|DAY 1 - Istanbul - Diyarbakir - Mardin - Kahta
In the morning, flight to Diyarbakir, a big city located near the right bank of the Tigris River (Dicle) and named "the Dark" because of the remains of its old black basalt walls which are one of the best examples of medieval military architecture. Visit the impressive city walls and the Grand Mosque which includes many recycled building materials from the Byzantine and more ancient periods. Continue to Mardin that rises in tiers on the mountain slope and overlooks the vast plains of Mesopotamia. You will stroll through the alleys and stairs of the town to discover its typical houses and monuments such as Sultan Isa Medrese, the buildings of the Post Office and the Great Ulu Camii, the oldest mosque (1176) in the city with its remarkable minaret. Also visit the Syriac-Jacobite Deyrul Zaferan Monastery located outside Mardin. At the end of the day, you will cross the Euphrates by ferry to reach Kahta. Lunch during sightseeing. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
DAY 2 - Cendere Bridge - Mount Nemrut
A full day to explore Eski Kahta where you will see Karakus Tumulus, a burial sanctuary, Cendere Bridge, erected by the XVI Legion in the honour of Roman Emperor Septimus Severus and Arsameia on the Nymphaios (Eski Kale) with its cult monuments and reliefs. Then continue your drive to the National Park of Nemrut Dag. Inside the park, ascend Mount Nemrut to its famous summit. At 7,000 feet, Mount Nemrut is the highest mountain in northern Mesopotamia. In the 1st century BC, Antiochus I, King of Commagene, erected a sanctuary of statues at the summit where he was venerated in the company of other gods such as Apollo, Zeus and Hercules. Antiochus' tomb is believed to be buried beneath. You will visit this stunning site where these monumental statues of fallen gods still reside on terraces with breathtaking panoramic views over the region and from where you will watch, according to the season, an unforgettable sunrise or sunset. Drive back to Kahta. Lunch during sightseeing. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
DAY 3 - Kahta - Harran - Urfa - Gaziantep
Early morning, drive to Harran the ancient city where Abraham is said to have spent several years of his life. Explore this ancient village known for its remains of the largest ancient Islamic university and distinctive "beehive" houses, aptly named for their unique cone-shaped roofs. On the road visit recently discovered Gobekli Tepe excavations to see world's first temple 9000 BC. Continue to Urfa in time for lunch. Then, explore this "City of the Prophets" with its rich and eventful past. Visit the famous Balikli Gol, a large pool full of sacred carps with the mosques reflected in its waters. Stroll through the busy and colorful bazaar, the "hans" with their different guilds and the old quarter with its traditional corbelled houses. Continue to Gaziantep, the Turkish pistachio capital. Visit the old quarters surrounding the fortress and the Archaeological Museum where the superb Roman mosaics from Zeugma are displayed. In the evening transfer to the Gaziantep airport.
This itinerary enables the travelers to discover the Southeastern Anatolia Region, watered by the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, which not only has a very rich history and cultural heritage, but also offers superb, varied landscapes. This fascinating part of Turkey, which remained closed to tourism for a long time, offers today a good road network and hotel infrastructure. This tour is feasible from early April till late October
MINIMUM 2 PASSENGERS REQUIRED
Transportation in air-conditioned
vehicles throughout as stated in the Tours general features
Escort by a professional guide-lecturer throughout
Entrance fees to the museums stated in itinerary
All meals mentioned in the program
Accommodation in shared twin rooms in stated or similar hotels
Arrival and departure tranfers
Visits and services not mentioned in program.
Personal expenses and all beverages