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South Turkey, Cappadocia and Istanbul

Flights to Adana and Antakya. Two nights in Antakya.

The city of Antakya, the former Antioch on the Orontes, is an important center of the monotheistic religions. Here are, among many, many churches, mosques and synagogues, not only for Catholics and Protestants but also the Syriac Orthodox members and perform their worship in the nearly extinct language of Jesus, in Aramaic. Here we visit the cave church where St. Peter preached, and the Archaeological Museum where magnificent mosaics from the Roman periodare displayed. In the afternoon we drive to Çevlik, the ancient Seleucia ad Piera, where Paul began his first missionary journey. Here we see the impressive Titus Tunnel, which was torn into the rock to prevent the silting of the harbor.

We drive to Payas. Here we visit the Complex with the caravanserail, which was founded by the famous Grand Vizier of the Ottomans, Sokollu Mehmet Pasha. After a short drive we reach the place where in 333 Bc the Battle of Issus took place and history was written. Here we visit the scant remains of the famous city. Then it goes to the Late Hitite settlement of Karatepe. The town was a popular topic of discussion in the articles of the literary scholar Raoul Schrott. He claims that Troy is not as previously thought in the Dardanelles but here in Karatepe. Continuing to Urfa. 2 nights accommodation in Urfa

Drive to Göbeklitepe. According to recent excavations and the researches of the German Archeologists, you had to rewrite the history of the Neolithic Age. The current scientific attitude is that the cradle of civilization was not as previously assumed Jericho, but was Göbeklitepe. Harran is the place that Abraham has visited on his journey to the Promised Land. There we visit Jacob's Well, the fortress and the ruins of the mosque. The traditional architecture of Harran, similar to the trulli houses in southern Italy, create a very interesting picture.

In the morning we visit to the Grotto of the Nativity of Abraham. Then we visit the Halil Rahman Mosque, where according to legend, Abraham was thrown into the fire. Here we see the pond with sacred fishe. Visit the bazaar of Urfa. Then drive to Kahta. On the way we make a photo stop at the Ataturk Dam, which is considered to be fifth largest dam in the world. With mini-buses we drive on to the Nemrut Mountain and go (uphill about 30 minutes) to the west and eas terasses of the tomb of Antiochus I. On the way back we see in Arsameia colossal relief panels, a mysterious rock tunnel and the Karakus tumulus with an eagle-pillar. The journey continues back over the Roman Cendere bridge back to Kahta. Overnight in Kahta.

Today we drive via Kahramanmaras and Kayseri to Cappadocia. In Kahramanmaras we take a stroll through the famous coppersmith bazaar. Places of interest in Kayseri are Hunat Hatun Mosque from the Seljuk period and continue to Cappadocia. Three nights in Cappadocia.

After breakfast we drive to the famous open-air museum of Göreme. Here are the most beautiful rock churches with unique frescoes of Byzantine art. After an easy hike through a valley in the tufa area we visit the Old City of Cavusin. Then we make photo breaks in the bizarre landscape of Cappadocia.

In the morning we drive to the underground city Derinkuyu, which was the largest and most important place of refuge of the Christians. Here, the early Christians in Anatolia were hiding from foreign aggressors. Then we visit a typical carpet production center of Cappadocia and enjoy the colorful world of carpets. With further breaks in the beautiful valleys in Cappadocia, we end the day.

Today we drive through the Taurus Mountains to the Mediterranean. The famous Cilician Gate unite the Anatolian plateau to the coast. Important personalities like Alexander the Great, the Persian kings like Darius and Xerxes, Godfrey of Bouillon, and many others used this mountain pass. In Tarsus, the birthplace of Paul, we visit the Paul Wells, the Cleopatra Gate and the Roman road. Four nights in our beautiful seaside hotel Pine Park Resort.

After breakfast, drive to the Corykian caves, two giant collapse dolines called heaven and hell. Then we drive to Uzuncaburc, the Hellenistic-Roman city Diocesarea. Here we visit the impressive ruins of the temple, the theater and the five-story tower. Then we drive up to the castle of Silifke, ancient Seleucia ad Kalykadnos. Kalykadnos is the river where the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa drowned in 1190s. Then visit the cave church of St. Thekla

Today we take a boat trip along the Cilician fantastically beautiful coastline. With several swimming breaks, we enjoy this relaxing day. Aboard bream is eaten. Frequently during this trip one can see Caretta Caretta turtles, or even the Mediterranean sea lions.

Time for leisure. You can enjoy the luxury, comfort and the private beach of our hotel.

Early morning transfer to airport and flight from Adana to Istanbul. In the afternoon we start with the guided tours in Istanbul. The first visit is at the Hippodrome, the former racecourse. It has been the center of the entertainment and monuments from around the world adorn this plant. Not far is the magnificent work of Ottoman religious architecture: The Sultan Ahmet Mosque from the 17C. Also known as the Blue Mosque in Istanbul this icon hides the synthesis of all the previously used architectural forms. Visit the Hagia Sophia from the year 537, which is one of the largest churches in the world. In this church was, according to the faith of the people, the navel of the world. Two nights in Istanbul.

In the morning we visit the Topkapi Palace: From here, the Ottomans ruled their vast empire. Unimaginable treasures are hidden in the various areas of this unique palace plant. Then visit the Chora Church, a jewel of Byzantine art. Their wonderful mosaics and frescoes are the best preserved and give an imposing appearance from the original splendor of Constantinople. The stroll through the bazaar with the oriental flair is an indispensable element of a visit to Istanbul.

Transfer to airport and flight back to homecountry.

The price includes
* International flights
* Domestic flights
* Taxes and service charges for the flights
* Transfers mentioned in the itinerary
* All transportation by airconditioned vehicle
* Professional english speaking guide
* Welcomecocktail
* All entrance fees
* 14 nights accommodation with breakfast & dinner

RouteAntakya MuseumTitus TunnelKaratepe MuseumHarranNemrud BergArsameiaHunat Hatun MoscheeKappadokienKappadokienKappadokienDiocesareaBootstourPine Park HotelChora KircheTopkapi PalastSüleymaniye MoscheeBlaue Moschee