Aurora’s Land

1st Day : ANKARA
Arrival at Ankara Airport. After customs clearance, reception of the group. Transfer to your hotel.

2nd Day : Ankatara – Hatusas – AMASYA
Heading to Amasya, discover the ancient Hittite sanctuary at Yazilikaya with its fine reliefs of gods and kings and Hattusas, the ancient Hittite capital at Bogazkale. Continue to Amasya, the one time capital of the Pontic Empire, a lovely little town nestled in a mountain valley formed by the Green River. Some of the most striking features of Amasya are the tombs of the Kings of Pontus carved into the high cliffs surrounding the city.

3rd Day : Amasya - TRABZON
Travels take you from Amasya to Trabzon following the Black Sea coastal road with magnificent views of pine-forests, tea plantations, hazelnut trees. Trabzon, ancient Trapezium is a Black Sea port city with a recorded history dating back to the 8th century BCE.

4th Day : TRABZON
Explore Trabzon with a visit to the Haghia Sophia Museum, a 13th century Byzantine Church with delicate frescoes, the Fatih Mosque, formerly the medieval church of Panagia Chrysocephalos and a stroll in town in the morning. Later in the afternoon, climb up the forested Black Sea Mountains to the Monastery of Sumela built at an altitude of circa 1200m.

5th Day : Trabzon - ERZURUM
Head for Erzurum crossing the Pontic Alps. This awesome drive follows rivers and mountain passes to Erzurum, one of the largest cities in eastern Turkey, yet still very conservative. Often a battleground, there are still some very impressive medieval buildings surviving from the Seljuk and White Sheep Turkish conquests like the Double Minaret Madrasa and the Yakutiye Mosque complex. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Erzurum

6th Day : Erzurum - Ani- DOGUBEYAZIT
On the way to Dogubayazit, turn off the main road to Kars to visit the medieval Armenian City of Ani. Impressive fortified walls still encircle the ruins of numerous churches, mosques, and caravansaries.

7th Day : Dogubeyazit - VAN
See Ishak Pasha’s abandoned palace, a complex composed of a mosque, a fortress, and a palace near Dogubayazit. Gaze upon Mount Ararat en route, where Noah’s ark was believed to have landed after the great flood. Continue to Van.

8th Day : VAN
Excursion to the ancient Urartian fortress at Cavustepe. Ferry to Akhtamar Island on Lake Van, where explorations include the 10th century Armenian Church of the Holy Cross, known for its amazing high relief sculptures covering its outer walls.

9th Day : Van - DIYARBAKIR
Continue to Diyarbakır, located on the Tigris River and famous for its black stone city walls. Visit the Great Mosque, the old town, and its colorful markets.

10th Day : Diyarbakir – Mardin - URFA
On the road to Urfa, visit Mardin, a unique city with lovely old Arabic-style stone houses. Visit the working Monastery of Deyr-az-Zaferan just outside of town, before continuing to Urfa, believed to be the hometown of the prophet Abraham. Enjoy a stroll in Urfa.

11th Day : Urfa – Gobeklitepe- Harran – Mt. NEMRUT
Visit Gobeklitepe the world’s oldest temple then visit Harran, where the houses with distinctive beehive rooftops have been inhabited for centuries. Drive-up Mount Nemrut near the Euphrates River. Part of the ascent will be made by minibus, after which a short hike will take you to the top. Enjoy the sunset from the toppled heads of colossal stone statues of ancient gods and goddesses.

12th Day : Mt. Nemrut - CAPPADOCIA
Travels now turn westward across mountain ranges and plains to the region of Cappadocia, make a stop in Kayseri along the way. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Cappadocia

Explore fantastic rock-carved painted churches in Goreme, fairy chimneys at the ghost town of Zelve, the underground city of Ozkonak, and the pottery village of Avanos as you take in the inspirational landscape of Cappadocia.

14th Day : Cappadocia - ANKARA
Complete the circle back to Ankara via the Salt Lake road. Visit the Roman Baths, Ataturk's Mausoleum, and the world-famous Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.

15th Day : Departure
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Ankara Airport.