Oldest Sites in Turkey Tour (15 Days & 14 Nights)

Oldest Sites in Turkey Tour

Duration: 15 Days, 14 Nights

Transportation: Private van with A/C 

Visited Places: Istanbul, Gaziantep, Urfa, Harran, Gobeklitepe, Mount Nemrut, Cappadocia, Konya, Pamukkale, Ephesus, Pergamon, Gallipoli and Troy

2016 Recommended Departure Days: April 28th, May 14th and 30th, September 02nd and 18th, October 03rd (possible to modify the dates)

TYPE OF THE TOUR: PRIVATE TOUR FOR YOUR GROUP oldest-sites11-1024x500

Day 1 (Arrival to Istanbul) 

After your arrival to Istanbul Ataturk Airport, we will meet you in front of the exit gate at the international terminal; with a sign bearing your name and transfer you to your hotel in Old City area (Sultanahmet).

Overnight accommodation in Sultanahmet

Day 2 (Full day Old city Tour, breakfast and lunch included)

This morning you will start touring The Topkapi Palace; Ottoman Sultan’s Residance built on the slopes of Sarayburnu. Topkapi Palace is a combination of different architectural styles. It is the most visited museum in Turkey and you will be able to see theOttoman Empire treasury, Dynasty clothing and Sacred Relics. Harem Section will not be included in the itinerary and there will be an extra 15 TL per person to visit this section.

The next visit will be The Basilica Cistern (Sunken Palace) built in the 6th century with the structures taken from the collapsed Roman buildings in the area. There are 336 columns in the cistern and we will be in the cistern about 30 minutes.

The tour will continue with a walking through The Hippodrome which was once used for chariot races, celebrations, riots, executions and other important events through Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. The walk through The Hippodrome will be about 45 minutes. ayasofya

Our next stop will be the local restaurant for lunch and you will have some delicious Turkish cuisine.The afternoon visit will start with the Hagia Sophia (St. Sophia) Museum, bearing the symbols of Christianity and Islam together.The church has been constructed in 537 AD. by Roman Emperor Justinian and has been converted into a mosque in 15th century. You will visit the site about 1 hour andsee the courtyard, entrance hall, main gallery and upper gallery.

The Blue MosqueThe next stop will be The Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque) decorated with some of the best examples in Turkish Tile Art History. Built on the 17th century, Blue Mosque is a symbol of Istanbul standing in the heart of the city.

Our final stop will be in Grand Bazaar which is one of the biggest trading centers in the world with more than 4000 shops. After this stop, our guide will drop you off to your hotel around 16:30.

Overnight accommodation in Sultanahmet

Day 3 (Flight to Gaziantep, breakfast and lunch included)

We will drive you to Ataturk Airport in the morning for a short flight to Gaziantep Airport. After arriving at the airport, we will visit Zeugma Mosaic Museum which is thebiggest  mosaic museum in the world.zeugma

You will be able to see the famous mosaic of a gypsy girl from the ancient city of Zeugma, which became one of the most important symbols of Turkey around the world.  After visiting the museum, we are going to continue our tour by visiting old bazaars  in Gaziantep and we will eat the national dessert in Turkey called as Baklava. Then we will check into our hotel in the city center.

Overnight accommodation in Gaziantep

Day 4 (Full day Urfa & Harran Tour, breakfast, lunch and dinner included) 

Today, we will drive to Urfa, the birthplace of the prophet Abraham. We 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. We will also visit the holy sites at BalikliGol, a lake with domesticated fish. There are exceptional photo opportunities in this area.urfa5

We will also visit Gobeklitepe, a recently discovered site where excavations have just begun. Built in 10,000 B.C., it is the oldest known temple in the World. This temple was mysteriously buried by the people who built it in 8,000 B.C. and it was not used again. We will drive back to our hotel.

Overnight accommodation in Sanliurfa

Day 5 (Full day Mount Nemrut Tour, breakfast, lunch and dinner included) 

After the breakfast, we will start driving to Kahta. On the way, we will visit Ataturk Dam, which gave life to this deserted area, the biggest dam in Turkey. The drive will take around 2 hours to Kahta and we will have our lunch there. After check-in to the hotel and have rest around 2 hours, we will start climbing to Mount Nemrut. We will visit the most interesting mountain in Turkey with colossal statues of Gods and Goddesses from Roman and Persian Paganism. This site was shaped about 2000 years ago. After seeing the summit, we will drive down to Arsemia, the ancient summer palace of Commagene Kingdom. We will then see Cendere Bridge which is a Roman Bridge from 1800 years ago and it is amazing still serving. Then, we will drive to the hotel and have the dinner at the hotel.

Please Note: The hike to Mt. Nemrut consists of 20 to 40 minutes of a 30% uphill hike, mostly with stairs. There is no time limit and most can do the hike. There are also donkeys or mules available for hire. 

Overnight accommodation in Kahta

Day 6 (Drive to Goreme, breakfast and lunch included) 

Having the breakfast, we will start driving from Kahta to Goreme which takes roughly about 6 hours. We will stop in Kahramanmaras on our way to have our lunch and also have the goat-milk ice cream.  We will stop in is Kanesh Karum, a 4,500 year old city that was the capital city of the Hattis and a trade city for the Assyrians. We will also stop at a caravanserai on our way. Caravanserais are Silk Road Camel Stops that the traders could stay overnight  and sell their goods. We will arrive at our hotel around 06:00pm. 

Overnight accommodation in Goreme

Day 7 (Full day Cappadocia Tour, breakfast and lunch included)

You will start touring in magical Cappadocia. The tour will begin with a panoramic view point in Goreme to give you the information about the geography, formation and history of Cappadocia as well as seeing the most famous valleys in Cappadocia. You will be able to see The Pigeon Valley, Rose and Red Valleys, Goreme and Uchisar Villages from this point. After driving about 30 minutes, we will visit Kaymakli Underground City which is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Cappadocia.uchisar1

The most impressive aspect of the Kaymakli Underground City is the organized, structured and very well thought nature of the entire city. It had everything from living quarters, sleeping rooms, stables and communal kitchens to a church and a graveyard as well as being well fortified to protect its inhabitants. After experiencing the life in underground, we will drive you to Pigeon Valley to see Uchisar Castle and the valley from a panoramic point. We will have our lunch at a local restaurant in Avanos. We will then see the kick-wheel pottery demonstration in Avanos which is the oldest art in the area. We will visit Pasabag (Monks Valley) which is also known as mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys. The fairy-chimneys in Pasabag are the best-protected ones in the area and it gives the best idea about the formation of a fairy-chimney. Finally, we will visit Devrent Valley in which you will see the camel-shaped fairy chimney and much more different shapes than usual. The tour will end around 5:00pm and we will drive you back to your hotel.

Overnight accommodation in Goreme

Day 8 (Full day Cappadocia Tour, breakfast and lunch included)

We will start  the day with a hike in Red & Rose Valleys in which you will be able to see lots of pigeon houses and some rock-cut churches. The hike will take about 1,5 hours. The hike will end in Cavusin Village which is an abandoned village with amazing view. The village was abandoned because of the falling rocks in 1950s. After seeing the panoramic view of the village, we will climb up to Uchisar Castle which is the highest point in Cappadocia. You will be able to see all the valleys of Cappadocia from one point there. We will drive to a local restaurant to have our lunch after this visit. You can get the famous “Pottery Kebab” in this restaurant. After lunch, we will visit Goreme Open Air Museum which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985. You will see the best-preserved rock-cut churches in Cappadocia area. We will then drive to Mustafapasa (Sinasos) Village. This village housed both Turkish and Greek people until the population exchange compulsory has been fulfilled in 1924. We will see lots of Old Greek houses. Then we will stop in Urgup to see beautiful examples of fairy chimneys. After this visit, we will drive you to your hotel around 5:00pm.

Overnight accommodation in Goreme

Day 9 (Full day Konya Tour, breakfast and lunch included)

We will start early in the morning and drive to Konya. We will visit Sultanhani Caravanserai which is the biggest caravanserai in Turkey. Then, we will drive to Catalhoyuk, which is the best preserved and largest Neolithic site found to date and is considered by archaeologists as the oldest-communal living-city in the World. It goes back to 7,500 B.C.. Layer by layer, archaeologists have excavated this tumulus/mound and put a cover over their excavations. Very few people visit this site and you will be one of them. Then, we will drive back to Konya center and visit Mevlana Museum.konya3-e1417610450281

This museum is the tomb of the famous mystic/sufi/thinker Rumi (known shortly as Mevlana in Turkish, or with the full name Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi-Rumi in English literature), as well as the neighboring museum that displays relics of his life and his time. The items on display in the museum range from old manuscripts, hand written copies of the Koran, musical

Overnight accommodation in Konya

Day 10 (Drive to Pamukkale and tour of Hierapolis, breakfast and lunch included)

We will have a drive about 4,5 hours to get to famous Pamukkale. After having lunch, we will visit Hierapolis Ancient City which has the biggest Necropolis (cemetery) in Turkey, The Domitian and Byzantium Gates, Main Street and The theatre which has a capacity of 20.000 seats. After visiting the theatrei, you will have some free time to enjoy a possible swim in Cleopatra Pool. There is an extra 10 Euro entrance fee for this pool. The walk in the Hierapolis ruins will end with the arrival to Travertine terraces.The travertine pools are very strange formations caused by thermal springs which contains huge amount of calcium bicarbonate , chalk and limestone. The travertines cascade down the hills naturally and very much resemble a frozen waterfall. Then, we will drive to our hotel. 

Overnight accommodation in Pamukkale

Day 11 (Tour of Aphrodisias , breakfast and lunch included)

After having the breakfast, we will visit the ancient city of Laodicea, which is one of the Seven Churches of Revelation and then drive to Aphrodisias Ancient City. The ancient city was first dedicated to the ancient Mother Goddess and then to Greek goddess Aphrodite. It is the site of a magnificent Temple of Aphrodite and the home of a renowned school of marble sculpture. After the visit, we will drive to Selcuk.

Overnight accommodation in Selcuk

Day 12 (Full day Ephesus Tour , breakfast and lunch included)

After the breakfast at the hotel, we will have a short drive to Ephesus Ancient City, one of the biggest excavations in the world. We will visit the Odeon, The Fountain of Trajan, the stream baths of Scholastica, Hadrian and Domitian Temples, impressive library of Celsius. We will then visit The Grand Theatre, where Saint Paul preached. The theatre was the largest one in ancient times with capacity of 24.000 seats. The walk in the Ephesus ruins will be around 2 hours and then we will have the lunch. After lunch, we will visit The Artemis Temple which was one the Seven Wonders of the World in Ancient World. We wil drive to The Virgin Mary House which is believed that she lived there for a while with St. John the Evangelist. We will then drive back to the hotel. ephesus3

Overnight accommodation in Selcuk

Day 13 (Full day Pergamon & Asclepion Tour , breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

The breakfast will be served at the hotel and then we will drive about 2 hours to get to Pergamon Ancient City, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. . Acropolis is located on top of a hill and it is reached by a cable-car. By walking down from the Acropolis, you can visit The Gymnasium, The Temple of Athena, The Library of Pergamon which once had more than 200.000 books, The Temple of Trajan, The Zeus Altar and The Temple of Dionysos. You will also visit The Theatre which is one of the steepest theaters in the world which a capacity of 10.000 people.pergamon1

We will also visit The Asclepion Health Center. It is believed that Asclepion, built in the name of Aesculapius, the god of Health and Medicine, has existed since the 4th century BC. In Asclepion Health Center, the dreams of the patients were analyzed by their doctors (priests) about 2000 years before Sigmund Freud did and the ancient city became very important. You will be able to see the Roman Theatre, the North Stoa, the South Stoa, the Temple of Asclepius and a circular treatment center, the healing spring, an underground passageway and a library. After visiting Asclepion, we will drive to Canakkale.

Overnight accommodation in Canakkale

Day 14 (Full day Gallipoli and Troy Tour, breakfast and lunch included) 

Our day will start with the famous archaeological and mythological site of Troy, home of the “Trojan Horse” and”Helen of Troy“.  Troy is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Turkey. You`ll also see and hear about the Trojan Wars, the battle between Achilles and Paris Sacrificial Altars the 3700 year old city walls ,Houses of Troy I , 3000 B.C. – 2500 B.C. The Bouleterium (Senate Building). The Odeon (Concert Hall) Current excavations in progress. Remains of the various cities from Troy I through to Troy IX. After this visit, will start touring in Gallipoli area and you will visit Brighton Beach, Beach Cemetery, ANZAC Cove, Ariburnu Cemetery, ANZAC Commemoration Site, Respect to Mehmetcik Statue, Lone Pine Australian Memorial, Johnston’s Jolly (Turkish & Allied trenches & tunnels), 57th Regiment Turkish Memorial, The Nek and Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial. 

Then we will have the drive to Istanbul. 

Overnight accommodation in Sultanahmet

Day 15 (Transfer to the airport)

Transfer from the hotel to the airport for your flight back home

The total cost of this itinerary will be as:

4120 Euro per person in double room 

3310 Euro per person in triple room 

Single Supplement : 800 Euro

The tour is guaranteed on the mentioned dates.

The rate includes:

  • Domestic flight tickets (Istanbul – Gaziantep)
  •  All airport transfers
  •  14 Nights Accommodation, all with breakfasts
  •  Professionally-licensed and experienced English speaking guide (All of our guides graduate from 4-year university course to be a tour guide. You will have one guide for the entire trip.)
  •  All admission fees to museums on the itinerary (except the entrance to Harem in Topkapi Palace and Terrace Houses in Ephesus)
  •  13 Lunches and 3 Dinners
  •  Parking fees
  •  Service Charges and taxes

Exclusions:

  •  International flight tickets (possible to book through our agents)
  •  Personal expenses during the tours
  •  Beverages
  •  Optional tips to drivers and guides 

Please send us an email to get detailed information and make your booking. We will reply your request the latest in 24 hours.

The hotels in this package will be as (depending on the availability):

Istanbul : Ferman Sultan Hotel (standard room) or Yusufpasa Konagi Hotel on Bed & Breakfast basis

Gaziantep: Anadolu Evleri Hotel on  Bed & Breakfast basis

Sanliurfa:  El-Ruha Hotel or Cevahir Konukevi Hotel on Bed & Breakfast basis

Adiyaman : Zeus Hotel or Grand Isias Hotel on Half-Board Basis (breakfast and dinner)

Cappadocia : Koza Cave Hotel or Mithra Cave Hotel on Bed & Breakfast basis

Konya : Hich Hotel or Rumi Hotel on Bed & Breakfast basis

Pamukkale : Melrose Hotel or Melrose Viewpoint Hotel on Bed & Breakfast basis

Selcuk : Hotel Nilya or Ephesus Suites Hotel on Bed & Breakfast basis

Canakkale : Buyuk Truva Hotel or Kervansaray Hotel on Half-Board Basis (breakfast and dinner)

Please do not hesitate to send us an email to get more detailed information and we will reply your request the latest in 24 hours.