In the Steps of Persian Kings

Turkey was part of the Great Persian (Achaemenian) Empire for over two hundred years, between the 6th and 4th century BCE, and Upper Mesopotamia, now Southern Turkey has many Zoroastrian/Persian sites. The Great Royal Road built by Darius, from Susa to Sardis, where the young Cyrus had his seat; the legendary city of Troy and the Hellespont (Dardenelles Straits) where Xerxes crossed on his way to conquer Greece; the ruins of Cappadoccia, one of the Persian satraps; Mt. Nemrut, the 8th Wonder of the World, which has remains of a fire altar on the eastern terrace; the underground fort at Dara (of Sasanian times) and more.
Duration 14 Days
Price details on request
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Tour Itinerary
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1st Day: You will arrive in Istanbul airport and fly directly to Mardin. You will relax in your hotel.

2nd Day: Today we will have one of the most mystical and magical days. First we will go to the ancient city of Dara . Then we will visit Midyat, which is famous for its architecture and we will have lunch there. Later we will visit Mardin, where we will visit Dayrulzafaran. Overnight in Mardin.

3rd Day: Leaving Mardin we will arrive to Diyarbakir and visit the city walls and Ulu Mosque. Drive to Nemrut, Adiyaman. Overnight in Adiyaman.

4th Day: We will visit Karakus, Cendere Bridge, Arsemia and Nemrut Monument. We will have a picnic lunch at Nemrut Mountain. Overnight in Adiyaman.

5th Day: On the way to Adana, we will drive to the battle-field of Issus where Alexander and Darius had fought. Also we will visit Karatepe, a perfect Hittitian City. Overnight in Adana.

6th Day: Today we will drive to Cappadocia via Cilician Gates which are the most famous and natural passes between East and West. The origin name of Cappadocia is Katpatuka which is a Persian word and means “land with beautiful horses”. Drive to Kaymakli underground city. Overnight in Cappadocia.

7th Day: Full day Cappadocia. We will see Goreme open air museum and the fairy chimneys of Avcilar, Dervent, Pasabag where you can take wonderful pictures. Overnight in Cappadocia.

8th Day: Flight from Cappadocia to Izmir. Our bus will wait for us at the Izmir airport. We will drive to Sardis once was a capital of Lydian Empire where money was first minted. Sardis is very important for Persian History. It was a capital city of Asia Minor for Persian Empire over 200 years. Overnight in Kusadasi.

9th Day: Today we will visit the ancient cities Priene, Miletus and Didyma. Miletus is very important. Persians took the city after a great naval battle. In Miletus we will talk so much about Persian history. Overnight in Kusadasi.

10th Day: An extensive tour in Ephesus. First visit to the Temple to Artemis which was one of the 7 world wonders, then enjoy the visit to Ephesus ruins. After lunch we will visit the museum where foundlings of Ephesus are displayed. We drive up to North via Izmir and arrive at Pergamon, once a great city of military and learnings with second largest library of ancient world. Persian had a military base here. After we visit famous Acropolis we follow the path that Xerxes and his army used to reach legendary Troy. Overnight in Canakkale by the famous Dardanelles Strait.

11th Day: In Troy we visit the whole city and sanctuary where Xerxes offered 1000 oxen to the God, known as the biggest sacrifice ever made before his march over Greece. Later we take a ferry to cross The Dardanelles. This is the place where Persian soldiers lashed the sea 3 days and nights in order to make it obey and let them pass. After that Persian engineers built the famous bridge of boats on which more than 100,000 Persian soldiers passed with their great Xerxes heading for Greece in 482 B.C When We reach the shore our bus will drive to famous Gallipoli Battle-Fields where Turk defeated Allies in 1915. After lunch we depart for Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul.

12th Day: We will have an extensive tour of Istanbul. Istanbul is the only city located in 2 continents and was the capital city of 3 empires. Our first visit will be to the legendary St. Sophia which was built 1.500 years ago as the first cathedral of the world. It was the biggest and last construction of The Roman Empire. Following we will visit the famous Blue Mosque. After lunch you will have free time in one of the oldest shopping places in the world, the Grand Bazaar. Overnight in Istanbul.

13th Day: In the morning we will have a Bosphorus cruise tour and you will see the beauty of Istanbul. Next we will visit the Topkapi Palace where the Ottoman Sultans used to rule the Empire. After lunch you will see the Underground Cistern and have free time in the famous Spice Bazaar and Istiklal Street. Back to the hotel for farewell dinner. Overnight in Istanbul.

14th Day: Transfer to Istanbul airport. Fly home via Istanbul


INCLUDED
  • 2 domestic flights (Istanbul - Mardin / Kayseri - Izmir )
  • All meals during the daily tours
  • Entrance fees to the museums stated in itinerary
  • All transfers by bus and boat.
  • Escort by a professional guide-lecturer throughout
  • Bus with A/C 
  • Lectures on Turkey, history, and culture during the journey
NOT INCLUDED
  • Visits and services not mentioned in program
  • International flights
  • Travel insurance (should be done at home)
  • Personal expenses and all beverages
  • Visa
  • Tips to guide and driver
NOTES

Over nights (4-5 Star hotels)
Mardin: 2 nights
Adiyaman: 2 nights
Adana: 1 night
Cappadocia: 2 nights
Kusadasi: 2 nights
Canakkale: 1 night
Istanbul: 3 nights

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