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This fascinating journey is like no other. Starting in Cappadocia we explore the spectacular volcanic scenery and underground cities. We then head to the unique monumental sculptures at Mt Nemrut. Our adventure then continues around Sanliurfa, where there are biblical and prehistoric sites believed to have been settled by the early 9th millennium BC. The stunning Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Gaziantep is a must see. The combination of these sites is unique in the world and waiting for you to discover this intriguing area.
Day 1 – Fairy Chimneys and Stunning Rock Formations
After pick up from your hotel in Cappadocia, we visit various locations to be able to peer at the best views of the amazing landscape whilst listening to the history of the region formed by erosion. We then take a one hour walk through one of the valley to gawp at the landscape. We continue onto the Göreme Open Air Museum, a vast complex containing some of the finest rock hewn churches and their frescos.
After lunch at a local restaurant, your afternoon excursion will incorporate several photo stops, to take some sensational photos of the stunning scenery after which we head to the town of avanos to learn about and view a pottery demonstration.
Day 2 – Underground City, River Walk & Cave Cathedral
Today our journey begins with a visit to Derinkuyu Underground City, the deepest of the underground cities. Your guide will lead you through the narrow, low passages to the many rooms within, including the stables, wineries and temples.
We then continue our journey to Ihlara Valley, for a peaceful one hour walk along the Melendiz River. This gorge is one of the most popular places to go hiking, famous for its natural beauty, vineyards and wildlife. There around 400 steps down to get into the valley but the bus picks us up the other end after eating lunch at one of the restaurants along the river. After lunch we travel to to the spectacular Selime Monastery, the largest rock-cut monastery in the region. Returning to Göreme we finally stop at a viewpoint for some scenic photos.
Day 3 – Mt. Nemrut
Leaving Cappadocia early morning, we make the journey to Pinarbası where we stop for lunch. This is followed by a visit to local village of Tepehan, before arriving and beginning your climb up Mount Nemrut. As you ascend the mountain, you will climb to over 2100 metres to witness the most amazing view of the valley and surrounding landscape. The top of the mountain is scattered with the huge heads of statues dating back to 62 BC the location of a tomb sanctuary, built by King Antiochus I. Sit and relax on the summit as you watch the sunset. After sunset we return to the foot of the mountain by walking to the town of Kahta for your transfer to your hotel by minivan. Our overnight stay in Kahta will refresh you for the following day.
Day 4 – Mesopotamian archaeology and the Birthplace of Abraham
The fourth day of this splendid tour takes us across the Atatürk Dam lake by boat. We then continue our journey to Harran, one of the oldest cities of the Mesopotamian Civilisation. Here we visit the famous mudbrick beehive houses. After lunch wander the old town of Urfa (also known as Şanlıurfa) to visit a traditional covered bazaar, the legendary Pool of Sacred Fish, the cave where the prophet Abraham was born, and the ancient site of Edessa. We stay overnight in Urfa.
Day 5 – Urfa to Gaziantep
Your final day includes a trip to the archaeological site of Gobekli Tepe. This plateau is the site of a Neolithic settlement dating back to the 10th millennium BC before proceeding to Gaziantep to visit the Zeugma Mosaic Museum, the world’s second largest mosaic museum. Your guide will also give you a tour of the ancient buildings around Gaziantep. From here we drive back to Capapdocia if you have booked extension accommodation. Or you have the option, to book a flight from Gaziantep to Istanbul if you would prefer.