Turkey off the beaten path > tour of East Turkey
tour of East Turkey --- Explore the traditions and cultural thrills of the East... On this tour, you will walk in the maze of history, and discover the roots of our civilization...
  • 15 days, tour starts in Ankara, ends in Istanbul;
tour highlights
  • Hattusas, capital city of the Hittite Empire, Yazilikaya and Alacahoyuk
  • Mount Nemrut, the spectacular burial site for King Antiochos of Commagene
  • Saffron Monastery, once the seat of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch
  • Biblical sites Harran and Urfa
  • Hasankayf on the Tigris, that once controlled the trade route along the river
  • City of Van, home to mighty Urartian kings
  • Ancient Ani on the Armenian border
  • Ishakpasa Palace by Mt. Ararat
included are
  • Accommodations in centrally located hotels and pensions
  • All breakfasts, and half the lunches and dinners
  • All entrance fees to sites and museums listed in the itinerary
  • Domestic flight; Erzurum to Istanbul

itinerary details

day 1 - Ankara --- Welcome get together. Dinner will follow the tour introduction.

day 2 - Kayseri --- Drive to Hattusas, capital city of the Hittite Empire. The city dates back to the 2nd millenium BC. We will see the incredible 200 feet tunnel beneath the walls, take a closer look at the monumental gates and the great Temple of Storm God Teshup. Pre-historic Alacahoyuk and the Hittite open air temple Yazilikaya are also included in our tour.

day 3 - K.Maras --- This morning, we will walk the colorful market area of Kayseri. We will then visit the Museum of Medical History, a 13th century Seldjuk hospital for mental diseases. The monumental tombs, Uc Kumbetler, are fine examples of Seldjuk architecture.
Later in the day we will drive to Maras, a growing city of the east, and famous for its delicious ice-cream. We will learn more about the ethnic diversity of Turkey as we visit a small village en route. The locals will host our group for lunch, and lead us around their village. As we arrive in Maras, we'll take a stroll to see the coppersmith's bazaar.

day 4 - Adiyaman --- Roughly two thousand years ago, to satisfy his ego, King Antiochos of Commagene had chosen the very top of Mount Nemrut as the site for his burial, far from the eyes like an eagle's nest. And his statue still stands among the statues of his equals, the gods. This historic monument is listed as a world heritage site by Unesco. On our way to the summit of Mt. Nemrut, we'll visit the two other attractions, Karakus and Arsameia.

day 5 - S.Urfa --- They call it the city of prophets; Urfa is one of the prosperous cities of the southeast with a proud history. On our way to Urfa, we will get to know more about the GAP (South Eastern Anatolia) Project, and the largest water reservoir incorporated within this project. As we arrive in Urfa, we will visit the Pool of the Sacred Carp. We will also see the Dergah, and the cave that is believed to be the birthplace of prophet Abraham. The bazaar will take us into the colorful world of cloths, spices, copperware, and many others. Locals will tell us all about their interest in pigeons, and why they are willing to pay a small fortune for a pair.

day 6 - S.Urfa --- Drive to Harran, on the Syrian border. The city has been witnessing the progress of mankind since the beginning of written history. Harran is where Abraham and his family started on their journey to Canaan. Not only its biblical past, the ruins of the nearby pagan temple, the ancient university complex, and the unique beehive houses are worth the attention.

day 7 - Mardin --- On the road to Mardin, along the infinite plains of Mesopotamia. As we arrive in the city we·ll visit Deyrul Zafaran, the Saffron Monastery, that was once the seat of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch. The community still speak the old Arameic. We'll take a stroll to see the old town and observe the unique stone masonry.

day 8 - Mardin --- Drive to Savur, known for its distinct architecture and vineyards. In the village of Killit, we will have lunch in a 400 years old estate with the family that lives there. As we return to Mardin, we will visit Nasra who is a master in making and painting church curtains. She is the last remaining artist to carry out this traditional handicraft.

day 9 - Diyarbakir --- The fertile land known as the Upper Mesopotamia had been a major interest for many civilizations throughout the history. Today we'll visit Hasankayf on the Tigris, that once controlled the trade route along the river. The ruins of this once glorious town are breathtaking.
We will continue on to Diyarbakir. As we walk the narrow streets of old Diyarbakir, we'll observe a unique harmony of cultures, styles, and architecture. Here we will visit the impressive basalt walls that once protected the city, and the Grand Mosque from the Seldjuk times. The mosque is truly remarkable with perfect stone masonry.

day 10 - Van --- The city of Van was the capital of ancient Urartia. It has always been an important settlement in the East. Today the city is known for its cats. Quite curious, these beautiful white cats have different eye colors. On the way to Van, we will stop south of Lake Van and take a boat to Akdamar Island to visit the Church of Holy Cross, or simply the Akdamar Church. The church is a masterpieces of Armenian architecture. Later in the day we'll visit the Urartian Citadel in the outskirts of Van.

day 11 - Van --- Today we will discover the historic settlements in the vicinity. We'll drive to Cavustepe that was home to mighty Urartian kings and learn more about the Urartian civilization. We will also visit the 17th century Hosap Castle, built by a Kurdish landlord. History of the site will help to better understand the current social and cultural diversity of eastern Turkey.

day 12 - Kars --- Mt. Ararat has always attracted travelers from all around the world, many came in search of the remains of Noahs Ark, others to take the challenge and climb the highest mountain in Turkey. The outstanding palace of Ishak Pasa was built towards the end of the 18th century. The palace and the town have a great location, on the major trade route of the past. The unique style can only be described as eclectic.

day 13 - Erzurum --- The city of Ani was one of the major settlements in Middle Ages. As we tour this impressive site, we will see the massive fortification walls, Church of St. Gregory, the Cathedral, Menucher Mosque, and the Seldjuk Caravanserai, as well as the bridge that connected the two banks of the river.
City of Erzurum had been the stronghold of many invading armies as it linked the ancient trade routes. The reminders of its glorious past are still in situ. The Twin Minaret Medrese, the Seldjuk tombs, and Rustem Pasha Bedestan are among the places we'll visit in Erzurum.

day 14 - Istanbul --- Back to Istanbul. The day will end with our farewell dinner.

day 15 - Tour is over after breakfast.

Itinerary can be re-designed to your specifications, travel plans and expectations...
tour dates;
  • on demand, Apr. thru Oct.
Itinerary can be re-designed to your specifications, travel plans
and expectations...





Main Page | About us | Events | Tours & Travel Services | Tailor-Made Travel | Incentives | Contact | Site Map | Disclaimer & Copyright
© SRM Travel 2008