Nemrut & Urfa Tours
9 Days 8 Nights Mesopotamia Tour
Day 01: Istanbul – Cappadocia (No meal)
Fly to Cappadocia (Kayseri or Nevsehir Airport) at the desired hour. You will meet your driver at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Evening at leisure and overnight stay in Cappadocia.
Day 02: Cappadocia (Breakfast & Lunch)
Optional Hot Air Balloon Flight at the Sunrise. Please do not forget to ask for a wakeup call from reception. You will return to hotel at 08:00-08:30.
After breakfast at 09:00 in the morning pick up from your hotel. Today, you will visit Devrent Imagination Valley and walk through this lunar landscape. Next, visit Pasabaglari (the world-famous Fairy Chimneys), the village of Avanos, where you will witness a Pottery-making demonstration using ancient Hittite techniques, lunch at a local restaurant, Uchisar Rock-Castle, (the highest point in the region, Esentepe (a panoramic view of Goreme valley) and Goreme Open Air Museum (Rock-cut churches, frescoes, monastery). After tour return to hotel and overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 3: Cappadocia - Antakya (Breakfast)
Pick up from the hotel in Cappadocia and drive to Antakya (Antioch). Here Jesus' followers were first called Christians (Acts 11:26) Peter, Paul and also Barnabas preached here. Visit St. Peter's Grotto and the exquisite Mosaic Museum. Check - in at the hotel and overnight stay in Antakya.
Day 4: Antakya - Gaziantep (Breakfast)
After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Gaziantep and visit the world famous Gaziantep Mosaic Museum. This museum exhibit superb mosaic discovered at the Roman site of Belkıs-Zeugma before the Birecik Dam flooded most of the site. We will visit the old city castle which is located in the center of the city and copper bazaar. This bazaar is one of the most special and oldest bazaars in Turkey. You can find variety of copper handcrafts. We will also have the chance to taste famous baklava; a sweet pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey (Baklava is originally from Gaziantep). After visiting the city, drive to hotel and check-in. Overnight stay in Gaziantep.
Day 05: Gaziantep - Sanliurfa (Breakfast
After breakfast, check-out from our hotel and drive to Sanliurfa. Urfa has been occupied since the Babylonians followed by the Hurrites, Hittites, Assyrians, Greeks. Today we will visit Urfa Archaeological Museum. This museum exhibit a huge collection, founded from Harran and Gobeklitepe Area. 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. There are exceptional photo opportunities in this area. 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. Then, walk through the local covered bazaar of Sanliurfa. Walk through the town to discover the many hidden treasures. Evening at leisure. Overnight stay in Sanliurfa.
Day 06: Sanliurfa – Mt. Nemrut (Breakfast)
After breakfast at hotel, you will see Gobeklitepe, a hilltop sanctuary erected on the highest point of an elongated mountain ridge some 15 km northeast of the town of Urfa. What makes Gobeklitepe unique in its class is the date it was built, which is roughly twelve thousand years ago, circa 10,000 BC. Then, we will drive to Adiyaman. In the afternoon hike to the summit of the Mount Nemrut (one of the most popular UNESCO world cultural heritage sites), watching the sunset, 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. Antiochus 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. After visiting Nemrut, drive to hotel. Overnight stay in Adiyaman.
Day 07: Mt. Nemrut - Diyarbakir (Breakfast)
After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Diyarbakir which is located on the Tigris River. We will visit the historical 5 km. long city walls. After that, we will stop at the Grand Mosque which was first a pagan temple and then converted to church and mosque in the end. We will stop at Hasan Pasha Han and have a glass of tea in this historical building. Check-in at the hotel and overnight in Diyarbakir.
Day 08: Diyarbakir - Mardin (Breakfast)
After breakfast, departure to Mardin. We will reach Mardin around 13:00 and visit this old, historical city. 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 visit Forty Martyrs Church (Kirklar Kilisesi). This church dates back to the 4th century, and was renamed in the 15th century to commemorate Cappadocian martyrs, now remembered in the fine carvings above the entrance. 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. Walk in its busy streets and bazaars, and admire the stonework all around the town. Overnight stay in Mardin.
Day 09: Mardin - Airport (Breakfast)
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to airport in Mardin and fly back to Istanbul or any other destination.