Itinerary: (subject to
Fly from USA to
the Blue Mosque & Aya Sophia.
Group meeting.Arrival around 11:00 am. No lunch since usually
well fed on plane. Early dinner. Stay at Hotel Ayasofya.
Early flight to Trabzon. Sumela Monastary, Aya Sophia, silvery
jewelry makers.Arrival around 10:00am. Drive directly to Sumela
Monastary. Return to Trabzon to visit Aya Sophia church. Visit
silver jewelry makers. Check in at Horon Hotel.
Zigana Pass, Eastern Anatolian villages.8:00 am departure.
Inland Eastern Anatolian villages and countryside. Overnight in
Bayburt: Grand Bayburt Hotel.
Village visits: hay, duck and dung economy and Turkish
hospitality.Visit families, schools, and one-room hospitals.
Talk with families, teachers and doctors. Overnight: Oral Hotel
Erzerum: Ulu Camii, Cifte Minare Medrese, Museum, and a 17th
century caravansary converted into a stone workshop.Lunch on
own. Discover local cuisine. Visit 12th century
Medrese (Seljukian school). Talk with Imam of 12th
century mosque. Visit ethnographic museum. Visit caravansary
where artisans mount local black stone in silver and gold
settings. Oral Hotel.
Drive to Kars along route of ancient Silk Road. Villages of
stone houses. Black sheep. Visit villagers in their homes.
Picnic lunch. Overnight in Kars at Sim-er Hotel.
Kars, Ani and the fartherst eastern home in Turkey! Mt.
Ararat.Kars, on the Armenian border, is the farthest eastern
city in Turkey, a frontier city. Travel to Ani, the 10th
century capital of Armenia. Continue along border and Mt.
Ararat. Overnight in Dogubeyazit: the Simer Hotel.
See sunrise on Mt. Ararat. Visit “Noah’s Ark.” Mail postcards
from easternmost post office in Turkey. Isak Pasa Palace,
Muradiye waterfall, Van.Travel along Iranian border to Van.
Visit a palace on the Silk Route with Iranian gateways, Ottoman
domes, Baroque harem rooms, Armenian stonework, and Georgian
reliefs. At a 3000-year-old Van castle sip wine in honor of the
Urartu Sun Goddess. Overnight at Hotel Urartu, Van
Ethnographic museum, folk dancers, sail on Lake Van to Akdamar
castle.Picnic lunch with Kurdish folk dancers. Visit an
1100-year-old church on island, swim in Lake Van, visit an
amazing kilim collection. Overnight in Hotel Urartu.
Bitlis, Hasan Keyf, Midyat
Early departure for longest bus ride of the trip (7:30-3:00).
Drive along Tigris River through ancient and modern towns that
will soon be inundated by the waters of a new dam. Visit active
Syrian Orthodox church in Midyat. Lunch on own.
Visit Christian Monastery where
congregation speaks Aramaic. Visit market of Mardin and wood
block printer (if alive, currently 87). Free time in afternoon.
Harran Drive to Harran and the Syrian border. See cotton fields
irrigated by waters of the Euphrates. Overnight in Urfa.
Sanliurfa , Ataturk DamVisit
birthplace (?) of Abraham and sacred carp lake. Ataturk Dam
produces 22% of electricity consumed in Turkey. Overnight in
Kahta at the Hotal Nemrut Kahta.
Sunrise on Mt. Nemrut ,Gaziantep
2am wakeup to get to top of Mt. Nemrut for sunrise. Drive to
Gaziantep, Overnight at Hotel Kaleli.
Gaziantep: Museum and Craft
Center; fly back to Istanbul
Visit new museum containing mosaics from Zeugma and the Kutnu
Fly back to Istanbul. Hotel Ayasofya
End of this tour.
Transfer to the
airport after breakfast for those returning home. Other
options: extend your visit in Istanbul or join our add-on tour
(see below and be tempted!) in western Turkey.
Add-on: Western Turkey
masterpiece, the Selimiye mosque,
possibly watch some
Overnight in Edirne.
Visit battlefield and
cemeteries of Gallipolli,
cross the Dardanelles,
visit Troy. Overnight
at the Manici kasri
Assos, DOBAG project
Visit Assos on the
Aegean Sea, Visit the headquarters of the DOBAG project and
some villages that participate in the natural dye, rug weaving
cooperative. Overnight at the Manici kasri.
Drive to Bursa. Visit
silk market, central mosque, the Green Mosque and Tomb. Enjoy a
Turkish bath in the evening. Gonlu Ferah
Iznik (ancient Nicea),
Black Sea village
Drive to Iznik: visit
Aya Sophia, the Iznik Tile Foundation, and handicraft
cooperative. Drive to Black Sea village that grows flax and
transforms it into kilims. Overnight in Istanbul: Hotel
End of Add-on.
transfer to the airport or continue your visit in Turkey.
Cost of Add-On
10-12 persons: $1395
per person in a double room
13-15 persons: $1265 per
person in a double room
Included in the cost:
Guide, driver, transportation, ferry crossing,
all meals and water with meals, entrance fees, hotels, tips at the
hotels and restaurants, and transfer to the airport.
Tip for guide and driver, drinks other than
water with meals.
Registration for the add-on will be
accepted at any time. Late reservations, during the Eastern Turkey
trip, will be on an as-available basis. A minimum participation of
ten persons is required for the trip to proceed.
The trip through Northwestern Turkey will take
us to remarkable sites: the gracefully beautiful mosque of Sinan in
Edirne.; two tragic battlefields where “the sons of the Allies and
the sons of Turks” fought and died in World War I and are buried
together, and where the sons of the Greeks and the sons of the
Trojans, thousands of years earlier, also fought and died; the
dramatic ruins of Assos overlooking the Aegean Sea; the DOBAG
cooperative project that has successfully recovered traditional
natural dye processes to color the wool that participating local
villagers weave into kilims and rugs. During our visit in Anatolia
we will spend two nights at the Manici kasri, referred to by
travelers as “that fabulous hotel in the mountains”! We proceed to
Bursa, ancient capital of Seljuk Turkey and a destination of the
Silk Road. We will visit the silk market and some more fabulous
mosques, and have a go at a Turkish bath! The next day we will
drive to Iznik, ancient Nicea of Nicean Creed fame, and more
recently, from the 16th to the 19th century,
where artisans made the remarkable tiles we saw in the Blue Mosque
of Istanbul and elsewhere. The lost art of the Iznik tile has been
recaptured by the Iznik Tile Foundation which we will visit, before
visiting with a local handicraft cooperative and then driving off
to visit a village by the Black Sea that has been given permission
to plant, harvest, prepare, and weave flax into kilims. We return
to Istanbul that night. We would invite you to extend your stay in
Turkey for at least another day or two to wander at your leisure
through the covered bazaar and the shops of the Sultan Ahmet area.