(We offer this program on different days other than Sunday.)
Sunday - Day 1 - Antalya - Konya - Cappadocia - (B/L)
After breakfast, we will depart from Antalya and drive to Cappadocia, on the way we will stop and visit the Mevlana Museum in Konya.
* The Mevlana Museum is a holy site for Muslims because of its historical significance as a lodge of the whirling dervishes; in addition, the architecture and famous Iznik turquoise tiles make for a stunning backdrop.
(Note: a museum visit is not included in the guided tour, however, you may choose to either explore this site or to explore Konya.)
In the afternoon, we'll continue on to Cappadocia, where you will check into your hotel and have free time to relax and explore Cappadocia on your own. Overnight stay at URGUP Cappadocia
Monday - Day 2 - Cappadocia - (B/L)
As we have a lengthy drive to our first destination, we'll be starting out quite early this morning. Today, we'll stroll through an amazing subterranean city where ancient Christians once hid from Arab invaders; we'll then wander through the Ihlara Gorge and spend time in a classic Anatolian village.
* 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 Urgup - Cappadocia
Tuesday - Day 3 - Cappadocia - (B/L)
This day will be devoted to exploring more of the unforgettable sights of Cappadocia.
(If you have purchased the optional hot-air ballooning tour, please note that you'll need to rise very early in the morning to go to the balloon-launch site. After the trip has concluded, we'll come back to the hotel for breakfast and have a rest before setting out in later in the morning to see the rest of the sites listed below.) 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.
If time permits, we'll also visit local crafts people and learn the special art of making dolls and traditional pottery.
Overnight in Urgup - Cappadocia
Wednesday - Day 4 - Cappadocia to Adiyaman - (B/L/D)
In the morning, we will depart on a scenic drive to Adiyaman, stopping to enjoy lunch on the way. You'll also have the opportunity to sample the world-famous Maras ice cream (dondurma).
After arriving in Adiyaman, you'll check in at the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
Overnight in Adiyaman - Kahta
Thursday - Day 5 - Nemrut Tour then to 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.
* Mount Nemrut is famous for its large number of large, mysterious statues at its summit. In the 1st century BC, King Antiochus (Theos of Commagene) built himself a tomb-sanctuary here, flanked by huge statues (8–9 m/26–30 ft high) (also of himself), two lions, two eagles and various Greek, Armenian, and Iranian gods, such as Hercules-Vahagn, Zeus-Aramazd or Oromasdes (associated with the Iranic god Ahura Mazda), Tyche, and Apollo-Mithras. These statues were once seated, with names of each god inscribed on them. The heads of these statues have, at some stage, been removed from their bodies, and they are now scattered throughout the site.
The western terrace contains a large slab with a lion, showing the arrangement of stars and the planets Jupiter, Mercury and Mars on July7, 62 BC, an indication of when construction began here. The eastern terrace is well-preserved, and a path skirting the base of the mountain features a walled-in passageway linking these terraces.
After lunch we will explore more of Urfa the city that's Famous for kebabs, this city in fact has a great historical past. The Lake of Sacred Fish being the focal point and the adjacent Halilurrahman Mosque and Dersa Mosque.
Near Urfa, a heavily-influenced Syrian town, we come across a famed city of Mesopotamia, Harran.
* Harran is famous for its traditional 'beehive' adobe houses, constructed entirely without wood. The 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
Friday - Day 6 - Urfa to Antalya - (B)
After breakfast, we will provide a transfer to Urfa Airport and put you on a flight back to Antalya. (As this flight goes via Ankara, we can provide a connecting flight to Istanbul instead if you wish.)
*** Program ends ***
We look forward to seeing you on a future trip!
Prices are starting from 685 Euros per person in a double, contact us to get a price quote for your dates
* All hotels
* All land transfers with comfortable vehicles
* All of the meals mentioned in the itinerary (B-breakfast, L-lunch & D-dinner)
* Professional, English-speaking tour guides
* Domestic flight tickets from Urfa to Istanbul
* Admissions to sites in Cappadocia and Nemrut
* All taxes and service charges
* International flight tickets to/from Istanbul
* Drinks with meals
* Hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia (15% discount if booked with us)