Natural Marvels of the Anatolian Hinterland and Black Sea
Explore the "green" Black Sea coast, where the smell of the sea mingles with the fragrance of the bay trees; meet the resilient Black Sea people for whom sailing and fishing are natural occupations; visit Sumela Monastery, a magnificent structure that resembles an eagle's nest on the lush green hillside of the Black Sea region; walk in the streets of Hattusas (1720 bc) the earliest standing example of a walled city and the capital of the Hittite Kingdom; witness the splendor of this bygone culture when you view the enormous stone monuments of Yazilikaya; imagine being part of Noah's Ark and expedition on Mount Ararat; explore the rugged, natural beauty of southeastern Turkey and marvel at the statues of the commagene gods on top of the Nemrut Mountain.
DAY 1 - USA TO TURKEY - Sat.
DAY 2 - ANKARA - Sun.
Welcome to Ankara. The Blue Voyage staff will guide you to the hotel. The rest of the day will be at your leisure. (-/-/D)
DAY 3 - CAPPADOCIA - Mon.
After breakfast, we tour the sites of the Turkish capital. Visits include, the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara Citadel and the Mausoleum of Atatürk. After lunch, we drive to Cappadocia. (B/L/D)
DAY 4 - CAPPADOCIA -Tue.
The first thing in the morning, we start exploring the pigeon houses in Uchisar Valley and the Goreme Open Air Museum with its rock carved churches and colorful frescoes. We complete our journey in this amazing region of fairy chimneys with visits to the Zelve Valley and the underground city of Kaymakli. (B/L/D)
DAY 5 - ANTAKYA - Wed.
We start the day with a drive to Antakya. En route we visit another rock carved monastery called EskigUmUS with it's incomparable smiling Virgin Mary fresco. Overnight in Antakya. (B/L/D)
DAY 6 - URFA - Thu.
St. Peter's Grotto, considered to be the first church in history, is our first stop in the morning. Next on the agenda is the Mosaic Museum, and its remarkable examples of mosaic once used in the houses of the city during the Roman era. Then we drive to Urfa. (B/L/D)
DAY 7 - NEMRUT MOUNTAIN - ADIYAMAN - Fri.
The city tour of Urfa is followed by a drive to Nemrut Mountain. The statues of the Gods of the Commagene civilization will greet us after a short climb up the hill. We drive to the provincial capital, Adiyaman. (B/L/D)
DAY 8 - DIYARBAKIR - ANKARA - Sat.
The day starts with a drive to Diyarbakir. After visiting the old part of the city we will catch a flight to Ankara. (B/L/D)
DAY 9 - HATTUSAS - SAMSUN - Sun.
We start in the morning with a drive to Hattusas and the Yazilikaya Open-Air Sanctuary, once the former seat of the Hittite Kingdom. We continue onto Samsun, a pearl in the Black Sea region. (B/L/D)
DAY 10 - TRABZON - Mon.
Our tours in Samsun start with Merkez Camii Mosque, the 'First Step' monument, and the AtatUrk Museum. After a short walk in the city, we drive to Trabzon, a city by the Black Sea. (B/L/D)
DAY 11 - KARS - Tue.
We start our morning with the SUmela Monastery which is carved into a cliff face hundreds of feet above the ground, then onto St. Sophia Church. The drive to Kars will follow. Late check-in to the hotel, overnight. (B/L/D)
DAY 12 - MOUNT AGRI - ERZURUM - Wed.
After breakfast we tour the city of Ani. Then we continue onto Mount AGri, with it's many stories including that of Noah's Ark. The capital of Eastern Turkey, Erzurum, is our last stop. (B/L/D)
DAY 13 - ISTANBUL - Thu.
After a short sightseeing tour of the SelCuk monuments in Erzurum, we drive to the airport for our Istanbul flight. (B/L/D)
DAY 14 - ISTANBUL - Fri.
Today we venture in Istanbul. In the morning we explore The Blue Mosque, St. Sophia Church, visit the Hippodrome before we continue onto Topkapi Palace the house of Sultans with its remarkable Treasury section and Harem. (B/L/D)
DAY 15 - ISTANBUL - Sat.
We sail along the Bosphorus in the morning zigzagging between two continents. In the afternoon, our visit to Suleymaniye Mosque is followed by the Covered Bazaar and the Spice Market, huge Ottoman buildings consisting more than 4000 shops under one roof. (B/L/D)
DAY 16 - RETURN TO USA - Sun.
After breakfast we drive to the airport for our homeward flight. (B/-/-)
Explore the "green" Black Sea coast, where the smell of the sea mingles