Armenian, Christian, Kurdish and Arabic cultural legacies Giant heads of Mt Nemrut Guided tour of site of Troy Guided visits to Ephesus & Museum A day sailing on a traditional Gulet Timeless Istanbul, guided tours


Dates & Prices

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Prices are in US Dollars (USD), before taxes (see note below, if applicable) - All pricing reflects twin-sharing, per-person pricing for the TOUR AND INTERNAL FLIGHTS ONLY; however, we can book flights from your home airport to join the tour for an added cost. Contact us for a no obligation quote.

Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Mon 11 Sep 2017Sat 07 Oct 2017 $6290 USD
Mon 16 Apr 2018Sat 12 May 2018 $6290 USD
Mon 10 Sep 2018Sat 06 Oct 2018 $6290 USD

The above prices are subject to an additional $40 for taxes/fees levied on flights that occur as part of the tour. The internal airfares ARE included, but we list the taxes separately on your invoice as they are beyond our control and can change at any time.

Optional Single Supplement: $800 USD (number of singles limited).

Tour Overview

See the massive stone heads on Mount Nemrut or learn about the biblical significance of the village of Harran. Stare up at the mountain ranges that serve as a backdrop to the many quaint villages. Turkey holds an entire world to explore and we have the opportunity to see it from east to west. Istanbul and Ankara are fascinating metropolitan settings that offer the possibility for many pleasurable hours of adventuring and exploring. After walking down one street, admiring all the architecturally impressive structures, there is always another visually stunning street right around the corner and the Mediterranean coast is a truly magical sight that can only be fully appreciated by gazing upon it with your own eyes.

Regions visited: Central And Eastern Europe
Countries visited: Turkey

Full Itinerary

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Day 1 Arrive in Istanbul
Today we arrive in Istanbul and transfer to our hotel.

"If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Constantinople," marveled Alphonse de Lamartine, the 19th century French writer and politician. New Rome, Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul; the legendary city has served as the capital of the legendary Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Though no longer a capital, Istanbul is the largest city and the cosmopolitan heart of Turkey, full of marvels and startling contrasts.

Overnight in Istanbul.

Meal plan: Dinner

Day 2 Istanbul - Hatay / Antakya
This morning we fly from Istanbul to Hatay and Antakya, ancient Antioch. On arrival we visit the Hatay Museum, which houses one of the finest collections of Roman mosaics in the world, and Church of St Peter Church. Composed of a cave carved into the mountainside on Mount Starius, this church wasn used by the first Christians in the Antakya region, and is one of Christianity's oldest.

Just outside Antakya, we will pay a visit to the Grotto of St Peter, erected in the 13th century by the Crusaders. It was here that Peter preached his first sermon and founded the first Christian community. Throughout the Hellenistic and Roman periods, Antioch stood out as one of the most influential and enduring cities.

Overnight in Antakya.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 3 Antakya: Samandag & Titus Tunnels
Today we visit Samandag, southwest of Antakya, to visit the St. Simeon Monastery, built in honour of the Christian ascetic monk Simeon Stylites. Simeon, seeking ever greater isolation, lived his life atop a pillar and preached his wisdom to his many visitors for 39 years. He started a fad of pillar-sitting, and his imitators were called Stylites (style means pillar in Greek). His remains are buried in Antakya, and a vast church was built on the site of his pillar outside of Aleppo, Syria, but this small monastery in Samandag was built to accommodate the many monks who followed in his footsteps.

We then drive to the Titus Tunnels, a canal built by the Romans to divert flood water from the Musa-Dagh massif to the antique harbour of Selukia. After that drive to Vakifli Village, a story-book Armenian village. In the middle of the village stands a church and other buildings distinctive from other villages in the region.

Overnight in Antakya.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4 Antakya - Mt Nemrut - Adiyaman
This afternoon we will visit an incredible site, the giant heads on top of Mount Nemrut, 2150 m (7,052 feet). This vast funeral monument, built by the dynastic ruler Antiochus, is unlike anything else in the world with a remote and isolated location at the top of the mountain. Virtually unknown until after the Second World War, the site was first excavated by the American school of Oriental Research in Connecticut some years after the war. Mount Nemrut is often called the "Eighth Wonder of the World".

Overnight in Adiyaman.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5 Adiyaman - Urfa
Today we drive via the huge southeast Anatolia irrigation scheme to Urfa, also known as Sanliurfa or "Glorious Urfa" for its role in defending the Turkish Republic. Urfa stands at the edge of the great Mesopotamian Plain. Legend says that it was here that God saved Abraham when an angry Nimrod, the Assyrian king, threw him on a funeral pyre for destroying the pagan idols. To save him, God created a lake known today as the Pool of Abraham which attracts many pilgrims, both Muslim and Christian. We also visit the village of Harran with its unusual beehive houses. The ancient city of Harran is famous for its Biblical association. It was here where Abraham stayed for several years on his way to Canaan.

While in the Urfa area, we will also visit the nearby site of Gobekli Tepe, a Neolithic (stone-age) hilltop sanctuary erected at the top of a mountain ridge. This is the oldest known human-made religious structure, most likely erected by hunter-gatherers in the 10th millennium BCE (c. 12,000 years ago).

Overnight in Urfa.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6 Urfa - Diyarbakir - Mardin
We depart for the ancient walled city of Diyarbakir. This great old city is enclosed in and protected by black basalt walls, its back protected by the eastern Taurus mountains dominating both the northern Mesopotamian plains and the river Tigris. The protected city lies at the limit of navigability of this mighty river, and so acts as a convenient crossing point. The city has the confidence of a place that has been important for centuries and still the key city of the southeast.

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.

We continue to Mardin, perched at the edge of a plateau overlooking the Mesopotamian plain.

Overnight in Mardin.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7 Mardin Area
Today we explore the city of Mardin with its labyrinth of narrow streets, historical buildings and stunning scenery over the Mesopotamian plains into Syria. Mardin is the best preserved city in eastern Turkey. Built on steep slopes with a castle atop a hill, it looks like a fantastic medieval stronghold. Its typical stone-carved houses along alleys with long tunnels that stretch underneath houses and old city walls intensify the image even more. As well as being a fascinating setting, Mardin is also famous for the Syriac, i.e. Syrian Orthodox heritage. South and east of Mardin lies the Tur Abdin, the Holy Land in Syriac language. Here, a lot of churches and monasteries, some dating back more than a thousand years ago, are still used by dwindling groups of priests, monks and believers.

We visit the Saffron Monastery --Deyrul Zafaran -- probably named after the building stonework. Fifteen hundred years old, the monastery is still active. On the hilltop, carved in the rocks, is the ruined monastery of St. Mary's, dating to the beginnings of Christianity.

Overnight in Mardin.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8 Mardin - Hasankeyf - Van
Today we will be travelling to Van, the capital of the ancient Urartian empire and later, of an Armenian Kingdom. En route we stop at the ancient city of Hasankeyf. Hasankeyf and its surrounding limestone cliffs are home to thousands of human-made caves, 300 medieval monuments and a unique canyon ecosystem -- all combining to create a beguiling open-air museum. Despite widespread protests from local authorities, archaeologists, architects, preservationists and environmental groups, the massive hydroelectric Ilisu Dam is expected to be completed in 2013. The reservoir created by the dam will inundate the site's caves and flood most of its structures.

We continue toward Van, located in one of Turkey's most remote regions. Indeed, the whole Van area was inaccessible to visitors until 1960. We will take a ferry out to visit the picturesque Akdamar Island on turquoise Lake Van. It is on this island that the famous Armenian Church of the Holy Cross of Akdamar stands, with its impressive reliefs and carvings on the walls of the church. A favourite picnic spot for the locals, the island is a charming place to relax and take in the stunning scenery. From a shady spot under one of the numerous almond trees you can enjoy the view down over the church, with the blue shimmering Lake Van and the beautifully snow-topped mountains beyond.

Overnight in Van.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9 Van Area
This morning we will enjoy an excursion to the interesting Urartian hilltop fortress of Van Kalesi. The fortress sits 100m (328 ft) above the lake on a narrow rock outcrop. The Urartians favoured long thin spires for their fortress cities and scattered them all over their empire. Van Kalesi is one of the largest, built with colossal blocks of stone each weighing up to 27000 kg (59,670 lbs). We also visit the museum with its excellent collection of Urartian treasures. During our stay in Van, we hope to see one of the unique Van cats which have one blue and one green eye and are reputed to enjoy swimming!

We also visit the Urartian center of Cavustepe. Built in the 8th century BC, Cavustepe was once home of the kings of Urartu.

This afternoon is at your leisure to wander or to shop. Van is one of the best places in Turkey for hand-crafted Turkish carpets made by nomadic tribes.

Overnight in Van.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 10 Van - Dogubeyazit
This afternoon we explore the pleasure palace of Ishak Pasha, often called the "Taj Mahal of Turkey". The palace is located in the wildly remote frontier town of Dogubeyazit on the border between Turkey, Armenia and Iran. Towering above is the magnificent, 5165 m (16,942 ft), snow-capped Mount Ararat, the legendary last resting place of Noah's Ark. The palace built circa 1800 is a mixture of architectural styles, with Seljuk, Persian, Georgian, Armenian and Ottoman elements. At one time the palace had a door plated in gold and studded with precious stones.

Overnight in Dogubeyazit.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11 Dogubeyazit - Mount Ararat - Kars
Before leaving our Dogubeyazit hotel we hope that the clouds will disperse allowing a clear view of the magnificent snow-capped peak of Mount Ararat towering above the plains.

Leaving Mount Ararat, we make our way to the frontier town of Kars. Here we visit the haunting "ghost town" ruins of the old Armenian capital, Ani. Entering Ani, the scene of a destroyed city stretching ahead and to the sides over green grassland is indeed eerie. By the middle of the 10th century, nothing in Europe could compare in size and magnificence to Ani and in the east only Constantinople, Cairo and Baghdad were its rivals. The Mongol raids, a severe earthquake in 1319, and the coup de grace of Tamerlane combined to destroy the city. Today the abandoned walls and dozens of churches in red and black sandstone stand eerily at the edge of a deep gorge right on Turkey's eastern border. Several of the churches have beautiful frescoes in the Armenian style.

Overnight in Kars.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 12 Kars - Erzurum
Erzurum boasts many of Turkey's earliest Islamic buildings. On our tour of the city this afternoon we will see Ezurum's most famous building, the Cifte Minare Madrasa. It was founded in 1253 by the Seljuk Sultan Aleddin Keykubad II in honor of his daughter whose mausoleum is part of the madrasa. We will also see the Lala Pasha Mosque and the Ulu Cami.

Overnight in Erzurum.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 13 Erzurum - Sumela Monastery - Trabzon
Today we descend from the high plateau through an area that was part of old Georgia, dramatically perched above the Coruh River. Our journey takes us through the spectacular scenery of the Pontic Mountains as we make our way to Trabzon, the birth place of Suleyman the Magnificent. In the 13th Century, Trabzon was the centre of a prosperous Christian empire and contains some beautiful churches, including the beautiful church of Hagia Sophia.

On the way we drive inland up a narrow valley to the Sumela Monastery, clinging high on a sheer rock face above steep and heavily wooded slopes. Founded in the 6th century to house the Icon of the Virgin painted by St. Luke, the monastery was inhabited by Greek Orthodox monks until 1923 when the Greeks were expelled from Turkey. The monks lived here in total isolation, perched high on this remote cliff-side. The monastery still contains many frescoes of biblical scenes painted in the Greek Orthodox style.

Overnight in Trabzon.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 14 Trabzon: City Tour
We will have a morning tour of Trabzon. We include a visit to the Saint Sophia Cathedral, built in the mid 13th century as a monastery church and later converted to a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of 1461. Later used by the Turks as a military storehouse and a fever hospital, it is now a museum with magnificent frescoes covering its walls. Outside the city we will visit Ataturk's beautiful summer mansion situated high on a hillside overlooking the Black Sea.

This afternoon we visit Rize, a city built in an area where bright green tea bushes cover entire mountainsides. From the city we will have a panoramic view of the area and be able to experience its unique beauty. In antiquity the town was called Rhizion (Rhizous, Rhition, Rhitium) and was a port for the territory of Kissioi. In medieval times it was known as Risso. In 1461 after Mehmet II captured Trebizond it became part of the Ottoman Empire.

This afternoon you will have free time to explore the old walled city.

Overnight in Trabzon.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 15 Trabzon - Istanbul
Today we fly from Trabzon to Istanbul with the balance of the day at leisure in this magical city.

Overnight in Istanbul.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 16 Istanbul: Hippodrome & Agia Sophia
We start our day with a panoramic drive around the Golden Horn and the great walls of Constantinople. The first recorded bridge over the Golden Horn was built during the reign of Justinian the Great in the 6th century at the western end of the city, and today we will pass the famous Galata Bridge and the Ataturk Bridge. As we drive along the Byzantine city gates and walls we will view the towering minarets of Suleyman's Mosque and the Galata Tower before arriving in Sultanahmet Square.

We'll begin the walking component of today's tour at the legendary Blue Mosque, built between 1609 and 1616 by Mehmet Aga. The inside is covered by more than 20,000 Iznik tiles. At the adjacent Hippodrome you will see the remains of the great sports stadium where chariot races were held in Roman and Byzantine times. We will also see an Egyptian obelisk, a giant needle of stone carved for the Pharaoh Tutmoses III around 1500 BC and brought to Constantinople by the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius in AD 390.

We continue to the church of Agia Sophia (St Sophia), built by the Emperor Justinian in 548 BC. It was the largest church in the Christian world for nearly 1,000 years. When the Ottoman Turks conquered the city in 1435 one of the first things they did was to convert St Sophia into a mosque. Today it is a museum featuring many beautiful Christian mosaics.

Outside Agia Sophia we descend underground to the gigantic Basilica Cisterns. These are the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul. Like most sites in Istanbul, the cistern has a colourful history. Constructed using columns, capitals and plinths from ruined buildings, the cistern's symmetry and sheer grandeur of conception are quite extraordinary. This immense underground water container was built during the reign of Emperor Justinian I in 532 to meet the water needs of the Great Palace. This marvelous piece of engineering only confirms yet again that those were the heydays of the Byzantine Empire.

At the end of our touring today your Tour Leader will lead you on a leisurely exploration of Istanbul's famous Grand Bazaar before setting you free for independent exploration.

Overnight in Istanbul.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 17 Istanbul - Gallipoli - Troy - Canakkale
After breakfast we drive along the Sea of Marmara through the small European part of Turkey known as Thrace. Only 3% of Turkey is in Europe, the other 97% known as Anatolia, is in Asia. One of the fascinations of Turkey is the huge number of peoples and empires that have occupied this land.

Before leaving Europe we visit Gallipoli, Gelibolu in Turkish. This narrow, mountainous peninsula on the northwestern side of the Dardanelles has seen more than its share of history with countless civilizations having battled for control over these straits for over 3,000 years. This is the historic World War I battleground where Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, father of the Turkish Republic, first rose to prominence. Under the direction of Winston Churchill, an unsuccessful naval and land campaign failed in its attempt to capture Gallipoli, open up the Dardanelles, and seize Constantinople. This battleground is now marked with over 30 memorials.

We then cross the Dardanelles waterway by ferry from Europe to Asia where we visit the ruins of Troy where Greek and Trojan heroes fought for the beautiful Helen. Troy had been accepted as a lengendary city for ages, but very few people believed in its true existence. Heinrich Schliemann excavated here at this own expense in the 1870s and discovered the spot where a sophisticated settlement had existed for centuries. As you stand on the ancient hilltop you can look out over the plain of Troy and feel the famous cool north wind blowing from the Dardanelles.

Overnight in Canakkale.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 18 Canakkale - Pergamon - Kusadasi
We have an early start today, travelling down the rugged Aegean coast and inland to the typically Turkish rural town of Bergama. Here we visit the Akropolis and Asklepion of the Roman city of Pergamon, said to be one of the first hospitals in the world. We see a carving of two snakes wrapped around a drinking cup (a modern symbol of the medical profession), and a theatre where the mentally disturbed would allegedly act out their emotions (a forerunner of today's psychoanalysis?).

Later we travel through Izmir, Turkey's most important port. Here the blind poet Homer was born when the city was known as Smyrna. Also here in 1922 the Turks expelled the invading Greeks from Turkish soil during the Turkish War of Independence.

We continue to Kusadasi, a beautiful port city with a small island fortress. The island, attached to the mainland, gives the city its name: Kusadasi, "The Island of Birds."

Overnight in Kusadasi.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 19 Kusadasi: Ephesus Site Tour
Today we visit Ephesus, one of the highlights of any visit to Turkey. During its Golden Age, the city was adorned with splendid monuments, theatres, agoras and libraries. The protectress of the city was the goddess Artemis whose temple, dating back to 1300 BC, was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. As a prosperous trade and banking centre, Ephesus had a cosmopolitan population. It has been recorded that St John brought the Virgin Mary to Ephesus
where she spent her last days after the death of Christ. On our tour of Ephesus we see a 24,000 seat amphitheatre, the Library of Celsus, and the marble-paved Arcadian Way. We also include the special Terrace Houses section, which provides fascinating insight into family life during the Roman period.

In addition to the main site of Ephesus we will visit the superb Ephesus Museum. We also visit the traditional town of Selcuk with its many beautiful buildings, including the Isa Bey Mosque (built in 1307), remains of old Turkish baths, and a hill crowned by the Ayasoluk Fortress.

Overnight in Kusadasi.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 20 Kusadasi - Didyma - Bodrum: Crusader Castle of St Peter
Today we travel southward along the Aegean coast on winding roads through fields and olive groves to Bodrum. En route we stop at Didyma, an ancient Ionian shrine and the most renowned oracle of the Hellenic world, containing a temple and an oracle of Apollo. The Temple of Apollo at Didyma was the fourth largest temple in the ancient Greek world.

Bodrum is the site of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the Mausoleum. This was also the birthplace of the Greek historian Herodotus. Today Bodrum's whitewashed sugar-cube houses, draped in bougainvillea and scattered on the hillside overlook the perfect natural harbour. The reputation of Bodrum's boatyards dates back to ancient times, and today, craftsmen still build the traditional yachts: the Tirhandil with a pointed bow and stern, and the Gullets with a broad beam and rounded stern. The latter, especially, are used on excursions and pleasure trips,

This afternoon we visit the Crusader Castle of St Peter, which dominates Bodrum Bay. The castle was built by the Knights Hospitaller in the early 15th century. Today the castle houses an excellent museum, mainly dedicated to the artifacts retrieved from the many ancient shipwrecks discovered off the Turkish coast. Many of the pieces in the museum have been excavated from below the sea bed by teams of archaeologists from Texas A&M University.

Overnight in Bodrum.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 21 Bodrum: Day at Leisure
Today is free for you to enjoy the ambience of this beautiful seaside town. Some may want to explore the Bodrum Mausoleum, also known as Mausoleum of Halicarnassus -- one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The Mausoleum dates back to 350 B.C. and is dedicated to Carian satrap Mausolus. This monument tomb was 50 meters high, and rose over the region. Though there is not much left to see, the site is worth a visit with its beautiful ruins, gardens and landscape.

Situated on a hillside overlooking Bodrum is the Bodrum Amphitheatre, another structure accredited to the reign of King Mausolus. The theatre is another witness to the great past of Bodrum, and it is one of the best-preserved structures of ancient Halikarnassus. Originally, it was built around 4th C BC during the reign of King Mausolos, in 2nd C AD, during the Roman period, it was enlarged and enriched.

Overnight in Bodrum.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 22 Bodrum - Kas
Leaving Bodrum we head over the coastal fringes of the Taurus Mountains to the warm Mediterranean coast, called the 'Turquoise Coast' because of the exquisite blueness of the sea. The picturesque fishing village of Kas has a quaint harbour, carved tombs in the mountain behind, an ancient Lycian amphitheatre, a Lycian tomb, and the Greek island of Kastellorizo just off shore.

Overnight in Kas.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 23 Kas - Gulet Cruise - Kas
Today we cruise the Mediterranean on a wooden yacht, relaxing, sun bathing and stopping to swim at leisure. Our itinerary is open-ended today in order to account for local weather conditions, though our likely itinerary will include Tersane, Kekova submerged ruins, and the fortress at Simena. At some of these sites, foundations of houses and rock hewn staircases with outlines of buildings can be seen almost at the water's surface. There are several excellent places to moor for swimming and sightseeing.

Overnight in Kas.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 24 Kas - Antalya
Today we travel along the Lycian Coast visiting the rock tombs of Myra and the Church of St Nicholas -- the original Father Christmas -- on the way to Antalya. Before reaching Antalya we stop at Phaselis, one of the mst spectacular Roman cities on the coast, located on a narrow peninsula between pine forests and three natural harbours.

Overnight in Antalya.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 25 Antalya - Perge - Aspendos - Antalya
We visit the vast Roman site of Perge where St Paul is said to have preached his first sermon. Here are the ruins of a huge theatre with impressive marble relief work, fountains, a colonnaded steam bath and basilica. Nearby is the well preserved amphitheatre at Aspendos, which the Romans designed so brilliantly that natural acoustics allow someone sitting in the furthest seats to hear a person speaking in a normal voice down in the orchestra area. We will also see the aqueduct that brought water from the mountains to the city.

We return to Antalya and visit the excellent museum containing early Christian icons and Roman tombs with some of the best examples of Roman sculpture of Asia Minor.

Overnight in Antalya.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 26 Antalya - Istanbul
This morning we take the 75 minute flight from Antalya to Istanbul and transfer to our hotel.*

This afternoon you may explore Istanbul, a city crowded with beautiful mosques, churches and palaces. The Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar beckon for last-minute shopping. For a relaxing break, you may want to take an optional ferry ride up the Bosphorous to the Black Sea. Along the shores of the Bosphorous are many Summer Palaces and old wooden houses dating from Ottoman times.

* Your Tour Leader may not accompany you to Istanbul as s/he will be continuing to Capadoccia on a longer tour option. Your arrival and time in Istanbul will be managed by a local agent.

Overnight in Istanbul.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 27 Departure
Departure from Istanbul.


Meal plan: Breakfast

Tour Map

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.

Hotel List

The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.

Hotel Arcadia Blue

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Istanbul
Country: Turkey

Hotel Arcadia Blue, is located on a central but calm street at the district of Sultanahmet, that is the cultural
... commercial heart of Istanbul; In face of the previous Courthouse of Istanbul.
Read More.

Liwan Hotel Antakya

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Antakya
Country: Turkey

Liwan Hotel is housed in a historical building, situated in a quite area in the centre of Antakya. It is
... cafés, archaeology museums, mosques, and churches.

The Liwan Hotel was first built as a home to Syrian’s first president. It features traditional décor and furnishings throughout the property.

Guests can enjoy rich Turkish dishes indoors or outdoors, in the hotel's central open-air courtyard. Liwan’s bar offers live music shows in the evenings.

Liwan Hotel is within walking distance to restaurants serving rich, traditional south-eastern cuisines and many shops selling locally made silks and soaps.

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Savon Hotel

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Antakya
Country: Turkey

Savon Hotel has been built as a soap and olive oil factory in 1860’s during the Ottoman period. The original
... was in U shape which had rooms at the sides and a courtryard in the middle. The structure of the building was made out of stone vaults and arcades. This type of architectural style was also common in cities like Gaziantep, Urfa and Aleppo. The factory was bought in 1930 and contunied its operations until early 1960’s. Since then the building was closed until 2001. In 2001, after going through a two year renovation, this historical building opened its doors to the public as a beautiful hotel.

Savon Hotel is located at the center of Antioch which is 185 km. to Adana airport, 90 km. to Aleppo, 350 km. to Damascus, and 300 km. to Beirut. It has 36 standart deluxe rooms, 4 super deluxe (2 with jacuzzi) and 3 suits. All rooms have,Free WI-FI, TV, air conditioning, mini bar and hairdryer. Our restaurant with 150 seating capacity serves delicious food from local and internationa cuisines. A bar with a fireplace, a game room, a meeting room with 250 seating capacity and a lobby with piano are at your service.

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Hotel el Ruha

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Urfa
Country: Turkey

A place partake of a palace, made of Urfa stone in accordance with historical architectural texture, in Şanlıurfa that bear
... of legends, marks of faith, past and future meets; Live the history in Hotel El-Ruha…

in a close embrace with the history…
In the center of historical Şanlıurfa city; view of Fish-Lake, recognized as soul of the city, the Castle, Aynzeliha Lake and its garden, Halepli Garden that unique around the world, where Mosaics of Amazon Queens are represented;
A historical and mystic atmosphere with natural caves and traditional architecture…
Have a comfort like home…

Standard and suit rooms, 200-bed capacity…
Authentic rooms with a view of Fish-Lake and the Castle where the faith and love become legend…

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Erdoba Hotel

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Mardin
Country: Turkey

The great courtyards of the historic city opening up to the south, high the great plains of Mesopatamiai doors and
Read More.

Hotel Ertur Butik

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Dogubeyazit
Country: Turkey

The hotel has a barbecue and views of the mountains, and guests can enjoy a drink at the bar. The
... is popular for skiing and hiking.
Read More.

Zorlu Grand Hotel

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Trabzon
Country: Turkey

Zorlu Grand Hotel is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zorlu Holding, a major Turkish corporate group ity whose roots reach back
... 1953 and production and trade activities supported by a few looms in the town of Babadağ in Denizli province in southwest Turkey and is today active in sectors ranging from electronics and white goods (Vestel) and textiles (Korteks, TAÇ, Linens) to energy (Zorlu Energy) and real estate (Zorlu Property Group).

It was in Trabzon that Ahmet Nazif Zorlu and Zeki Zorlu got their real start in business and it was because of their fondness for the town that they decided to invest here. Spotting the need for a genuinely world-class 5-star hotel in the city in the 1990s, they decided to build one. The project soon got underway and the result was Zorlu Grand Hotel, which opened its doors in 1997.

Zorlu Grand Hotel is the first and only 5-star hotel located along the Turkish Black Sea riviera. Aware of the responsibilities which this entails, we remain steadfastly bound by our commitment never to allow any lapse in quality or service. Hospitality is both the watchword and an ingrained way of life at our hotel. Ever since its inception, Zorlu Grand Hotel has been playing host to the most prestigious congresses, seminars, company meetings, and similar gatherings taking place not just in Trabzon but throughout the Turkish Black Sea region. The hotel will continue to do so in the future as well.

Read More.

Trip Information

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►


Breakfast and dinner (local restaurants and hotels) daily. All sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters. All domestic flights. Airport transfers for land & air customers and for early arriving / late departing land & air customers who book their extra hotel nights through us.


Tour Leader gratuities, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international (if applicable) and domestic air taxes, visa fees, and excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs, shopping, and visas.

Seasonality and Weather

This tour is offered in spring, summer, and fall, the most popular being spring and fall when temperatures are milder, crowds thinner, and airfares lower. Spring is popular for green landscapes and wildflowers; fall means harvest of local produce-melon, grapes, pomegranates. The region has a continental climate with mild springs, long hot and dry summers, and autumns that are bright and warm into mid-October. Showers are possible in spring, rare in summer, and possible in fall.

Transport and Travel Conditions

Land transport by private air-conditioned motor coach, 36-40 seats depending on group size (see 'Group Size'). Turkish roads are generally good and travelling is not arduous though we do have several full yet scenic travelling days with stops of interest. Scheduled flighs Istanbul-Adana, Trabzon-Istanbul, Antalya-Istanbul. Several walking tours on expansiv siteswith uneven surfaces.


Well-located, air-conditioned, mid-range hotels (3-4 star) throughout. All hotels have en suite bath, though some have shower only. Hotel porter service is generally available (see 'Inclusions'). Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader and local guide throughout, driver (s), local step-on local guides in various locales.

Group Size

10-18 (plus Tour Leader)