3km walk through the valley with Byzantine period rock tombs), Sobesos (A Roman Bath from the 5th century and mosaics and graves from Byzantine Empire Period), Taskinpasa Medresesi (an Ottoman theological school), Keslik Monastery (Churches from 8th and 12th centuries, refectory and other complexes, used by monks) and Mustafapasa (Experience the Ottoman and Greek architecture of this old Greek Village once called Sinasos). Return to hotel as well and overnight.
Gaziantep Zeugma Mosaics - Day 4 (Gaziantep - Breakfast)
Departure from your hotel at 08:30. Drive to Karatay Kervansaray and visit the Kervansaray. Stop at Kahramanmaras for lunch and a taste of its famous ice cream. Continue onto visit the world famous Gaziantep Mosaic Museum. This museum becomes after the discoveries from Zeugma. We will also visit the old city castle, copper bazaar and the famous baklava shop (Baklava is originally from Gaziantep). Overnight in Gaziantep.
Urfa and Holy Carp Lake - Day 5 (Urfa - Breakfast)
Today we drive to Sanliurfa. On the way we stop at Nizip (soap and olive oil district) and see the remains of the old city of Belkis or (Zeugma) by the River Euphrates. Importance of this settlement which demonstrates an uninterrupted inhabiting since prehistoric ages is that it is one of the two points allowing the easiest passage across the River Euphrates with a bridge first built by Alexander the Great. Lunch in Urfa and after a walk through the local covered bazaar. Spend the afternoon at the hotel or walk through the town to discover the many hidden treasures. Overnight in Urfa.
Beehive Houses in Harran - Day 6 (Urfa and Kahta - Breakfast)
Urfa, the birthplace of the prophet Abraham. Urfa has been occupied since the Babylonians followed by the Hurrites, Hittites, Assyrians, Greeks. We will visit nearby Harran and see the incredible beehive houses. Harran- according to the Bible- was the site where prophet Abraham spent a few years with his family before moving on to Israel, the Promised Land. We will also visit the holy sites at the Ainzelha, a lake with millions of domesticated fish. While in Urfa we will visit the cave where the prophet Abraham was born. There are exceptional photo opportunities in this area. In the afternoon drive to Kahta city on the way, you will see Gobekli Tepe, a hilltop sanctuary erected on the highest point of an elongated mountain ridge some 15 km northeast of the town of Urfa. You will also see the Ataturk dam, third largest in the world. Overnight stay in Kahta. (Breakfast only)
Mount Nemrut - Day 7 (Mt. Nemrut and Mardin – Breakfast)
Mt Nemrut; In the morning 03:30 am departure. Hike to the summit of the mount Nemrut (one of the most popular UNESCO world cultural heritage sites), watching the sunrise, be amazed by the colossal heads and statues of ancient deities, as you step into mythology. This extraordinary landmark rests at an elevation of 8000 ft. The mountain top complex is composed of two flattened areas strewn with statues and separated by a false peak of crushed rock. Antiochus built the entire complex approximately 2000 years ago as a monument to his divine ancestry. Also definitely take time to visit the old castle, Arsemeia, cross over the still functioning Cendere Bridge (Septimius Severus bridge) dating all the way back to the 3rd century and Tumulus Tomb of Karakus. Then drive back to the hotel for breakfast. We then depart to Mardin with a lovely ferry ride across the dam and lunch in Siverek. We will reach Mardin around 16:00 check into hotel. We will take the time to visit, walk in its busy streets and bazaars, and admire the stonework all around the town. Overnight stay in Mardin.
Mardin Houses - Day 8 (Mardin and Tatvan - Breakfast and Dinner)
In the morning visit Mardin. Mardin is very unique with lovely old-Arabic style houses. The houses are often decorated with intricate carvings. This is a very lively trading center with people coming from surrounding villages to buy and sell. We will have a fantastic view of the Plain of Mesopotamia. It is a city that played an important role in the early development of Christianity.
We will also visit the Monastery of Deyr-az-Zaferan just outside of town, founded in 762 A.D. It was the seat of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch for almost 800 years. We drive to Hasankeyf, with stop at the beautiful little town of Midyat to see the Monastery and ancient houses on the way. Hasankeyf, with its history that spans nine civilizations, the archaeological and religious. The history of Hasankeyf goes back 10,000 years. This is three times longer than the Giza pyramids, 10 times longer than Stonehenge, and makes the glorious civilizations of the Maya and Inca seem as if they were flourishing just yesterday. Some of the city's historical treasures will be inundated if construction of the Ilisu Dam is completed. These include ornate mosques, Islamic tombs and cave churches. After lunch by the Tigris River we depart to Tatvan, a small village on the edge of Lake Van and watch the sun set over the lake. Overnight stay in Tatvan.
Akdamar Island and Church of the Holy Cross - Day 9 (Van - Breakfast and Dinner)
Depart from Tatvan and a beautiful drive around the lake to reach Van city, established 13th century BC. From here, we will take a ferry across the lake to visit the finest Armenian architectural wonder of the Church of the Holy Cross on Akdamar Island. Step over to the huge Van Castle from the days of Urartu and see the hieroglyphs as you sense the spirit of the once Urartu capital Tushpa, feel the salty waters of the great Lake Van called as 'the Sea' by the locals. Overnight stay in Van.
Ishakpasa Palace - Day 10 (Dogubeyazit - Breakfast)
Dogubeyazit; Drive on the "Silk Road" to Dogubeyazit. At the Iranian border we will see a site known as the Crater Hole. This is a beautiful, yet rugged area. We will have the opportunity to see Mt. Ararat from all sides. It is believed by some to be the resting-place of Noah's Ark; but to date no one has found anything that has been verified as the Ark - yet the search is still on. We will stop and see the Ishak Pasa Palace. This complex is a combination of a mosque, a fortress, and a palace which originally had a room for every day of the year! Below you can also see the remains of Eski Beyazit, and Urartian City which flourished in 1000 BC. Overnight stay in Kars.
Ruins of Ani - Day 11 (Kars - Breakfast)
An early morning departure for a 45-minute drive to the medieval Armenian City of Ani, which lies mostly in ruins. Impressive fortified walls still encircle the ruins of numerous churches, mosques and caravansaries. Enjoy a walk around the ruins and see the beautiful view to the Armenian border imagining it as a city with one million people rivaling Bagdad in its time! This city has experienced the cultures of Urartians, Armenians, Georgians, Mongols, Russians and finally the Turks. Also visit the impressive Kars Castle and historical sites surrounding the city. Overnight stay in Kars.
Twin Minarets Madrasa in Erzurum - Day 12 (Erzurum - Breakfast)
Depart from Kars after Breakfast and drive southwest to Erzurum. Of great interest will be the villages of stone houses and black sheep on green meadows. Visit the 12th century Medrese (a Seljukian School).
Talk with the imam at the 12th century Mosque and enjoy the ethnographic museum. Visit an old caravan stop where the local black stone is mounted in silver and gold by the local artists in the most aesthetic art form. Overnight stay in Erzurum.
Sumela Monastery in Trabzon - Day 13 (Trabzon - Breakfast)
We begin a beautiful 5 hour drive to Trabzon, winding along the rivers with many photo stops and Karaca Cave along the way. Visit the Sumela Monastery, also known as the Monastery of the Virgin Mary. It has been said that it is neither on earth nor in heaven. Carved on the slope of a mountain, it looks like a nine story high building hanging down from the clouds and sitting on the top of the forest. A short hike through the rain forest will leave no question in your mind about where you are in Turkey. Evening at leisure and overnight stay in Trabzon.
Trabzon Hagia Sophia Church - Day 14 (Trabzon - Breakfast)
Visit the city of Trabzon in the morning. After the crusaders invaded Constantinople in 1204, Trabzon became the capital of the Byzantine Empire for a short time. Longing for the grandeur of Constantinople, in Trabzon, they imitated the Churches of their beloved city in a smaller scale. St. Sophia of Trabzon though much smaller will leave with you the same sense of religious devotion as the original one in Istanbul. The tour will finish at noon time and transfer to Trabzon Airport.
The rate for this trip is 2200€ per person in double rooms, 1850€ per person in triple rooms and 2880€ in single rooms.
13 Nights accommodation in avalable hotels mentioned below including daily breakfast,
All airport transfers in Cappadocia and Trabzon as specified in the itinerary,
Transportation in deluxe non smoking minibus with with A/C and comfortable seats,
Fluent English speaking guided escoreted tours from Cappadocia to Trabzon as specified in the itinerary,
Meals as specified in the itinerary without drinks,
All entrance fee for museum and other historical sites we will visit,
All the transportation fees such as highway fees and parking,
All the expenses of guide & driver such as meals and accommodations,
All the taxes.
International and internal flight tickets,
Balloon flight over the fairy chimneys at sunrise in Cappadocia,
Meals not specified in the itinerary and drinks,
Tips (not compulsary but costumary for guide and driver)
Personal expenses and other services that are not mentioned above...
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