Turkey’s Biblical East


DAY 1 - DEPART USA

Arrive in Istanbul the next day before noon and continuing to Ankara the same day.

 

Day 2 - ANKARA ( Fly )

Arrive to Ankara, Turkey's capital, by plane and then proceed to check in to our hotel. The tour starts with checking in to the hotel in Ankara. The welcome dinner will be at the hotel.

 

Day 3, 4, 5 – CAPPADOCIA

Early in the morning, you will visit the Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Republic of Turkey. You will visit the magnificent Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. The museum of Anatolian Civilizations is one of the most beautiful and richest museums in the world with regard to its exhibits. Afterwards, you will depart for Cappadocia. Cappadocia is a strange region, created by vulcanoes and erosion, with beautiful sights. In Cappadocia you will visit the unique landscapes of wind and rain eroded, volcanic rock formations and visit the amazing underground churches carved into the rocks by early Christians.

OPTIONAL: Hot air balloon rides over Cappadocia is optional. A balloon ride in Cappadocia (for people of all ages) is safe and nothing less than spectacular.

 

Day 6, 7 – AMASYA

You will drive to the Hittite ruins at Hattusas, the capital city of the Hittite Empire. At this site you will follow the ancient city wall constructed nearly 3400 years ago and see the ruins of the Great Temple of the Storm God, the Lion Gate, the King Gate (guarded by a relief of the Hittite War God), and the Great Fortress.
You will depart Hattusas and continue to Amasya, the one time capital of the Pontic Empire. Some of the most striking features of Amasya are the tombs of the kings of Pontus carved into the high cliffs surrounding the city.

 

Day 8, 9 - TRABZON

Today you will drive from Amasya to the beautiful wooded coast of the Black Sea and follow the coastline to Trabzon. The scenery on this drive is unbelievable. Trabzon, is a city on the Black Sea coast of northeastern Turkey and the capital of Trabzon Province. Throughout history, Trabzon has been an important meeting point for international trade and cultural exchange due to its strategic location which controls the east-west (Asia- Europe) and north-south (Russia-Middle East) trading route. Trabzon is an ancient Silk Road Black Sea port with its recorded history dating back to 746 B.C.

 

Day 10 – ERZURUM

Today you will visit the Sümela Monastery. This monastery is from the Byzantine era of Turkey's history. One of the remarkable features of this site is that it is carved into a cliff face! With lush, green vegetation throughout the region, this area is a very unique part of Turkey. From Trabzon you will drive to Erzurum. While in Erzurum you will visit Ulu Cami (the Great Mosque) and an old Selcuk schoolhouse as well as the opportunity to see several villages in the area.

 

Day 11 - KARS

An early morning departure from Erzurum will take us on a beautiful drive to Kars. You will arrive in Kars to visit Ani at the Turkish-Armenian border. The medieval Armenian City of Ani, which lies mostly in ruins. Impressive fortified walls still encircle the ruins of numerous churches, mosques and caravansaries. Walking around the ruins, you will be able to see the beautiful view of the Armenian border.

 

Day 12, 13 – VAN

You will drive for 3 1/2 hours along the S i l k Ro a d t o Dogubayazit. At the Iranian border you will see a site known as the Crater Hole, a beautiful yet rugged area. You will also have the opportunity to see Mt. Ararat from all sides. It is believed by some to be the resting place of Noah's Ark.You see the Ishak Pasa Palace. Afterwards, you will depart for Van. Next day you will visit the castle of Van built by the Urartians, and Hoshap Castle later on. You will have lunch at a quaint restaurant opposite Akdamar Island located near the south shore of Lake Van. There is a wonderful 10Fr century Armenian Church here called the Church of the Holy Cross.

 

Day 14, 15 – MARDIN

You will have a very beautiful drive around Lake Van to Mardin. On the way, you will stop at the incredible and ancient city of Hasankeyf. Similar to Cappadocia with its many carved caves, this city offers spectacular photo opportunities.

While in this region, you will visit Mardin, a very unique and lovely city with many old Arabic style houses. It is a city that played an important role in the early development of Christianity. You will take time to visit, walk in its busy streets and bazaars.

 

Day 16 - URFA

Early in the morning, you will drive three hours to Urfa, the birthplace of the prophet Abraham. You will visit nearby Harran and see the incredible beehive houses. Harran, according to the Bible, was the site where the prophet Abraham lived with his family for several years before moving to Israel, the promised land.

 

Day 17 - MT. NEMRUT

The next day, from Urfa you will drive two hours to Adiyaman-Kahta.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".

 

Day 18, 19 - MERSIN/OLBA/ISTANBUL

You will depart to Gaziantep, the pistachio and baklava capital of Turkey, to see the recently discovered roman mosaics at their museum. You will then take a 3-hour scenic drive where you will pass Adana and arrive at Tarsus, the birthplace of St. Paul. In Tarsus, you will visit St. Paul's well and the foundations of his house. The next day you will visit Olba (Diocaesarea), an ancient settlement first established by the Hittites, also known as "Diocaesarea" to the Romans. You will visit the bestpreserved Zeus temple in Turkey. You will also visit the immense aqueducts and enjoy remote and beautiful places and the underground church of St. Thecla. without the presence of other tour groups. You will take an evening flight to Istanbul and check-in our hotel.

 

DAY 20, 21, 22- ISTANBUL

You will start your tour in Istanbul in the morning. Once called Byzantium in the 7Fr century B.C., Istanbul was renamed to Constantinople in 326 A.D. by Constantine the Great when he moved the capital of the Roman Empire to what is now Istanbul.

 
 

DAY 23 – DEPART FOR USA

Early in the morning, you will be taken to the airport for your return flight to the United States, arriving the same day.

 

Tour Route & Program

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TOUR NAME

TURKEY'S BIBLICAL EAST

Tour Code

TEO 12/ET

TEO 13/ET

TEO 14/ET

Land Only $ 5500 $ 5500 $ 5500
Single Supplement $ 1000 $ 1000 $ 1000
JFK(Fly)/ISTANBUL May 01Sa Aug 27Fr Oct 06We
Ankara(Istanbul/Ankara fly) May 02Su Aug 28Sa Oct 07Th
Cappadocia May 03Mo Aug 29Su Oct 08Fr
Cappadocia (Dervish Ceremony) May 04Tu Aug 30Mo Oct 09Sa
Cappadocia (Handicrafts, Villages) May 05We Aug 31Tu Oct 10Su
Amasya (Hattusas) May 06Th Sep 01We Oct 11Mo
Amasya / Pontic Tombs May 07Fr Sep 02Th Oct 12Tu
Trabzon May 08Sa Sep 03Fr Oct 13We
Sumela Monestary May 09Su Sep 04Sa Oct 14Th
Erzurum May 10Mo Sep 05Su Oct 15Fr
Kars / Ani May 11Tu Sep 06Mo Oct 16Sa
Van / Mt Ararat May 12We Sep 07Tu Oct 17Su
Van / Aktamar Island May 13Th Sep 08We Oct 18Mo
Mardin May 14Fr Sep 09Th Oct 19Tu
Hasankeyf May 15Sa Sep 10Fr Oct 20We
Urfa / Harran May 16Su Sep 11Sa Oct 21Th
Mt. Nemrut May 17Mo Sep 12Su Oct 22Fr
Mersin(Tarsus) May 18Tu Sep 13Mo Oct 23Sa
Mersin(Olba) May 19We Sep 14Tu Oct 24Su
Istanbul May 20Th Sep 15We Oct 25Mo
Istanbul May 21Fr Sep 16Th Oct 26Tu
Istanbul May 22Sa Sep 17Fr Oct 27We
JFK(Fly) May 23Su Sep 18Sa Oct 28Th