14 Day Eastern Turkey Explorer

From

$2909

Land Only

$4039*

Air & Land



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(Hotels may vary based on departure day of the week)

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Book By Dec 16, 2021 & Save!

2022 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $700
Dates

Not Included:
Optional tours and gratuities.


Additional Information:
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers, but does include intra-flights Istanbul-Gaziantep & Kars-Istanbul.

Arrival and departure transfers are only included for flights to/from Istanbul Airport (IST).

During Ramadan (Apr 2 - May 1, 2022), historic and cultural sites may close early and operate with minimal staff. The order of sightseeing may be changed to accommodate the holiday observance. Traffic congestion is common during Ramadan. Some hotels and restaurants may not serve alcoholic beverages. Entertainment may be limited to be respectful of the holiday observance. Modest dress is suggested during Ramadan (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops). Use discretion when drinking, eating, and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset.


Entry Requirements:
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.



Is This Trip Right for You?

This is an active trip. Our small group covers a lot of ground each day in cities and in the countryside. Expect to spend two to three hours on your feet during tours. The pace is fast. Some of our tours require walking over cobbled streets, uneven surfaces or up and down steep slopes or steps. This tour is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking. There are significant driving times of about five hours between Mardin, Van, and Kars. There will be comfort stops between each destination. The elevation of Mount Nemrut is 7,001 feet, this may be a consideration for those who have heart conditions, or are otherwise affected by altitude. We suggest you check with your healthcare provider before signing up for this tour. This is a Small Group program. For more information, click here.

Accommodation Details




Room 1


  • Requests are not guaranteed and are subject to each hotel's discretion and availability

Additional Nights

Flight Details




Package Includes

  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • Round trip flights New York-Istanbul, Istanbul-New York
  • All intra-flights: Istanbul-Gaziantep & Kars-Istanbul
  • Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 12 nights accommodations
    • 3 nights Istanbul
    • 1 night Gaziantep
    • 2 nights Sanliurfa
    • 2 nights Mardin
    • 2 nights Van
    • 2 nights Kars
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • 29 meals: 12 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners (including welcome & farewell dinners)
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • Services of local English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features

Tour Highlights

Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.

  • Discover Istanbul's extraordinary sights including the Topkapi Palace, St. Sophia and the Hippodrome
  • Hunt for local treasures in the Grand Bazaar - your guide will teach you the "in's and out's" of shopping in the market
  • Visit the Zeugma Museum, known for the largest mosaic collection in the world
  • Drive to Mount Nemrut, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that overlooks the Euphrates River
  • Marvel at Gobeklitepe a Neolithic site, built 6,000 years before Stonehenge, marked by carved limestone megaliths
  • In Harran, visit a local beehive shaped house, dating back thousands of years
  • Tour the old town of Mardin and visit the Kirklar Church, the Grand Mosque, the Bazaar and a silversmith's atelier
  • Cruise to Akdamar Island, home to the 10th century Armenian Holy Cross Cathedral
  • Explore the city of Kars, visiting the Ani Ancient City, the Kumbet and Fethiye Mosques, and Kars Castle

†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

Is This Trip Right for You?

This is an active trip. Our small group covers a lot of ground each day in cities and in the countryside. Expect to spend two to three hours on your feet during tours. The pace is fast. Some of our tours require walking over cobbled streets, uneven surfaces or up and down steep slopes or steps. This tour is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking. There are significant driving times of about five hours between Mardin, Van, and Kars. There will be comfort stops between each destination. The elevation of Mount Nemrut is 7,001 feet, this may be a consideration for those who have heart conditions, or are otherwise affected by altitude. We suggest you check with your healthcare provider before signing up for this tour. This is a Small Group program. For more information, click here.

Note: your itinerary will change depending upon the day of the week you depart. Click a day above to see what is included.

DAY 1, Tuesday - Depart for Turkey
Depart for Turkey

DAY 2, Wednesday - Arrive in Istanbul
Arrive in Istanbul, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and transfer to your hotel. The balance of the day is at leisure. Tonight, attend an orientation meeting at approximately 7:30 PM with your Tour Manager and fellow travelers, followed by a Welcome Dinner at your hotel. We recommend that you select flights which arrive in Istanbul no later than 4 PM on day 2 of the itinerary or earlier, if possible
Overnight: Istanbul
Meals: Dinner

DAY 3, Thursday - Turkish & Islamic Art Museum, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar
Today, spend the day touring the city of Istanbul. First, visit the Turkish & Islamic Art Museum, with its rich Islamic art collection. Continue to Istanbul's Hippodrome, where chariot races and competitive athletic events took place during the Roman period. Afterward, visit St. Sophia. In the afternoon, tour the Topkapi Palace, residence of the Ottoman Sultans and the famous Grand Bazaar. Later, return to your hotel for the evening
Overnight: Istanbul
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 4, Friday - Flight to Gaziantep, Zeugma Museum, Coppersmith Bazaar, Baklava Tasting
Early this morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Gaziantep, a city in southeast Turkey. Upon arrival, there will be time for lunch on your own in the city's center. After, visit the Zeugma Museum, known for its mosaic collection. Then, take a guided walk through the historic bazaars of Gaziantep and watch craftsmen practice their traditional trade at the Coppersmith Bazaar. Visit one of the many baklava shops to savor the sweet Middle Eastern confection made of phyllo pastry and nuts. Later check into your room. Time to freshen up before dinner at the hotel
Overnight: Gaziantep
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5, Saturday - Travel to Sanliurfa via Mount Nemrut
Today, depart Gaziantep and head towards the historic city of Sanliurfa. Along the way stop at the town of Kahta for lunch. Then, drive to Mount Nemrut, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ascend the mountain for panoramic vistas of the Euphrates Valley and view the huge stone heads, remains of an ancient mausoleum. After, descend the mountain and drive towards Sanliurfa. Arrive at your hotel in time for dinner
Overnight: Sanliurfa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, Sunday - Explore Gobeklitepe, Sanliurfa Archeology and Mosaic Museum
Begin the day with a visit to Gobeklitepe, a Neolithic archaeological site and region where ancient farming communities emerged. Here, you'll find massive carved stones, dating back 11,000 years, which were crafted and arranged by prehistoric people. Then, head to Sanliurfa Archaeology and Mosaic Museum. Visit exhibits that display the region's cultural heritage, as well as artifacts from Gobeklitepe. After lunch at the museum, drive to Harran. Due to the hot climate, the city is known for its beehive homes. Visit one of these homes, and mingle with the locals of Harran before heading back to your hotel. In the evening perhaps, join the optional which includes dinner and a show
Optional: Sanliurfa Dinner & Folk Show
Overnight: Sanliurfa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 7, Monday - Gumrukhan Covered Bazaar, Pool of Abraham, Travel to Mardin
Depart from your hotel and embark on a morning tour of Sanliurfa. Visit the Gumrukhan local covered bazaar, the main commercial center. Continue to the Pool of Abraham, known as the Sacred Fish Pool, which is filled with thousands of fish. It is also the spot where King Nimrod sentenced Abraham to death and thrown him into the fire. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant before driving to Mardin. Arrive at the hotel for dinner and overnight
Overnight: Mardin
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8, Tuesday - Dara Ancient City, Deyrulzafaran Monastery, Kasimiye Medresesi, Old Mardin
Embark on a full day tour of Mardin. First, explore Dara Ancient City, known as the Ephesus of Mesopotamia, an important settlement along the Silk Road. Then, visit the Deyrulzafaran Monastery, located at the site of an ancient temple dedicated to the Mesopotamian sun god Shamash. After lunch at the monastery, continue to Kasimiye Medresesi. The old medrese (seminary) features a courtyard with arched colonnades and a intricately carved doorway. Ascend to the upper section to view Mardin's great panoramas. Then, visit the old town of Mardin. Return back to your hotel and spend the evening at leisure
Overnight: Mardin
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 9, Wednesday - Mor Gabriel Monastery, Travel to Van via Hasankeyf
Today, visit the Mor Gabriel Monastery, one of the oldest surviving Syriac Orthodox monasteries. Depart the monastery and travel to Van. Along the way, make a stop for photos at Hasankeyf, an ancient town located along the Tigris River in the Batman province of southeastern Turkey. After lunch at a local restaurant, travel to Van. Arrive at your hotel in time for dinner
Overnight: Van
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10, Thursday - Cat Breeding Center, Cavustepe, Akdamar Island
Savor a traditional Van breakfast at a local restaurant. The city is famous for its legendary breakfast that reflects its culture. Afterward, tour a cat breeding center, which breeds the distinctive species of Van cats. Then, visit Cavustepe, an ancient site also known as the Fortress of Hayk. Following lunch at a local restaurant, cruise to Akdamar Island in Lake Van, home to the 10th century Armenian Holy Cross Cathedral. Later, return by boat back to Van and arrive at the hotel in time for dinner
Overnight: Van
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11, Friday - Carpet Atelier, Muradiye Waterfalls, Ishakpasha Palace, Drive to Kars
Begin the day with a visit to Urartu Hali carpet atelier. Here, admire the exquisite handmade Anatolian carpets, distinguished by their colors, patterns, and techniques. Later, make a stop at Muradiye Waterfalls. Then, drive to Dogubeyazit and enjoy panoramic views of Mount Ararat, considered the resting place of Noah's Ark. Afterward, tour Ishakpasha Palace with its 18th century Ottoman architecture. Following the visit, drive to Kars and check into your room. This evening, dine at the hotel
Overnight: Kars
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12, Saturday - Ani Ruins, Kumbet & Fethiye Mosques, Kars Castle
This morning, drive to the ancient city of Ani, former capital of the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia. This medieval city, is located on a secluded hilltop along the Turkish and Armenian border. Visit the ruins and view the Ani Cathedral, the medieval walls, and the Citadel. Later, savor a wine tasting with local Kars gruyere cheese. Proceed to Kars Castle, whose imposing walls crown the ridge that dominates the city's northern edge. On the drive back to the hotel, view Russian style buildings, dating from the 19th century Russian occupation. Tonight, dinner is at a regional restaurant
Overnight: Kars
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 13, Sunday - Old City of Kars, Flight to Istanbul
Today, take a tour of the old city of Kars and visit the Kars Museum, featuring exhibits from the early Bronze Age, Urartu and Roman periods. Free time to stroll through the local market. Transfer to the Kars airport in the afternoon for your flight back to Istanbul. Upon arrival, check into to your hotel. Tonight celebrate your last night in Turkey at a Farewell Dinner
Overnight: Istanbul
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 14, Monday - Depart Turkey
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 1, Saturday - Depart for Turkey
Depart for Turkey

DAY 2, Sunday - Arrive in Istanbul
Arrive in Istanbul, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and transfer to your hotel. The balance of the day is at leisure. Tonight, attend an orientation meeting at approximately 7:30 PM with your Tour Manager and fellow travelers, followed by a Welcome Dinner at your hotel. We recommend that you select flights which arrive in Istanbul no later than 4 PM on day 2 of the itinerary or earlier, if possible
Overnight: Istanbul
Meals: Dinner

DAY 3, Monday - Turkish & Islamic Art Museum, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar
Today, spend the day touring the city of Istanbul. First, visit the Turkish & Islamic Art Museum, with its rich Islamic art collection. Continue to Istanbul's Hippodrome, where chariot races and competitive athletic events took place during the Roman period. Afterward, visit St. Sophia. In the afternoon, tour the Topkapi Palace, residence of the Ottoman Sultans and the famous Grand Bazaar. Later, return to your hotel for the evening
Overnight: Istanbul
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 4, Tuesday - Flight to Gaziantep, Zeugma Museum, Coppersmith Bazaar, Baklava Tasting
Early this morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Gaziantep, a city in southeast Turkey. Upon arrival, there will be time for lunch on your own in the city's center. After, visit the Zeugma Museum, known for its mosaic collection. Then, take a guided walk through the historic bazaars of Gaziantep and watch craftsmen practice their traditional trade at the Coppersmith Bazaar. Visit one of the many baklava shops to savor the sweet Middle Eastern confection made of phyllo pastry and nuts. Later check into your room. Time to freshen up before dinner at the hotel
Overnight: Gaziantep
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5, Wednesday - Travel to Sanliurfa via Mount Nemrut
Today, depart Gaziantep and head towards the historic city of Sanliurfa. Along the way stop at the town of Kahta for lunch. Then, drive to Mount Nemrut, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ascend the mountain for panoramic vistas of the Euphrates Valley and view the huge stone heads, remains of an ancient mausoleum. After, descend the mountain and drive towards Sanliurfa. Arrive at your hotel in time for dinner
Overnight: Sanliurfa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, Thursday - Explore Gobeklitepe, Sanliurfa Archeology and Mosaic Museum
Begin the day with a visit to Gobeklitepe, a Neolithic archaeological site and region where ancient farming communities emerged. Here, you'll find massive carved stones, dating back 11,000 years, which were crafted and arranged by prehistoric people. Then, head to Sanliurfa Archaeology and Mosaic Museum. Visit exhibits that display the region's cultural heritage, as well as artifacts from Gobeklitepe. After lunch at the museum, drive to Harran. Due to the hot climate, the city is known for its beehive homes. Visit one of these homes, and mingle with the locals of Harran before heading back to your hotel. In the evening perhaps, join the optional which includes dinner and a show
Optional: Sanliurfa Dinner & Folk Show
Overnight: Sanliurfa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 7, Friday - Gumrukhan Covered Bazaar, Pool of Abraham, Travel to Mardin
Depart from your hotel and embark on a morning tour of Sanliurfa. Visit the Gumrukhan local covered bazaar, the main commercial center. Continue to the Pool of Abraham, known as the Sacred Fish Pool, which is filled with thousands of fish. It is also the spot where King Nimrod sentenced Abraham to death and thrown him into the fire. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant before driving to Mardin. Arrive at the hotel for dinner and overnight
Overnight: Mardin
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8, Saturday - Dara Ancient City, Deyrulzafaran Monastery, Kasimiye Medresesi, Old Mardin
Embark on a full day tour of Mardin. First, explore Dara Ancient City, known as the Ephesus of Mesopotamia, an important settlement along the Silk Road. Then, visit the Deyrulzafaran Monastery, located at the site of an ancient temple dedicated to the Mesopotamian sun god Shamash. After lunch at the monastery, continue to Kasimiye Medresesi. The old medrese (seminary) features a courtyard with arched colonnades and a intricately carved doorway. Ascend to the upper section to view Mardin's great panoramas. Then, visit the old town of Mardin. Return back to your hotel and spend the evening at leisure
Overnight: Mardin
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 9, Sunday - Mor Gabriel Monastery, Travel to Van via Hasankeyf
Today, visit the Mor Gabriel Monastery, one of the oldest surviving Syriac Orthodox monasteries. Depart the monastery and travel to Van. Along the way, make a stop for photos at Hasankeyf, an ancient town located along the Tigris River in the Batman province of southeastern Turkey. After lunch at a local restaurant, travel to Van. Arrive at your hotel in time for dinner
Overnight: Van
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10, Monday - Cat Breeding Center, Cavustepe, Akdamar Island
Savor a traditional Van breakfast at a local restaurant. The city is famous for its legendary breakfast that reflects its culture. Afterward, tour a cat breeding center, which breeds the distinctive species of Van cats. Then, visit Cavustepe, an ancient site also known as the Fortress of Hayk. Following lunch at a local restaurant, cruise to Akdamar Island in Lake Van, home to the 10th century Armenian Holy Cross Cathedral. Later, return by boat back to Van and arrive at the hotel in time for dinner
Overnight: Van
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11, Tuesday - Carpet Atelier, Muradiye Waterfalls, Ishakpasha Palace, Drive to Kars
Begin the day with a visit to Urartu Hali carpet atelier. Here, admire the exquisite handmade Anatolian carpets, distinguished by their colors, patterns, and techniques. Later, make a stop at Muradiye Waterfalls. Then, drive to Dogubeyazit and enjoy panoramic views of Mount Ararat, considered the resting place of Noah's Ark. Afterward, tour Ishakpasha Palace with its 18th century Ottoman architecture. Following the visit, drive to Kars and check into your room. This evening, dine at the hotel
Overnight: Kars
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12, Wednesday - Ani Ruins, Kumbet & Fethiye Mosques, Kars Castle
This morning, drive to the ancient city of Ani, former capital of the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia. This medieval city, is located on a secluded hilltop along the Turkish and Armenian border. Visit the ruins and view the Ani Cathedral, the medieval walls, and the Citadel. Later, savor a wine tasting with local Kars gruyere cheese. Proceed to Kars Castle, whose imposing walls crown the ridge that dominates the city's northern edge. On the drive back to the hotel, view Russian style buildings, dating from the 19th century Russian occupation. Tonight, dinner is at a regional restaurant
Overnight: Kars
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 13, Thursday - Old City of Kars, Flight to Istanbul
Today, take a tour of the old city of Kars and visit the Kars Museum, featuring exhibits from the early Bronze Age, Urartu and Roman periods. Free time to stroll through the local market. Transfer to the Kars airport in the afternoon for your flight back to Istanbul. Upon arrival, check into to your hotel. Tonight celebrate your last night in Turkey at a Farewell Dinner
Overnight: Istanbul
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 14, Friday - Depart Turkey
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

Book Now!
Discovery Tours itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
Book your Optional Tours before you travel. See more, save time, save money.
  • Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
  • Tours often sell out. Avoid disappointment
  • Save your cash. Credit card processing may not be possible locally
  • Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure
  • Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
  • The day the optionals operate varies by the day of the week
Sanliurfa Dinner & Folk Show

This unique tour highlights the traditional music and cuisine of Sanliurfa, Turkey, passed down over the last five centuries. Friends and families used to gather weekly in each other's homes for conversation over folkloric games and music, serving local dishes such as "cig kofte" and "mirra." On this optional tour, enjoy a night of centuries old cultural music and food, specially presented by the locals of Sanliurfa.

Approximate tour duration is 3.5 hours.

Day #6 01 Apr 2022 - 31 Oct 2022 $99.00
Sanliurfa Dinner & Folk Show Thumbnail
Sanliurfa Dinner & Folk Show

This unique tour highlights the traditional music and cuisine of Sanliurfa, Turkey, passed down over the last five centuries. Friends and families used to gather weekly in each other's homes for conversation over folkloric games and music, serving local dishes such as "cig kofte" and "mirra." On this optional tour, enjoy a night of centuries old cultural music and food, specially presented by the locals of Sanliurfa.

Approximate tour duration is 3.5 hours.

Day #6 01 Apr 2022 - 31 Oct 2022 $99.00
Sanliurfa Dinner & Folk Show Thumbnail

Turkish Odyssey, June 2019
Dummy Image

The Turkey tour was fantastic! Wonderful accommodation, small group with great people, clean and comfortable bus, and a GREAT guide, Sayat!

James K. Calgary, AB
Turkish Odyssey, October 2016
Dummy Image

Our trip to Turkey was f a n t a s t i c !!!! The country is s must-see-do! Our Gate 1 Discovery tour was well planned, exactly executed and our guide Mesut and the driver Kadir are outstanding professionals! They made the vacation as good as it was. We are 100% over the top satisfied! Thanks to everyone who made this trip come true!

Martinsburg, WV