This 8 day tour, starts and ends in Istanbul, Turkey.
Welcome to Istanbul. After picking you up from the airport, we'll drop you off at your hotel for a free day in Istanbul to explore the city.
Visit the Topkapi Palace (including Hagia Irene), Blue Mosque, St Sophia Museum, and Hippodrome in this exotic city that spans both Europe and Asia. In the afternoon, cruise between two continents on the stretch of water that separates Europe and Asia with an optional 'Half day Bosphorus cruise.'
After breakfast, we travel to Ankara, the country's capital, to see Anitkabir, Mustafa Ataturk's Mausoleum, before continuing on to Cappadocia's bizarre environment.
Today, we'll visit the Goreme Valley Open Air Museum and the fairy chimneys, as well as tour the numerous levels of an underground city, to marvel at Cappadocia's lunar scenery. Have your cameras ready because photo possibilities abound! Don't miss the optional Turkish folklore event featuring folklore and belly dancers tonight... it'll be a night to remember!
Departure in the morning from Cappadocia, we head to Ankara for our direct flight to Van. On arrival to Van Airport, you will meet with your tour guide. Before we go to our hotel, we will explore the Citadel with its three thousand Urartian fortress of Van and witness the extraordinary sunset.
After breakfast, we will travel by ferry stopping at Akdamar Island to see a spectacular 10th century church built by an Armenian king, if there is time swim in Lake Van.
Then, we will drive back to city centre to visit the largest Urartu Museum in the World. Artifacts from the Paleolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Urartian, Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Seljuk, Turkish-Islamic, and Ottoman Periods are exhibited in chronological order taking our visitors on a unique historical journey.
After the museum visit Van Cat House. Van cats are relatively large, have a chalky white coat, sometimes with ruddy coloration on the head and hindquarters, and have blue, amber eyes or one eye of each colour. This variety has been referred to as "the swimming cat", and has been observed to swim in Lake Van.
After breakfast, we leave for Dogubayazit via Muradiye and the Bendimaahi Falls. In Dogubayazit, we visit the spectacular Ishak Pasha Palace, 1685 - 1784, which has a unique fusion of architecture from Seljuk, Ottoman, Georgian, and Armenian - Persian styles.
In the afternoon we skirt around the western edge of Mt Ararat. Mt. Ararat is one of the great natural spectacles of the world. The name Ararat derives from the Bible (Jeremiah 51:27) and is a transliteration of 'Urartu' the name foreigners gave to this region and its inhabitants in Biblical times.
In the afternoon we will drive to Igdir Airport for our flight to Istanbul.
After breakfast our tour concludes and we say goodbye to our new friends and are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.