Turkey`s Magical East is a region of incredible natural beauty and some of the friendliest, most hospitable people anywhere in the world. With excellent cuisine, a fascinating and ancient history, world class monuments and breathtaking scenery, little visited Eastern Turkey (also known as `the Garden of Eden`) is the stuff of dreams.
- 19 Mar. - 30 Mar.
- 03 Sep. - 14 Sep.
- Sunset at Mount Nemrut
- Ancient statues of Gobekli Tepe
- Spiritual Mardin and Urfa
- Climb the walls of Diyarbakir
- Former Armenian capital of Ani
- The incredible Ishak Pasa Palace.
Day 1: Tour starts in Kars, a town of mixed Turkish, Kurdish, Azeri and Russian influences famous for its cheese and honey. Flights from Istanbul to Kars can be arranged. Visit the spectacular ruins of the former stately Armenian capital of Ani nearby to Kars - set on a wind-swept plain with stunning views. Afternoon free to explore the ethnically mixed town of Kars. Overnight in a comfortable hotel in Kars. Meal plan: L.
Day 2: Late start. Drive to Dogubayazit, visit the incredible Ishak Pasa Palace, one of the world`s most stunning buildings perched on a mountain overlooking Mt. Ararat. Take a gentle stroll in the vicinity of Mt. Ararat, Turkey`s highest mountain at over 5000 m. Overnight in a comfortable hotel in Dogubayazit. Meal plan: B, L.
Day 3: Drive from Dogubayazit to Van. Visit the beautiful Muradiye waterfall en route. Visit the sprawling Van castle with views over the city as the sun sets. We recommend Halay Bar for the evening’s entertainment. Live music is on most nights. Overnight in a comfortable hotel in Van. Meal plan: B, L.
Day 4: Visit the 17th Century Hosap castle. This stunning castle is perched on a hilltop and the views from it are beautiful. Drive to Cavustepe, take a short tour of this 12th century site before lunch in Akdamar. After lunch take a boat across the azure waters of Lake Van, surrounded by snowy peaks to Akdamar Kilisesi, one of the best preserved Armenian churches in the world, with some incredible stone carvings and frescoes. Overnight in comfortable hotel in Van. Meal plan: B, L.
Day 5: Drive to Diyarbakir, the unofficial Kurdish capital. Visit the remote historical town of Bitlis en route. Take a short tour of Diyarbakir`s historic centre. Take in the sunset on city walls, the world`s largest wall after China`s Great Wall. Overnight in a comfortable hotel in Diyarbakir. Meal plan: B, L.
Day 6: After breakfast take a short tour of Diyarbakir. Drive to Hasankeyf, a stunning historical site whose fate hangs in the balance. Drive to the beautiful Mor Gabriel monastery. Drive to Mardin. Overnight in a comfortable hotel in Mardin. Meal plan: B, L.
Day 7: Visit Mardin’s historical and religious sites and markets and Deyrul Zafaran monastery. Afternoon free to relax in the beautiful hillside town of Mardin. Overnight in a comfortable hotel in Mardin. Meal plan: B, L.
Day 8: Morning free to relax. Drive to Urfa. Visit the historical sites of Urfa including its stunning mosque complex and parks, its citadel and the pond of the holy trout. Overnight in a comfortable hotel in Urfa. Meal plan: B, L.
Day 9: Visit the 11,500 year old archaeological site of Gobekli Tepe, a site that turned the world of archaeology on its head. Drive to Harran and discover its ancient Islamic university, its fortress and its charming beehive houses. Have lunch in a comfortable beehive mud hut. After lunch drive to Mt. Nemrut for sunset. Watch the sun set over the incredible statues of animals and giant heads. Overnight in a comfortable hotel in nearby Kahta. Meal plan: B, L.
Day 10: Drive to the old town of Halfeti. Here change wheels for a small boat and approach Rumkale by boat through a stunning gorge. This gorgeous boat ride will take you past the enormous fort of Rumkale and some beautiful villages. Take a short detour to the historical site of Zeugma. Drive to Gazientep for overnight. Overnight in a traditional home converted into a guesthouse in Gaziantep. Meal plan: B, L.
Day 11: Take a walking tour of Gaziantep including its Kale (fortress), war museum, colourful markets and its famous mosaic museum. Afternoon free. Overnight in same guesthouse in Gaziantep. Meal plan: B.
Day 12: After breakfast transfer to Gaziantep airport. Flights to Istanbul can be arranged (and onwards where applicable). Meal plan: B.
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