21 Days / 20 Nights Turkey Tour
1 : ISTANBUL
Arrive in Istanbul. Transfer to hotel. Rest of the day and evening at leisure.
2 : ISTANBUL
In the morning drive to the old town. Visit the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome where chariot races were held in Roman times and Hagia Sophia, Church built by th emperor Justinian in the sixth century. After lunch, tour the Topkapi Palace museum with its priceless jewelled objects and the Porcelain Collection and the Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent. Evening at leisure.
Morning, visit the Spice Market on the Golden Horn shores. Cruise along the shores of the Bosphorus by ferry.Drive to the Asian side of Istanbul and view the city from Camlica Hill then visit Beylerbeyi Palace. Return to the old city for shopping at the Grand Bazaar.
Morning ride for Canakkale. After lunch in Gallipoli. Cross the Dardenells by ferry boat to Asia. Visit the site of Troy, the homeric city. Dinner and overnight at Canakkale.
After a lovely drive to Pergamum, lunch in town. Visit the Acropolis of Helenistic Pergamum. Among its buildings are the Altar of Zeus and the temples of Trajan & Dionysus. Visit the Asclepion, the earliest health center of Asia Minor. Continue to Izmir. Dinner and overnight.
6: IZMIR - KUSADASI
Morning drive to Ephesus. Visit the Basilica of St. John’s, his tomb and the House of Virgin Mary. Afternoon tour Ephesus with its legendary marble streets, the magnificent amphitheatre, Hadrian Temple and Celcus Library. Reach Kusadasi for dinner. In evening stroll through the shops and overnight.
Discover the Ionian cities in the region. Priene famous with temple Athena, Miletus the political leader of the Ionian league and Didyma an oracular center with Temple of Apollo. Late afternoon at leisure in Kusadasi .
After breakfast drive to Pamukkale. En route visit Aphrodisias, the city of Aphrodite, an ancient city of sculpture and arts. Tour the theater and the magnificent stadium. Afternoon arrive to Pamukkale, the "cotton castle" so named because of limestone hot springs and spectacular white rock formations. Overnight in Pamukkale.
After a leisurely breakfast, stroll in the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis with theatre, baths, necropolis. Continue on the "Turqoise Coast" of the Mediterranean. Dinner and overnight in Antalya..
10 : ANTALYA
After a leisurely breakfast, full day exploration of the ancient Pamphylian cities; Perge with colonnaded streets, and the stadium, Aspendos theatre whose acoustics unrivalled. After lunch, spend the time at the seaside town of Side, visited by St. Paul and which was a bishopric of the early Christian Church. Stay the night at Antalya.
11 : ANTALYA
Morning head north to Konya, the capital of the Seljuk Empire. On the way visit Catalhoyuk, one of the oldest settlements of the world and home to ancient Neolithic people. Dinner and overnight in Konya.
12 : KONYA
Spend the morning touring the highlights of Konya’s architectural and religous legacy. Visit the Mevlana Museum Monastery of Whirling Dervishes, the Ince Minare and Karatay Medrese Islamic Theological Schools. Drive to Cappadocia. Stop at the Sultanhan Caravanserai. Stay the night at Cappadocia.
13 : CAPPADOCIA
Start out early for a full day’s excursion into the magical land of Cappadocia. The region was first settled by ancient people then home to Romans, early Christians, Byzantines and Seljuks. Visit Goreme Church Valley, Zelve, Avanos, Ortahisar and Uchisar, and see some of the many churches carved into the rocks. Dinner and overnight.
14 : CAPPADOCIA
Morning visit the Kaymakli underground city, used by the early Christian refugees to escape from persecuters. On the way south visit Caravanserais passing through the Cilican Gates of the Taurus Mountain range, arrive in Adana. Stay the night.
15: ADANA - ANTAKYA
Early morning drive to Antakya, Antioch, the headquarter of Paul’s missionary journeys. Visit the port of Samandag, Seleucia, from which Paul sailed to Cyprus. Later visit the grotto of St. Peter in Antioch and impressive Mosaic Museum lunch. Overnight in Antakya
Day 16: ANTAKYA – Gaziantep - ADIYAMAN
After breakfast we leave from Antakya for Gaziantep. Around 2 hours drive and arrive to Gaziantep. Touring in the city center follows; Antep Archaological Museum - Etnografya Museum - Antep Castle. After lunch in Gaziantep drive top Adiyaman.
Day 17: ADIYAMAN – Mt. Nemrud – ADIYAMAN
Drive to Nemrut Mountain. See the huge heads of gods (APOLLO, ZEUS, HERCULES) and god-dess (TYCHE-FORTUNA) built by Antiochus I, King of the Commagene Kingdom in the 1st century, and the artificial man made hill, on top of the 2000 meters high mountain. Overnight in Adiyaman.
Day 18 : ADIYAMAN – URFA
After breakfast drive to Urfa (Þanliurfa). Along the way, stop at one of the world largest irrigation projects, the Atatürk Dam, on the Euphrates River. Urfa is known as a city of prophets, where you will have the opportunity to visit the cave of Abraham which is considered to be his birthplace and Abraham's pool. Visit Jakob's church. Continue through Harran to Urfa. Dinner and overnight stay in Urfa.
Day 19 : URFA – DIYARBAKIR
After breakfast drive to Diyarbakir via Harran, famous for its Mud-Houses. Arrive at the walled city of Diyarbakir, which was built on the banks of the Tigris River and is the largest city in South-Eastern Turkey. Stop for a closer look at the dark basalt wall surrounding the city. Visit Ulu Cami, overlooking the Mesopotamian Plain. Dinner and overnight stay in Diyarbakir.
Day 20 : DIYARBAKIR – air – ISTANBUL
Today we will take a guided tour of the markets and narrow streets of Diyarbakir. Together we wander, relax and soak up the atmosphere. The city is more Arabic in style than Turkish; it is special in the same way that Aleppo in Syria and Fez in Morocco are special, they are all cities that have until recently existed within fortified city walls. The old city is split into Armenian, Christian, Kurdish and Arabic quarters that merge to generate a kaleidoscope of mosques, churches and community buildings. The city takes its present name from the Arab tribe, the BeniBakr, who conquered the city in AD 639. Today, Diyarbakir is a proud city with a distinctive local culture. Late afternoon drive to airport for your flight back to Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 21 : Departure
Transfer to the airport for your transfer back home or your next destination.
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