Spectacular mosques, rustic Armenian churches and towering stone castles reward those willing to get off the beaten path. From ancient mud brick cities to exotic bazaars and the mysterious fallen stone heads at Nemrut Dagi, this 8-day trip is Turkey at its most fascinating. Travel to the land beneath the snow-capped peak of Mt Ararat, the legendary resting place of Noah’s Ark and immerse yourself in the magnificent sights and legendary hospitality of the people in this lesser-known, and lesser-travelled, region of Turkey.
Arrive at any time.
Fly to Kars and visit the pinkish stone ruins of Armenian cathedrals, homes, fortresses, and palaces at nearby Ani, the former capital of the Armenian Empire. Opt to visit the Kars Castle for panoramic views of the city.
See Ishak Pasha Palace and Mount Ararat en route to Van, the cultural centre of the area’s Kurdish majority. Opt to visit the ruins of the Fortress of Van.
Travel to Mardin early in the morning. En route, enjoy an Akdamar Island boat trip and church visit before exploring Hasankeyf.
Take an orientation walk in old Mardin. Visit Deyrulzafaran Monastery before spending some time getting to know the city.
Travel to Kahta and explore the area around Mt Nemrut. Visit the Karakus Tumulus (Women’s Monument), Severan Roman bridge, and the site of ancient Arsameia at the giant burial monuments.
Visit beehive houses at Harran. Enjoy a guided walk to Golbasi Park and the covered bazaar of Urfa, the supposed birthplace of Abraham and an important Islamic place of pilgrimage.
Fly back to Istanbul where the tour ends on arrival at the airport. Onward travel can be booked for 5pm or later.