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Address: Sobek Travel
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Mesopotamia tour : Turkey and Syria


Mesopotamia was known as the land between two rivers, the Tigris to the north and the Euphrates to the South. Many of the civilisations lived in this region and left many ruyins. Today we will discover some of them. 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.

Program 15 days:

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

Day 2 : Adana 詥rapolis 롲atepe - Hatay
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. Transfer to Hatay for Overnight.

Day 3: Turkey: Syria; Latakia
In the morning we visit Hatay Archeology Museum, the museum is the second place in the world with its richness in mosaic collection and in the third place with its richness of coin collection. Various jewelry, statues, tombs and archeological findings belonging to various periods. We go on the visit Saint Piere Church is an important center for faith tourism and the first Catholic Church of the world, Saint Pierre church is an important place in the history of Christianity and is also one of the four great Patriarchate centers in the world. We drive to Latakia in Syria (186 km). Latakia is situated on the Ras Ziyarah promontory and has an excellent harbour, and is the most important port of Syria. Latakia has its name from Laodicea, the mother of the Greek ruler Seleuces 2 (3rd century BCE). Overnight in Latakia.

Day 4 : Latakia 餬eb- Aleppo
We visit close to Latakia Idleb and Ebla are the better known attraction cities in the area. Idleb boasts an excellent museum and hotel making a trip there worth while. Not far from here is Ebla, whose history dates back to 2400 BC. Fifteen thousand clay tablets, showing the first alphabet and signs of international trade were unearthed in the 1970's opening a new chapter in the history of civilization. After visit we drive to Aleppo to spend to night. Overnight hotel

Day 5 : Aleppo - Al Raqqa
Aleppo s is the second capital of Syria (350 km north of Damascus), and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in history. Abraham is said to have camped on the acropolis which, long before his time, served as the foundation of a fortress (where the Aleppo citadel is standing now). He milked his grey cow there, hence Aleppo's name: "Halab al-Shahba". After visit drive to Raqqa is an ancient city built by Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C. In 662 the Caliph Mansur built, on the ruins of Raqqa, a new city imitating the style of Baghdad which he called "Rafiqa". Invaded by the Mongols in the 12th century. Raqqa has few remains left from that period. These were built by the Caliph Harun al-Rashid in the Abbasside age. Some remains of ancient Raqqa survive today. Those built in pink tile reflect a particular style of architecture. Of the Jam'I al-Kabir (the Great Mosque), there remains only the minaret, which was reconstructed by Nur al-Din in 1166. Pottery and glass were famous and there is a museum in the city which contains many relics of ancient Raqqa. Raqqa is beginning to flourish again, and to play an important economic role (after the building of the Euphrates Dam) in the life of Modern Syria. Overnight hotel

Day 6 : Turkey : Harran - Urfa
Transfer to the borders of Turkey. 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. 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 7 : Urfa rut
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. Overnight hotel

Day 8 : Diyarbakir
We drive to Diyarbakir known in ancient times as Amida, spreads across a basalt plateau close to the banks Dicle river. The black basalt triple walls which encircle the old town give the city a rather ominous appearance These ramparts, 5,5 km IM length, with 16 keeps and five gates. We will visit the Ulu Mosque , built by the Seljuk sultan Melik Shah, is notable for its original plan and for its utilization of Byzantine and more ancient architectural materials . The mihrap of the nearby Mesudiye Medrese is made of the local black basalt. The third century Aramaic Church of the Virgin Mary which is still in use today. Overnight at hotel.

Day 9 : Diyarbakir �din
Mardin province was founded on a hill and is one of the oldest cities of the Upper Mesopotamia. Mardin Castle: This castle was constructed by Hamdani nation in AD 975 - 976 years. There is a mosque, bath, dungeon and numerous warehouses inside the castle. Only 7 km east of Mardin is the Syriac ꡣobite Monastery of Deyrulzaferan which was once a thriving religious community. Ulu Mosque is one of the best example of artukid architecture, has superb mihrap reliefs and beautiful portal. Overnight in Mardin

Day 10 : Hasankeys ⩴lis
In the morning we visit Hasankeys ruins , the capital of artukids in12 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.
We take our bus and transfer to Bitlis has a rich, varied past in eastern Anatolia. Bitlis was under the domination of the Assyrians until the 7th century BC and under the Meds until the 6th century BC. Later, after the formation of the Persian Kingdom, Darius II conquered the province. Until the seventh century, it was governed by autonomous princes under Byzantine rule. It was eventually conquered by the Turks. Overnight hotel.

 

Day 11 : Bitlis - Van
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. 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 12 : Van 䯧ubeyazit
Drive to Dogubeyazനat is close to the Iranian border and famous with Ishakpasa Palace. Overnight at hotel. We will visit Ishakpasa Palace 6 km. from Dogubeyazshak 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. Overnight hotel

Day 13 : Ani Ruins 롲s
In the morning we will visit the museum of Kars exhibit some antiquity example of Bronze 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, en route we will visit the aptly named Satan͊ 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 稯st townଠAni 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. Overnight hotel

 

Day 14 : Erzurum 鳴anbul
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. Transfer to the airport and fly to ݳtanbul. Overnight hotel


Day 15 : home
Transfer to the airport and Fly home

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