Blacksea & Eastern 15 Days
Day 1 : ISTANBUL - TRABZON
We arrive on the early flight to Trabzon, meet
our guide and drive to the Sumela Monastery. As we park our
vehicle on the skirts of the hill upon which the monastery
is built. We take a 30 minutes hike up to the monastery,
following a narrow hike path covered with pine trees. After
our visit, we hike back and drive to Trabzon, spending the
rest of the day at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Trabzon.
Day 2 : TRABZON - RIZE - TRABZON
We check out and visit St. Sophia Church before
driving to the Ataturk Museum. As we are done with our
visits in Trabzon, we drive to Rize following a spectacular
road with tea gardens on our right and the Black Sea on our
left. We visit a tea factory around Rize and drive back to
Trabzon. Dinner and overnight in Trabzon.
Day 3 : TRABZON - ERZURUM
On our way to Erzurum, we leave the Black Sea
Coast and start driving inland. This is Turkey's highest
elevated city built at 1853 m (6200 ft). More important are
the finest examples of Seljukian architecture that can be
seen here. After visiting Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque, Rustem
Pasha Bedesten, Ulu Mosque and the Cifte Minareli Medrese we
check-in our hotel where we will spend the night. Dinner and
overnight in Erzurum.
Day 4 : ERZURUM - SARIKAMIS (KARS)
After breakfast, today we drive to Ani via Kars.
Ani dates back as far as the 5th century AD and from 806 it
served as the capital of Armenia. After our visits here we
drive to Sarikamis once a favourite retreat of the Tsars of
Russia where we spend the night. Dinner and overnight in
Day 5 : SARIKAMIS - VAN
Today we head on further south to Van via
Dogubeyazit where we visit the legendary Ishakpasha Palace
built towards the end of the 18th century by a powerful
local family who were the rulers of the area. We then drive
further past Mt. Ararat which according to ancient tradition
is the mountain on which Noah's Ark rested. Ararat consists
of 2 peaks: Buyuk Agri (5165 m) and Kucuk Agri (3925 m). We
visit the Muradiye waterfalls en route. Dinner and overnight
Day 6 : VAN
After a leisurely breakfast, today we visit the
Fortress of Van and the museum. After lunch at a local
restaurant we head on to Hosap Castle and then to Cavustepe.
Dinner and overnight in Van.
Day 7 : VAN - DIYARBAKIR
Departing early, we first visit Akdamar Church
before driving further west to Diyarbakir via the 12th
century Malabadi Bridge. Dinner and overnight in Diyarbakir.
Day 8 : DAYIRBAKIR - URFA
We leave Diyarbakir and drive South to Mardin
via Tigris Bridge. On the outskirts of Mardin, we visit the
still practicing Monastery of Mar Gabriel. As we drive back
we stop for break at Mardin then drive further to Urfa where
we will spend the night. Dinner and overnight in Urfa.
Day 9 : URFA
Genesis refers to Harran as Terha, the place to
where Abraham took his wife and son Lot. It is difficult to
believe that this small settlement on the edge of the desert
was once a major economic, religious, and cultural centre.
Harran means "crossroads" and has been occupied
since at least 2000 BC. Finishing our visit to Harran, we
drive back to Urfa to see the pool and the birthplace of
Abraham. Dinner and overnight in Urfa.
Day 10 : URFA - ADIYAMAN
After breakfast, we leave Urfa and drive to
Kahta along a spectacular road, having lunch at Adiyaman. We
stop for a refreshment on the skirts of Mt. Nemrut before
our 500 meter hike to the sanctuary. This is the magnificent
funerary monument of the Commagene Antiochus I Theos. We
arrive to our hotel in the evening. Dinner and overnight in
Day 11 : ADIYAMAN - CAPPADOCIA
We take a long but pleasant drive today to
Cappadocia, the land of the fairies. Dinner and overnight in
Day 12 : CAPPADOCIA
Today we introduce you to the lunar landscape
of Cappadocia at Dervent Valley, then we head on to Zelve
Open Air Museum which is one of the earliest inhabited and
latest abandoned monastic settlements of Cappadocia. Seeing
the best examples of the fairy chimneys at Pasabag Fairy
Chimneys Valley, we drive further to Avanos where we have
lunch at a local restaurant. Goreme Open Air Museum is where
we visit the rock carved churches and colorful frescoes. We
end the day hiking up to the top of Uchisar Castle which is
the highest and the most dominant point giving us a
breathtaking panorama. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 13 : CAPPADOCIA
Today we drive a little further to the
outskirts of Cappadocia, first to descend to the centre of
the earth at Kaymakli Underground City. As we drive further
southwest we pass by Mt. Hasan to start our hike along
Ihlara Valley. Then we visit the Selime and drive back to
our hotel, giving an en route visit to Agzikarahan
Caravanserai where the medieval merchants used to stay
overnight. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 14 : CAPPADOCIA - ANKARA
Leaving the land of fairies, we drive around
the shores of Salt Lake to the capitol of Turkey: Ankara.
First we drive to the old district of the city to visit the
Anatolian Civilisations Museum. Then we will visit Ataturk's
Mausoleum where Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the
modern Turkish Republic is buried. Spend the rest of the day
at leisure, strolling down the streets of Ankara.
Day 15 : ANKARA - HOME (B)
After breakfast transfer to Ankara Esenboga
Airport and fly back Istanbul or home.
Day 10: DEPARTURE FLIGHT BACK HOME
Breakfast, then you will be met by our
representative and transferred to Istanbul Airport where you
will be assisted with your check-in and immigration
formalities for your flight back home.
Luxury hotel accommadation; Ankara on BB,
others on HB Airport / Hotel / Airport transfers
Airconditioned coach during tour Guide service during tour
All enterancess fees Parking fees
Air transportation, if not specified; airport
departure taxes; port taxes; passport expenses; visas;
laundry, wines, liquor, mineral water, and items of a
personal nature; lunch; items not on regular menus; optional
sightseeing or services not included in the itinerary;
excess baggage charges, health, accident, baggage and trip
cancellation insurance; tipping for personal service;
gratuity to guide and driver; or other items not mentioned
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Travel Turkey - 2006