Day 01 – Istanbul (D)
Arrival to Istanbul and meet Orion Tour representative. Free at leisure. Overnight in Istanbul
Day 02 – Istanbul / Hatay (B,L,D)
Take morning flight to Hatay. Upon arrival Visits to Grotto of St. Peter where the term, Christian, is born and beautiful local mosaic museum will be highlights here. We continue to Seleucia ad Prieria, the port city where St. Paul sailed off on his 1st missionary journey to Anatolia (Turkey), and visit the Titus Tunnel. Overnight in Hatay.
Day 03- Hatay / Gazi Antep (B,L,D)
Drive to Gazi Antep in the morning. There is a fantastic museum of mosaics from Zeugma that we visit and later enjoy strolling through the Old Town. Overnight in Gazi Antep.
Day 04 – Gazi Antep (B,L,D)
Continue to Birecik to see Kelaynak (bald headed ibis) farm, ruins of Zeugma where the mosaics in Gazi Antep are collected from and Halfeti for a wonderful boat ride on the historical Euphrates. Return to Gazi Antep for overnight.
Day 05 – Gazi Antep / Kahta (B,L,D)
Drive to Kahta. Visiting Black Bird tumulus, Cendere bridge, Arsameia we finally climb to Mt. Nemrut for sunset. Return to Kahta for overnight.
Day 06 – Kahta / Sanli Urfa (B,L,D)
Continue to SanliUrfa en route stopping by the Ataturk Dam built over Euphrates. Visits to the Old Testament place of Abraham’s Pool and Cave of Abraham. Drive to Gobeklitepe, the 12,000 year old prehistoric sanctuary in today’s Turkey. We make a break in the historical Old Bazaar. Overnight in Sanli Urfa.
Day 07 – Sanli Urfa / Mardin (B,L,D)
Drive to Harran, the city that Abraham visited and stayed on his way to Canaan. Finally we visit the newly built local museum of fantastic mosaics in the city. Continue to Mardin and overnight.
Day 08 – Mardin (B,L,D)
Today Mardin is awaiting us with her unique architecture of stone homes in the Fertile Crescent in Upper Mesopotamia. Visits to Kasimiye ve Zincirli Madrasah and Deyr ul Zaferan of Syrian Orthodox monastery. Enjoy a stroll through the Old Town. Overnight in Mardin.
Day 09 – Mardin / Van (B,L,D)
Head to one more town of unique stone architecture of Midyat. Moving toward Eastern Turkey we will stop by Hasankeyf, a prehistoric city on the Euphrates river bound to be covered mostly by water due to a dam construction in near future. Continue to Tatvan en route visiting Kervansaray. Overnight in Van
Day 10 – Van (B,L,D)
Visit to Akdamar island with lunch by the lake. Akdamar is a magnificent masonry of Armenian architecture with stone reliefs about Old and New Testament images and more. Cavustepe on a low hill is an vital settlement of Urartians. Finish the day with a visit to Van castle for sunset. Overnight in Van.
Day 11 – Van / Dogubayazit (B,L,D)
Visit to the weaving center after breakfast where we can see Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian and Persian carpets. Continue to Dogubayazıt. Ishak Pasha Palace overlooking the Silk Road is on our program. We will enjoy view of legendary Mt. Ararat. Overnight in Dogubayazıt.
Day 12 – Dogubayazit / Kars (B,L,D)
Drive to Kars viewing Armenian border along the way. We visit the capital city of Ani of Armenian Kingdom in 10th and 11th centuries. A visit to the Church/Mosque of 12 Apostles and a walking tour of Kars upon returning to the city center will also be on our list before check in. Overnight in Kars.
Day 13 – Kars / Hopa (B,L,D)
Drive to Hopa on the Black Sea visiting Ishan Armenian/Georgian monastery. Penetrating through the Black Sea Kackar mountains will register in our hearts offering excellent views and scenery. Overnight in Hopa.
Day 14 – Hopa / Trabzon (B,L,D)
Now we are by the Coast of Black Sea we drive to Rize and visit a tea factory (in season). Continue to Trabzon. Visit H. Sophia of Greek Ortodox medieval church and Boztepe for an unforgetful panorama of the Black sea. Overnight in Trabzon.
Day 15 – Trabzon / Istanbul (B,L,D)
Visit to Sumela Monastery, a fantastic Greek Orthodox monastery tucked high up in the mountains whether we can climb on foot or take a minibus shuttle. Returning to the city center and connect to your domestic flight to Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 16 – Istanbul (B)
Transfer to the airport for your onward international connection.