TREASURES OF TURKEY
11 Nights / 12 Days
Day 1 – Arrive
Arrive in Istanbul. Transfer to hotel. Enjoy welcome Dinner.
Day 2 – ISTANBUL
In the morning start exploring of the city including visits to Hagia Sophia, Church built by the emperor Justinian in the sixth century. Visit the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome where chariot races were held in Roman times. Tour the Topkapi Palace museum with its priceless jewelled objects and the Porcelain Collection. Stay the night.
Day 3 – ISTANBUL
In the morning tour the church of St. Saviour in Chora, a beautiful Byzantine church decorated with magnificent mosaics and frescoes. Afterwards continue to the colorful Spice Market. There are nearly 200 shops selling spices, herbs, medicine, dried fruit and a myriad of other goods in barrels and baskets. Learn about their local uses as you stroll through the market with your guide. Next, visit the Rustem Pasha Mosque, designed by architect Sinan in 1661. Built by order of Rustem Pasha, Grand Vizier and son-in-law of Süleyman the Magnificent, the mosque features exquisite Iznik tiles and a superbly proportioned interior. After lunch board your privately chartered motor boat for a along the Bosphorus. End the day in Grand Bazaar. Stay the night.
Day 4 – ISTANBUL – CANAKKALE
Proceed over the Galata Bridge to the Old Town and the 17th-century Ibrahim Pasha Palace (Turkish Islamic Arts Museum). Built in 1524, the palace is considered the grandest private residence built in the Ottoman Empire. Today, it houses a superb collection of ceramics, metalwork and textiles, as well as the largest and oldest carpets and kilims on earth. Afterwards drive to Canakkale. Dinner and overnight in Canakkale.
Day 5 – CANAKKALE – Troy – Pergamum - IZMIR
In the morning visit the site of Troy, the homeric city. 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.
Day 6 – IZMIR – Ephesus – IZMIR
Morning departure to Ephesus. St. Paul stayed in Ephesus for two years. The still standing amphitheatre is the witness of the riots against St. Paul. The very first church dedicated to Virgin Mary was built in Ephesus after visiting Hadrian Temple, Celcus Library, St. John`s Basilica, House of Virgin Mary and Temple of Diana, Dinner and overnight in Izmir.
Day 7 - IZMIR – air – MARDIN (via Ankara)
After a panoromic drive in Izmir drive to airport for your flight to Mardin (TK 0383 10,30) . The two most important rivers of Asia Minor, the Tigris and the Euphrates flow almost parallel to each other bringing life and prosperity to those lands. We shall visit a splendid 11th cent. bridge on the Tigris River, so called Malabadi by the locals, built by the Seljuk Artukids before arriving in Mardin for dinner and overnight.
Day 8 – MARDIN - URFA
Today we visit Mardin, one of the most worth-see cities of Southeastern Turkey, home of peace for the religions and of it’s people. The city is remarkable of architecture and the stonework of it’s houses. We will visit ancient citedal and drive to Sultan Isa Medrese for its spectacular views over the barren desert to the south, then continue to visit the Syriac-Jacobite monastery of Deyrulzaferan. In the late afternoon we will drive to Urfa to stay overnight.
Day 9 – URFA - ADIYAMAN
This morning we visit Urfa, the birthplace of Abraham. We visit the Pool of Abraham containing what is alleged to be sacred fish and Abdulrahman Mosque. Later, travel to Harran, a few miles from the Syrian border, where Abraham spent several years before continuing to Canaan. Here, we will walk through the beehive-shaped mud-brick dwellings. We will make our way to Adiyaman crossing the Euphrates River and passing through the monumental southeast Anatolian project of the Ataturk Dam. Adiyaman
Day 10- ADIYAMAN - ANTAKYA
After breakfast early in the day we head to Mt. Nemrut, where we will ascend to a vast funeral complex built in the 1st century BC by King Antiochus I. This enormous mountain top memorial is lined with colossal stone statues and toppled heads of the gods Apollo, Hercules, Zeus and even Antiochus himself. We will drive to Antakya and enjoy taking lunch on route. In the famous Biblical city (ancient Antioch) called Hatay by the locals we visit the Archeological Museum with its finest collection of Roman Mosaics and St. Peter’s Church. St. Peter, St. Paul and St. Barnabas, as their first mission to gentiles, chose Antioch. Here their converts were first called Christians. Antakya
Day 11 – ANTAKYA – ADANA – air - ISTANBUL
We shall visit the Karatepe National Park, where the magnificent reliefs on stone slabs are on display, transferred to this open air museum from the neasrby excavations, showing Egyptian and Phoenician influences on Neo-Hittite religion and daily life. Before proceeding to the superb Roman site of Anavarza, we stop at Yilan Kalesi (Snake Castle) and later we continue to Adana airport for the flight to Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul. (TK 467 19.10)
Day 12 – DEPARTURE
Transfer to the airport for departure flight to home.
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