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4 Nights / 5 Days Post-Cruise Package
 
Day 1 - Istanbul / Gaziantep
After disembarkation in the morning, you will be met at the port and transfer to the Istanbul Airport on TK#2222 departing Istanbul at 11:10 am and arriving Istanbul at 12:45.

Afternoon tour of the city including world famous Zeugma Mosaics Museum and Archaeological Museum, Gaziantep Castle and the local bazaar.

The Gaziantep Zeugma Museum is world’s one of the most important museums in terms of both its building complex and its collection.

The Museum Building located on the site of Gaziantep’s former Tekel (once a tobacco and alcohol monopoly) Plant covering an area of 30,000 square meters, is a building complex consisting of 3 units. Besides administrative spaces, there are exhibition halls covering a total area of about 7,075 square meters, including a sitting area of 3500 square meters and consisting of 3 stories.

Transfer to your hotel in Gaziantep.

Day 2 - Gaziantep / Gobeklitepe / Sanliurfa
Breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Urfa. On the way visit Birecik Town on Euprates river – conservation area of bald ibis birds – and Gobeklitepe – an 12,000-year old temple, the oldest in the world. This is a very recent discovery and highlight of Eastern Portion of the Program.

The Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita), a migratory species, is a globally threatened species listed as critically endangered at a global scale since 1994 (2). The population of the bird has undergone a continuous decline over the last four centuries from Europe, probably due to habitat loss, persecution, pesticides and negative effect of climate change (1,8). The number of Bald Ibis in Turkey has decreased to critical level in 1950s. In order to avoid extinction of this bird, The Turkish Republic established Bald Ibis Breeding Station in Birecik in 1977.

A pre-historic site, about 15 km away from the city of Sanliurfa, is Gobeklitepe. What makes Gobeklitepe unique in its class is the date it was built, which is roughly twelve thousand years ago, circa 10,000 BC. Archaeologically categorized as a site of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A Period (c. 9600–7300 BC) Göbeklitepe is a series of mainly circular and oval-shaped structures set on the top of a hill. Excavations began in 1995 by Prof. Klaus Schmidt with the help of the German Archeological Institute. There is archeological proof that these installations were not used for domestic use, but predominantly for ritual or religious purposes. Subsequently, it became apparent that Gobeklitepe consists of not only one, but also many of such stone age temples.

Furthermore, both excavations and geo magnetic results revealed that there are at least 20 installations, which in archeological terms can be called a temple. Based on what has been unearthed so far, the pattern principle seems to be that there are two huge monumental pillars in the center of each installation, surrounded by enclosures and walls, featuring more pillars in those set-ups.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Urfa.

 
Day 3 - Sanliurfa
Breakfast at the hotel.

Full day tour of the area including visits to Harran (the bee hive houses), Urfa Castle, Abraham’s Holy Lake and the local bazaars of the city.

Visit the Biblical Harran famous with its beehive-style mud houses. Genesis refers to Harran as Terha, the place where Abraham took his wife and son. It is difficult to believe that this deserted place on the edge of the Syrian Desert was once a major economic, religious and a learning capital. After our visit of Harran, we drive to Urfa to check in and have lunch. After lunch we visit the Pool of Abraham , which is charming and unusually peaceful with attractive gardens and canals leading to the pool. Remainder of the day is on your own to explore the old bazaar of the city, which has a very Syrian flavor.

Our next stop will be the Urfa Castle, which is located on the foothills of Damlacık Mountain in the southwest of city. It is surrounded by deep defense moats engraved into rocks in three directions; north side is steep rocks. It is a strong possibility that the castle was rebuilt in 814 under the Abbasid rule, on the remnants belonging to Seleukos period. It is comprehensible that the south moat engraved into rocks was made on rock graves of III. Century AD.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Urfa.

Day 4 - Sanliurfa / Halfeti / Adiyaman
Breakfast at the hotel.

Today we will drive to Adiyaman, Kahta via Halfeti.

Moored on the banks of the Euphrates small boats wait to take visitors up the river to visit Rumkale (Greek Castle), a spectacularly sited ruin right in the middle of nowhere.

The opening of the Birecik Dam in 2000 spelt the end of life as people in the villages around this part of the southeast had known it. Around 6,500 of them had to be relocated, including many of those who lived in Halfeti in honey-colored houses that resemble those of Cappadocia. Two-thirds of the locals agreed to move to new homes above the level of the new lake, but one-third continue to occupy a much-reduced settlement whose mosque now crouches at the water’s edge. Some people even believe that St John died and was buried here although his remains have never been found.

Dinner and overnight will take place at the hotel in Kahta (Adiyaman).

Day 5 - Adiyaman / Mount Nemrut / Istanbul
Very early wake up for watching the sunrise on Mount Nemrut.

Rising 2,150 meters from Anti-Taurus Mountains in South Central Turkey stands the archaeological site of Mount Nemrut. It has been designated a World Cultural Heritage site by Unesco, and is one of the most important National Parks in the country. In addition to the statues, the entire site includes art from the Commagene Civilization, the Eskikale (Old Castle), Yenikale (New Castle) Karakus Hill and Cendere Bridge. Here colossal headless statues of gods and kings tower above the site and their enormous heads are scattered over the terraces.

Drive to Adiyaman Airport and take noon flight to Istanbul.