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Exploring Mystic Turkey

The nature in Turkey is a humanized landscape inseparable from its culture. Nevertheless, to the outsider, nature in many parts of Turkey gives a new meaning to wilderness, because even in the most inaccessible or isolated parts(such as the high mountain tops or the secret places in the valleys ) the visitors remains with the feeling that sometimes in history this place, now wild and untended, was the home to a civilizations with settled villages and city life for nine thousand years. 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. In this tour one of the highlight is Nemrut Dagi (Mt.Nemrut) is the first impressive peak rising from a flat plain in Northern Mesopotamia and stretches to a height of 2150m.

Itinerary : 15 Days

Day 1 : Adana
Meet the group at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Overnight in hotel

Day 2 : Adana 詥rapolis 롲atepe ᤩyaman (320 km)
In the morning we drive to Castabala , one of the most important archaeological sites of the province. Only the remains of the castle, amphitheatre, Roman baths, and colonnaded street have survived. We go on driving to Karatepe is located in ancient Cilicia within the borders of present day Osmaniye. In the late Hittite period, Karatepe served as a military base and as a summer palace of King Asitawandas. The longest Hittite inscriptions have been discovered at Karatepe, along with its Aramaic language Translations, written in the Phoenician alphabet. The discovery was important because it enabled archaeologists to decipher Hittite hieroglyphics. After visiting we drive to Adiyaman. Overnight in Adiyaman

Day 3 : Adiyaman - Nemrut Dagi - Urfa (110 km)
In the morning we drive to Mt. Nemrut is the most outstanding landmark of the region, 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 , 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. Then we continue the visit Karakus Tepesi is actually a 21 meter high monumental tumulus, located 49 km east of Ad᭡n 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, 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. Drive to Urfa. Overnight hotel

Day 4 : Urfa 衲ran
In the morning, explore Urfa and 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. Urfaࡲchaeological 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. Overnight at hotel.

Day 5 : Urfa - Diyarbakir- Van ( 550 km )
Today, we start our long journey by passing through Diyarbakir 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 6 : Van - Dogubeyazit (170 km )
In the morning , we go to 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.The Church, consecrated in honour of the holy cross. Reliefs, depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments, daily Iife such as hunting, run along the exterior of the church. We take our bus and transfer to Dogubeyazit that is close to the Iranian border and famous with Ishakpasa Palace. Overnight at hotel.

Day 7 : Dogubeyazit ᮩ 롲s (190 km)
In the morning we will visit Ishakpasa Palace 6 km. from Dogubeyaz͊ . 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. We drive to Ani to visit the fascinating old site of Ani. Also we have an arranged side-trip to explore the old Armenian ruins of Ani, some 56 km away. Once a wealthy rival of Kars but now a 稯st townथstroyed 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. We continue driving to Kars. Overnight Kars.

Day 8 : Visit ing Kars - Artvin (200 km )
In the morning we will visit the museum of Kars exhibit some antiquity example of Branze times, some ceramic example of Seljuk times etc. We explore the town dominated by a medieval fortress built in 1152 it was the scene of bitter fighting during and after WW1 and is still an active military base. We journey south-east this morning towards the border with Armenia and to the harsh and isolated garrison town of Kars. En route we will visit the aptly named Satanástle and Ardanuc Citadel both remained of the time when this land belonged to Georgia. Kars is a commercial hub as well as an administrative centre. Afternoon we drive to Artvin. Overnight in Artvin.

Day 9 : Artvin - Erzurum ( 240 km )
Artvin is a charming city with beautiful Turkish houses. Artvin area is the best place for touring remains of the Georgian past; its wonderfully scenic roads lead to the ruined churches and settlements that stand as a legacy of this period. We drive to Erzurum is the hub of eastern Anatolia, and has been an important centre of civilisation for centuries because of its natural and geo strategic position. Many Ottoman and Seljuk monuments, tombs and mosques stand in Erzurum province and the neighbouring areas. We visit Cifte Minareli medrese, with twin minarets is an architectural masterpiece due to its plan and decorations, built by either Hundi Hatun, daughter of Seljuk Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat or by Padizdi Hatun of the ݬhanl乮asty. Overnight hotel in Erzurum

Day 10 : Erzurum 㵭ela - Trabzon ( 285 km )
In the morning 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. After visiting we arrive to Trabzon, stretches along the eastern Black Sea coast of Turkey. The province is rich in Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman sites. Overnight in Trabzon

Day 11 : Trabzon - Giresun - Tokat ( 380 km )
In the morning we start our city tour and our first stop is Ayasofya ( Hagia Sophie) Located in a monastery complex in the western part of the city of Trabzon, the church was built between 1238- 1263 by King Manuel I .The chapel with four columns and three apses, located in the north, is older than the church. We drive to Tokat via Giresun it was the city , ancient Cerasos, that the roman general Lucullus exported the first cherry trees to Europe. AB 18th century church (now a museum) makes a short visit worthwhile. Overnight Tokat

Day 12 : Tokat - Sivas ( 100 km )
Tokat has many Suljuk and Ottoman monuments . We visit the highlights of the city , Gok Medrese, is one of the finest building , now a museum. After visiting we drive to Sivas, was an important commercial centre stood, during the Middle Ages, at the junction of the caravan routes to Persian and Baghdad. The remaining architectural monuments reflect Sivas͊ former prominent position. Cifte Minareli Medrese, the structure is located at the city centre. The structure has rectangular plan and only the frontal section and the minarets are still standing in the present day. The structure has the biggest portal among the other theological schools in Anatolia. Overnight in Sivas

Day 13 : Sivas - Bogazkoy (Hattutas) (200km)
Our first stop is Alacahoyuk, was the centre of the flourishing Hattian culture during the Bronze Age. Alacahoyuk is an important archaeological ruin place that remains to present day are dated back to Hittite period. Alacahoyuk has an open - air museum status with its magnificent gate containing sphinxes, its religion and government buildings like temple - palace complex and other architectural ruins. We continue the visiting Bogazkoy (Hattutas), the capital city of Hittite civilisation the first to build an organised State in Anatolia, has an important place in Anatolian archaeology too. The largest ruins are those of the great temple of the storm god, Tesup. The Acropolis contained government buildings, the Imperial Place and the archive of the Hittite Empire. Overnight in Bogazkoy

Day 14 : Bogazkoy - Ankara (100 km )
In the morning we drive to Ankara the capital city of Turkey. Enroute we visit Yazilikaya, an open air rock pantheon dating from 13th century B.C contains fine reliefs of all the Hittite gods . we arrive to Ankara is the city selected by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the republicযunder. Though thoroughly modern in appearance, Ankara਩story and that of the surroundings area dates back to the Bronze age to the Hatti civilisation. We visit Anatolian Civilisation Museum and its priceless collection of Paleolithic, Neolithic, Hatti, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian and Roman artifacts. Overnight in Ankara.

Day 15 : Return
Transfer to the airport and fly home.

Season :
April to October

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