GRAND MAGICAL TURKEY

29 Days / 28 Nights

Questions? Booking In

Mr. Ali Cakar

+90 212 254 15 21

tours@visitturkeynow.com

Tour Rates

Superior Class Hotels

Type

In Double Room

Single Suppl.

Price

 780 USD

100 USD

First Class Hotels

Type

In Double Room

Single Suppl.

Price

 980 USD

190 USD

 

This tour is only available with at least 10 participants

                                  Tour and Tour Information are subject to change.

Day 1 - Istanbul (D)

You are scheduled to arrive in Istanbul's Ataturk airport just before noon. After clearing customs you will be met by your guide. There will be a short drive to a 5-star hotel where there will be some time to rest and settle in. We will have an early dinner at a nice local Turkish restaurant. All dinners in Istanbul will be at nice local Turkish restaurants.

Day 2 - Istanbul (B)

Please refer to Day 28 and 29 for this day's activities.

Day 3 - Ankara (B) (L) (D)

We will depart on a scenic drive to Ankara, the capital of Turkey since 1923. We will visit the magnificent Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. This particular museum contains relics from Çatal Hoyuk, one of the earliest known human communities up through the Roman Classical Period. We will also pay a visit to the Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey. This beautiful landmark is perched atop a hill with a panoramic view of the city. We will also stop by the Museum of Ethnography, if it is re-opened. This recently restored museum has a fine collection of Seljuk and Ottoman art, craft work, musical instruments, weapons, folk costumes, jeweler and household items. 

Day 4 - 5 – 6  Cappadocia (B) (L) (D)

We will stop frequently for breaks, during the four hours drive to Cappadocia. While in Cappadocia, we will enjoy the unique landscapes of wind and rain eroded volcanic formations. Carved directly into stone, Cappadocia’s amazing subterranean cities include ancient underground churches and cities hand-hewn from solid rock by early Christians. We will visit handicraft shops as well as enjoy a folk dance and belly-dancing performance while we wine and dine in an underground cabaret. We will also visit a Caravan-Saray, an ancient caravan motel. We will have wonderful strolls and go off the "tourist track" discovering the unknown. While in Cappadocia we will enjoy an excellent lecture and demonstration on Turkish carpets and kilims. Our stay in Cappadocia will be at a special class hotel. (Some other sites we will visit in Cappadocia are Gumusler monastery and Soganli-sites, not visited by other tour companies). We will also visit Kanesh, a city near Kayseri, where we will visit the 4000 years old Hatti and Hittite ruins.

Day 7 – 8 Amasya (B) (L) (D)

We will drive to visit the Hittite ruins at Hattusas, the capital city of the Hittite Empire. At this site we will follow the ancient city wall constructed nearly 3400 years ago and see the ruins of the Great Temple of the Storm God, the Lion Gate, the King Gate (guarded by a relief of the Hittite War God), and the Great Fortress. We will depart Hattusas and continue on to Amasya, the one time capital of the Pontic Empire. - It is a lovely little town nestled in a small mountain valley formed by the Green River. Some of the most striking features of Amasya are the tombs of the Kings of Pontus carved into the high cliffs surrounding the city. While in Amasya we will stay at a tourist class hotel, yet the best available. We will have the opportunity to interact with the Turkish people, visit nearby villages, and stroll in local bazaars.

Day 9 – 10  Trabzon (B) (L) (D)

Today we will drive from Amasya to the beautiful wooded coast of the Black Sea. We will follow the coastline from Samsun to Trabzon. The scenery on this drive is breath taking. The following day we will visit the Sumela Monastery and enjoy a lovely picnic nearby. This monastery is from the Byzantine Era of Turkey's history. One of the remarkable features of this site is that it is carved into a cliff face! With lush, green vegetation throughout the region, this area is a very unique part of Turkey. Hazel nut and tea plantations are the major contributors to this region's agricultural exports. Trabzon is an ancient Black Sea port with its recorded history dating back to 746 B.C. While in Trabzon we will stay at a tourist class hotel, it is the best available.

Day 11 - Erzurum (B) (L) (D)

From Trabzon we will drive seven hours to Erzurum, with many stops. This is a very beautiful drive following various rivers throughout. We will have an early lunch in Hopa. Erzurum rests at a base altitude of 6600 ft. Although it is somewhat remote, it is one of the largest cities in eastern Turkey. Despite its size, the people maintain quite a conservative outlook. One obvious result is that you will more frequently encounter women wearing veils than in any other city. While in Erzurum we will visit Ulu Cami (The Great Mosque) and an old Selcuk schoolhouse. We will also have an opportunity to see some Kurdish villages. We will stay at the best available tourist class hotel.

Day 12 - Kars (Ani) (B) (L) (D)

An early morning departure from Erzurum will take us on a beautiful drive to Kars. We will arrive in Kars before 11 AM and get permission. Kars retains a strong heritage of folk dancing. The drive takes about 45 minutes to the medieval city of Ani, which lies mostly in ruins. Impressive fortified walls still encircle the ruins of numerous churches, mosques and caravansaries. Enjoy a walk around the ruins and see the beautiful view to the Armenian border. We will check in to the best available tourist class hotel. 

Day 13 - Dogu Bayazit (Mt. Ararat) (B) (L) (D)

This morning we will visit a few of the things that were time prohibitive from yesterday. Afterward we will drive for 3 1/2 hours along the "Silk Road" to Dogubayazit. At the Iranian border we will see a site known as the Crater Hole. This is a beautiful, yet rugged area. We will have the opportunity to see Mt. Ararat from all sides. It is believed by some to be the resting place of Noah's Ark; to date no one has found anything that has been verified as the Ark - yet the search is still on. In the afternoon we will stop and see the Ishak Pasa Palace. This complex is a combination of a mosque, a fortress, and a palace. Late this afternoon, we will check into a 3-star hotel and again the best available.

Day 14 - Van (B) (L) (D)

Morning we will have the opportunity to see the sun rise over Mt. Ararat. The mornings really are the best time to view the inactive volcano before the clouds cover the peak. After visiting the Iranian border, we will depart for Van in the early morning, a drive of approx. three hours. Along the way, we will make a stop by some gorgeous waterfalls for tea. We will have lunch at a quaint restaurant, with a local Kurdish presentation, opposite Akdamar Island located near the south shore of Lake Van. We will take a short ferry ride to the island. There is a wonderful 10th century Armenian Church here called the Church of the Holy Cross. The outside walls of the church are decorated with art depicting various well- known tales from the Bible. Our stay will be at a nice tourist class hotel. We will see some lovely rugs and kilims from Eastern Turkey when we return to Van from the island.

Day 15 - Diyarbakir (B) (L) (D)

We will have a very beautiful drive from Van to Diyarbakir, driving around Lake Van. This city is located on the Tigris River and is famous for its black stone city walls completely circling the city. We will arrive late in the afternoon and check-in the  hotel.

Day 16 – 17  Mardin/S.Urfa/Mt. Nemrud (B) (L) (D)

While in this region, we will also visit Mardin. Mardin is very unique with lovely old-Arabic style houses. It is a city that played an important role in the early development of Christianity. We will take the time to visit, walk in its busy streets and bazaars, and do superb photography. We will also visit the Monastery of Deyr-az-Zaferan just outside of town, founded in 762 A.D. It was the seat of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch for almost 800 years. This monastery is built on top of a 4000 year old temple used by sun worshippers. We will visit the monks in this extra ordinary place. We will drive three hours to Urfa, the birthplace of the prophet Abraham. We will visit nearby Harran and see the incredible beehive houses. We will also visit the holy sites at the Ainzelha, a lake with millions of domesticated fish. We will also visit the Syrian border. Our stay will be at a tourist class hotel. While in Urfa we will visit the cave where the prophet Abraham was born and visit a bustling sheep market as well. There are exceptional photo opportunities in this area. From Urfa we will drive two hours to Adiyaman-Kahta. There we will hire small mini-buses to drive up the mountain. This extraordinary landmark rests at an elevation of 8000 ft. The mountain top complex is composed of two flattened areas strewn with statues and separated by a false peak of crushed rock. Antiouchus I built the complex approximately 2000 years ago as a monument to his "divine ancestry."

Please Note: The hike to Mt. Nemrud consists of 20 to 40 minutes of a 30% uphill hike, mostly with stairs.

Day 18 – 19  Mersin /Olba (B) (L) (D)

We will have a 5 hour beautiful scenic drive to Tarsus, the birthplace of St. Paul. We will visit St. Paul's house while we are there. After Tarsus we will drive a half hour more and stay at a hotel, a lovely hotel overlooking the Mediterranean. The next day we will visit Olba (Diocaesarea). Inland from the Mediterranean about 25 miles, we will drive through the beautiful forests and stop by 2500 years old mausoleums for photography. Then we will visit Olba, an ancient settlement first established by the Hittites. Also known as "Diocaesarea" to the Romans, we will visit one of the best- preserved Zeus temples in Turkey. We will also visit the Temple of Tyche theatre and the monumental Gateway. While we are there, we will also visit the immense aqueducts and enjoy remote and beautiful places without the presence of other tour groups. On this same day, we will also make stops visiting Roman, Armenian and Turkish cities, fortresses and other sites. Including the hidden church of St. Thecla and laxo the incredible chasm of Kaulidivane and the fortresses of Corycos.

Day 20 - 21 Antalya (B) (L) (D)

The drive along the virgin southern coast of the Mediterranean is a long but beautiful drive to Antalya, known as the Turkish Riviera. It is a beautiful city snuggled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Toros Mountains. During out stay in Antalya we will visit the ruined sites of Aspendos and Perge. Aspendos dates back to the time of the Hittites, yet the only visible remains are left over from the Roman Period. The restored theatre at Aspendos is said to be the best in all of Turkey. Perge reached its height under the Romans and Alexander the Great. Today, what remains are the ruins of a great theatre, a stadium, and the colonnaded main street. We will visit the Antalya Museum and tour the city. We will stay at a 5-star hotel.

Day 22 - Pamukkale – Hierapolis - Aphrodisias (B) (L) (D)

We will depart Antalya early and drive to Aphrodisias, the city of art dedicated to the Goddess Aphrodite. The marble theatre is beautiful and the stadium that seats over 35,000 is immense. After Aphrodisias we will continue north to Pamukkale. Another Greco-Roman city "Hierapolis" is visited here with an incredible necropolis (city of the dead) and many sarcophagi. We will visit the snow like travertine of calcium for which Pamukkale is famous. Pamukkale is one of the natural wonders of the world with strikingly beautiful mineral springs clinging to the hillsides that will amaze you. We will also visit the city of Hieropolis and its amazing necropolis. We will stay at a hotel, with a hot - Thermal mineral pool for your enjoyment.

Day 23 - 24 Izmir (Ephesus/Heraklia/Miletus/Didyma) (B) (L) (D)

We will drive one hour to Izmir where we will stay. Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey and a major shipping port. It was built in the 4th Century B.C. by the orders of Alexander the Great. It is one of the seven churches of Asia as mentioned in the book of Revelations. In the morning of the following day, we will tour Ephesus and its colossal Greco-Roman theatre. This theatre is still used for performances today. The Marble Road, the Celsus Library, and the Temple of Diana are just a few of the sites we will visit. We will also visit the house where St. Mary lived her final days. After the crucifixion of Jesus, she came to Ephesus with St. John. Heraklia - nearly 3000 years old is where Carians lived long before the Ionians arrived. We will see, after a short hike, Romans baths and theatre, Hellenistic Agora, Temple of Athena, Byzantine walls and churches all in the same lovely, little visited environment.

Day 25 - Canakkale (Troy) (B) (L) (D)

During a scenic five hours drive up the Aegean Coast, we will stop in Pergamon to see the Asklepion, an ancient hospital complex. We will then drive to Çanakkale, where we will visit the legendary city of Troy. We will have the opportunity to see a replica of the Trojan’s Horse. To date, nine different Troys have been discovered; all built one on top of the other. We will have a chance to see this site still in the process of excavation. While in Canakkale we will stay a hotel, which is the best available, overlooking the Dardanelle and Gallipolis across the Straits.

Day 26 - Bursa (B) (L) (D)

We will drive four hours to Bursa, the Ottoman Empire's first capital. We will visit the Green Mosque and the Green Tomb. Bursa is the major silk production center for all of Turkey. We will have a chance to shop in the famous Silk Bazaar or bathe in the ancient Turkish baths next to our hotel. 

Day 27 - 28 Istanbul (B)

Among the many things we will do in Istanbul is the visit the Military Museum and to enjoy a concert performed in traditional costumes by the world's first established military marching ensemble. We will also visit several of Turkey's most famous museums and mosques. Topkapi Palace was first built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453 and was the home of the sultan until the 19th century. St. Sophia was built by Roman Emperor Justinian and was completed in 537 A.D. It was the greatest Christian church in the world for more than 1000 years. We will visit the spice market and the Rustem Pasha mosque with its exceptional tiles. We will also visit the Blue Mosque commissioned by Sultan Ahmet in 1603. We will also visit an underground cistern. We will have a dinner with live music and entertainment by a gypsy orchestra. On the final day in Istanbul we will have a morning Bosphorus cruise in a private boat. The afternoon will be free, which will give you a chance to explore on your own. Dinner this evening will also be on your own. Suggested museums to visit on the free time are the Chora Church, the Archaeology museum and the Dolmabahce Palace. 

Day 29 - Istanbul (B)

We will depart the hotel shortly after breakfast for our transfer to the Airport and flight back home.

What is Included:  

  • 28 nights accomodation in hotels,plus 3 nights on boat.

  • All domestic flight/s mentioned on the itinerary.

  • All meals mentioned on the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner) .

  • All transfers mentioned in the itinerary.

  • Professional guidance on each activity.

  • Comprehensive sightseeing as specified in the itinerary.

  • Local taxes & service charges.

  • Luggage and Port rage tips.

  • Entry fees to sites and museums.

  • Tips to restaurants and hotels.

  • Travel documents kit.

City

Hotels

Istanbul

Ankara

Cappadocia

Amasya

Trabzon

Erzurum

Kars

Dogubeyazit

Urfa

Mt.Nemrut

Mersin

Antalya

Pamukkale

Izmir

Canakkale

What is not Included:

  • International flights.

  • Tips to bus driver & tour guide.

  • Expenses of personal nature such as beverages, laundry, phone calls at the hotels.

  • All services which are not specifically mentioned.

  • Airport taxes or visa fees.