Eastern Turkey Explorer - 10 days

FROM USD $6,299

Set out on a unique adventure into Turkey's lesser visited eastern side. Journey along the famous Silk Road, explore ancient ruins on the peak of Mount Nemrut and discover the famous beehive houses of Hannan. End your trip with a visit to beautiful Akdaman Island and the sophisticated city of Van.

Day 1: Istanbul
Once you have arrived into Istanbul, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore the city or relax at the hotel. Overnight - Istanbul (D)
Day 2: City tour and flight to Kayseri
Istanbul – Cappadocia. Today you embark on an informative tour of Turkey’s biggest city. You’ll explore the Istanbul’s most famous sights including the Topkapi Palace, St Sophia Church and the Blue Mosque. Later transfer to the airport for your flight to Kayseri and onward transfer to Cappadocia Overnight - Cappadocia (B, D)
The amazing lunar like landscape of Cappadocia
Day 3: Lunar-like Cappadocia
Today you’ll explore the incredible lunar-like landscape and underground troglodyte villages of Cappadocia including some time spent at the Goreme Open Air Museum. The Museum is famed for its churches that were carved from the soft volcanic stone by Christian monks in 1000-1200AD. Overnight - Cappadocia (B, D)
The ruins at the peak of Mount Nemrut
Day 4: Journey the Silk Road
Capadocia – Karatay Han – Kahta. Today you head out across Turkey’s hinterland following the ancient Silk Road to Kahta and the magnificent funerary monument on the peak of Mt Nemrut. Along the way you stop at Karatay Han, one of the best preserved caravanserais in the region. Overnight - Kahta (B, D)
Day 5: Ataturk Dam
Mount Nemrut – Ataturk Dam – Hannan - Urfa. After breakfast you will pay a visit to the massive Ataturk Dam before continuing on to Urfa, the ancient city of prophets. In Urfa you visit the sites associated with Abraham including the cave-shrine where he was supposedly born and the sacred pools visited by pilgrims. Later visit the famous beehive houses of Harran where Abraham himself once lived. Overnight - Sanli Urfa (B, D)
Some of the many ruins at Gobekli Tepe in Eastern Turkey
Day 6: Gobekli Tepe
Urfa - Gobekli Tepe - Diyarbekir. This morning you will proceed to the ongoing archaeological dig at Gobekli Tepe to see the carved ritual pillars. Continuing on, you will reach the ancient settlement of Diyarbakir, home to one of the world’s longest continuous defensive walls. Overnight - Diyarbekir (B, D)
Day 7: Monks and ruins!
Diyarbekir - Mardin - Tatvan. Arriving at the ancient town of Mardin, located on a high hill overlooking the plains of southern Turkey and Syria, you visit the Deir-Al-Zafaran (Saffron Monastery). An active monastery and the centre of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchy, the site of the Saffron Monastery has been considered sacred for hundreds of years. You later drive to Hasankeyf to visit the many caves, hidden waterways, tombs and palaces, as well as the ruins of the Great Mosque. Situated by the Tigris River, Hasankeyf is soon to be submerged under the flood waters of a new dam. You continue on to Tatvan for the night. Overnight - Tatvan (B, D)
The perfectly preserved Armenian Church on Lake Van's Akdamar Island
Day 8: Beautiful Akdamar Island
Tatvan - Van. After breakfast you begin your journey to the sophisticated city of Van. Along the way you will visit the beautifully restored 10th century Armenian Church of the Holy Cross on the island of Akdamar. The church was built as part of a palace and religious complex between 915 and 921 by an Armenian king, and enjoys a stunning mountain setting on Lake Van. From Akdamar you continue to Van city. Overnight - Van (B, D)
The imposing citadel in Van
Day 9: Hosap Castle
Today you follow the Silk Road once again to Hosap Castle. The main castle structure of Hosap was built straddling the Silk Road and served as both a means of protecting the road and as a point of charging tolls on travellers. From Hosap we return to Van where you will have time for lunch. We end the day with a visit to the Citadel of Van to enjoy sunset. Dominating the city’s skyline atop a large rock outcrop, the 3,000 year-old castle was once the centre of the Urartian capital and commands wonderful panoramic views of the city and lake, as well as Mt. Nemrut. Overnight - Van (B, D)
Day 10: Van
Hotel check out and airport departure transfer. (B)
Tour Details
  • Starts in: Istanbul / Ends in: Van
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:9, Lunch: 0, Dinner: 9
  • Hotel Rating: Superior (standard and deluxe available on request)
  • Tour Guide: Yes - for included sightseeing
The On The Go Theatre
Highlights of Turkey and the evocative ANZAC day dawn service

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