Day 01 – Istanbul (D)
Arrival to Istanbul and meet Orion Tour representative. Free at leisure. Overnight in Istanbul
Day 02 – Istanbul / Adana / Tarsus / Adana (B,L,D)
Take morning domestic flight to Adana and drive to nearby Tarsus, birth place of St. Paul and visit St. Paul’s Well and Church and old Roman Road in Tarsus. Drive back to and overnight in Adana
Day 03 – Adana / Hataya (B,L,D)
Drive 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. Overnight in Hatay.
Day 04 – 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 05 – 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 06 – 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 07 – Kahta / Sanli Urfa (B,L,D)
Continue to Sanli Urfa en route stopping by the Ataturk Dam built over Euphrates. Visits to the Old Testament place of Abraham’s Pool and Cave of Abraham. We make a break in the historical Old Bazaar. Overnight in Sanli Urfa.
Day 08 – Sanli Urfa (B,L,D)
Another Old Testament place, namely, Harran will be our first stop. Drive to Gobeklitepe, the oldest sanctuary in today’s Turkey. Finally we visit the newly built local museum of fantastic mosaics. Overnight in Sanli Urfa.
Day 09 – Sanli Urfa / 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 Medrese and Sabanci museum will be included before we settle at our hotel for the day. Overnight in Mardin.
Day 10 – Mardin (B,L,D)
Continue the morning with a visit to Deyr ul Zaferan of Syrian Orthodox monastery. The Roman military post and city of Oguz is also a must here in the neighborhood. Return to Mardin for the tour of Old Town and market. Overnight in Mardin.
Day 11 – 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 12 – 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. Following lunch enjoy carpet weaving where we can see Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian and Iranian carpets and kilims. Visit the city center and Van castle for sunset. Overnight in Van.
Day 13 – Van (B,L,D)
Cavustepe on a low hill is an vital settlement of Urartians. Ottoman period Hosap fortress is perched on a very steep rock controlling the road for trade routes.. Finally multi-colored eyes of Van cats will be our joy of the day. Rest of the day is your free time. Overnight in Van.
Day 14 – Van / Istanbul (B)
Take morning flight to Istanbul. Depending on your onward flight connect to international airport or stay one more night in Istanbul