Eastern Round Tours Turkey

Round Tours Turkey, Brief Information

Round Tours Turkey; we travel to East of Turkey with a small group with history lovers. As your guide and company owner, I am very excited to introduce this part of my country. Why I really suggest this tour to book my guests:

You will visit all important sights which are in the list of UNESCO such as Mount Nemrut (Commegene Kingdom), Gobeklitepe, Holy Cross Church in Van Lake, Ani Ruins in Kars

You will witness the beautiful scenery of inactive Volcanic Mountains which are very famous with nature, legends, religion such as Nemrut Mountain in Adiyaman, Nemrut Mountain in Bitlis by Van Lake, Suphan Mountain by Van Lake, Tendurek Mountain between Van and Agri, and of course Great and Small Mount Ararats.

We follow the story of Christianity and worth seeing all holy places such as Birth place of St Paul in Tarsus, St Peter Church which was the earliest church of the Christianity, So it is going to be kind of pilgrimage tour for religious Christian guests.

South east of Turkey is known as the top of historical Fertile Crescent as the earliest settlements of history especially with Gobeklitepe.

In 14 days from end of Mediterrenean sea to north east of Turkey, you will witness history, mosaic of cultures and religions. We are going to visit mosques, orthodox churches, catholic churches, Asyrian churches, synagogues of Jews, and meet Keldanis, Yazidis, Assyrians, Jews, Othodox Christians, Muslims.

If you ask me whether it is safe to do this tour: I have to be crazy to insure people and take to the risky and unsafe places as a travel agency owner and to take the risk of my life. Because I will be travelling with my group too. Each person in my group will have fully health and travel insurance. And I keep going these places with my Turkish groups and I feel safer in east than west. So please close your ears all media news which are totally fake and do not miss this tour.

1. Day Istanbul – Adana-Tarsus

Since our flight is in the early morning, we pick you up from hotels and meet at the Airport with rest of the group. After landing to Adana Airport, We meet our driver and drive through Tarsus where has been known as birthplace and hometown of St Paul.

We are going to visit;

Ancient Road which was built during the early Roman period in 1st century AD.

St Pauls’ Well and the foundations of the house where he is believed to have lived.

Old Tarsus Houses and continue to the ruins of the Roman baths

Church of St Paul which was built in the 5th century A.D. Although converted into a mosque this church still has Christian religious frescoes.

Drive back to Adana.

Taşkopru (Stone Bridge) is a Roman bridge spanning the Seyhan River in Adana that was probably built in the first half of the second century AD. The bridge was a key link in ancient trade routes from the Mediterranean Sea to Anatolia and Persia.

Stay overnight in Adana and have a dinner in hotel.

2. Day – Round Tours Turkey – Adana – Antakya

After having breakfast we drive to Antakya (Hatay) and start exploring Antakya. Antakya (Hatay) is the capital of Turkish Cuisine. So our 2 days in Antakya will be a kind of culinary and historical tour. During day we are going to visit;

Antakya Archeological Museum where you can see magnificent Byzantine Mosaics

Saint Peter cave Church which has been described as the first church of Christians.

In city center; Anatolia’s first mosque Habibi Neccar Mosque, Catholic Christian Church, Armenian Church, Jewish neighborhood, Greek neighborhood, Orthodox Church, Old Antakya Bazaar are just a few to name to be discovered.

Stay overnight in Antakya and have a dinner in a nice local Restaurant.

3. Day Hatay Samandag – Vakifli Village – Saint Simon Monastery

After breakfast, We drive through Samandag district to see all important historical sights.

We have a full day today. During our day we visit:

Samandag where you can see the end of Mediterranean Sea. (Mountain of Simeon)

Magnificent engineering work of Titus Tunnel and nearby Rock Tombs called Besikli Cave.

An Armenian village called Vakifli which is and ecological village with life style and healthy organic agriculture.

Moses’ 3000 years old tree.

Saint Simeon Monastery: One of the pillar-hermit Saint Simon younger’s Monastery from 6th century.

For dinner, we will taste a special menu prepared only for us at one of the most famous and delicious restaurants of Antakya. Accommodation in Antakya!

4. Day Antakya – Gaziantep

After having our breakfast we check out and leave the city. Our next destination is Gaziantep. We call this city as the city of Baklava. Also, Gaziantep is a culinary city with delicious food too. Also we see many historical buildings especially with mosaic museum.

After driving 2.5 hours driving from Antakya, we are going to check in and leave our luggage to our hotel. And then we are going to visit:

Mosaic Museum where we can see the famous Gypsy girl mosaic and statue of Mars!

Gaziantep Grand Bazaar, Mosques and back streets with local museums in old city.

Stay overnight in Gaziantep and have a dinner in a local Restaurant to taste the delicious local food.

5. Day – Round Tours Turkey – Gaziantep – Halfeti – Rumkale – Harran – Sanliurfa

After our breakfast at our hotel, we check out and drive through to Şanlıurfa direction. We are going to visit these places written below:

Zeugma Ancient city which was settled by Euphrates river. We saw the mosaics of this city in Mosaic museum in Gaziantep. It is a very important historical sight to visit among the pistachio trees. Zeugma is on the UNESCO Tentative list of World Heritage Sites, and its historical culture and cultural heritage is around the Euphrates, too.

Boat trip on Euphrates River by Halfeti and Savasan villages where most of the houses, mosques submerged with Birecik Dam water.

Rumkale (Roman Castle) is located on a hill surrounded with rocks in the region where Merzimen River flows and meet Euphrates river. Also it was the home to many civilizations throughout history and an important center for early Christianity as it is known to be a place where the copies of the Bible were reproduced by Johannes who was one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ. Johannes said he had settled in this fortress during the Roman period and reproduced copies of Bible in a rock carved room confidentially. It was built by Assyrians and home of Urartians, Babylonians, Sumerians, Seljuks and Ottomans.

Have a lunch in Birecik town and see the endemic birds called Kelaynak (Hermit ibis bird).

After driving around an hour more we drive directly to Harran Valley where we can see the conic Harran houses. Harran is one of the oldest settlements and believed that it has earliest university of history. It dates back to 3000BC when an Eblaite princess became the Queen of Harran. Fast-forward 5,000 years, and you’ll find that history hasn’t been kind to Harran. After having time and visit the historical buildings we drive back to Şanlıurfa and stay overnight in Şanlıurfa.

Have a dinner in hotel or a local restaurant.

6. Day Gobeklitepe – Sanliurfa Museum – Balikligol (holy fish lake) – Adiyaman

After having breakfast, we check out and leave the luggage to luggage room in the hotel. And then We go to Şanlıurfa Museum where we can see all historical pieces which were excavated and brought from Gobeklitepe and Neva Çori ancient city where is under Ataturk Dam waters today.

Today we visit;

Sanliurfa Archeological Museum

Gobeklitepe (Abdomen Hill)-First Temple of the World’s History: Gobeklitepe has been described as the oldest temple of the history which dates back to 12 thousand years ago to 9600BC. It has been told that, Gobeklitepe is approximately 8000 years older than Egyptian Pyramids and 7000 years older than Stonehenge. Also, It is much older than human transition to settled life. Therefore, everyone in the world is so surprised and there are many unanswered questions about here. It has changed the age of history and wasted all written history about beginning time of the life in the world. As a result; all these information have been added to the history books and knowledge of humanity. It was added to UNESCO World Heritage in 2018. And 2019 was announced as the year of Gobeklitepe in World Heritage.

Balikli Gol (Holy Fish lake of Abraham)

It has a story even written in holy books which explains the fight between King Nemrut and Abraham.

After completing our program in Şanliurfa, We have lunch in a local restaurant and drive to Adiyaman for Mount Nemrut.

After driving around 2 hours we reach to Adiyaman and leave luggage to hotel and drive to Nemrut Mountain to catch the sunset.

Mount Nemrut-Mountain of Gods: It is one of stunning and dreamful tour by just watching sunrise or sunset from Mount Nemrut. It is a national park which is famous for the antique statuary on the summit dating back to Commegene Kingdom as the largest open air museum of the world. Mount Nemrud has the biggest statue of Zeus in the world.

Stay overnight in Adiyaman and have a dinner in hotel or local restaurant in the city.

7. Day – Round Tours Turkey – Adiyaman – Diyarbakir – Mardin

After having our breakfast we check out and visit these places on the way to Diyarbakır and Mardin;

Perre Ancient city: It was the small town of Commegene Kingdom and then during the Roman period it became the very important center of Roman Empire. A small settlement during the reign of the Kings of Commagene, Perre, became a witness of a golden age under the Roman Empire, when it was an important stopover for travelers and merchants. The most interesting in remaining ruins of Perre is visiting the over 200 rock tombs connected to each other via passages. The tombs are decorated with reliefs and feature sarcophagi.

Karakus (Black Bird) Tumulus

Arsemia

Cendere Roman Bridge of Caracalla

Have a Lunch in Diyarbakır and visit the sights such as Grand Mosque, Historical Castle which is in the list of UNESCO, Hevsel Gardens, Stone Bridge

Drive to Mardin and stay overnight in Mardin and have a dinner at the hotel.

8. Day Deyrul Zafaran – Dara – Mor Jakob – Mor Augın

After having breakfast in our hotel we start to explore in and around of Mardin city. It is very important city where you witness the mosaic of cultures and different religions such as, Keldanis, Catholics, Assyrians, Yazidis, Muslims, Orthodox Christians etc.

We are going to see the important historical places written below:

Deyrul Zafaran

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Was once the center of the Patriarchate of Assyrians. Dayro d-Mor Hananyo is an important Syriac Orthodox monastery. The monastery is located in the Syriac cultural region known as Tur Abdin, and is located three kilometers south east of Mardin, Turkey. It is usually better known by its nickname, the ‘Saffron Monastery’ which is derived from the warm color of its stone.

Dara Ancient City

Dara is located 30 km Southeast of Mardin, which is one of the most glorious settlements in the region. The establishment date of the city is not known whose ancient name is Anastasiapolis. Dara has been one of the most important trade centres of Mesopotamia for centuries. The city witnessed wars of the Persian Emperor Darius and Alexander the Great.

The city still can be seen with its remnants of churches, palaces, markets, dungeons, armouries, cisterns and water jumps. A glorious water jump was built by carving the rocks going down towards south, starting from north of the village. Even today you can find water in this water jump. Furthermore, cave houses are also available around the village, whose histories date back to the Late Roman period.

Mor Jakob Monastery or Church of Saint Jacob in Nisibis, is a historic Assyrian Orthodox church in Nusaybin, southeastern Turkey. Archaeological excavations revealed that the 4th-century church building was originally the baptistery of a cathedral, which no longer exists.

Zeynel Abidin Mosque

It is a historical Mosque in Mardin Province which was built in 1159 during Zengid Dynasty for Zeynel Abidin and his sister Sitti Zeynep who were the 13th generation grand children of prophet Muhammed.

Mor Augin Monastery

The Monastery of Mor Augin is a monastery fortress built between two mountains with stone and masonry in the region. After getting enough information and having a conversation with Priest Mor Yokin, we return to our hotel in Mardin.

We turn back to hotel in Mardin. Stay overnight in Mardin and have a lunch in the hotel.

9. Day – Round Tours Turkey – Mardin City Center And Its Towns – Midyat- Suryani And Yazidi Villages – Vırgın Mary Church – Mor Gabriel Monastery-Mardin Old Cıty

Today, We explore other parts of Mardin Province with Asyrian and Yazidi Villages in different cultures. Also in the afternoon we will be in old city of Mardin. We visit these places written below today:

Mor Gabriel Monastery which is oldest and earliest Monastery of the region.

Monastery of Virgin Mary in Anitli Hah Assyrian Village

Yazidi Village
Midyat

The historic Midyat state guest house is a fine example of Midyat houses. It is also possible to see Midyat from the terrace. Midyat is famous with it’s filigree art and Syriac wines. So, anyone who wants to do the shopping, can do it from here.

Mardin Old city

We start exploring Mardin from its highest point. We’ll be discovering the streets, complexes, mosques, churches, bazaars of Mardin. Sheikh Cabuk Mosque, Zinciriye Complex, Kirklar Church, Archeology Museum, Virgin Mary Church, Old PTT Building, Latifiye Mosque, Grand Mosque, Sitti Radviye Mosque, Keldani Church, abbaras, Kayseriyye Bedesten, Balikcilar Bazaar, etc.

We come back to our hotel and stay overnight in Mardin.

10. Day Mardin – Diyarbakir – Bitlis – Tatvan

After our breakfast, we check out and leave this beautiful city. We drive to North east through to Bitlis. We have around 4 hours driving by passing the different local cities. Today, We are going to see and visit:

Bitlis Castle which was built for Alexander the Great. The origin of the name Bitlis is not known. A popular folk etymology explanation, without historical basis, is that it is derived from “Lis/Batlis”, the name of a general said to have built Bitlis castle by the order of Alexander the Great.

Please check the link to read more about Bitlis city. It is very famous with its castle and Seljuk’s Madrasahs and Caravanserais.

Have a lunch in a local restaurant there.

Volcanic Crater Lakes in Nemrut Mountain, Tatvan

After having lunch we drive to Nemrut Mountain to visit the steam chimneys and crater lakes at the top of the mountain. Nemrut Crater Lake is second biggest crater lake of the world and 2250m height from sea level. It is the volcanic mountain which had latest volcanic eruption of Asia Minor in 1440. And after eruption cold and hot lakes had been formed there. When you reach there, you feel the energy of the Crater bowl which has 6km dimension.

Ahlat Seljuk’s Cemetery -Next stop is Ahlat town by the Van lake which is 38km away from Nemrut Mountain. Ahlat has well preserved 800 years old historical cemetery which has huge sizes of Seljuk’s tomb stones with hand carving art on them. So This cemetery has been taken to list of UNESCO as World Heritage. Also there is old ruined historical sight next to that which has been known as one of the oldest settlement in the history with cave lives and houses there. After completing our itinerary we drive back to Tatvan by the beautiful panoramic view of Suphan Mountain and Van Lake.

We stay overnight in Tatvan by the Van Lake.

Have dinner in hotel or in a local restaurant of the city.

11. Day – Round Tours Turkey – Van Cıty Center And Its Towns -Holy Cross Church On Akdamar Island- Cavustepe Castle – Tuspa(Van Castle)

After having breakfast at the hotel, we check out we leave the Tatvan town and drive by the Van lake. Every year in first Sunday of September, there is a divine service in Holy Cross Armenian Church. We try to catch the time to join this celebration there. Today we will see:

Holy Cross Church(Monumental Church) on Akdamar island in Van Lake: -After having our lunch we take a boat to go the Akdamar Island. We visit an Armenian church where we can see the some important figures from Tora and Bible on the walls. This church was built in 10th century and called a monumental Armenian Church there. After taking enough photos and having information, we take a boat back to city again.

Cavustepe

After having breakfast in our hotel we start to discover Van city which was the capital of Urartu Ancient Kingdom with Tushpa Ancient castle and has been known as the pearl of east. Our first stop will be Çavushtepe which had been one of states of Urartians. During the golden years of Urartians, they had built 2 palaces and temples at the top of Chavushtepe castle for honor of two gods of Urartians. We can witness the Urartian Cuneiform writings on andesite blocks. Also Mr Mehmet translates all writings to us who is one of only 10 people can write and read this language in the world.

Van Tushpa Castle-Sunset Watchıng- After having a shopping and coffee break, we visit Tushpa castle to watch the impressive sunset over Van Lake. This castle was built 3300 years ago by Urartian king Sarduri at 80m height from Van Lake.

Stay overnight in Hilton Hotel Van and have dinner in a local restaurant of the city.

Van Cat House And Savat Sılver House-We visit 2 symbolic things of Van city. One of them is Van Cats which have been chosen as most beautiful cats of the world with their one blue and one hazel eyes and pure long white furs. It is the only cat in the world which loves swimming. After visiting cat house, we stop in Savat silver house. Savat style of work in silver belongs to this region and worth seeing them in workshops.

We stay overnight in Van and have a dinner in a nice restaurant or hotel.

12. Day Van – Dogubayazıt – Igdır – Muradıye Waterfall-Tendurek Mountaıns-Ishakpasa Palace – Mt Ararat

Muradiye Waterfalls and Pearl Mullet (Inci Kefali): It is a unique and endemic fish which can be found only in Van Lake in the world. Van Lake is the largest lake of Turkey and has carbonated, salty water because of being Volcanic lake. During may and June, these fish start to swim upriver through to Muradiye Waterfalls for laying eggs.

Tendurek Mountains

Tendurek Mountain is a shield Volcano located between Agri and Van cities. The elongated old volcanic mountain rises 1.800m above DoguBeyazit plain in South of Mount Ararat.

Ishakpasha Palace in Dogu Beyazit

We pass many villages by driving to skirts of Mount Ararat. Ishakpasha Palace has been second most famous and impressive palace after Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. It has an impressive architecture and sitting on the top of the hill like an eagle nest. It was built as a complex where milks were running from tabs of fountains in the garden. It became a subject to many novels, stories in the history. It has most beautiful carved and cut stone workmanship which was built in 1784 as the lst impressive building of Ottoman era during tulip period. It is really worth visiting which carries the Persian, Ottoman and Seljuk Architecture. Many writers and poets mentioned about the amazing sunset and sunrise panorama from Ishakpasha Palace.

Global Human Rights Decleration Monument at the avenue of Dogu Beyazit town.

Mount Ararats and Noah Ark’s space: There are 2 Mount Ararats next to each other. Big Ararat is 5137 meters height and Small Ararat is 3925meters height. Both of them are the product of eruptive volcanic activity. They do not retain any evidence of crater, but have well formed cones cones and fissures exist on their flanks. It is famous biblical Mount Ararat. It is believed that Noah’s Ark came to rest at the slopes of Great Mount Ararat.

There is an earth shape was found look like a ship fossil on the slopes of Mount Ararat. The surrounding area of a ship-like soil pile declared and confirmed as Noah’s Ark by American Academians and Turkish Government. So It was opened as a National Park to everyone. I cannot be sure ıt was really the Noah Ark’s ship there, but it is nice to hear it and there is an amazing view from there.

Stay overnight in Igdir and have a dinner in a nice local restaurant.

13. Day Igdir – Reinbow Hills – Kars Ani Ruins

Rainbow Hills in Igdir: It is described as a “must-see” spot, Reinbow hills is much bigger than other rainbow hills in the world and gives amazing colors every season of the year.

Igdir

It is the city where is on the eastest point of Turkey. It has a microclimate and very famous with apple and golden apricots.

Ani Ruins: Ani ancient city which is in the list of UNESCO World Heritage is just by Armenian border with Turkey and a magnificent ancient city which had welcomed many different type of cultures, tribes and religions such as Fire Nights of Zoroaster, Christians, Muslims with buildings. For example; Enu Muammeral Mosque(Grey Mosque) with octagonal minaret, Menucehr Mosque( It was the earliest mosque was built in Anatolia)Surp Pirgic Armenian Church, Tigran Honest Church, Abukhamrent Gregor Church, etc… After visiting Ani ruins, we drive to our hotel.

We are going to have a traditional dinner in one of best local restaurants in Kars with Caucasian dance show.

Stay overnight in Kars.

14. Day – Round Tours Turkey – Kars – Istanbul

In our last day, we have an easy day with late breakfast. After having breakfast, we visit historical sights in Kars city center and go to Airport in the afternoon to catch our flight to Istanbul.

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