Day 1: Flight Day. Flight from the United States.
Day 2: Istanbul. Arrival in Istanbul and transfer to hotel. Orientation walks. Dinner and overnight at the Daphne Hotel Istanbul. Includes: (D).
Day 3: Istanbul. After breakfast visit the Haghia Sofia Museum, the Sultanahmet Mosque, and the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts. Afternoon visits to Spice Bazaar and Grand Bazaar. Dinner and overnight at the Daphne Hotel in Istanbul. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 4: Antioch / Antakya. Early morning flight to Adana. Drive to Antakya, ancient Antioch. Visit Antakya Mosaic Museum, where outstanding examples of Roman era mosaics are displayed, and the Grotto of St. Peter. Walk in the old city. Dinner and overnight at the Buyuk Antakya Hotel. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 5: Antioch / Antakya. Visit the Titus Tunnel, an underground channel dating back to the 2nd century, and rock-cut tombs at Seleuceia ad Pierea. Drive to the Monastery of St. Simeon, the Stylite, to visit the “Man of the Wonderful Mountain”. Free time in the afternoon. Dinner in a local restaurant, overnight at the Buyuk Antakya Hotel. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 6: Gaziantep / Kahta. Drive to Yesemek, the first open-air sculpture atelier of the Hittites known in the history. Continue to Gaziantep for the museum visit where many unique frescoes and mosaics from the 3rd century Roman frontier city of Zeugma on the Euphrates River are displayed. Drive to Kahta, Adiyaman. Dinner and overnight at Bozdogan Hotel in Adiyaman. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 7: Nemrut Tumulus / Urfa. Early departure for sunrise at the top of Mount Nemrut, climbing up to Tumulus of Antiochos, Arsameia and Nymphaios, the capital of Kommagene. We will visit Nemrutdag National Park before returning hotel for breakfast and check out. Visits to the Cendere the Roman bridge, Karakus cemetery the tumulus where the royal women of Kommagene were buried. Drive to Urfa. Stop at one of the world's largest irrigation projects, Atatürk Dam, on the Euphrates River. Free time afternoon. Dinner and overnight in Urfa Edessa Hotel. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Harran / Urfa. Visit the Cave of Abraham which is considered to be his birthplace. Also visit the Sacred Pool, and then walk through the Urfa Bazaar. Visit Harran in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at Urfa Edessa Hotel. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 9: Mardin / Batman. Drive to Mardin. Visit the medieval town of Mardin and the Monastery of Dayrul-Zeferan. Continue to Midyat to visit the Archbishop Center of Syrian Orthodox Church in Mor Gabriel Monastery. Visit the Syrian Orthodox village of Anitli. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Akso in Batman. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 10: Ahlat / Tatvan. Visit Hasankeyf in the morning. Continue to Tatvan by River Tigris branch. Upon arrival, take the midi buses to the crater lake of Mount Nemrut. The Nemrut Lake is located inside the crater area of Nemrut Mountain and is the first greatest crater lake of our country and is the second greatest crater lake of the world. Continue to Ahlat. Ahlat is famed for its Seljuk period mausoleums, whose magnificent architecture and stone carving have led historians to describe it as the land of the Seljuk renaissance. These tombs number among the greatest monuments of early Turkish civilization in Anatolia. The history of this region can be traced back to the 15th century BC. Drive back to hotel Kardelen in Tatvan for dinner and overnight. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 11: Van. Drive to the city of Van on Lake Van, the largest lake in Turkey. Van is known for its unique cats with their long, white fur and different colored eyes. A pleasant boat ride on Lake Van will take us to Akdamar Island on which the Church of the Holy Cross stands in solitude. Well-known stories from the Old Testament are depicted on its walls in low relief. King Gagik, who had the church built, is shown carrying of model of it. Visit Cavustepe, one of the most important Urartian fortress settlements in the area. Some 25 miles to the east of Cavustepe, Hosap Castle stands on steep, rocky terrain, north of Hosap Stream. The castle was built by Sari (Blond) Suleyman Bey in 1643. Dinner and overnight at the Merit Sahmaran Hotel in Van. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 12: Ishak Pasha / Kars. Drive to the small town of Dogubeyazit. Visit the 18th century palace of Ishak Pasha, which displays a unique architectural style combining various influences. Stop at the Muradiye Waterfalls on the way. Take time to view the spectacular sight of Mt. Ararat, where Noah's Ark is said to have landed. Drive to Kars for dinner and overnight at Simer Hotel. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 13: Ani / Erzurum. Visit the medieval metropolis of Ani. Drive to Erzurum, the largest city in eastern Turkey. Visit Cifte Minare and Yakutiye Medrese. Free time in Rustem Pasha Bedesten, devoted manufacture and sale of Oltutas jewelry. Dinner and overnight at Polat Renaissance in Erzurum. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 14: Tortum / Hopa. Drive to Hopa via Uzundere. Visit Georgian Monastery and churches. Continue to Tortum to see the waterfall. Drive to the Black Sea coastal town of Hopa for dinner and overnight at Peronti Hotel. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 15: Ayder. Entering the Black Sea region, visit the picturesque traditional villages of Ayder Plateau. Rich flora of the plateau offers a gathering place for bees to produce a unique kind of honey. In the afternoon, optional walk to the plateaus or relax in the Ayder Thermal Springs. Dinner and overnight at Kuspuni Pansiyon in Ayder. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 16: Rize / Trabzon. Drive to Rize, where most of Turkey's tea crop is harvested. Visit the Tea Institute of Rize. Continue on to Trabzon. Enjoy a leisurely tour of the city for the rest of the day. Dinner and overnight at the Grand Zorlu in Trabzon. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 17: Sumela Monastery / Istanbul. Visit the 13th century Hagia Sofia and the monastery of the Black Virgin of Sumela, built on a ledge of sheer rock in the 14th century. Late afternoon flight to Istanbul. Dinner and overnight at the Daphne Hotel in Istanbul. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 18: The Bosphorus / Istanbul. Full day in Istanbul. Visit the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. In the afternoon, take a cruise on the Bosphorus. Dinner and overnight at the Daphne Hotel in Istanbul. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 19: Departure Day. Transfer to airport for return flight to the United States. Includes: (B).
Also see tour packages in:
Middle East Turkey Local Culture Cultural Journey Archeology/History