Hidden Turkey 22 Days

Hidden Turkey 22 Days   Hidden Turkey 22 Days tour

Istanbul  Trabzon  Erzurum  Kars  Ani  Dogubeyazıt  Van  Mardin  Urfa  Nemrud  Cappadocia  Konya  Antalya  Pamukkale  Aphrodisias  Ephesus  Pergamum  Troy  Gallipoli  Istanbul

Main Sites visited: Istanbul, Trabzon, Erzurum, Kars, Ani, Doğubeyazıt, Van, Mardin, Urfa, Nemrud, Cappadocia, Konya, Antalya, Hierapolis, Pamukkale,  Aphrodisias, Ephesus, Pergamum, Troy

Itinerary (You may also join this tour on the 4th day without Istanbul)

Day 1
Arrival in Istanbul and meeting at the airport, transfer to the hotel, check- in. Leisure afternoon.
Overnight Istanbul.

Day 2 – Sultanahmet – Old Istanbul (B)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 09:00am
Visit The St. (Haghia) Sophia, which was built by the Emperor Justinian. It was the largest building in the world for over 1000 years. See its intricate mosaics and huge central dome. Continue to the Topkapi palace, which was used by the Ottoman Sultans from the 15th to 19th centuries. We will also see the impressive collection of priceless jewels, crystal, silver and porcelain, robes worn by the sultans and relics of the prophet Mohammed.(Entrance to the Harem is extra). After lunch we will see the Blue Mosque,
built for Sultan Ahmet I, which is a unique piece of architecture with its six minarets and features 20,000 beautiful Iznik tiles. Visit the ancient Hippodrome with Obelisk of Theodosius, Snake Pillar and German Fountain of Wilhelm II. Walk through the back streets of Old Istanbul and visit the Yerebatan underground Cistern. See the Grand Covered Bazaar (except Sundays). *May be done as a walking tour if your hotel is centrally located.  Overnight Istanbul.

Day 3 – Bosphorus Cruise with Beylerbeyi (B)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:45am
Visit the exotic Egyptian Spice Market on the Golden Horn. Board your cruise of the Bosphorus, the waterway, which separates the continents of Europe and Asia. Pass Rumeli fortress, built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 to prepare for his conquest of Istanbul. We will visit the museum of Sadberk Hanim, which has an excellent private collection of artifacts dating back to the prehistoric period and an ethnographic section housed in an old Ottoman building.  After lunch in a seaside fish restaurant, cross over the Bosphorus Bridge to Asia and visit Beylerbeyi Palace, which was the summer residence of the Ottoman Sultans, then on to Camlica Hill, for a magnificent view of Istanbul. Cruise is done by public boat unless other arrangements are made. Overnight Istanbul.

Day 4  Istanbul- Trabzon (B.D)
Pick-up from hotel 2 hours before flight departure.
Transfer to airport in the morning and fly to Trabzon. Arrival and transfer to your hotel. Visit to Sümela Monastery,  is a spectacular rock-hewn monastery perched dramatically on the narrow ledge of a steep cliff in the forests south of Trabzon. It was built in the fourth century, just before the Roman Empire split into east and west, by two Athenian priests, Barnabas and Sophronius, who, according to legend, found a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary in a cave. Overnight Trabzon.

Day 5- Trabzon- Erzurum (B.D)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:30am
Drive  along the Silk Route through the Zigana Mountains which will take us to Karaca Cave that is considered to be the most beautiful in Turkey for its colors and formations. Continue to Erzurum via Bayburt where we check-in for overnight stay in Erzurum. Visit Cifte Minare and Yakutiye Medrese. Free time in Rustem Pasha Bedesten, devoted manufacture and sale of Oltutas jewelry. Overnight Erzurum

Day 6  Erzurum  Kars  Ani (B.D)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:30am
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 Sarikamis.

Day 7  Kars- Doğubeyazıt  Van (B.D)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:30am
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 in Van

Day 8  Van (B.D)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:30am
After a leisurely breakfast, we first visit Akdamar Island on which an 11th Century Armenian Monastery is situated with beautiful architecture on by the Lake Van. Continue with  Tusba Castle. After lunch at a local restaurant we head on  to Cavustepe. Dinner and overnight in Van

Day 9  Van  Mardin (B.D)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:30am
Early departure for the longest bus ride of the tour (7:30 am – 3:30 pm). Drive west from Van around the southern end of Lake Van to Bitlis, then southwest to Mardin near the Iraqian border. We travel via Bitlis and Ahlat where we will visit the Conic Tombs of Seljuk-Turkish period. Overnight Mardin.

Day 10  Mardin  Urfa (B.D)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:30am
Mardin: located on a high hill overlooking the plains of southern Turkey and Syria. After breakfast, we will visit Deir-Al-Zafaran (the Saffron Monastery), center of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchy and still an active monastery. After lunch drive to Hasankeyf, situated by the Tigris river. Soon to be submerged under the flood waters of a new dam on the Tigris,   Hasankeyf   has hundreds of caves, hidden waterways, tombs, a larger and smaller Palace, as well as ruins of the Great Mosque. Drive to Urfa for Overnight

Day 11  Urfa  Kahta (Nemrud) (B.D)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:30am
Visit the Mevlid Halil Mosque, the Cave of Prophet Abraham, then the sacred fish pool. You will have a chance to wander in the Old Bazaar. � Continue to Harran, city of the prophet Abraham. See the fortress, Islamic school and curious beehive-shaped adobe houses. Drive to Kahta and overnight Kahta.

Day 12  Nemrud  Cappadocia. (B.L)
Early departure up to the ruins (at about 03:30am), After get off the minibus twenty five minutes climbing on foot to the top where you will watch the beautiful sun rise between the colossal size statues and heads of the kings and Gods. After sun rise time to walk around and taking pictures. Then drive back to the hotel for breakfast. Drive to Kahta, on the way visit the ruins of the arsemia Roman bridge of Cendere and Tumulus Tomb of Karakus. Drive to Kahraman Maras to have world famous ice-cream, then drive to Cappadocia for overnight

Day 13  Cappadocia: (B.L)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 09:30am
Tour to Kaymaklı Underground City, one of the most interesting underground settlements in Cappadocia. Soğanlı Valley, an Open Air Museum in a wild natural setting near a typical Cappadocian village with its different style Rock-Cut churches and frescoes. Villages in the valleys, surrounded by the “table top” mountains, are spectacular. Lunch and Visit to Sahinefendi newly discovered (01 May 2002) mosaic houses & Archaeological excavation site
Continue with Keslik Monastery near Cemil, that hides its frescoes behind a very thin smoke layer which we can only see by torch light. Our tour finishes with a visit to Mustafapaşa (Sinasos), an old Greek town with its spectacular old Greek houses; very fine examples of late Greek settlements and architecture.  Overnight Cappadocia
Optional Whirling Dervishes
The name Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi stands for Love and ecstatic flight into the infinite

Day 14 – Cappadocia (B.L) – Meeting at the hotel reception at 09:30am
In the morning, first meeting with the lunar landscape of Cappadocia: rock formations beyond belief in Devrent valley; a journey in the past with its  troglodyte houses, visit to Pasabag “fairy chimneys” where the voice of  wind mixes with the “songs of fairies” near Zelve.
Optional Hot air ballooning with sunrise,
Once in a lifetime experience in Cappadocia

Lunch in Avanos, centre of  terra cotta work of art since 3000 BC. and a demonstration in a traditional pottery  workshop. Afternoon, visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum and see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia in rock-cut churches with frescoes and paintings (10th to 13th century). Continue to Uchisar Rock-Castle to have a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia.  Overnight Cappadocia

Day 15 – Cappadocia – Konya- Antalya (B)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:30am
Drive to Konya, en route, visit to Sultanhani Caravanserai, roadside inn where travelers could rest and recover from the day’s journey. Caravanserai is supported the flow of commerce, information and people across a network of trade routes of Asia, North Africa and South-Eastern Europe on the legendary Silk Road and the Spice road. In Konya center, visit to Mevlana Sufi temple. Mevlana is the founder of Sufism and whirling Dervishes. Overnight Antalya..

Day 16 – Antalya (B)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 09:30am
Visit to Perge – Aspendos and Kursunlu waterfalls or Antalya Museum .Overnight Antalya

Day 17 – Antalya – Pamukkale ( B-D)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:30am
Drive to Pamukkale. Discovery of Travertine terraces and Hierapolis. The travertine terraces at Pamukkale are one of the most spectacular natural wonders we ever have seen from various mineral springs in a vast white cliff side, about 200 m overlooking the plain, calcite-laden waters have dripped down over a series of terraced levels and created a fairyland of bizarre solidified cascades and shell-shaped basins. It looks like creations from snow or like balls from cotton, which gave the scenery the Turkish name Pamukkale (cotton castle): “pamuk” for cotton and “kale” for castle. Moreover the water in the basins is changing its color according to how the light enters Overnight Pamukkale

Day 18- Pamukkale – Kusadasi (B.D)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 09:00am
Drive to Ephesus, on the way, visit to Aphrodisias. Aphrodisias was primarily known as a center for the arts, specifically sculpture. The Aphrodisias School of Sculpture had a distinctive style and was very well circulated throughout the Greek and Roman world. Overnight Near Ephesus

Day 19 – Ephesus (B.D)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 09:00am
Visit to the ancient city of Ephesus. We will spend several hours walking in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, Caesar, Cicero, Apostles Paul and John and many other familiar historical names. The recently opened Terrace Houses (entry extra) where the wealthiest Romans lived are an excellent example of sensitive excavation and presentation. The mosaics and frescos are spectacular. Tradition has it that Virgin Mary was brought here by St John after the Crucifixion and lived her final years near the city of Ephesus on an isolated mountaintop. A lovely chapel is constructed on the site tended by Franciscans and open to visitors. It has been designated a pilgrimage site by the Pope. Visit to temple of Artemis to see the remains of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Overnight Near Ephesus

Day 20 – Ephesus – Assos (Troy) (B.D)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:00am
Drive to Troy , visit Pergamon or Pergamum that became an important kingdom during the Hellenistic period, Pergamon had the second best library in the ancient Greek civilization (the ancient Library of Pergamum), after Alexandria. When the Ptolemies stopped exporting papyrus, partly because of competitors and partly because of shortages, the Pergamenes invented a new substance to use in codices, called pergaminus or parchment after the city. This was made of fine calf skin, a predecessor of vellum. Asclepion, located to the southwest of the lower city, was a sanctuary dedicated to the god of health, Asclepics which was one of the largest hospitals in history, is located to the west of the city, which was a great center of culture, art and medicine. Overnight Çanakkale near Troy.

Day 21  Assos  (Troy) – Istanbul (B)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:00am
Visit Troy in the morning. Troy (Truva) – 4000 years old Ancient City Troy, popular with the Trojan War and Trojan horse is a city which existed over4000 years and known as the center of ancient civilizations. Many years, people believed that it was the city in tales and never existed until it was first found. At this time it was known as Ilium or New Ilium. Today Troy or New Ilium places in Hisarlik at Canakkale. The remains of the city  the remains from the thieves and destructors – can be visit in here. Transfer to Istanbul. Overnight Istanbul
Day 22  (B)
Pick-up from hotel 2 hours before flight departure.
Connect to your international flight and leave Turkey.

INCLUDING:
- Airport transfers where needed.
- Tours and transfers by a comfortable non smoking AC Van or bus with  professional driver.
- Professional experienced guide during the tours
- Accommodation in Charming or Deluxe superior Hotels
- Flight from Istanbul to Trabzon
- Flight from Kayseri  to Istanbul
- Entry fees to the sites and museums

EXCLUDING
- Dinner- Lunch
- International flights
- Drinks
- Tips.

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