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4 Nights/5 Days Pre-Cruise Package
 
Day 1 - Istanbul / Kars
Meet your guide at the airport and take TK#2714 departing Istanbul at 2:05 pm and arriving Istanbul at 4:05 pm.

Overnight and dinner at your hotel in Kars.
Day 2 - Kars / Dogubeyazit
Breakfast at the hotel

Leave hotel for our tour of Ani, the former Armenian capital. In its size and magnificence in the mid-10th C, nothing in Europe could touch Ani, and in the East Constantinople and Baghdad were its rivals. After our visit to Ani, we have lunch and drive further to Dogubeyazit where we will overnight. En route, we will witness the famous Mt. Ararat with its snow-covered peak in dark clouds and looks very unreal. After arrive in Dogubeyazit, we will visit the famous Ishak Pasha Palace with a magnificent setting and enjoy the sunset before driving to our hotel for dinner.

 
Day 3 - Dogubeyazit / Van
Breakfast at the hotel.

We leave the hotel to drive further south to Van, which was the ancient Urartian capital of Tuspa, the capital of the powerful Urartu kingdom between the 13th and 8th centuries BC. In succeeding years Van was under the control of the Armenians, Persians, Byzantines, Arabs, Seljuks, and Ottomans. Old Van was completely destroyed by the end of World War I (1914-1918) after being occupied by Russian forces and modern Van was built to replace it after the war.
Women of Van produce beautiful Kilims woven in blue, red and white patterns.Van is also famous for its Van cat, a pure white, longhair cat, which has the strange feature of one blue eye and the other green.
We will visit the Archeological Museum, which displays artifacts belonging to the Hurrian and Urartian Civilizations.
Our last stop will be the Castle of Van. Located on a high hill towards the waterfront from the town with great vistas over the town and the lake. Take a Dolmus to Kale; if you walk to and around the first small building you reach on the road you can find a path up behind it, otherwise go through the official entrance further down to road towards the water and pay the fee. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 4 - Van
Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning Departure for our visit of the Church of Akdamar or Church of the Holy Cross which is a ruined Armenian cathedral in Eastern Anatolia. Situated on a small island in the beautiful mountain setting of Lake Van, the Akdamar church dates from the 10th century and is famed for the fascinating reliefs carved on the exterior. According to local legend, the island of Akdamar gets its name from a tragic love story. A man fell in love with a woman named Tamar, who lived on the island. He visited her every night until, one tragic night; he was overcome by the waves in a storm. As he sunk into the water he cried out, "Ach, Tamar!”

Lunch will be followed by a visit to Lake Van, which is the largest body of water in Turkey and the second largest in the Middle East. The lake is located in the region of eastern Anatolia near the border of Iran.
Known to the ancient Greek geographers as Thospitis Lacus, or Arsissa Lacus, its modern Turkish name, Van Gölü, is derived from Van, or Chauon, the name of the capital of the Urartian kingdom that flourished on the lake's eastern shore between the 10th and 8th centuries BC. Roughly triangular in shape, the lake lies in an enclosed basin; its brackish waters are unsuitable for either drinking or irrigation. The salt water allows for no animal life save the darekh (related to the European bleak, a small soft-finned river fish of the carp family), a freshwater fish that has adapted to a saline environment.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 5 - Van
Breakfast at the hotel.

Transfer to the Van Airport for a flight to Istanbul.