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The Grand guided tour of Eastern Turkey
  Tour summary
  Grand Tour of Eastern Turkey
  Duration: 12 days
  Tour features: Trabzon, Sumela Monastery, the city of Ani and Kars, the palace of Ishak Pasha, Van, Nemrut Crater lakes, Hasankeyf, the mountain top monuments of Mt Nemrut, Harran and finishing in Istanbul.
  Prices from 2290 euros (group booking)
Based on 4/5 star accommodation
Click here for prices & tour schedule

The Grand Tour of Eastern Turkey

The Grand Tour of Eastern Turkey is a luxury tour that will allow you to experience the best that this extraordinary region has to offer in cultural, geographic and historical terms all in the context of luxury, fully provisioned and equipped coaches and staying in the best hotels that the region can boast.

Using our intimate local knowledge we have designed a tour that will allow you fully appreciate the splendours of our region in a measured and relaxed manner- each day is structured so you will get the most out of what we see and do. We visit most sites in the morning and late afternoon when they are cooler, quiet and when the light is best for photography. We have timed our travelling times to allow stops along the way if you see something of interest that you wish to investigate further or simply to stretch your legs. There will be no pressure on you at any point to buy anything and we will not take you to places where you will feel pressured to buy anything. We will ensure that our coaches are never full so that there is room for you to move around and spread out if you wish.

The Grand Tour starts at Trabzon on the Black Sea coast and concludes in Gaziantep, or vice versa, and includes domestic air travel from and to Istanbul.

ruins of the medieval city Ani
Ruins of the medieval city Ani
Muradiye Waterfall
Muradiye Waterfall
wildflowers in bloom, Eastern Turkey
Day 1

Trabzon, visiting Aya Sofia and then the Sumela Monastery before continuing into the Pontic Mountains, across the Zigana Pass and onto Erzerum . (L, D)

Day 2

Morning in Erzerum to see the Great Mosque, the Medrese and other central sites including the bazaar if desired. After lunch we leave Erzerum and travel to Kars via the Arras river valley, into the Arras Gorge through Sarakimis. Overnight in Kars. (B, L, D)

Day 3

A reasonably early start to visit the ancient Armenian city of Ani on the Armenian border; allowing two to three hours for you explore the site we will be on our way by lunch time and will have a light lunch en route. We cross the Igdir plain, skirt the majestic mountain of Ararat and into Dogubeyazit to visit Ishak Pasha Saray. Early supper in Dogubeyazit and then on to Van with a brief stop on the way at the Muradiye Falls. Arrival in Van will about at 8 or 9 in the evening and light refreshments will be available in the hotel. This is probably the longest day of the tour. (B, L, D)

Day 4

This day will be spent in and around Van at your leisure. You have the choice of joining small local tours to places like Hosap Castle or Akdamar Island with its beautiful 10th century church or simply strolling around Van visiting the shops and the small but excellent local museum. We will also organise an evening trip to see Van citadel at sunset. (B) (L, D optional depending on activity chosen). Overnight in Van.

Day 5

After a leisurely breakfast we go on to Tatvan on the south western edge of Lake Van either by the scenic shore line road or, timings permitting, by the equally scenic Van to Tatvan ferry. Check into our hotel in Tatvan where we will stay tonight then onto Ahlat to visit the Seljuk cemeteries and mausoleums in the late afternoon. (B, L, D)



After a moderately early breakfast we go on to visit Nemrut crater Lakes. After a picnic lunch around the lakes we proceed to Bitlis and then down the awesome Bitlis river gorge and on to Batman where we will have a sumptuous dinner and our overnight stop a Thermal Spa hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 7

Early start to visit the soon to be sunken cave dwellings at Hasankeyf on the River Tigris while the temperatures are nice and
cool. After a light lunch we travel on through the Gurduc valley on to
Midyat with its silver bazaars and on to Mardin in the late afternoon
where we will stay in a superbly renovated caravanserai. There will be time to wander through old Mardin before dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 8

After a short visit to Mardin’s great Mosque we will carry on to the Saffron Monastery, once seat of the Syriac Christian Patriarch and a site of religious worship as far back as 1000BC which is the age of the oldest religious structure on the site!

After the Saffron monastery we carry on to Sanliurfa (or Urfa) to check into hour hotel and then visit the pools of Abraham in the late afternoon and early evening. Dinner will be in a wonderfully renovated Turkish Han. (B, L, D)

Day 9

After a moderately early breakfast we travel just outside Urfa to visit the ongoing archaeological dig at Gobekli Tepe which at about 11,000BC is the site of the earliest religious structure yet discovered. From Gobekli Tepe we carry on to Kahta in Adiyaman via a ferry ride on the River Euphrates to check into our hotel, relax for while and proceed to the magnificent funerary monument on the peak of Mt. Nemrut. (NB. There are 2 Mt Nemruts- one at Adiyaman and one on the edge of Lake Van) After sunset, back to the hotel for drinks and dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 10

After a leisurely breakfast we depart for Gaziantep where we will visit the museum that houses the exciting and beautiful Zeugma mosaics. After lunch and a tasting of baklava, for which the city is renown, we proceed to the airport for your return flight to Istanbul in the late afternoon. Overnight in Istanbul. (B, L, D)

Day's 11 & 12

These two days in Istanbul will be at your own leisure. Our staff will be available at all times to assist and guide you in any way you wish- we don’t want to drag you around the city following someone with an umbrella hoisted in the air. We want you to enjoy this fabulous and incomparable city so we will ensure that while you can’t see and do everything here, as well as in eastern Turkey, our boast as company remains true; we don’t want you to arrive home only to find out that you missed something wonderful. (B)

Day 13

Leisure time and depart for Istanbul. Breakfast included.

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Akdamar Island
Akdamar Island
Seljuk cemetaries, Ahlat
Seljuk cemetaries, Ahlat
Hasankeyf on the River Tigris
Hasankeyf on the River Tigris
Saffron Monastery, Urfa
Saffron Monastery, Urfa
Pool of Abraham, Urfa
Pool of Abraham, Mardin
Archaeological dig at Gobekli Tepe
Archaeological dig at Gobekli Tepe
Sunset in Istanbul - The end of the Grand guided tour of Eastern Turkey
Map of the tour
map of the grand guided tour of Eastern Turkey
Click on the map to view a larger version
Grand guided tour of Turkey
Grand Tour of Eastern Turkey Brochure

For a detailed brochure with information on departure dates, dress codes/ requirements and specific travel advice and our terms and conditions. This can be downloaded as a pdf file and printed off for you to read later.

Download pdf brochure
Tour Facts

Group Sizes:
Groups need to be at least 10 before they can proceed in this format (arrangements can be made for smaller groups) but will not exceed 20.

Transport and accommodation:
Internal flights are by scheduled airlines (Sun Express, Pegasus, Onur or Turkish Airlines). Road transport is by fully air-conditioned coach and all accommodation is in best available hotels with en suite facilities throughout.  

What is Included in the cost of your trip: The price includes all domestic travel, by air and coach, all excursions, museum and site entries, guide, accommodation, all meals (some exceptions in Istanbul as specified in brochure) limited travel insurance under Tursab cover. The price does not include soft drinks and alcoholic beverages and visa.

Tour availability:
The Grand Tour dates are Aug/Sept 2009, May/June 2010, Aug/ Sept 2010.

General Travel Information:
This will be provided in a comprehensive Travel Pack and Itinerary when you reserve your place and you will be provided with a travel kit bag on arrival in Turkey.

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