Dimonds of Eastern Anatolia 15 Nights – 16 Days (TOUR 14)
Day 1: İstanbul
Arrival İstanbul, transfer to Hotel. Overnight in İstanbul.
Day 2: İstanbul & Trabzon
Flight from İstanbul to Trabzon. Visit Aya Sofya 13th century Byzantine masterpiece; Gülbahar Hatun Mosque. After lunch, rive into cool Mountain pine forests for a visit to Sümela Monastery. Dinner and overnight in Trabzon.
Day 3: Trabzon & Erzurum
Morning departure for Erzurum, then drive through breathtalking mountain scenery and via the famous Zigana pass. Early afternoon, arrival and tout the city’s highlights, including the Three Tombs, Twin Minarets, the Ulu Camii (Great Mosque) built in 1179.
Dinner and Overnight at Oral Hotel or Dilaver.
Day 4: Erzurum, Ani & Doğubeyazıt
Morning drive to Ani via Kars. Begin your sightseeing by visiting the Kars Museum and then continue onward to Ani to see its decorated medieval churches. Return to Kars for lunch. Afternoon drive to Doğubeyazıt, in the shadow of Mt. Ararat where the Noah’s Ark is clairmed to have settled. Dinner and Overnight at Simer Hotel.
Day 5: Doğubeyazıt & Van
Begin the day with a visi to the beautiful 18th century hilltop palace of İshak Pasha. Then drive south to Van. Enroute you will have opportunity to take pictures of Lake Van and nomads. After arrival, check in to your hotel and rest of the day is at leisure.
Dinner and overnight at Urarto Hotel.
Day 6: Van
Full day tour of the city and its environs including the local museum with its collection of Urartion inscriptions and statuary retrieved from the citadel as well as Toprak Kalesi and stop is Akdamar Island to visit its 10th century church. Dinner and Overnight at Urartu Hotel.
Day 7: Van & Diyarbakır
In the morning depart for Diyarbakır. In the afternoon tour its massive black basalt city walls, unusual Arab style mosques and the Museum of Diyarbakır. Dinner and Overnight at Demir Hotel.
Day 8: Diyarbakır, Harran & Şanlıurfa
Drive southwest to Harran, a village of spellbinding mud-brick beehive houses mentioned in the Book of Genesis. Then drive to Şanlıurfa known to Crusaders as Edessa. First visit Abraham’s Cave and the pools of holy carp surrounding it. Dinner and overnight at Harran Hotel.
Day 9: Mt. Nemrut & Şanlıurfa
In the morning drive to Kahta and up the slopes of Nemrut Dağı to see the great temples built by the King of Commagene. Return to Şanlıurfa for dinner and overnight at Harran Hotel.
Day 10: Şanlıurfa & Adana
In the morning depart for Adana, called Danunas in ancient times. Enroute visit Karatepe which lays its claim to fame as the first place where first Hittite writing was discovered. Dinner and Overnight at Seyhan Hotel.
Day 11: Adana & Cappadocia
Early morning departure for drive to Cappadocia. Enrounte stop at Tarsus to see the Cleopatra Gate and St. Paul’s well, then rive through the Tarsus Mountains changing scenery and landscape offer plenty of photography opportunity. Latte aftermoon arrival and check in to your Hotel. Dinner and Overnight at Dedeman hotel, or Smilar.
Day 12: Cappadocia
Full day tour to the richest of this incredible moonscape of Cappadocia including the Göreme. Open Air Museum with its dozens of painted cave churches, the pottery,making village of Avanos and Byzantine Monastic complex of Zelve and the Underground city at Kaymaklı built in the 7th century by the early inhabitants of the region to escape from invading Armies. Evening enjoy your optional dinner with folk dance performance. Dinner and overnight at Dedeman Hotel, or Smilar.
Day 13: Cappadocia, Kayseri & İstanbul
In the morning after breakfast departure for Ankara. Upon arrival visit Ankara
which was once a Hittite town then Roman city now the Capital of Turkey. Visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations which is housed in a restored Bedesten, housing artifacts from Turkey’s twelve great civilization hen Atatürk Mausoleum. Dinner and overnight in Ankara.
Day 14: Ankara & İstanbul
In the morning after breakfast departure for İstanbul. Arrival and transfer to hotel. Overnight in İstanbul.
Day 15: İstanbul
Full day tour in İstanbul and visiting to the spectacular Topkapı, the Medieval Seraglio or palace of the Sultan. Now filled with exquisine treasures and its romantic Harem. Then walk across the Byzantine Hippodrome where chariot races were held, the Byzantine Undergrount cistern with its 336 columns and then St. Sophia Church. Next visit the famous Mosque of Sultan Ahmet (Blue Mosque) Overnight in İstanbul.
Transfer to the Airport for flight back Home.