Journey to the Edge of History - Highlights of Eastern Turkey

TurkeySpecial Interest Holidays & Escorted Tours

A guided tour through Eastern Turkey, a region where numerous ancient civilisations have left their mark. Travelling from the Armenian border to the Mediterranean coast, we explore the remnants of the oldest known manmade structures on earth, and even visit what some believe to be the original Noah's Ark.

Istanbul, Kars, Mount Ararat, Dogubeyazit, Van, Midyat, Mardin, Gaziantep, Gobeklitepe/Karahantepe, Tarsus (St.Paul), Anamurium, Side, Faralya/Fethiye


Day 1; 18 September
Flight to Istanbul and transfer to your hotel in the Sultanahmet area, overnight on Bed & Breakfast basis.
Day 2; 19 September
Visit Saint Sophie, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, the bazaar and the spice market. Stay on Bed & Breakfast basis
Day 3; 20 September
Flight from Istanbul to Kars. Afternoon sightseeing around Kars, including the hilltop castle. Stay on bed & Breakfast basis.
Day 4; 21 September
After breakfast we drive to Ani, an abandoned Armenian city right on the border with Armenia, with stunning medieval churches, mosques and palaces in a remote open field. We proceed to Dogubeyazit, where we stay overnight on bed & breakfast basis
Day 5; 22 September
Visit Nuh'un Gemisi (Noah’s Ark) National Park. This huge boat-shaped structure found at an altitude of around 2,000 metres above sea level just south of Mount Ararat has attracted substantial interest from archaeologists since its discovery by a Kurdish shepherd in 1948. Whilst most now believe this to be a natural rock formation rather than the fossilised remains of Noah's Ark, it is a fascinating and scenic place. Afterwards, we visit Ishak Pasha Palace, Urartu Castle and drive to Van. We take a boat trip on Lake Van to Akdamar island, home to the Church of the Holy Cross and some Armenian monastery ruins. Overnight on bed & breakfast basis
Day 6; 23 September
Drive from Van to Midyat. The ancient city is the center of a centuries-old Hurrian town in Upper Mesopotamia, reminiscent of a medieval city with its gradually rising stone . Many different empires had ruled over Midyat including the Mitannians, Assyrians, Arameans, Armenians, Medes, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Abbasids, Seljuks and Ottomans. Overnight on Bed & Breakfast basis.
Day 7; 24 September
We drive from Midyat to Mardin via the antique city of Dara. an important East Roman fortress city in northern Mesopotamia on the border with the Sassanid Empire. Because of its great strategic importance, it featured prominently in the Roman-Persian conflicts. Overnight on Bed & Breakfast basis
Day 8; 25 September
From Mardin we proceed via Karahantepe and Göbekli Tepe to Gaziantep. Open to the public in October 2021, Karahantepe is an archaeological site in Sanliurfa Province. Prior to its excavation, nearby Göbekli Tepe (which we also visit) was deemed the oldest known manmade construction on Earth, dating back 10,000 years and thus predating both Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids by several millennia. Based on the latest research, Karahantepe is thought to be another 1,000 years older, so today you can experience two historic record-breakers! Archaeologists have uncovered T-shaped stelae and 250 obelisks featuring animal figures to date. Overnight in Gaziantep on Bed & Breakfast basis.
Day 9; 26 September
We travel from Gaziantep to Tarsus, where we visit the church of St Paul. Paul the Apostle, commonly known as Saint Paul and also known by his Hebrew name Saul of Tarsus, was a Christian apostle who spread the teachings of Jesus in the first-century world. Overnight in Anamur on Bed & Breakfast basis.
Day 10; 27 September
Drive from Anamur via Side to Faralya. Side, located on the eastern part of the Pamphylian coast, was founded by Greek settlers from Cyme in Aeolis, a region of western Anatolia. This most likely occurred in the 7th century BC. Its tutelary deity was Athena, whose head adorned its coinage. After exploring Side's sights, we continue to Mandarin & Mango Boutique Hotel in Faralya, where we will be based for the remainder of the trip. Stay on Half Board basis.
Day 11; 28 September
A well-deserved day for rest and relaxation... Stay on Half board basis (breakfast & dinner) at the Mandarin & Mango.
Day 12; 29 September
A hike along the Lycian Way, swim in the Mediterranean, or be lazy by the pool… Stay on Half board basis (breakfast & dinner) at the Mandarin & Mango.
Day 13; 30 September
Turkish bath, massage, shopping in Fethiye town for some "genuine fakes", or just relax by the pool with a drink or two…Stay on Half board basis (breakfast & dinner) at the Mandarin & Mango
Day 14; 01 October
Boat trip with BBQ along St Nicholas island on the Bay of Gemile. Stay on Half board basis (breakfast & dinner) at the Mandarin & Mango
Day 15; 02 October
Relax day, and get ready for your return trip. Stay on Half board basis (breakfast & dinner) at the Mandarin & Mango.
Day 16; 03 October
Fly home from Dalaman Airport (or extend your stay at Mandarin if you wish).

Price includes:

Not included:

To book, please call us on 020 8847 8700 or contact us by email.