Eastern Turkey Cappadocia Tour 14 Days
Day 1. This tour will start in Ankara and end in Cappadocia and is recommended for people who already visited the Western Turkey. We will meet in Esenboga airport in Ankara and will drive to the Anatolian Civilizations Museum. In this museum we will talk about the history of the ancient civilisations flourished in Turkey. The archaeological excavations revealed many secrets of some of the most mysterious civilisations of this ancient land. After our visit here we will have lunch and proceed to the Mausoleum of the national father and founder of secular Turkey, Ataturk. The mausoleum houses also a museum where the history of the foundation of modern Turkey on the ashes of the Ottoman Empire is well explained. After our visit here we will continue to capital of Hittites, Hattusa, and will stay overnight in a charming village here by the ruins of the capital of one of the most important ancient civilisations of the world.
Day 2. After breakfast at the hotel we will visit the ancient city. Yazilikaya open air temple with remarkable reliefs will be our first stop. Our next visit will be the great temple dedicated to Storm God and Sun Goddess of Arinna. We will then follow the city walls, and visit the gates of the protective walls of the ancient city. Lion’s Gate will be followed by the Ground Gate which is an amazing 69 meters long tunnel, we will walk through this tunnel and go outside the walls, then climb stairs to get to the Sphinx Gate and see all the ancient city from the highest point. King’s Gate, a pool as large as 60 X 90 m, strange dead-end rooms without access to anywhere with carvings of Gods and Kings, and the inner castle where emperors lived will be on our way. After these visits we will go to the museum in town. Once all visits are over we will proceed to Amasya, located by the Green river and stay overnight in this charming town.
Day 3. Orientation tour in Amasya, visiting some of the Mosques and houses along the Yesilirmak river, dating from the old Ottoman times, climbing to the rock dug tombs of Pontus Kings nearby. Then we will proceed to Samsun. We’ll have lunch and continue towards Jason’s Church, driving along the Black Sea coast. We will have dinner and stay overnight in Trabzon along the Black sea coast.
Day 4. We will depart from hotel and visit Ataturk’s house located on the hills above the city. We wil visit St. Sophia and have an orientation tour in town and lunch in one of the best restaurants in the centre where you can enjoy delicious Black Sea meals. We will proceed to Sumela monastery about one hour drive from Trabzon. The monastery is located on the cliff of thickly wooded Black Sea Hills. Staying overnight in Macka.
Day 5. Departure for Erzurum. We will arrive at Erzurum, have lunch and orientation tour, visit Yakutiye Complex, Twin Minaret School, built in the 1253 by the Seljukian Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad II. Then we will proceed to Ulu Mosque located nearby, staying overnight in Erzurum.
Day 6. Departure for Ani. Ani is an ancient medieval town located by the Armenian border. Many churches built by Armenian architects are still standing. Our next stop will be Kars. We will visit Kars, have dinner and will stay overnight in Kars.
Day 7. Departure for Ishak pasha Palace built on the slopes of Ararat Mountain in the 17th century by the Ottoman governor Ishak Pasha. This visit will be one of the highlights of your trip. After this visit we will proceed to Van Lake, the biggest lake in Turkey. We will stay overnight by the lake.
Day 8. Departure for Akdamar Island situated in Van Lake. We will embark a boat and have a cruise for about half an hour to reach the island. Here we will visit the well preserved church of Akdamar decorated with beautiful reliefs. After we get back to our minivan we will drive to Tatvan.
Day 9. Departure for Hasankeyf. We will visit this old town with Middle Eastern style Mosques and cave dwellings. Today we will also visit two off the beaten track Syrian monasteries in this ancient Syrian Christian region called Turabdin. Hah and Mor Jacob. We will stay overnight in Midyat.
Day 10. We will proceed to Gobekli tepe, a relatively recently discovered site dating back from 10 millennium BC. The site includes circles of massive T shaped stone pillars with a height of 6 meters and a weight of up to 20 tons. More than 200 pillars in about 20 circles are currently known according to geophysical surveys. After this we will continue travelling to Urfa. In Urfa we will visit the Holy Carp Pool, Cave of Abraham (where the prophet Abraham is believed to be born). We will see the castle connected to the lower town with a tunnel which offers exotic views. Then we’ll visit the old traditional bazaar of Urfa. We’ll have dinner and stay overnight in Urfa.
Day 11. We will proceed to Adiyaman via Ataturk Dam. We’ll visit ancient Kommagene land located in this mountain region in upper Mesopotamia at the starting point of Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Karakus where you will see the monumental tumulus graves of the royal family is on the list today, together with the Roman bridge Cendere, ancient settlement of Arsemea and the tumulus grave of the King Anthiochus of the Kommagenes. We’ll stay overnight at Kahta.
Day 12. We’ll proceed to Cappadocia, and on the way we will visit a very interesting town called Darende. In Darende we will see the Canyon and the holy tomb of Somuncu baba.
Day 13. We will visit Cappadocia, drive to Rose Valley, walk on a track which goes through fantastic rock formations to the depths of the valley. We will visit ancient churches and dwellings here where Christian communities lived. After lunch we will visit underground dwelling of Cappadocians and Goreme Open Air Museum with beautiful rock churches decorated with artistic frescoes. Mushroom looking rocks called fairy chimneys will be surrounding us. We’ll stay overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 14. We will visit the remaining part of Cappadocia, Uchisar tunnels, Pigeon valley, rock dwellings, castle and churches before we drive to Nevşehir or Kayseri Airports according to the availability of your flights, and this is the end of my services.