Eastern Turkey Tour 



Day 1
Stay in hotel in İstanbul overnight have your own time and dinner.


Day 2
A morning flight to Trabzon . Visit the Sumela Monastery located on a cliff 1200 m high. After visiting the monastery drive to central part of Trabzon to visit old Hagia Sophia church which is a museum now. Drive to the hotel and stay overnight in Trabzon.


Day 3
After the breakfast through an evergreen road to Rize…drivi m ng near the Georgian border to Artvin. After the lunch you see the river Coruh which is one of the ost popular rivers for rafting in Turkey..Visit the church dedicated to Virgin Mary in Ihsan Village. Along the Lake Tortum drive to Erzurum the coldest area in Turkey and stay there overnight.


Day 4
Morning, visit the Seljuk monuments of Erzurum, large city of eastern Anatolia which has a reputation for beeing the coldest in Turkey: visit Cifte Minare Medresesi, the old school of theology with two minarets covered with tiles; Ulu Cami, the oldest mosque in Erzurum with its beautiful wooden dome; the “turbe” which are domed tombs. After lunch in Kars, continue to Ani, the ancient capital of the Bagratid Armenians, founded in the 9th century. Visit the site located on a plateau near the gorges of the Arpa Cayi which course has delimited the border between Armenia and Turkey. Drive back to Kars, a city with a stereotyped architecture left by the Russians and continue to Dogubayazit located at the foothills of Mount Ararat. This volcano that culminates at 5,165 m/ 16,945 ft and whose summit is always capped with snow, is the highest mount in Anatolia where Noah’s Ark is thought to have landed after the Deluge. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.


Day 5
After the breakfast in the hotel you visit Ishak Pasa Palace where Persian, Armenian, Georgian, Seljuk and Ottoman styles have been mixed in an harmonious way. After lunch, drive along the Iran border through barren landscapes of volcanic stones. Continue to Van, the ancient Tushpa and the capital of the Urartu Kingdom. Van is located on the eastern bank of Lake Van,Turkey’s largest (salted) lake. Visit the citadel from where there is a panoramic view over the lake. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.


Day 6
After the breakfast in the hotel drive to Cavustepe and visit the 8C BC Urartian citadel. Continue to Hosap village impressively crowned by a castle. From the top you will enjoy most astonishingly shaped landscapes. Drive back to Lake Van. After lunch in Gevas, boat excursion to Akhtamar island where stands the 10C Holy Cross Church whose facades are ornemented with beautiful reliefs depicting scenes from the Bible, Armenian king Gagik, animals and vine. Return to Van. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.


Day 7
After the breakfast in your hotel, drive along the north shore of Lake Van to visit Ahlat and its interesting Seljuk cemetery with tombstones and mausoleums whose architecture is different from those in Central Anatolia. Lunch in Tatvan. Drive through Bitlis and arrive in Diyarbakir, a big city located near the right bank of the Tigris River (Dicle) and named “the Dark” because of its black basalt walls which are one of the best examples of medieval military architecture. Visit the impressive city walls and the Grand Mosque which includes many re-used building materials from the Byzantine and more ancient periods. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.


Day 8
After the breakfast in your hotel, drive through the oilfield area of Batman. Arrive in Hasankeyf, located at the end of an impressive large gorge formed by the Tigris River, in the middle of which stand the huge piers of the Old Bridge. Visit the capital of the Artukids in the 12th century, the Roman ruins of ancient Cephe set on top of the cliff from where the view over the region is splendid. Continue to Turbadin Plateau where a Syriac-Jacobite community lives, and visit the old town of Midyat, a small treasure of architecture. After lunch, visit Mar Gabriel Monastery and the Church of the Virgin Mary in Anitli. Continue to Mardin that rises in tiers on the mountain slope and overlooks the vast plains of Mesopotamia. You will stroll through the alleys and stairs of the town to discover its typical houses and monuments such as Sultan Isa Medrese, the Great Ulu Camii Mosque, the buildings of the Post-office. Also visit the Syriac-Jacobite Deyrul Zaferan Monastery located outside Mardin. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.


Day 9
After the breakfast in you hotel , you drive to recently discovered Gobeklitepe mount. Continue to Harran, visit this village whose houses are called beehive-houses because of their most surprising cone-shaped roofs, and the ancient city where Abraham is said to have spent several years of his life. Arrive in Urfa for lunch. Discover the “City of the Prophetes” whose past is rich and eventful: you will see Abraham’s Caves; Balikli Gol, a large pool full of sacred carps with the mosques reflected in its waters; the busy and colorful bazaar and the “hans” with their different guilds; the old quarter and traditional corbelled houses. Drive back to Urfa. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.


Day 10
After the breakfast in your hotel, you start your way for Kahta. On the way, stop at Ataturk Dam built on the Euphrates River ( Fırat ). A full day to explore Old Kahta: you will see Karakus Tumulus, Cendere Bridge, erected by the XVI Legion in the honour of Roman Emperor Septimus Severus; Arsameia on the Nymphaios (Eski Kale) with its cult monuments and reliefs. Then you will drive inside the National Park of Nemrut Dag to start the ascension of Mount Nemrut, the highest mountain (2150 m / 7,000 ft) in northern Mesopotamia, on top of which, in the 1C BC, Antiochus I king of Commagene erected a sanctuary where he was venerated like a god, and where he was buried. You will visit the breathtaking site with its monumental statues located on terraces from where you will watch, depending on the season, an unforgettable sunrise or sunset. Drive back to Kahta. Lunch during the day time. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.


Day 11
After the breakfast in your hotel, you set off for Halfeti located at the bottom of a picturesque canyon hollowed by the Euphrates( Fırat ). Boat ride to explore the canyon, Rumkale Fortress and the valley submerged by the rising waters from Birecik Dam. After lunch at Birecik, proceed to the ancient Roman city of Zeugma, the most famous crossing spot on the Euphrates for the caravans of the “Silk Road” and the military convoys of antiquity. Beautiful mosaics have been brought to light inside Roman villas but the site is today partly submerged by the waters of the dam. Continue to Gaziantep, the Turkish pistachio capital. Visit the old quarters surrounding the fortress, and the Archaeological Museum where the superb Roman mosaics from Zeugma are displayed. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.


Day 12
After the breakfast in you hotel ,you start to drive to Antakya, the ancient Antioch whose people lived in exuberant luxury and where the disciples of Jesus were called “christians” here for the first time. After lunch, visit the Mosaic Museum which displays one of the richest collections of Roman and Byzantine Mosaics in the world. Also visit the Grotto of St Peter where the Apostle Peter is believed to have preached, and which has been designated by the Vatican as a place of pilgrimage. Drive through the Plain of Issus (Dortyol), whereAlexander the Great crushed Darius III’s Persian army, overlooked by the Fortress of Toprakkkale built by the Crusaders. Continue through the rich agricultural plain of Cilicia to Tarsus, the birthplace of St Paul and the home to one of the first Christian churches in Asia Minor: visit St Paul’s Well, Ulu Cami Mosque, Eski mosque, the Gate of Cleopatra crossed by the Egyptian queen and Mark Antony when they met in Tarsus. In the evening, arrive in Adana, Turkey’s fourth largest city. Dinner and overnight at


Day 13
After the breakfast , depart through the National Park of Karatepe to visit the open-air museum of Karatepe, a 8C BC Neo-Hittite site which is a beautiful open-air museum that has been left intact after the excavations, with its statues, hieroglyphic inscriptions and reliefs. Continue north to the city of Kayseri for a flight to Istanbul. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.


Day 14
You re picked up from your hotel in the morning and visit the highlight of İstanbul : The Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace and the Grand Bazaar..Then go back to your hotel and stay there overnight.


Day 15
Departure day, you are going to be transferred to the airport.

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