Come discover Turkey`s Magical East, 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 is the stuff of dreams. This tour is a condensed version of our Eastern Turkey Explorer tour.
- 23 Apr. - 30 Apr.
- 17 Sep. - 24 Sep.
- Sunrise at Mount Nemrut
- Ancient statues of Gobekli Tepe
- Spiritual Mardin and Urfa
- Climb the walls of Diyarbakir
- Take a boat to stunning Rumkale
- Taste Gaziantep`s culinary delights.
Day 1: Tour starts in Gaziantep. Morning flights from Istanbul to Gaziantep can be arranged. Take a walking tour of Gaziantep including its Kale (fortress), war museum, colourful markets and its famous mosaic museum. Overnight in traditional home converted into a guesthouse in Gaziantep. Meal plan: L, D.
Day 2: 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 Urfa for a short tour of the city`s historical sights and overnight. Overnight in a comfortable hotel in Urfa. Meal plan: B, L.
Day 3: Morning free to explore Urfa or simply relax. Afterwards 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 visit the 11,500 year old archaeological site of Gobekli Tepe, a site that turned the world of archaeology on its head. Drive to Kahta. Overnight in a comfortable hotel in Kahta. Meal plan: B, L.
Day 4: Very early drive to Mt. Nemrut for sunrise. Watch the sun rise over the incredible statues of animals and giant heads. Take in the beauty of this area on a short walk. Take a short break at the hotel. After resting drive to Diyarbakir, the unofficial Kurdish capital. 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 traditional hotel in Diyarbakir. Meal plan: B, L.
Day 5: Drive to Hasankeyf, a stunning historical site whose fate hangs in the balance. Visit the beautiful monasteries of Mor Gabriel and Deyrul Zafaran en route to Mardin. Take a short tour of the beautiful spiritual town of Mardin including its religious sites and colourful makets. Overnight in a comfortable hotel in Mardin. Meal plan: B, L.
Day 6: Drive East to Van. Visit the remote historical town of Bitlis 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 7: 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 8: After breakfast transfer to Van airport. Flights to Istanbul can be arranged (and onwards where appropriate). Meal plan: B.
Also see tour packages in:
Middle East Turkey History Whiz Archeology/History Sightseeing
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