Arrive Istanbul. Transfer from the Airport to hotel in Sultanahmet (Old city). The tour starts with a group meeting in the hotel.
Pick up from your hotel after breakfast around 08:15 and start the tour. This tour would include with visits to Hippodrome & Obelisk the former center of sportive and political activities of Constantinople, Blue Mosque for famous for its blue Iznik tiles and unique six minarets. After lunch in a local restaurant, visit Topkapi Palace the former imperial residence from where the Ottoman Sultans ruled their grand empire for over 400 years and Hagia Sophia. Finish the day with incredible Grand Bazaar which is; In addition to its historical importance, it’s a bazaar that will tempt even the non-shoppers with its rich collection of precious handmade carpets, jewelry, leather and souvenirs. After tour return to hotel.
Transfer to airport for morning flight to Trabzon. Arrive Trabzon and we will drive on the beautiful wooded coast of the Black Sea. This was the often forbidding coastline seen by Jason and the Argonauts and the scene of many of their legendary adventures. We will visit the Sumela Monastery also known as the Monastery of the Virgin and enjoy a lovely picnic nearby. This monastery is from the Byzantine Era of Turkey's history. One of the remarkable features of this site is that it is carved into a cliff face! It looks like a nine story high building hanging down from the clouds. With lush, green vegetation throughout the region, this area is a very unique part of Turkey. Visit the city of Trabzon in the afternoon, Trabzon is an ancient Black Sea port with its recorded history dating back to 746 B.C. and it was one of the Silk Road ports. Overnight in Trabzon
Today we leave Trabzon and drive East, our bus will look like it is caught between the Black Sea and the step slops of the mountains. The scattered houses in the villages on the green slopes look nothing like the architecture of the rest of the country.First stop is Lake Uzungol, one of the most photogenic locations in the region, lunch at a fish restaurant, sightseeing and some hiking in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight in Uzungol
Depart for Ayder, visit botanic garden and have a panoramic view of Rize, drive to Camlihemsin through the beautifull Firtina Valley (Valley of Storm), enjoy the panorama with many waterfalls, pass over the Senyuva historical Stone Bridge on firtina River and enjoy the lush green forests on the foothills of the magnificient Kackar Mountains. We then climb to Ayder Plateau (1.600 meter), lunch in the forest and then free time to enjoy the thermal baths and hot waters with the locals. Ovrnight in Ayder.
Breakfast and we will head off to see the historical mansions, Zil Castle and Palovit waterfalls, before walking through the Moge valley to Pokut Plateau (4 hours walk). Lunch in the Mountains and afternoon you can either choose more hiking in the Kackar Mountains or some rafting down the Rivers. Overnight in Ayder.
Late morning departure to the city of Erzurum. Erzurum rests at a base altitude of 6600 ft. Here, the Hittites had already occupied the site for a millennium when the Armenians arrived around the 6th century. It became a Byzantine city starting with the Emperor Thedosius. Mongols in 14th century and the Ottomans took it in 1515. Therefore in Erzurum we'll be able to taste all of these civilizations at Erzurum citadel, Double Minaret Medrese (university), many tombs, Ulu Cami (The Great Mosque). Evening flight back to İstanbul.
***Note: This tour can also continue on to the rest of East Turkey Tour to Cappadocia. Please see our EAST TURKEY ITINERARY or contact us to explore further options
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Member ofTursab Belge No:3658
Recommended by Tom Brosnahan