The nature in Turkey is a humanized landscape inseparable from its culture. Istanbul is the only city in the world which embraces two continents, one arm reaching out into Asia, the other into Europe. Considered as a leading metropolis in the world, for culture, arts, history, trade and business. The Southeastern Anatolian region, with its very rich history and cultural heritage as shown in its magnificent historical sites, is well worth visiting. Its history begins around 7,000 BC. in the new stone age between 2,000 B.C. and 1,500 B.C.. by the Hurris who were to be followed by Hittites sometime around 1,200 B.C. Nemrut Dagi (Mt.Nemrut) is the first impressive peak rising from a flat plain in Northern Mesopotamia and stretches to a height of 2150m. It is unrivalled in its historical treasures. The original peak’ was removed and in its place was constructed the Tumulus of Antiochos I, one of the kings of Comma-gene in the first century B.C.
-Akdamar Island -Saffron Monastery
-Hasankeyf -Pool Of Abraham
Day 1 : Istanbul
Meet the group at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2 : Istanbul – Trabzon – Sumela Monastery
In the morning, transfer to the airport and fly to Trabzon, we drive to Sumela Monastery is built into a cave on the face of a cliff overlooking a verdant valley . According to legends, two monks from Athens, Barnabas and his nephew Sophronius laid the foundations for this monastery. After the death of the two monks around 412, the monastery became a holy side for both Orthodox and Caiholic Christians, After the Roman Empire split into two, Byzantine Emperor Justinian ordered the fortifications of Trabzon and expansion of the monastery and donated a rich library to the monks. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3 : Trabzon – Erzurum
In the morning , transfer to the airport and fly to Erzurum the largest city in eastern Anatolia, sprawls on a high plateau at an altitude of 1,950 meters was built as Theodosiopolis by the Byzantine. We visit Yakudiye Medrese built by Ilhan Olcayto and a Mongalian governor in the 14thcentury, significant for its outer decoration and stonework. We continue our tour in the city to visit Grand Mosque (Ulu mosque) which was built by Alaaddin Keyhusrev with seven naves and two domes. We also see Cifte minareli Medrese which was started during Alaadin Keykubat period and finished after his dead. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4 : Erzurum – Kars
We drive to Kars at an altitude of 1755m. Kars was under Russian rule between 1878 and 1917 and some urban planning was done in the city at that time. Therefore resembles typical Russian city. We journey south-east this morning towards the border with Armenia, en route we will visit the aptly named Satan’s Castle and Ardanuc Citadel both remained of the time when this land belonged to Georgia. Our main objective in coming is to visit the fascinating old site of Ani. Once a wealthy rival of Kars but now a ’’Ghost town’’ , Ani lies close to a great ravine which demarcates the border. Destroyed by the Mongol orders in 1239, within the city walls are the remnant of churches, a convent and citadel. Ruined 1000 years-old churches contain remarkable wall paintings and sculptured decorations representing some of the finest ecclesiastical architecture of the 9th and 10th centuries.
Day 5 : Kars – Dogubeyazit
In the morning drive to Dogubeyazıt (about 2h ) that is close to the Iranian border and famous with Ishakpasa Palace. Overnight at hotel. we will visit Ishakpasa Palace 6 km. from Dogubeyazıt. Ishak Pasa, Ottoman governor Ishakpasa constructed the palace in 17th century with a mixture of architectural styles. The palace was made by using red clay stones and it resembles the Topkapi and Edirne Palace.
Day 6 : Dogubeyazit – Van
We start our journey to Van (about 1.5h) En route we stop to see Muradiye Selalesi (Waterfalls), Then arrive to Van is one the most important cities of the old Vaspurakan region. It is located on the east coast of Van lake and its ancient name is Tooshpa; the Urartian capital of Tuspa. Van Lake is the largest lake in Turkey. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7 : Van – Akdamar
In the morning we visit archeological museum that exhibit some example of Ottoman and Byzantine times. After the visit transfer by boat in to the lake of Van, with its deep blue water. The largest lake in Turkey and at an altitude of 1,720 m, is ringed by beautiful mountains. You can circle the lake, one kilometers south-west of Van, Akdamar Island (a half-hour sail from shore) is the most important of these. On the island stands the 10th-century Church of the Holy Cross, Architect monk Manuel built the church between the years 915 and 921.Reliefs, depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments, daily life such as hunting, run along the exterior of the church. Overnight hotel.
Day 8 : Van – Hasankeyf – Mardin
In the morning transfer to Hasankeys ruins, the capital of artukids in 12. century. The bridge, which once spanned the Dicle (tigris) and connected the two parts of the city with ruined palace inside the citadel, evokes the ghosts of a vanished dynasty. After visit arrive to Mardin province was founded on a hill and is one of the oldest cities of the Upper Mesopotamia. Overnight hotel.
Day 9 : Mardin – Visit Saffron Monastery
We enjoy a morning in Mardin, exploring the authentic bazaars and handsome Stone architecture of the old town. From the citadel there’s a fine view over the rooftops and minarets of Mardin to the plains of Mesopotamia stretching off to the south.Later we drive a short distance to Dar-ez- Zaferan (the Saffron Monastery), an important Syrian Orthodox monastery dating back to the 5th century. Most of Mardin’s Christian population has dispersed over recent years, but despite this the monastery fields and orchards are still carefully tended and the chapel continues to hold a daily service in Aramaic, the language of Christ. Overnight hotel.
Day 10 : Drive to Sanliurfa
Today we drive westwards to Urfa, the birthplace of Abraham and on arrival we visit old Urfa and enjoy the heady atmosphere of its covered bazaar, one of the best in Turkey. Urfa was an important staging post on the ancient trade routes between Mesopotamia Anatolia and the Mediterranean coast beyond. The city remains an important centre for Christian and Muslim pilgrims alike. 2 nights hotel.
Day 11 : Visit Harran – Sanliurfa
Arrive to Harran, the ancient and glorious Edessa and Harran are places dear to Christians, Jews and Muslims. From Harran, Charan in the Bible, Abraham may have departed in search of the promised land in 1850 B.C. The Haul Rahman Cami mosque, dates from the 17th century. The mosque is surrounded by a large arched pool known as the Pool of Abraham. It is full of carp which are thought to be sacred fishes. Urfa’s archaeological museum has a fine collection of mosaics, inscriptions, panels from the Koran and Haded, Assyrian and Roman artifacts. There are unusual and fanciful beehive-shaped houses at Harran, made of mud from the local earth which was once fertile. Three polygonal towers survive on the fortress which was rebuilt by the Crusaders in the eleventh century on the site of the temple to the Moon goddess Sin. After visit return to Urfa and driving to Kahta. Overnight hotel.
Day 12 : Sanliurfa – Karakus – Nemrutdagi
In the morning we drive direction of Siverek where we will embark on our ferry to pass through Ataturk barrage. We arrive to Kahta Afternoon we visit some monuments of the region. First we visit Karakus Tepesi is actually a 21 meter high monumental tumulus, located 49 km east of Adıyaman on a hill on the western side of the Kanto River. The name Karakus (Black Bird) comes from an eagle statue that stands on a 2.54-meter high column. Then we continue the visit Cendere bridge. This ancient bridge is located 55 km from Adıyaman and Northeast of Karakus Hill at the narrowest point of the Kahta River, one of the major tributaries of the Euphrates. This structure, constructed during the period of Roman Emperor Septimus Severus is built of 92 large stones and has a large and small arch. Overnight at hotel.
Day 13 : Walk to Mt. Nemrut
In the morning we drive to Nemrut dagi via visit some ruins of Kahta. Then we check into a simple near the summit of this remarkable Nemrut mountain is the most outstanding landmark of the region. Mt. Nemrut is the highest mountain of northern Mesopotamia, reaching a height of 2150 meters. On its summit there exist the tumulus of Antiochus I, constructed in the 1st century, is one of the king of Commagene kingdom and the fact that he had his own statue built, along status of Apollo, Fortuna, Hercules and Zeus, shows that he saw himself as a divinity. Also, gigantic toppled heads of Apollo, Zeus, Hercules, Tyche and Antiochus from Greco-Persian style stone statues stand on the ground all of these date from same period.. Overnight at hotel.
Day 14 : Nemrut – Gaziantep
In the morning we drive to Gaziantep, a bustling industrial centre, is the most populous city in southeast Turkey and one of the oldest inhabited places in Anatolia, dating back to around 4000 BC. The city, capital of the province with the same name, played an important role in the region, standing on the historic Silk Road that connected The Mediterranean and Mesopotamia, where the first civilisations were born. Overnight at hotel.
Day 15 : Fly home
In the morning after breakfast transfer to the airport and fly home.