Welcome to Turkey! 8 Days through the East of Turkey Through the Zigana Mountains, visiting Sumela Monastery, Mount Ararat the resting place of Noa's Ark, the medieval Armenian City of Ani, The Church of the Holy Cross, the wonderful Kurdish castle of Hosap near the Iranian Border. As well as experiencing all the culture and mysteries left behind by the Hittites, Urartian, Persian, Armenians, Macedonians, Romans and finally the Turks during their occupation of the Eastern Region of Turkey.
Welcome to Trabzon. Today is your arrival day. Transfers are available from Airport or bus station. Transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Trabzon.
After breakfast, we depart for St. Sophia (Ayasofya), a 13th century church and study its extraordinary collection of Byzantine frescoes, depart for Gulbahar Hatun Mosque, Castle and Ataturk's Mansion (a picturesque hillside retreat), visit Ortahisar Mosque (a Comneni cathedral in the old town). Lunch at a seaside restaurant in Akcaabat. Afternoon, we explore the cobbled stone streets of Trabzon. Drive to Boztepe; enjoy our tea from samovar with the panoramic view of the city. Dinner and overnight in Trabzon.
Depart for Sumela Monastery upon breakfast, visiting the 4th century Sumela Monastery which clings to a sheer cliff face in a deep forest, relax beside a fast flowing stream at Altindere Valley National Park, lunch, traveling along the Silk Road through the Zigana Mountains (Pontic Alps) will take us to Karaca Cave, considered to be the most beautiful in Turkey for its colors and formations. Drive to Erzurum via Bayburt. Dinner and overnight in Erzurum.
This morning, after breakfast, we will drive for 3 1/2 hours along the "Silk Road" to Dogubeyazit. At the Iranian border we will see a site known as the Crater Hole. This is a beautiful, yet rugged area. We will have the opportunity to see Mount Ararat from all sides. It is believed by some to be the resting-place of Noah's Ark but to date no one has found anything that has been verified as the Ark - yet the search is still on. In the afternoon, we will stop and see the Ishak Pasa Palace. This complex is a combination of a mosque, a fortress, and a palace which originally had a room for every day of the year! Below, you can also see the remains of Eski Bayazit, and Urartian City which flourished in 1000 BC. Dinner and overnight in Kars.
After visiting the Iranian border, we will depart for Van in the early morning, a drive of approximately three hours. This city has been established 13th century BC, when the Hurrites arrived. Then the Hittites, Urartians, Persian, Armenians, Macedonians, Romans and finally in 11th century the Turks came here. From here, we will visit the finest Armenian architectural wonder of the Church of the Holy Cross on Akdamar Island. We'll also visit the wonderful Kurdish castle of Hosap very close to the Iranian border as well as the Urartian citadel. Dinner and overnight in Van.
After breakfast and after visiting the eerie 12th century Selcuk cemetery in Ahlat in the morning, we will head to Bitlis for lunch and a good walk around, Batis otherwise known as Alexander's town. Its a unique medieval town! Dinner and overnight in Diyarbakir.
Today your tour is over. Please make your own arrangements for departure remembering that your hotel will need you to check out before midday. We hope you had a memorable tour and we look forward to seeing you in the future on another TravelShop Turkey Tour. Have a safe trip back home and thanks for choosing us.