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West and East Turkey (25 Days)

RV111

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Includes
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  • Duration:multiday, 25 Days
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Highlights of This Tour

Istanbul, Gallipoli, Troy, Ephesus, Kusadasi, Pamukkale, Kalkan, Antalya, Cappadocia, Nemrut, Urfa, Mardin, Van, Dogu Beyazit, Kars & Ani and Trabzon.

Day 1 Istanbul

Welcome to Turkey. Transfer from airport to hotel.

Day 2 Istanbul

In the morning at 09:00 pick up from the hotel. You will be visiting the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia (St. Sophia), Sultanahmet Camii (Blue Mosque), Hippodrome (Roman and Byzantine era) and Grand Bazaar. Back to hotel.

  • Blue Mosque
  • Grand Bazaar
  • Hagia Sophia
  • Hippodrome
  • Topkapi Palace

Day 3 Istanbul

Free Day or Optional Bosphorus Tour (the Spice Market, Dolmabahce Palace, Camlica Hill and Bosphorus on the boat as well). Back to hotel.

  • Bosphorus
  • Dolmabahce Palace
  • Spice Bazaar

Day 4 Bursa

08:00 am pick up from the hotel in Istanbul and drive to Bursa. In Bursa visit the Grand Bazaar, Ulu (Grand) Mosque, Green Mosque and Koza Han. Overnight stay in Bursa.

  • Grand Mosque
  • Green Mosque & Tomb

Day 5 Canakkale

08:30 am pick up from the hotel and drive to Troy. Visit legendary Troy (famous for the Trojan Horse). Overnight stay in Assos.

  • Assos
  • Trojan Horse

Day 6 Bergamon

In the morning at the 08:30 pick up from the hotel. Visit the Pergamon. Tour in Pergamon. Greco Roman city built on four rising terraces, Acropolis, The Asclepion and The Red Basilica. Drive to Ephesus. Overnight stay in Kusadasi or Sirince.

  • Pergamon
  • Kusadasi
  • Asklepieion
  • Red Basilica

Day 7 Ephesus

In the morning at 09:00 pick up and drive to Ephesus.Take a tour in the UNESCO world cultural heritage site, pacing through the antique city after St. Paul, visit the Library, Temple and Ampitheater, St John Church and the Virgin Mary's House. Overnight stay in Kusadasi.

  • Celcus Library
  • Ephesus Ancient City
  • House of Virgin Mary

Day 8 Pamukkale

Pick up from the hotel in the morning at 08:30. Drive to Pamukkale and on the way visit the Afrodisias. Pamukkale walk along the Hierapolis ancient city ruins, see the huge Necropolis, and feel the warmth of the natural spring as you go barefoot on the Travertines. Overnight stay in Pamukkale.

  • Aphrodisias Ancient Site
  • Hierapolis
  • Pamukkale

Day 9 Kalkan

In the morning at 08:30 drive to Kalkan and to visit the best examples of Lycian tombs at Myra. Overnight stay in Kalkan.

  • Kalkan

Day 10 Antalya

In the morning at 08:30 daily boat tour in Mediterranean. Drive to church of St. Nicholas to whom is referred as Santa Claus and Antalya. Overnight stay in Antalya.

  • Antalya
  • St Nicholas Church

Day 11 Antalya

In the morning at 09:00. We will depart in the morning to visit Perge, which was originally settled by the Hittites around 1500 BC. We will visit the impressive colonnaded street, baths, nymphaeum, and agora and see the fountain of the River God, where waters once poured down the center of the city. We continue to Aspendos to see one of the best-preserved amphitheaters in the world, and the Manavgat Waterfalls. Finally a visit to the sea side town of Side. Back to hotel in Antalya.

  • Aspendos
  • Manavgat Waterfalls
  • Perge
  • Side

Day 12 Konya & Cappadocia

In the morning at 08:30 drive to Cappadocia but on the way visit Konya. Feel the mysticism of the whirling dervishes as you visit the Mevlana Museum (the poet and philosopher Sufi founder of the Whirling Dervishes Sect) and Sultan Han (13th century Seljukian caravansaray on the silk road). Overnight stay in Cappadocia.

  • Konya
  • Mevlana Museum

Day 13 Cappadocia

In the morning at 09:00. Devrent imagination valley (a lunar landscape), Zelve open air museum (houses carved in rock, Seljukian mosque & remains nearly from all the ancient civilizations), Pasabaglari (Fairy chimneys), Avanos (pottery demonstration with the Hittite tecnique), Lunch, Uchisar rock-castle, Esentepe (panoramic view of Goreme valley) and Goreme Open Air Museum (rock cut churches, frescos, monastery). Overnight stay in Cappadocia.

  • Avanos
  • Devrent Imagination Valley
  • Goreme Open Air Museum
  • Pasabaglari
  • Uchisar Castle
  • Zelve open air museum

Day 14 Cappadocia

In the morning at 09:00. Mustafapasa (old Greek village Sinasos), Keslik monastery, Taskinpasa medresesi (an Ottoman theological school), Soganli valley (3 km walking in the traditional village, churches) Lunch and Kaymakli underground city. Overnight stay in Cappadocia.

  • Kaymaklı Underground City
  • Keslik Monastery
  • Mustafapasa (old Greek village Sinasos)
  • Sobessos
  • Soganli Valley

Day 15 Gaziantep

Departure from your hotel at 08:30. Drive to Karatay kervansaray. Stop at Kahramanmaras for lunch and a taste of its famous ice cream. Continue onto visit the world famous Gaziantep Mosaic Museum. This museums becomes after the discoveries from Zeugma. We will also visit the old city castle, copper bazaar and the famous baklava shop (Baklava is originally from Gaziantep). Overnight in Gaziantep B&B.

  • Gaziantep Mosaic (Zeugma) Museum

Day 16 Sanliurfa

Today we drive to Sanli Urfa. On the way we stop at Nizip (soap and olive oil district) to see the remains of the old city of Belkis or (Zeugma) by the River Euphrates. Importance of this settlement which demonstrates an uninterrupted inhabiting since prehistoric ages, is that it is one of the two points allowing the easiest passage across the River Euphrates with a bridge first built by Alexander the Great. Lunch in Urfa and after a walk through the local covered bazaar. Spend the afternoon relaxing at the hotel or walking through the town to discover the many hidden treasures. Overnight stay in Urfa B&B.

  • Belkis
  • Nizip
  • Sanli Urfa

Day 17 Kahta

Urfa, the birthplace of the prophet Abraham. Urfa has been occupied since the Babylonians followed by the Hurrites, Hittites, Assyrians, Greeks. We will visit nearby Harran and see the incredible beehive houses. Harran according to the Bible was the site where prophet Abraham spent a few years with his family before moving on to Israel, the promised land. We will also visit the holy sites at the Ainzelha, a lake with millions of domesticated fish. While in Urfa we will visit the cave where the prophet Abraham was born and visit a bustling sheep market as well. There are exceptional photo opportunities in this area. In the afternoon drive to Kahta city on the way see the Ataturk dam, third largest in the world. Overnight stay in Kahta B.D.B

  • Balıklı Gol
  • Harran
  • Sanli Urfa
  • Ataturk Dam
  • Kahta

Day 18 Mardin

In the morning 03:30 am departure. Hike to the summit of the mount Nemrut (one of the most popular UNESCO world cultural heritage sites), watching the sunrise, be amazed by the colossal heads and statues of ancient deities, as you step into mythology. This extraordinary landmark rests at an elevation of 8000 ft. The mountain top complex is composed of two flattened areas strewn with statues and separated by a false peak of crushed rock. Antiochos built the entire complex approximately 2000 years ago as a monument to his divine ancestry. Also definitely take time to visit the old castle, Arsemeia, cross over the still functioning Cendere Bridge (Septimius Severus bridge) dating all the way back to the 3rd century and Tumulus Tomb of Karakus. Then drive back to the hotel for breakfast. We then depart to Mardin with a lovely ferry ride across the dam and lunch in Siverek. We will reach Mardin around 16:00 check into hotel. We will take the time to visit, walk in its busy streets and bazaars, and admire the stonework all around the town. Overnight stay in Mardin B&B.

  • Siverek
  • Arsemia
  • Mt Nemrut
  • Tumulus Tomb of Karakus

Day 19 Tatvan

In the morning visit Mardin. Mardin is very unique with lovely old-Arabic style houses. 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. It is a city that played an important role in the early development of Christianity. We will also visit the Monastery of Deyr-az-Zaferan just outside of town, founded in 762 A.D. It was the seat of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch for almost 800 years.We drive to Hasankeyf, with stop at the beautiful little town of Midyat to see the Monastery and ancient houses on the way. Hasankeyf, with its history that spans nine civilizations, the archaeological and religious The history of Hasankeyf goes back 10,000 years. This is three times longer than the Giza pyraids, 10 times longer than Stonehenge, and makes the glorious civilizations of the Maya and Inca seem as if they were flourishing just yesterday. Some of the city's historical treasures will be inundated if construction of the Ilisu Dam is completed. These include ornate mosques, Islamic tombs and cave churches. After lunch by the Tigris River we depart to Tatvan, a small village on the edge of Lake Van and watch the sun set over the lake. Overnight stay in Tatvan B&B&D.

  • Mardin
  • Monastery of Deyrulzafaran
  • Hasankeyf
  • Tatvan
  • Tigris River

Day 20 Van

Depart from Tatvan and a beautiful drive around the lake to reach Van city, established 13th century BC. From here, we will take a ferry across the lake to visit the finest Armenian architectural wonder of the Church of Holy Cross on Akdamar Island. Step over to the huge Van Castle from the days of Urartu and see the hieroglyphs as you sense the spirit of the once Urartu capital Tushpa, feel the salty waters of the great Lake Van called as 'the Sea' by the locals. Overnight stay in Van B&B&D

  • Akdamar Island
  • Van Castle
  • Van City

Day 21 Kars

Drive on the "Silk Road" to Dogubeyazit. At the Iranian border we will see a site known as the Crater Hole. This is a beautiful, yet rugged area. We will have the opportunity to see Mt. Ararat from all sides. It is believed by some to be the resting-place of Noah's Ark; but to date no one has found anything that has been verified as the Ark - yet the search is still on. We will stop and see the Ishak Pasa Palace. This complex is a combination of a mosque, a fortress, and a palace which originally had a room for every day of the year! Below you can also see the remains of Eski Beyazit, and Urartian City which flourished in 1000 BC. Continue onto Kars. Overnight stay in Kars. B&B

  • Dogubeyazıt
  • Ishak Pasa Palace
  • Mt Ararat
  • Kars

Day 22 Kars

Departure for a 45-minute drive to the medieval Armenian City of Ani, which lies mostly in ruins. Impressive fortified walls still encircle the ruins of numerous churches, mosques and caravansaries. Enjoy a walk around the ruins and see the beautiful view to the Armenian border imagining it as a city with one million people rivaling Bagdad in its time! This city has experienced the cultures of Urartians, Armenians, Georgians, Mongols, Russians and finally the Turks. Also visit the impressive Kars Castle. Overnight stay in Kars. B&B.

  • Ani
  • Kars Castle

Day 23 Erzurum

Leave Kars after Breakfast and drive southwest to Erzurum. Of great interest will be the villages of stone houses and black sheep on green meadows. Visit the 12th century Medrese (a Seljukian School), 12th century mosque and enjoy the ethnographic museum. Visit an old caravan stop where the local black stone is mounted in silver and gold by the local artists in the most aesthetic art form. Overnight stay in Erzurum B&B.

  • Erzurum

24 Trabzon

TRABZON; We begin a beautiful 5 hour drive to Trabzon, winding along the rivers with many photo stops and Karaca Cave along the way. Visit the Sumela Monastery, also known as the Monastery of Virgin Mary. It has been said that it is neither on earth nor in heaven. Carved on the slope of a mountain, it looks like a nine storey high building hanging down from the clouds and sitting on the top of the forest. A short hike through the rain forest will leave no question in your mind about where you are in Turkey. The Black Sea Region ! Overnight stay in Trabzon B&B.

  • Sumela Monastery
  • Trabzon

Day 25 Trabzon

Visit the city of Trabzon in the morning. After the crusaders invaded Constantinople in 1204, Trabzon became the capital of the Byzantine empire for a short time. Longing for the grandeur of Constantinople, in Trabzon, they imitated the Churches of their beloved city in a smaller scale. St. Sophia of Trabzon though much smaller will leave with you the same sense of religious devotion as the original one in Istanbul. Fly back to Istanbul or another city in Turkey.

  • Trabzon St Sophia

Included

  • 24 night accommodation
  • Professional Fluent English Speaking Guide
  • All museum and historical sight entrance fees
  • Transportation (air-conditioned, new and comfortable non-smoking Mercedes minibuses)
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary
  • Pick up and drop off at the hotel

Not Included

  • Drinks at meals
  • Tips (not compulsory but customary for guide and driver)

West and East Turkey (25 Days)

Your Rating

  • Clean 1/5
  • Location 2/5
  • Staff 3/5
  • Service 4/5
  • Comfort 5/5

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Traveler Reviews

Michael Lee 06 / Apry / 2012

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Michael Lee 06 / Apry / 2012

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Michael Lee 06 / Apry / 2012

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Michael Lee 06 / Apry / 2012

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Michael Lee 06 / Apry / 2012

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam suscipit nisl in est consectetur.

Michael Lee 06 / Apry / 2012

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam suscipit nisl in est consectetur.

Michael Lee 06 / Apry / 2012

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam suscipit nisl in est consectetur.

Michael Lee 06 / Apry / 2012

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