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Mysteries Of Eastern Turkey - 16 Days
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Mysteries Of Eastern Turkey - 16 Days

offered by supplier M08543 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 15 day(s)
Group Size: 4 - 16 people
Destination(s): Turkey  
Specialty Categories: Archeology/History  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: Yes
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1995 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2230 US Dollar (USD)

Turkey is where western civilization, as we know it, originated. Almost 9,000 years ago, in the 7th century BC, the oldest known human settlement was created in Catalhoyuk. Since that times, Turkey, known also as Anatolia or Asia Minor, has been the home to some of the greatest civilizations the world has known: The warrior Urartians and Hittites, the cultured Lycians, and the intellectual Ionian Greeks, all of whom left the marks of their civilization upon the land. The city of Istanbul alone has been the seat of three empires, the Roman, the Byzantine and the Ottoman and the home of the three major religions of the world, Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Today, you have the unique chance in Turkey to visit the ancient monuments, as well as the monasteries, churches, synagogues, mosques and tombs from a wide variety of historical periods.

Your Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Istanbul airport.

Meet and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in hotel category of your choice.

Day 2: Istanbul - Sultanahmet

Visit The St. (Haghia) Sophia, which was built by the Emperor Justinian. It was the largest building in the world for over 1000 years. See its intricate mosaics and huge central dome. Continue to the Topkapi palace, which was used by the Ottoman Sultans from the 15th to 19th centuries and houses an impressive collection of priceless jewels, crystal, silver and porcelain, robes worn by the sultans and relics of the prophet Mohammed. (Entrance to the Harem is extra and depends on time). After lunch we will see the Blue Mosque, built for Sultan Ahmet I, which is a unique piece of architecture with its six minarets and features 20,000 beautiful Iznik tiles. Visit the ancient Hippodrome with Obelisk of Theodosius, Snake Pillar and German Fountain of Wilhelm II. Visit the Grand Covered Bazaar. Walk through the back streets of Old Istanbul and visit the Little St. Sophia. Take a break in the peaceful tea garden and watch artisans working on marbling, calligraphy and other arts. This tour may be done all or partially as a walking tour. (You may take Byzantine city walls and Chora tour instead of this tour). Transfer to airport for evening flight to Kayseri. Upon arrival in Kayseri transfer to a special volcanic stone/cave hotel in Cappadocia. (B) (L) (D)

Day 3: Cappadocia – cave Churches and Goreme Valley

In the morning you will wake up in a world you have never imagined. Experience the feeling of living in an Anatolian village, where houses are built in caves, and life goes on as it has for centuries. You may see villagers baking bread, drying fruit on their rooftops or riding on donkeys to their fields. We will begin our visit to the enchanting “fairy chimneys” (conical and unusual rock formations) in Devrent Valley. We continue to the Goreme Open Air Museum, which was once a Byzantine monastery. See the finest examples of religious frescoes in rock-cut churches from the 10th to the 13th centuries. Enjoy Pasabagi Valley, while walking through vineyards among strange multiple "mushroom-capped" volcanic rock formations. We will also visit Cavusin Village and see abandoned troglodyte houses cut high up in the rock face. We will take a short walk in the Rose Valley, where mineral deposits have given beautiful color to the weathered stones and then continue to Avanos, center of terra cotta work since 3000 BC. See a pottery demonstration using the ancient kick-wheel technique. Evening of cultural entertainment and music or performance of the Whirling dervishes. Overnight in Special volcanic stone/cave hotel. (B) (L) (D)

Day 4: Cappadocia – Gaziantep

Today we will drive to Gaziantep making a photo stop of Incesu Caravanserai. We will have a chance to taste the famous Kahramanmaras ice cream, which is thickened with gum Arabic and beaten with a wooden paddle. We continue to Gaziantep, which is located on a wide and fertile plain cultivated with extensive pistachio groves. The artisans of Gaziantep are specialists in making copperware and furniture inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The city has a fortress with 36 towers originally constructed in the Justinian era and later rebuilt by the Seljuks. (B) (L) (D)

Day 5: Gaziantep

Today we will visit the Archaeology Museum with its artifacts from Neolithic, Hittite and Roman times. There are important mosaics from the ancient site of Zeugma (Belkis). See copper-makers and other trades. We will also visit the Yesemek Open air-museum with its stone carvings from the Hittite period. (B) (L) (D)

Day 6: Gaziantep - Sanliurfa - Harran – Mt. Nemrut Kahta)

Our drive today takes us to Sanli Urfa. We may stop briefly at Zeugma, which is mostly underwater. We pass the Euphrates River and stop at Birecik, which is famous for the nearly extinct Bald Ibis. We will have lunch in Sanliurfa. View of castle with Roman columns and visit to Mevlid Halil Mosque and the Cave of Prophet Abraham, then the sacred fish pool. You will have a chance to wander in the old Bazaar. Drive to Harran - city of the prophet Abraham. See the fortress, Islamic school and curious beehive-shaped adobe houses. It is possible to see the huge Ataturk Dam. Dinner and overnight in Kahta (near Mt. Nemrut). (B) (L) (D)

Day 7: Mt. Nemrut - Diyarbakir

Rise very early for the drive and the walk up to the summit of Mount Nemrut, which is the highest mountain (2150 m) in Northern Mesopotamia. View a fantastic sunrise from the East Terrace. Visit the East and West terraces, fire altar, statues of Apollo, Zeus, Hercules, Tyche and Antiochus Epiphanes I, tumulus, reliefs and the world's first horoscope. Descend down the mountain through small villages and beautiful scenery. Arsemia - old castle and remains of bridge made during the time of Alexander the Great. Cendere Roman Bridge - built by Septimus Severus in the 2nd century AD and still in use! Karakus - tumulus of the royal Commagene women. Columns with eagle and relief. Breakfast and pack up at hotel. We will take a ferry across the reservoir and continue to Diyarbakir, where we will visit the old city, surrounded by triple walls made of black basalt originally dating to 394 A.D. It is a city based on a Roman plan with four gates. We visit the caravanserai (Deliller Han), the Ulu (Great) Mosque from the Seljuk period and possibly the third century Aramaic Church of the Virgin Mary. See people going about daily life on their rooftops, drying fruits, and dung patties for fuel. (B) (L) (D)

Day 8: Diyarbakir – Mardin – Diyarbakir

Today’s highlight is the city of Mardin, with its golden stone houses that blend into the hills. 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 and visit the Syriac-Jacobite Monastery of Deyrulzaferan. Return to Diyarbakir for the night. (B) (L) (D)

Day 9: Van

The tour begins after breakfast with the drive to Lake Van, which is ringed by mountains, and deep blue in color. It is the largest lake in Turkey and lies at an altitude of 1720 m. The first site en route is the Akdamar church, which is built on an island in the lake. We will take a small boat across the lake to see the church. This church, from the 10th century is carved with Old Testament scenes and figures. We will have lunch in Akdamar then continue to Van. (B) (L) (D)

Day 10: Van

The day begins with the tour of Van. Van was the Urartian capital. An imposing 9th c B.C. citadel overlooks the town. Visit the ancient Urartian site of Cavustepe, Hosap Castle, and the famous Citadel of Van. Time permitting visit to the museum. (B) (L) (D)

Day 11: Van – Dogubayazit

Today we will drive to Dogubayazit and have lunch at the beautiful Muradiye waterfalls. Dogubayazit is a small town situated by Mount Agri (Mount Ararat). We will Visit Ishak Pasa Palace, which was built between the 17th and 18th centuries by a local lord. It is a mixture of Ottoman, Persian and Armenian architectural styles. (B) (L) (D)

Day 12: Dogubayazit – Kars

Weather permitting; we may have a nice view of Mt. Ararat this morning. We will pass small squat villages at the base of the mountain. We will arrive in Kars and visit the ancient city of Ani and its churches. View of Arpa River, which forms the border to Armenia. (B) (L) (D)

Day 13: Kars - Erzurum

Today we will drive to Erzurum. Erzurum is known for copper crafting and its Oltu stone, which is a unique black stone used to make jewelry and beads. We will visit fine Seljuk monuments such as the Ulu (Great) Mosque, the Cifte Minareli Medrese and Uc Kumbetler (three tombs) and see the richly decorated portal and tiled minaret of the 13th century Yakutiye Medrese. (B) (L) (D)

Day 14: Erzurum – Trabzon - Istanbul

Our journey will continue on to Trabzon with a visit to the magnificent Sumela Monastery located high on the cliffs in the Altindere National Park. The church is covered inside and out with brilliant frescos. Time permitting; visit the St. Sophia museum (restored 13th c Byzantine church with its splendid frescoes). Transfer to airport for return to Istanbul. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel. (B) (L)

Day 15: Istanbul

At your leisure in Istanbul and overnight. Overnight in hotel category of your choice.
(B)

Day 16: Departure

Transfer to the airport for departure.
(B)

Notes:
Airfare is included in the tour price.

Price includes:
- Arrival and departure airport transfers.
- Accommodation in specified category.
- Meals as mentioned (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner).
- Museum entry fees.
- Transportation in non-smoking mini/midi bus with professional English speaking guide and professional driver.
- Entertainment as mentioned in tour plan.
- Excluding flights and tips.

About This Supplier
Photos: Next »
Location: Turkey
Joined InfoHub: Mar 2001
Client Request Served: 155

Our company is located in Urgup, in the heart of Cappadocia from 1999. Although the company is young, the owners are in business for long years and already established an excellent reputation of being one of the most reliable travel companies in Turkey. Started in Cappadocia and now expending its service web in all...

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