The Gypsy Girl mosaic awaits you in Zeugma Mosaic Museum of Gaziantep as you arrive and meet with your guide...
Drive to Adiyaman to explore the Mount Nemrut National park before you watch the sunset at 7500 ft...
Visit the first temple of the world at Gobeklitepe excavation site and get lost in the beehive houses of Harran...
Walk over the second longest city walls of the World in Diyarbakir city separating the old city from the new...
Visit the most sophisticated city of Turkey, Mardin. It is a living open-air museum, and a journey in town is a journey in time...
Taste the monastic wine of Assyriac Christians and see their art pieces out of silver locally called; Telkari...
Visit the Akdamar Church located on Lake Van's island before watching the sunset by 'the sea' as called by the locals...
Through the journey from Van to Kars, Mount Agri accompanies you like you can touch right after you open your window...
Tour in the highest province of Turkey; Erzurum, and see the best examples of Seljukian architecture of East Anatolia...
Trabzon city awaits you with its rich Greek Orthodox heritage; Sumela Monastery and the Hagia Sophia of Trabzonid...
You will be dropped at the airport by Trabzon after a city tour. Don't forget to taste the local anchovy...
- Gaziantep Zeugma Mosaic Museum
- Pistachio Baklava of Gaziantep
- Mount Nemrut National Park
- Beehive houses of Harran
- The holly pool of Abraham
- Museum city Mardin
- Assyriac Monasteries of the East
- Euphrates and Tigris Rivers
- Mesopotamian Landscape
- The Lake Van and Akdamar Island
- Ishakpasa Palace
- Ani ancient city and Kars city
- Hatuniye (Twin Minaret) Madrasa in Erzurum
- Sumela Monastery and the Hagia Sophia of Trabzon
- Black Sea and the Pontic Mountains
Day 1, Arrive to Gaziantep Airport, tour of Gaziantep City and Zeugma Mosaic Museum
Gaziantep is a rapidly growing city considered the Paris of southeast Anatolia and housed the world's biggest mosaic museum. The mosaics were unearthed from Zeugma, a prosperous Roman city built by the Euphrates River banks. Being a trading outpost, Zeugma became one of the richest Roman cities in Anatolia, which is evident from the mosaics that once embellished the houses of the officials and merchants of the city. After our journey from the 21st century back to the 2nd, we will drive to Gaziantep's old city to stroll in the old bazaars and listen to the craftsmen hammering their copperware. The cuisine of Gaziantep is famous across Turkey, especially the pistachio baklava. We will check in to our hotel in Gaziantep for Overnight.
Day 2, Gaziantep to Adiyaman, Nemrut Mountain National Park in the afternoon
After breakfast at Gaziantep Hotel, we will drive to Kahta Town near the Mount Nemrut National Park. We will be wandering in the land of King Nimrod, Antiochus I Theos. The Commagene Empire was established in the southeast region of Anatolia. It is world-famous thanks to the statues and the grave of King Nimrod at the top of Mount Nemut National Park, 2250 meters above sea level. First, we visit the mound of Karaus, "blackbird" in Turkish, where the family of I Theos was buried. Our next stop will be the Severan Bridge, built in the 2nd Century and recently used for transportation by the local Turkish and Kurdish community. A tea break by the bridge is a must which is overlooking the valley. Afterward, we will start ascending to Mount Nemrut to visit Antiochus I Teos' burial sanctuary, locally known as King Nimrod. Human-made statues over 6 meters and the mound he is buried in offers magnificent photo opportunities of the South East and Mediterranean landscape. After a loop around the huge mound of King Nimrod, we will enjoy the sunset, which is listed among the "1000 things you should do before you die". When the sun finally sets over the mountains of Anatolia, we will walk down to the car park for a well-deserved hot cup of hot tea. We will meet with our driver and drive down to the Ataturk Dam banks for a fresh trout dinner. Overnight in Kahta or Adiyaman.
Day 3, Adiyaman to Sanliurfa, The World's Oldest Temple Gobeklitepe and the Beehive Houses of Harran
After breakfast at our hotel, we will start driving to the east and visit the Ataturk Dam, the biggest Middle East reservoir on top of the Euphrates River. A visit to Gobeklitepe will follow our tea break. This is an early Neolithic sanctuary that includes massive stones carved about 12,000 years ago by people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery. This is the first temple built on earth and rocking the History of Archeology today since it was built by the Hunter and Gatherer Neolithic people for religious practices. Excavations continue, and the mystery over the ancient site is revealed very slowly every year. Our next stop is Sanliurfa City for a lunch break. Afterward, we will drive to Harran village to see mud bricked houses, which will remind you of honeycombs. We will have our Arabian coffees overlooking the first university of Islam and then drive back to Sanliurfa to check in to our hotel. In the afternoon, we will walk around the holy pool of the prophet Abraham. It is called the 'Fish Lake' thanks to a special kind of carp - considered holy by the local people. After a big kebab dinner, we will get back to our hotel. Overnight near the Abrahams lake in Sanliurfa.
Day 4, Sanliurfa to Diyarbakir, The Grand Mosque of Diyarbakir and The Armenian Church of Saint Giragos
After breakfast, we will leave our hotel and drive to Diyarbakir City, one of the largest cities in southeastern Turkey situated on the Tigris River banks. We will first stop at Diyarbakir's city walls - the 2nd longest city walls on earth after the Great Wall of China. We will then browse the old city to visit the Grand Mosque of Diyarbakir, which was built in 1091. It is among the biggest grand mosques of Turkey and can accommodate 5000 worshippers at a time. You will also be able to visit one of the old Diyarbakir houses built with the basalt stone of Karacadag volcanic mountain nearby Diyarbakir city. The houses are built with a square plan with a garden in the middle and still hold their oriental splendor. We will stroll in Diyarbakir's narrow streets to get to a Caravanserai used as a social center in the middle of the old Diyarbakir. After lunch, we will be walking to see a very interesting minaret, standing in the middle of the street built on top of 4 columns. There is an active Chaldean Catholic Church near this minaret that we will also not miss. We will have the opportunity to meet with this small minority in Diyarbakir, the Chaldean Dynasty's last members. Recently renovated, The Armenian Church of Saint Giragos will be the highlight of today. We will check in to our hotel, which is actually an old Caravanserai, and overnight in Diyarbakir.
Day 5, Diyarbakir to Mardin; Monastery of Deyrulzafaran and Spectacular views of Mesopotamia
A 1,5-hour drive will take us to Mardin City, the necklace of southeast Anatolia. We will drive through Mardin's old city and arrive at Deyrulzafaran, an active Syriac Orthodox monastery. The monastery is located in the area known as Tur Abdin, the motherland of the Assyrian/Syriacs. Founded in 493 AD, the monastery was formerly the seat of the Syriac Orthodox Church's seat from 1160 until 1932 until it was relocated to Damascus. The monastery has 365 rooms - one for each day of the year. After our break in the beautiful gardens of this monastery, we will drive back to Mardin for lunch, visit the old Bazaar, and stroll in the city's narrow streets, which will take you back to the Middle Ages. This walk will worth every step once you arrive at the Grand Mosque of Mardin, with astonishing minarets and stonework. We will walk up to the Mardin's busy street and meet our driver to take us to Kasimiye madrassah, which has amazing views of the Mesopotamian plains. Close to sunset, we will check in our hotel in the old city of Mardin and overnight.
Day 6, Mardin to Tatvan visiting Midyat and Hasankeyf on the way
After our breakfast on the terraces of our hotel, we will drive 1.5 hours to get to Midyat, a smaller version of Mardin. Midyat City has always been significant for the Syriac Orthodox since it hosts the Assyrians' biggest monastery. We will first visit the Mor Gabriel Monastery, which is located on the outskirts of Midyat. It is the oldest surviving Syriac Orthodox monastery in the world. Founded in 397, Dayro d-Mor Gabriel is the most vital Syriac Orthodox monastery in Turkey, with around fifteen nuns and two monks occupying separate wings and a fluctuating number of local lay workers and guests from overseas. It is also the seat of the Metropolitan Bishop of Tur Abdin (Mardin). We will get back to the center of Midyat for a break before our drive to Hasankeyf town located by the banks of the Tigris River. The town is named after the Syriac words Kefa or Kefe, meaning rock, which is pretty well-deserved considering the ancient city's location on a rocky cliff. After a stroll in the ancient city, we will drive to Tatvan for overnight by the Lake Van
Day 7, Tatvan to Van, Akdamar Island and Armenian Cathedral of the Holy Cross
After breakfast in our hotel, we will start driving by the Lake Van, the sea of the East Anatolia, and arrive at the Akdamar Island port. A small ferry ride over Lake Van will take us to Akdamar Island, where we will visit the Holy Cross's Armenian Cathedral. Akdamar church in the local language is believed once had been home to a piece of the Holy Cross of Jesus Christ once it was taken out of Iran. Built-in the 9th Century, the Church is recently restored and converted into a beautiful museum showing us her amazing hand-carved reliefs on her walls with spectacular Lake Van views. After a lunch break by the Lake, we will continue to the modern Van city and visit the Castle of Van overlooking the Lake Van and Modern Van city. The castle was built in the 10th Century BC and had been a capital to the Urartians. Imperial burial caves with stone-carved inscriptions and a mosque on the top of the castle will be visited today. After a walk around the castle, we will drive to our hotel in the city and Overnight in Van.
Day 8, Van to Kars, Ishakpasa Palace
After our breakfast at the hotel, we will start driving to North to the Muradiye waterfalls for a tea break. Mount Ararat will start saluting us as we get closer to Dogubeyazit town. Here we will see the Ishak Pasa Palace built in the 17th Century as a palace and an administrative complex. The palace is a rare example of the Ottoman palaces whose construction took almost a century. However, it is the first central heated structure in Anatolia. The hot water was carried by clay pipes to warm up the Harem apartments of the Palace. After a visit to the palace, we will drive down to modern Dogubeyazit city for lunch. We will start driving to Kars city afterward with spectacular views of Mount Ararat and will have the opportunity to stop by the road to picture this Biblical Mountain. According to the book of Genesis, Noah's ark came to rest on top of Mount Ararat. It also plays a significant role in Armenian culture and nationalism. The mountain can be seen on the coat of arms of Armenia. Then we will drive to Kars and overnight.
Day 9, Kars to Erzurum, Sarikamis WWI Memorial, Hatuniye Madrasa and Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque
We will leave Kars to Erzurum and visit the memorial of Sarikamis, which is dedicated to the soldiers who were frozen to death on the way to Kars city on December 22, 1914. After a scenic drive, we will arrive at Erzurum city. We will be able to see beautiful examples of the Seljuks and the Ottomans in the heart of the modern Erzurum. The first stop is the Hatuniye Madrasa, which was built in the 13th Century. Our next stop before lunch is the Lala Pasha Mosque, built by the Ottomans' grand architect, Sinan. Sinan finished the structure in 1563 and was built with a relatively short minaret because of the frequent earthquakes occurring around Erzurum. Another Turkish Madrasa Yakutiye will be visited, which is an Ethnographic museum today. We will check in to our hotel in Erzurum and overnight.
Day 10, Erzurum to Trabzon, Sumela Monastery
After breakfast at our hotel, we will drive to Turkey's black sea region. Scenic drive over the Pontic Mountains will be followed by a visit to an important Greek Orthodox Monastery Complex. Nestled in a cliff at an altitude of about 1,200 meters (3,900 ft) facing the Altındere valley, Sumela Monastery is a site of great historical and cultural significance and a major tourist attraction in the Black Sea Region of Turkey. The monastery was founded in AD 386 during the reign of the Emperor Theodosius I. We can see the Rock Church, several chapels, kitchens, student rooms, a guesthouse, a library, and a sacred spring revered by Eastern Orthodox Christians. After our visit, we will have our local lunch by the streams of Altindere National Park. After a break in the National Park of Altindere, we will drive to Trabzon city and Overnight.
Day 11, Departure after tour of Trabzon
We will visit Trabzon city today after our breakfast at the hotel. The first stop is the Hagia Sophia Church of the Trabzon city. This 13th Century church is one of the few Byzantium sites that still exist in Trabzon city. Saint Sophia Church of Trabzon is one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in the region and houses beautiful Byzantium frescoes. The church is used as a mosque today; however, we can visit the church and see its intact frescoes. Our next stop will be the House of Ataturk, founder of the modern Turkish Republic. This house was built at the beginning of the 20th Century and hosted Mustafa Kemal Ataturk during his visits to Trabzon city in 1934 and 1937. The house was converted to a museum upon his death in 1938. Our next stop will be a stroll in the modern Trabzon city’s pedestrian-only street to taste street food and anchovy fish if possible. After a Turkish tea break, we will drive to Trabzon Airport for your departure.
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