• Discover Central Anatolia
  • Discover Black Sea Region
  • Discover Eastern Anatolia
  • Discover South-Eastern Anatolia

  • DISCOVER CENTRAL ANATOLIA                                                         Back to Top
    Day 1 : ................./Ankara
    Arrival in Ankara . Transfer to the hotel. Dinner and accomodation at the hotel.

    Day 2 : Ankara/Hattusha (244 km)
    After breakfast visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations (Exhibits heavily favour the earlier Anatolian civilisations such as the Urartu, Hatti, Hittite, Phrygian and Assyrian). Visit Ankara Castle (which has guarded the city for centuries, is now a symbol of Ankara and its history is as old as the city itself). After lunch, visit t he Temple of Augustus & Rome (first built by the kings of Pergamum for the worship of Cybele) and continue to the Mausoleum of Ataturk called the Anitkabir. Continue to Hattusha. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 3 : Hattusha/Yozgat/Cappadocia
    After breakfast , the visit will start from Alacahoyuk ; a very old Hittite site, settled from about 4000 B.C. Visit Bogazkale (Hattusha) and Yazilikaya (The rock sanctuary of Yazilikaya lies nestled between rock outcroppings at the foot of the high ridge east of Hattusha.) Continue to Yozgat for a short visit. Dinner and accomodation at the hotel in Cappadocia.

    Day 4 : Cappadocia
    After breakfast, departure for the visit of Cappadocia : Devrent Valley (The valley of the Fairy Chimneys, some of them look like animals some of them flocks). Zelve Open Air Museum (It is a monastic retreat where there are many impressive painted churches.) and Pasabaglari (The best place to see the most spectacular Fairy Chimneys of the region. Lunch in Avanos(on the banks of the river Kizilirmak, this village is famous for pottery). Cavusin (visit the Church of John the Baptist near the top of the cliff). Uchisar Castle (a tall rock outcrop riddled with tunnels and windows which provides panoramic views of Cappadocian Valleys). Guvercinlik Valley (The valley of wild pigeons). Dinner and overnight at the hotel. After dinner , Whirling Dervish Ceremony (optional).

    Day 5 : Cappadocia
    Early departure for the baloon tour (optional). Breakfast at the hotel and departure for Red Valley (is breathtakingly beautiful), trekking at the valley. Goreme Open Air Museum (the primitive 11th century paintings and frescoes in various churches passing through tunnel, climbing stairways). Lunch in Goreme. Visit one of the Onyx Shop. Continue to Kaymakli for the visit of Kaymakli Underground City (build on the same soft volcanic tuff as fairy chimneys; impressive little cave in a low mound leads down into a vast maze of tunnels and rooms). On the route, visit Sinasos (old Ottoman-Greek Village) and Ayvali (apricot village). Dinner and overnight at the hotel. Day 6 : Cappadocia
    Departure for Soganli Valley (largely monastic valley with 8 churches). Lunch will be served at the Damsa Damp (picnic). Continue to Ortahisar (a strategic location close to access roads and famous with painted churches) and visit one of the carpet show. And visit Red Valley at the sunset (wine will be served during sunset). Dinner will be served with the Turkish show. Overnight at the hotel.

    Day 7 : Cappadocia / Kozakli (Thermal Station)
    After breakfast departure for Kozakli Thermal Station. All offer comfortable facilities in which to soak away your cares. Full board accomodation and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 8 : Kozakli / Konya
    Departure for Konya after lunch time. On the route visit Sultanhani Caravanserai (which has one of several Seljuk hans bearing that name) and Obruk Lake. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 9 : Konya
    In the morning visit Catalhoyuk (45 km south of Konya, is a fascinating Neolithic site dating from the eight millennium B.C, which makes it one of the world's oldest towns). Lunch in Konya , visit Mevlana Museum (the former monastery of the Whirling Dervishes) and Karatay Museum (is a Seljuk theological seminary,the school was constructed in 1251-52 by the emir Celaleddin Karatay, a Seljuk diplomat and statesman. It has a magnificent sculpted marble doorway). Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 10 : Konya / Istanbul
    Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport and fly to Istanbul. At the arrival transfer to Sultanahmet. Visit Topkapi Palace (was the residence of the sultans for almost three centuries). Lunch and continue to visit Saint Sophia (the church of the Divine Wisdom), Hippodrome (was the centre of Byzantium's life for 1000 years and of Ottoman life for another 400 years), Blue Mosque (called also Sultanahmet Mosque). Dinner is free and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 11 : Istanbul
    After breakfast transfer to the airport.

    DISCOVER BLACK SEA REGION                                                         Back to Top
    Day 1 : ................/Samsun
    Arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel for the accomodation.

    Day 2 : Samsun/Amasya
    After breakfast departure to Amasya (capital of the province of the same name, was once the capital of a great Pontic Kingdom. On the banks of the Yesilirmak (Green River), surrounded by high cliffs, Amasya's dramatic setting adds interest to its numerous historic buildings. Visit Pontic Tombs (looming above the northern bank of the river is a sheer rock face with the easily observed rock-cut Kral Kaya Mezarlari or Tombs of the Pontic Kings, carved into it), Citadel (above the tombs, perched precariously on the cliffs, is the kale or citadel), Amasya Museum (the collection includes artefacts from Pontic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman times, and there is an ethnographic exhibit). Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 3 : Amasya/Tokat
    After breakfast departure for Tokat (is one the southern edges of the Black Sea region and shares in its fertility. It's one of those towns that is half Ottoman and half modern). Visit Blue Seminary Museum (it was constructed in 1275 by Pervane Muhineddin Suleyman, a local potentate, after the fall of the Seljuks and the coming of the Mongols). For the lunch , picnic at the Ballica Caves in the middle of the nature. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 4 : Tokat/Sivas
    Departure for Sivas ( was founded by the Hittite king Hattushilish I around 1500 BC.) Visit Seminary of the Twin Minarets and Great Mosque (Ulu Camii). Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 5 : Sivas/Divrigi/Erzincan
    After breakfast departure for Divrigi (a town hidden beyond a mountain pass in a fertile valley). After a typical Turkish lunch, visit Ulu Camii (Great Mosque, was founded in 1228, wonderful work of art hidden in the boondocks) continue to Erzincan. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 6 : Erzincan/Trabzon
    In the morning departure for Trabzon (recorded history begins around 746 BC, when colonist originally from Miletus came from Sinop and founded a settlement with its acropolis on the trapeza or table of land above the harbour). Lunch in Trabzon and after lunch visit Haghia Sophia Church (the church is now a museum, built between 1238 and 1263). Visit the Ataturk Museum (the white villa was designed in a Black Sea style seen much in the Crimea), visit Bedesten (a very old stone building partly in ruins).

    Day 7 : Trabzon
    After breakfast continue to Sumela Monastery (the Greek Orthodox Monastery of the Virgin Mary at Sumela, 46 km south of Trabzon, was founded in Byzantine times and was abondoned in 1923 upon the founding of the Turkish Republic). After this visit , lunch on the river and continue to Zigana where you will meet a fantastic nature. Visit also Hamsikoy (is a charming mountain village, that has gained a national reputation for its excellent cuisine-the best rice pudding) . Return to Trabzon. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 8 : Trabzon/Rize
    In the morning departure forUzungol (56 km east of Trabzon is the town called Of. ) Lunch will be served at the Long Lake and continue to Rize (the heart of Turkey's tea plantation area). Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 9 : Rize/Ayder
    After breakfast continue to Ayder by Camlihemsin (Ayder is a high-pasture village proud of its two hot springs with water reaching temperatures of 56 C. ) Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 10 : Ayder/Artvin
    Continue to Artvin (the capital of the province). Lunch will be served in Artvin. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 11 : Yusufeli/Erzurum
    After breakfast continue to Yusufeli. At the arrival in Yusufeli, visit Georgian Churches (Yusufeli is a convenient base for visits to the churches at Barhal and Dortkilise). Continue to Erzurum, on the road to Erzurum visit Tortum Waterfalls and lunch. Arrival in Erzurum (is the largest city on the high plateau of Eastern Anatolia). Visit the Twin Minaret Seminary (was built by Alaettin Keykubat II) & Great Mosque (built by the Saltuklu Turkish emir of Erzurum) & Three Tombs (a complex of three Seljuk tombs). Dinner and overnight in Erzurum.

    Day 12 : Erzurum/Istanbul
    Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport and fly to Istanbul. At the arrival transfer to Sultanahmet. Visit Topkapi Palace (was the residence of the sultans for almost three centuries). Lunch and continue to visit Saint Sophia (the church of the Divine Wisdom), Hippodrome (was the centre of Byzantium's life for 1000 years and of Ottoman life for another 400 years), Blue Mosque (called also Sultanahmet Mosque). Dinner is free and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 13 : Istanbul
    After breakfast transfer to the airport.

    DISCOVER EASTERN ANATOLIA                                                         Back to Top
    Day 1 : Istanbul
    Arrival in Istanbul, transfer to the hotel. Overnight.

    Day 2 : Istanbul/Kars
    After breakfast transfer to the airport. Fly to Kars. At the arrival , transfer to the hotel and departure for the city visit : Kars Museum (the Museum's oldest exhibits date from the Old Bronze Age), Church of the Apostles (was built between 932 and 937 by the Bagratid king Abas), Stone Bridge (dates from the 15th century), Kars Castle (was built by the Saltuklu Turks in 1152 and torn down by Tamerlane in 1386). Dinner and overnight in Kars.

    Day 3 : Kars/Dogubeyazit
    After breakfast early departure for Ani (Anahid, the Persian goddess equivalent to the Greek Aphrodite, was worshipped by the pagan Urartians, and has left her name on this great city as Ani). Return to Kars for the lunch and continue to Dogubeyazit. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 4 : Dogubeyazit/Van
    After breafast visit Ishakpasa Palace ( was begun in 1685 by Colak Abdi Pasa and completed in 1784 by his son, a Kurdish chieftain named Isaac. The architecture is an amalgam of Seljuk, Ottoman, Georgian,Persian and Armenian styles. A grand main portal leads to a large courtyard. The palace was once equipped with a central heating system, running water and a sewerage system). You will have very nice view of Mount Ararat on the road to Van. Lunch will be picnic at the Muradiye Waterfalls. Continue to Van for the sunset at the Van Castle. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 5 : Van
    After breakfast, departure for Hosap Castle (built in 1643) , Cavustepe (built between 764 and 735 BC by King Sardur II, son of Argisti). Continue to Akdamar for lunch. After lunch departure by boat to Akdamar Island (in 921, Armenian King Gagik Artzruni -King of Vaspurakan-, built a palace, a church and a monastery on the Island). Return to Van. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 6 : Van/Hasankeyf
    After breakfast continue to Hasankeyf. Lunch on the route. Dinner and overnight in Hasankeyf at the house.

    Day 7 : Hasankeyf /Batman/Diyarbakir/Ataturk Baraji (Damp)/Kahta
    Visit Hasankeyf (Hasankeyf offers an environment interweaving natural and manmade forms and beauties. It is a site where the cultures of Central Asia, Iran, Mesopotamia and West (Roman-Byzantine) meet). After lunch continue to Diyarbakir (by Batman). Visit Diyarbakir (considering that Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, saw the dawn of the world's first great empires) , the Walls (the city's old walls are extensive - almost six km long - and are the first item on most people's list of things to see). Continue to ferry. Arrival in Kahta for the dinner and overnight.

    Day 8 : Kahta/Nemrut Mountain/Adiyaman/Malatya
    After breakfast visit Nemrut Mountain (Nobody knew anything about Nemrut Mountain until 1881, when an Ottoman geologist making a survey was astounded to come across this remote mountaintop full of statues. ) Continue to Malatya (by Adiyaman). Arrival in Malatya (the apricot capital of Turkey, there was an early Assyrian settlement here, and a Hittite one. After the fall of the Hittite Empire, various city-states emerged, among them Milidia, a name preserved for over 3000 years and now pronounced Malatya). Visit Aslantepe (the collection is a standard stuff, everything from Palaeolithic, Chalcolithic and Old Bronze Age through to Roman and Byzantine times) . Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 9 : Malatya/Istanbul
    Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport and fly to Istanbul. At the arrival transfer to Sultanahmet. Visit Topkapi Palace (was the residence of the sultans for almost three centuries). Lunch and continue to visit Saint Sophia (the church of the Divine Wisdom), Hippodrome (was the centre of Byzantium's life for 1000 years and of Ottoman life for another 400 years), Blue Mosque (called also Sultanahmet Mosque). Dinner is free and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 10 : Istanbul
    After breakfast transfer to the airport.

    DISCOVER SOUTH-EASTERN ANATOLIA                                           Back to Top
    Day 1 : ......................../Adana
    Arrival in Adana, transfer to the hotel.

    Day 2 : Adana/Tarsus/Antakya
    Breakfast at the hotel and departure for an orientation tour in Adana (Turkey's fourth largest city). Continue to Tarsus (where St.Paul was born almost 2000 years ago. Visit Cleopatra's Gate, St Paul's Well , Roman Baths). After this short visit , continue to Yilanlikale (Snake Castle, built by Armenians and crusaders in the 12th or 13th century) , Anavarza (open-air museum), Karatepe - Aslantas National Park. Continue to Antakya, dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 3 : Antakya
    After breakfast, the visit will start by The Antakya Archaeological Museum ( Roman Mosaics, Roman and Byzantine coins, statues, pots, glassware and tools, some dating from the Second Old Bronze Age, 2600-2500 BC). Visit Cave-Church of St Peter (in this grotto, enclosed by a wall in crusader times, it is said that St.Peter preached). Visit will continue in Antakya : Habib-i Neccar Mosque, Orthodox Church, Catholic Church and Protestant Church. Lunch will be served in Harbiye (Daphne), (taste the delicious Antakya cuisine !!!) . After lunch direction to Samandag (the ruins of Seleucia ad Piera, in ancient times Antioch's port town). Visit Titus & Vespasiyanus Tunnel. After a short visit at the Antakya Bazaar , transfer to the hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 4 : Antakya/Gaziantep
    After breakfast departure for Gaziantep. On the route , visit the Yesemek Museum (the first open-air sculpture museum of the world, Hittite period, 1335 BC.). Continue to Gaziantep. After lunch visit Archaeological Museum , Gaziantep Castle (the citadel was first constructed, as far as is known, by the emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD, but was rebuilt extensively by the Seljuks in the 12th and 13 th centuries). Visit the Gaziantep Bazaar (very famous with copper and mother-of-pearl things). Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 5 : Gaziantep/Halfeti/Birecik/Urfa
    In the morning visit Zeugma (The Birecik dam on the river Euphrates was completed on december 1999. The waters of the dam cover much of the site of Zeugma, a Greek and Roman city on the both sides of the Euphrates), continue to Halfeti (was founded by the Romans under the name of Elamia on the east of the Euphrates. It is mentioned in Urartian inscriptions as Halpa) by Birecik (the village of the bald ibis, ibis feeding and protection station, the history of Birecik goes back to the second millennium BC.The architectural remains have suffered from great damage during the course of time). At the arrival in Halfeti, lunch will be served on the boat and a boat trip till RumKale (was founded on a rock cliff rising on the west bank of the Euphrates.It was under the control of the Crusader Countship of Edessa in the eleventh century. In the 13th century it was taken by the Mamlukians.) Continue to Urfa. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 6 : Urfa
    In the morning the visit in Urfa (the oldest known name of Urfa is Edessa.It has known variously as Orrhoe, Orhai and Osrhoene. The word HURRI is reflected in these various forms of the name of this city) will start by The Fortress of Urfa (was built either during Hellenistic times or by the Byzantines or during the crusades or by the Turks) , Fish Pool Mosques of Abdurrahman and Ridvaniye (Legend had it that Abraham, who is a great prophet in Islamic belief, was in old Urfa destroying pagan gods one day when Nimrod, the local Assyrian king, took ofference at this rash behaviour. Nimrod had Abraham immolated on a funeral pyre, but God turned the fire into water (the pool) and the burning coals into fish (the carp). Coffee break at the Gumruk Han (an ancient caravanserai). After lunch continue to Harran (was one of the centers of the worship of the moon-god Sin, the site for his greatest temples. His worship continued into sixth century AD in Harran.) Dinner (with the traditional Urfa Night Show) and overnight in Urfa.

    Day 7 : Mardin
    Departure for Mardin (the history of Mardin involves disputes by rival armies over dozens and dozens of centuries, though now nobody cares. A castle has stood on this hill from time immemorial. Assyrian Christians settled in this area during the 5th century. In the 6th century, Jacobus Baradeus, bishop of Edessa, had a different opinion from the patriarch in Constantinople over the divine nature of Christ. He founded a church of his own, which is called the Jacobite. The Arabs occupied Mardin between 640 and 1104. After that, it had a succession of Seljuk Turkish, Kurdish, Mongol and Persian overlords until the Ottomans under Sultan Selim the Grim took it in 1517.) Kasimiye Medresesi (seminary) (built in the 1400s near the western end of town), Ulu Camii (mosque)(this ancient mosque, built in the 11th century, is an Iraqi Seljuk structure), Abbara Kirklar Church and Mardin Museum (is set up in one courtyard of the Sultan Isa Medresesi). Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 8 : Mardin/Midyat /Mardin
    After breakfast visit Deyrul Zafaran Monastery (this means the Saffron Monastery in Arabic, a name which, legend says, was given because saffron crocuses were used in the mortar of the building. It was once the seat of the Syrian Orthodox patriarch.) Continue to Midyat for the lunch and for the visit Mar Gabriel Monastery (Founded in 397 AD, the Monastery's primary purpose is to keep Syrian Orthodox Christianity). Return to Mardin in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 9 : Mardin/Istanbul
    Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport and fly to Istanbul. At the arrival transfer to Sultanahmet. Visit Topkapi Palace (was the residence of the sultans for almost three centuries). Lunch and continue to visit Saint Sophia (the church of the Divine Wisdom), Hippodrome (was the centre of Byzantium's life for 1000 years and of Ottoman life for another 400 years), Blue Mosque (called also Sultanahmet Mosque). Dinner is free and overnight at the hotel.

    Day 10 : Istanbul
    After breakfast transfer to the airport.


    Photos by Ms.Maja Arnestad and Mr.Ludek Frohlich.