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From Cappadocia we will go to visit the South East of Turkey. Visiting Urfa, Mt. Nemrut and after Harran and Gobekli Tepe, then back to Istanbul by plane.
Day 1 – Istanbul – Cappadocia
Take the morning flight from Istanbul to Cappadocia. Arrival and meeting at the airport just outside the arrival’s gate with a sign bearing your name and transfer to Cappadocia. Tour to Kaymaklı Underground City, one of the most interesting underground settlements in Cappadocia. Drive to to Sahinefendi ( Sobesos )- Sobessos is newly discovered (01 May 2002) mosaic houses & Archaeological excavation site. Villages in the valleys, surrounded by the “table top” mountains, are spectacular. Continue with Keslik Monastery near Cemil, that hides it’s frescoes behind a very thin smoke layer which we can only see by torch light. Lunch break. Visit to Mustafapaşa (Sinasos), an old Greek town with its spectacular old Greek houses; very fine examples of late Greek settlements and architecture. Visit to Saruhan Caravanserai, a roadside inn where travellers could rest and recover from the day’s journey. Caravanserais supported the flow of commerce, information and people across a network of trade routes of Asia, North Africa and South-Eastern Europe on the legendary Silk Road and the Spice road. Continue with panorama of the Red Valley, with its fabulous volcanic rock formations, is in the heart of Cappadocia but away from the tourist crowd Overnight Cappadocia
Day 2 – Cappadocia
Hot Air ballooning with sunrise (optional, extra)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 09:30am After breakfast, first meeting with the lunar landscape of Cappadocia: rock formations beyond belief in Devrent valley; walking in Pasabag near Zelve ; “fairy chimneys” where the voice of wind mixes with the “songs of fairies”. Lunch in Avanos, centre of terra cotta work of art since 3000 BC. and a demonstration in a traditional pottery workshop. Afternoon, visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum and see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia in rock-cut churches with frescoes and paintings (10th to 13th century). Continue to Uchisar Rock-Castle to have a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia.
Day 3 – Cappadocia – Kahta
Departure from your hotel in Cappadocia at 08:30. Drive to Karatay Caravanserai and visit the caravanserai. On the way to Kahta (Nemrut) stop at Kahramanmaras for lunch and a taste of its famous ice cream. Arrive to the hotel in Kahta city. Evening at leisure and overnight in Kahta.
Day 4 – Mt. Nemrut – Urfa ( Gobekli Tepe)
Hike to the summit of the Mt. Nemrut (one of the most popular UNESCO world cultural heritage sites), be amazed by the colossal heads and statues of ancient deities, as you step into mythology. There we will hire small mini-buses to drive up the mountain. This extraordinary landmark rests at an elevation of 8000 ft. The mountain top complex is composed of two flattened areas strewn with statues and separated by a false peak of crushed rock. Antiouchus built the entire complex approximately 2000 years ago as a monument to his divine ancestry. Also definitely take time to visit the old castle, Arsemeia, cross over the still functioning Cendere Bridge (Septimius Severus bridge) dating all the way back to the 3rd century and Tumulus Tomb of Karakus. Then drive back to the hotel for breakfast. Drive to Urfa on the way visit Ataturk dam and look over to the Ataturk Dam; a modern day wonder. You will also see Gobekli Tepe which is a hilltop sanctuary erected on the highest point of an elongated mountain ridge some 15 km northeast of the town of Sanlıurfa. Overnight stay in Urfa.
Day 5 – Urfa (Harran) – Istanbul
Departure from your hotel at 08:30. Urfa (Edessa), the birthplace of the prophet Abraham. Urfa has been occupied since the Babylonians followed by the Hurrites, Hittites, Assyrians, Greeks. We will visit nearby Harran and see the incredible beehive houses. Harran according to the Bible was the site where Prophet Abraham spent a few years with his family before moving on to Israel, the Promised Land. We will also visit the holy sites in Ainzelha, a lake with millions of domesticated fish. While in Urfa we will visit the cave where the prophet Abraham was born and visit a bustling sheep market as well. There are exceptional photo opportunities in this area. Transfer to Gap airport in Urfa and take the evening flight to Istanbul- end of services.
Important note: You can choose between that two “Day 5”.
Day 5 – Urfa (Harran) – Gaziantep- Istanbul
Departure from your hotel at 08:30.
Urfa (Edessa), the birthplace of the prophet Abraham. Urfa has been occupied since the Babylonians followed by the Hurrites, Hittites, Assyrians, Greeks. We will visit nearby Harran and see the incredible beehive houses. Harran according to the Bible was the site where Prophet Abraham spent a few years with his family before moving on to Israel, the Promised Land. We will also visit the holy sites in Ainzelha, a lake with millions of domesticated fish. While in Urfa we will visit the cave where the prophet Abraham was born and visit a bustling sheep market as well. There are exceptional photo opportunities in this area. Drive to Gaziantep. We will visit the Gaziantep Zeugma Museum with the collection of impressive mosaics from the ancient site of Zeugma (Belkis) this museum has become one of the most extensive mosaic museums in the world. Transfer to Gaziantep airport in and take the evening flight to Istanbul- end of services. (or you can fly back to another part of Turkey.)
This itinerary is subject to change and may be reversed without prior notice according to weather, museum closing days, daily events or other unforeseen circumstances outside the control of Custom Travel Services.