Tour 26 Days – Western, Central and Eastern Anatolia Tour
Day 1. I will be waiting for you at the international arrivals section of Ataturk International Airport. Most airlines will land at Ataturk International Airport but sometimes some airlines will land at Sabiha Gokcen Airport on the Asian side of the town. Welcome to Turkey! and welcome to Istanbul. The only city in the world to be located on two continents. Asia and Europe. After we meet, we will walk to the parking lot, pick my minivan up and drive towards the ancient historical area by taking the scenic sea side road along the shores of the Marmara sea. As we will reach the ancient city walls enlarged and rebuilt by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great in the 4th century AD, we will make a short stop there to look up the bastions. Our next stop will be at the ancient Hippodrome where horse races took place in late Roman and Early Eastern Roman (Byzantine) times. Blue Mosque famous with it’s blue tiles is next.
Day 2. Departure in the morning drive pass the intercontinental Bosphorus bridge, visit the Topkapi Palace, the main residence of the Ottoman Sultans from the 15th, till the second half of the 19th century, it’s Harem, the private section of the ladies and it’s treasury sections. Our next visits will be, The ancient cathedral of St. Sophia the masterpiece of the Byzantine architecture, the Basilica cistern both built by the Emperor Justinianus in the 6th, century, Beylerbeyi Summer Palace.
Day 3. Visit the Grand Bazaar, Bosphorus Cruise on a chartered boat, the boat will cruise towards the Black Sea and you will disembark at Sariyer on the European side where I will be waiting for you. Our next stop will be at Sadberk Hanim Museum. After this visit we will drive to Safranbolu and overnight.
Day 4. Visit Safranbolu houses, the old town see some old Ottoman monuments and proceed to Ankara, in Ankara we will visit the Anatolian Civilizations Museum and the Mausoleum of Ataturk and overnight in Ankara.
Day 5. Drive to Hattusa. In Hattusa we wil see the Great Temple, Lion’s Gate, Sphinx Gate, King’s Gate, The ruins of the old palace and the open air temple of Yazilikaya. Proceed to Amasya a nice small town located by the so called Green river. in the evening possibility of visiting the Beyazid Mosque and taking a stroll by the Green River, (Yesilirmak). Overnight in Amasya.
Day 6. Visit the rock tombs of Pontus Kings, Darussifa built in the 14th century where they healed mad people in medioval times, using music. Proceed to Samsun continue towards further East to Trabzon. Our Eastern Anatolia tour will start today. Overnight in Trabzon.
Day 7. Visit St sophia with beautiful frescoes from Bible, Ataturk’s house, drive to Sumela Monastery, proceed to Ayder village famous with it’s hot springs. The village is located on the heights of Black Sea Mountains, overnight in Ayder.
Day 8. Proceed to Yusufeli, visit the medioval Georgian Monastery Dortkilise overnight in Yusufeli.
Day 9. Drive to Ani ruins of an ancient city by the Armenian border, visit churches, city walls and other buildings overnight in Kars.
Day 10. Drive to Dogubeyazit. Visit the Meteorite Crater and the Ishakpasha palace proceed to Van. Overnight in Van.
Day 11. Drive to Akdamar port by the lake Van take a boat and sale to Akdamar Island and visit the church. Proceed to Midyat via Hasankeyf, overnight in Matiat.
Day 12. Visit Mor Gabriel at 9.30 and Mor Jacob Syriac Monasteries, Proceed to Dara drive to Sanliurfa, overnight in Dedeman hotel.
Day 13. Visit Sanli Urfa, Abraham’s Cave, Holy carp pool, the covered bazaar then proceed to Kahta via Ataturk dam, visit Karakus royal tumulus. Overnight below the summit.
Day 14. Drive up the tumulus of Anthiochus l. Proceed to Arsemia an ancient city of Kommagene kingdom, visit Arsemia and the Cendere Roman bridge, drive to Hierapolis Kastabala. Our next visit will be an ancient Neo Hittite site called Karatepe. Overnight in Osmaniye.
Day 15. Drive to Nigde, visit Eski Gumus Monastery, drive to Uchisar, Welcome to Cappadocia.
Day 16. Visit Urgup, Sinassos churches, proceed to Cemil village,, continue to Mazi underground city the valley of Onions, visit churches. Overnight in Uchisar.
Day 17. Visit Pasha bag, Rose Valley and churches, Goreme Open Air Museum, Dark Church, Sarihan Kervanseraglio, Overnight in Uchisar.
Day 18. Departure for Konya visit the monastery of Mevlana, founder of the secte of whirling derviches, Ince minare school and proceed to Egirdir, Overnight at Egirdir.
Day 19 Drive to Aphrodisias, city dedicated to Aphrodite, Godess of love and beauty, the well known with it’s splendid stadium the best preserved of the ancient Greek times, visit Aphrodisias and Nysa Overnight at Nysa.
Day 20. Drive to Labranda, visit Labranda proceed to Bodrum visit the castle of European knights which houses the underwater archaeology museum and the Mausoleum Overnight at Bodrum.
Day 21. Today is the day we will visit a dipteros Apollo temple at Didyma, proceed to Miletus, the metropol and political leader of ancient Ionia and Priene where you will see the best preserved exemple of an ancient Greek theater. Overnight Ephesus.
Day 22. Visit Ephesus, the terrace houses, the museum in Selcuk, the Artemis temple and Selcuk. Overnight in Ephesus.
Day 23. Drive to Sardis visit Sardis, capital of the ancient Lydian Empire, proceed to Pergamon via Thyatira visit In Pergamon we will visit the Acropolis and the Asclepion Medical Center and overnight at Bergama.
Day 24. Drive to Troy visit ruins of Troy, the tumulus of Dardanos and overnight in Canakkale.
Day 25. Drive to Istanbul visit the Golden Horn Area, The Church of St. Saviour in Chora, Eyup, Yildiz Palace, Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 26. Transfer to the airport after breakfast at for your flight back home.