Old Testament Sites
All meals are included for each full day.
1st Day (Istanbul - Urfa, Harran)
Meet & fly to Urfa. Drive to Harran (where Abraham heard God's call) and visit ruins of the first university, fortress & unusual beehive-shaped houses. Afternoon tour of Urfa (ancient Edessa), the alleged birthplace of Abraham and a place of pilgrimage for Moslems, with its Abdurrahman Mosque & sacred pools, fortress, Abraham's Birth Cave & Gumruk Han. Overnight in Urfa.
2nd Day (Urfa, Halfeti, Euphrates River)
Visit the Euphrates for a scenic river cruise and tour of the Rum Fortress. Return to Urfa for shopping and touring at the Covered Bazaar. Overnight in Urfa.
3rd Day (Urfa - Mardin)
Tour Mardin's museum, mosque & theological school, Kirklar Syrian Orthodox Church and the Deyr-ul Zafaran Monastery (built in 495 AD). Overnight in Mardin.
4th Day (Midyat - Hasankayf, Tigris River - Batman)
The Christians of Mardin & Midyat speak a dialect of Aramaic (Jesus' language) as their mother tongue and are well-known for their gold jewelry craftsmanship. Visit Midyat's San Gabriel Monastery (fourth century), Syrian Orthodox Church & elegant houses. Visit Hasankeyf's citadel complex & the Tigris River. Overnight in Batman.
5th Day (Batman - Van)
On the way to Van visit Akdamar Island with its Armenian church (built in 921). Tour of Van's Citadel which was the capital city of the biblical land of Ararat and has since seen several clashes between many empires. Overnight in Van.
6th Day (Van - Dogubayazit, Mt. Ararat)
Visit the Muradiye waterfall, the Ishak Pasha fortress-palace complex with its mixture of architectural styles and enter the foothills of Mt. Ararat. Overnight in Dogubayazit.
7th Day (Dogubayazit - Kars, Ani)
Drive to Kars & continue to Ani, the walled capital of medieval Armenia. It was once very prosperous and said to have 1001 churches, seven of which are still impressive even after 800 years of neglect. Overnight in Kars.
8th Day Drive to the Kars airport and fly to Istanbul.