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Welcome to Istanbul and the start of your eye opening journey! 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.
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.
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.
Today you head out across Turkey’s hinterland following the ancient Silk Road witnessing spectacular scenery 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today we will take you out to the surrounding mountains to enjoy particular scenic spots and hiking in the surrounding to take in the incredible views.
Sadly your journey has come to an end, we will transfer you to Van Airport in time for the morning flight to Istanbul, where on arrival you can transit to your flight home.
The earliest settle of Kusadasi dates back to the Leleges people in 3000BC and all through the ages, Kusadasi was ...