(This tour begins in Istanbul, but you may join from any location; simply tell us and we can accommodate your itinerary.)
Day 1: Cappadocia - (L)
Very early in the morning, we will meet you at your Istanbul hotel and transfer you to a domestic airport for a 1-hour flight to Kayseri. After arriving, we will commence our full-day tour of Cappadocia.
Sites you’ll see today:
* Goreme Open-Air Museum - A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Goreme is an ancient town carved right out of the rock (tufa); you'll explore Byzantine-era churches, chapels and monasteries which house wonderfully-preserved 11th- and 12th-century cave frescoes.
* Fairy Chimneys--This strange geological phenomenon was created over millions of years, and were formed during regional volcanic eruptions. Reaching at times 40 meters in height, they are conical in shape and have a whimsical "hat" top to them.
* Devrent Valley--This valley is known as "the pink valley" because of the color of its soil. This is a lovely place to wander about and really take in the magical rock formations indicative to Cappadocia, including the Fairy Chimneys.
* Uchisar Castle, also known as Uchisar Fortress, is actually a formation of two gigantic rocks surrounded by smaller ones that together, form a natural fortress with towers. These formations were inhabited during both the Byzantine and Ottoman periods.
We'll also visit local crafts people and learn the special art of making dolls and traditional pottery.
Overnight in Cappadocia
Day 2 - Cappadocia - (B/L)
Today will be spent walking through an underground city where ancient people once fled for their lives escaping the Arab invaders, wandering through Ihlara Gorge and spending time in an Anatolian village.
Sites you’ll see today:
* Underground City of Derinkuyu--You'll gradually make your way down into the depths of the earth of this ancient settlement that has 18-20 floors which boast depths as long as 40 meters. (Don't worry, we'll only go down to the 8th floor!) Youll marvel at the fact that Derinkuyu is just one of 36 Cappadocian underground cities, which archaeologists date back to the time of the Hittites around 4,000 years ago.
* Ihlara Gorge is an oasis in the middle of the Anatolian plain. We'll explore the canyon and take in the beautiful green scenery as we stroll casually alongside the river. Here, you'll see ancient monasteries complete with pigeon holes carved into the cliffs by the monks; the pigeons acted as messengers to communicate with neighboring monks!
* Traditional Anatolian village -- You'll see head-scarved women in the fields (where they work from sun up until sundown) and the mustachioed, vest-wearing men hard-at-work playing cards or tavla (backgammon) in the kahvehane (coffee shop). You'll get time to stroll in a village such as this and see the average Turkish villager at work...or play.
Overnight in Cappadocia
Day 3: Cappadocia - Adiyaman - (B/D)
After breakfast we'll bid farewell to Cappadocia as we set out on a scenic 6-hour drive to Adiyaman. On the way, we will enjoy a nice lunch and taste the world-famous Maras dondurma (ice cream). Upon arrival at Adiyaman-Kahta, you'll check into your hotel. You'll then have the remainder of the evening to spend as you wish.
Overnight in Adiyaman
Day 4: Nemrut - Urfa (B/L/D)
Around 3:00 am, we will start our tour by driving to Mount Nemrut to watch the sunrise - a truly magical postcard-setting with the amazing statues at the Commagene Temple. In this area we will visit the capital of the Commagene Kingdom; Arsaemia; a tumulus on Karakus Hill and Cendere Bridge, before heading to Sanliurfa.
After lunch we will explore Urfa; a city that’s as famous for its kebabs, as it is for its history.
We will visit The Lake of Sacred Fish and the adjacent Halilurrahman Mosque and Dersa Mosque.
We will also visit the famed Mesopotamian city of Harran, famous for its adobe beehive houses. Their mud-based construction keeps them cool inside (essential for the hot Anatolian climate) and is thought to have been unchanged for the last 3,000 years. Some were even still in use as private dwellings until the 1980s! (However, the adobe homes remaining today are tourist exhibits, and now, most of Harran's residents live in a newly-built smaller village, about 2 kilometers away from the main site.) At the historical site, the ruins of the city walls and fortifications are mostly in place, with one full city gate still standing, along with some other structures.
Overnight in Urfa
Day 5: Urfa to Diyarbakir - (B/D)
After breakfast we will depart from Urfa and drive to Diyarbakir. After arrival in Diyarbakir, where we will enjoy a full-day guided tour.
It is the second-largest city in Turkey's Southeastern Anatolia region, after Gaziantep. Within Turkey, Diyarbakır is famed for its culture, rich folklore and watermelon. The city is surrounded by a dramatic and intact set of black basalt walls extending in a
5.5 km circle around the old city; there are four gates and 82 watchtowers.
Overnight stay in Diyarbakir
Day 6: Diyarbakir to Istanbul - (B)
After breakfast, we will transfer you to the Diyarbakir Airport and put you on a 2-hour flight back to Istanbul.
*** Program ends ***
Prices are starting from 885 Euros per person in a double, contact us to get a price quote for your dates
* All transportation in comfortable vehicles
* All hotels with daily breakfasts & 3 lunches
* Domestic flight tickets (Istanbul - Kayseri & Diyarbakir - Istanbul)
* Professional, English-speaking guides
* Entrance fees to ancient sites
* All service charges and local taxes
* Drinks with meals
* Hot Air Balloon ride in Cappadocia (15% discount if booked with this program)
(NOTE: This is a fully-customizable program and is available all year round. If you are interested in obtaining more information about early booking, cash-paying discounts, hotel names (and web sites), or daily departure times, simply send back to us your e-mail inquiry, letting us know the dates you wish to travel, and we'll get back with you very soon.
You may also choose to extend your stay by adding-on such destinations as Fethiye, Antalya, etc., or a Blue Cruise Charter boat trip, in order to fit your time and travel interests.)
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