Day 1: Arrive in Istanbul
Arrival and transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Istanbul. Includes: (D).
Day 2: Istanbul
A full day city tour of Istanbul,the biggest and greatest city in Turkey. After visiting the Hippodrome, you will visit the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. Beautifully decorated with 21, 000 blue Iznik tiles, it is commonly known today as the “Blue Mosque”. The next visit is to the world famous Hagia Sophia, the church of Divine Wisdom and once the biggest church of the Christian World. You will certainly be astonished by the unique mosaics and marble decorations. Right after lunch the magnificent Topkapi Palace, the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans, will be waiting for you. Do not ever miss the “Spoon maker's Diamond” in the treasury section. Overnight in Istanbul. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 3: Istanbul – Malatya – Adiyaman
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for a flight to Malatya. Enjoy your drive drive to Adiyaman for dinner and overnight. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 4: Adiyaman – Nemrut – Harran – Urfa
A very early departure in the morning for Nemrut for the beautiful natural event is a must. Sunrise in Nemrut! Sunrise from the top of Mount Nemrut will be incomparable to anything you have seen before. This is where King Antiochus I of Commagene built a colossal funerary sanctuary, a temple dedicated to himself, to the Greco-Persian gods and to his Persian ancestors. The East and West terraces have a central courtyard surrounded with colossal statues of the Olympian Gods. Continue to Urfa, on the way stop by Harran, referred to in Genesis (XI, 31,32; XII, 4,5) as Charan. And enjoy the following ruins. The Citadel, the Grand Mosque and the city walls. Dinner and overnight in Urfa. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 5: Urfa – Antakya
After breakfast, sightseeing in Urfa(Glorious Urfa) to see the Mosque of Prophet Abraham and the pools of the sacred carp, The Old Bazaar and the Castle in Urfa, drive to Antakya for dinner and overnight. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 6: Antakya – Adana
Today's specialty is Antioch-on-the- Orantes, and Seleucia Pieria. Antioch offered the most ferric ground for new ideas, philosophies and religions. St. Peter was the first to preach here followed by St. Paul and Barnabas, whose extensive efforts proved to be very fruitful for Christianity. Incidentally, the word Christians was first coined in Antioch. The strong and wealthy community of Antioch contributed financially to the Christian community of Jerusalem. Highlights include the museum which houses a superb collection of mosaics from Antioch and Seleucia Pieria, St. Peter's Grotto, the cave church came to be known as the meeting place of the early Christians. Seleucia Pieria, which was the port city of Antioch in ancient days, is another site to be visited today. The most interesting monument here is the Tunnel of Titus, which is a tremendous canal, dug for the purpose of diverting waters of Orantes River. Another highlight here will be the rock tombs with their impressive facades pertaining to the Hellenistic period. Continue to Adana for dinner and overnight. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 7: Adana – Tarsus - Cappadocia
Following breakfast, drive to Tarsus, where St. Paul was born almost 2000 years ago. During St. Paul's time Tarsus was a University City surpassing Athens and Alexandria. Cicero was a governor here in 51-50 BC. And the romantic meeting between Cleopatra and Mark Anthony took place in Tarsus. There is very little left of old Tarsus. Highlights here will be St. Paul's well and Cleopatra's Gate. Three km east of Tarsus the E 90 highway(now the new toll road) heads north throuh the Cilician Gates, a narrow gap in the Taurus mountains to Nevsehir and Kayseri(Caesarea,once the capital of Cappadocia). Continue to Cappadocia for dinner and overnight. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 8: Cappadocia
Full day sightseeing of the villages of, Uchisar with panoramic views of the Cappadocian valleys, Zelve-the valley of the fairy chimnies, and the Goreme Valley. There are several hundred churches in this area, some of which are decorated with inscribed frescoes depicting scenes from the Bible or the Apocrypha. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 9: Cappadocia – Ankara
Early breakfast and visit the Underground Cities of Kaymakli. Then continue to Ankara to pay a visit to the Mausoleum of Ataturk. Dinner and overnight in Ankara. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 10: Ankara - Istanbul
In the morning be prepared for a rather long but enjoyable drive to Istanbul. After checking into your hotel enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 11: Departure - Flying home. Goodby Turkey. Includes: (B).
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