Private Tour TR502
6 Days Archaeology Tour: Where the
Silk Road Meets the Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden is between the rivers of Tigris and Euphrates,
exactly in the middle of Anatolia. Historically, the area is known as
Mesopotamia. The Silk Road travels through Mesopotamia and goes all the
way to China.
Day 1 – Arrival Diyarbakir - Mardin
airport where you will be met by your
private guide and driver.
Visit Diyarbakir famous for its fortress and walls believed to be built
by the Hurrians. The walls are the second most extensive walls in the
world after the great Wall of China. One can trace back twelve different
civilizations from inscriptions on these massive constructions. If you
wish you can visit the ruins of the Armenian church and or the orthodox
Christian church of the Chaldeans mentioned in the bible.
Continue on to Hasankeyf where you can have
lunch in a cave restaurant on the banks of the river Tigris. Visit
Hasankeyf castle, then depart on to Midyat, where you will have a chance
to see the typical Syrian houses. Travel through the green Mesopotamian
landscape to the
Monastery of Mor Gabriel,
the oldest still functioning Christian monastery in the world founded in
397 AD. Visit the cloister and the church, where you can view original
manuscripts written in ancient Aramaic language.
Continue on to Mardin. Dinner and overnight in Mardin in a typical hotel
with local charm.
Day 2. Mardin – Sogmatar - Harran - Sanliurfa
After breakfast walking tour on the old brick
Mardin, then visit to the
Deyrul Zafaran Syrian Orthodox Monastery.
Departure to Sanliurfa. En route stop at the cave that according to
legend gave shelter to biblical Job.
Visit his grave in Eyyup Nebi, the venerable Prophets Village
hosting the tombs of Job, his wife Rahime and the Prophet Elyasa.
Continue on to Sogmatar a renowned center of a Babylonian and Assyrian
cult in which the Moon, the Sun and the planets were considered sacred.
The seven ruined constructions situated above the hills to the west and
northwest of the Sacred Hill are temples representing the planets. The
order followed in the construction of these temples is matched with the
position of the planets in ancient times.
Travel to the biblical city of
renowned for its conic domed houses, medieval castle and an ancient
university. In the famous "Harran School" Sabian, Christian and Muslim
scholars could carry on their studies freely and translate the ancient
Greek scripts to Syriac and Aramaic. Among these famous scholars are
Cabir Bin Hayyam who is considered the father of the atomic theory
(722-776 AD) and Battani who calculated the correct distance from the
Earth to the Moon (850-926 AD).
Dinner and overnight in Sanliurfa.
Day 3. Sanliurfa - Mount Nemrut - Kahta
the biblical Ur of the Chaldeans located
between the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers, a city that has been
inhabited since the dawn of human kind. It is believed that Abraham, the
father of prophets was born in Sanliurfa, whose citadel was the scene of
his struggle with King Nimrud and whose lake was created from the flames
in which Abraham was supposed to burn. Abraham is claimed by three world
religions as a recognized prophet of the Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Visit the cave where he was born and the lake with the sacred fish pool,
as well as the fortress that overlooks these holly sites.
Continue on to the Ataturk Dam located 20 kms from Sanliurfa. Departure
for Mount Nemrut via Adiyaman, once important center of the Kommagane
kingdom. Continue up to Mount Nemrut, the fabulous archeological site,
located 2150 meters high, a surviving testament to the magnificence of
the Kommagane kings. Walk up to the famous tumulus (burial mound) of
King Antiochus I. of Kommagane who ruled from 69 to 36 BC, heroically
resisting the annexation of his kingdom by the mighty Roman Empire. This
mausoleum has a very distinguished feature; sun rises and sets from the
foot level of the gigantic sculptures.
Walk around the well-preserved colossal statues of the Greek-Persian
cult established by the Kommagane rulers. The heads of the deities have
toppled over onto the ground in the intervening centuries. Their finely
sculpted facial features are striking examples of the idealized late
Hellenistic style fused into harmony by Persian elements. The highlight
of your tour is to watch sunset with champagne glass in your hands from
the summit where the gods reside. Overnight at Kahta.
Day 4. Kahta – Hromgla - Gaziantep.
After breakfast visit the Karakus Tumulus of the
Kommagane royal ladies, Cendere Roman Bridge, Yeni Kale Kommagane
fortress with the Nymph river and Arsemia on the Euphrates, the antique
sacred settlement. The rest of our journey will take us on the ancient
Silk Road to Rumkale, the ancient castle city of Hromgla surrounded by
an artificial lake that was created by the construction of the dam. With
its strategic position overlooking the passages of the Euphrates,
Rumkale has been inhabited since Assyrian times.
It is considered a sacred place of Christianity where St. John the
Apostle copied the drafts of the New Testament and hid them among the
castle walls. Visit the church of the great Saint Nerses the Graceful,
who served the Armenian people as Patriarch from his headquarters in
Hromcla in the 12th century. "He was a great man of God, with strong
faith and deep love. Saint Nerses had a special gift for reconciling and
peace making between different peoples. It is his moral presence, and
also the place where his remains were committed, which make this site
holy and special for pilgrims," The ancient ruins will shiver you with
their awesome look. You will share the feelings that St. John felt in
his room at the end of a secret corridor that can be reached through the
spiral well. Overnight in Gaziantep.
Day 5. Gaziantep
After breakfast tour of Gaziantep including a visit to the
local museum with its beautiful Roman mosaics excavated from Zeugma
Antique Site. In the historical Tepebasi district, fine examples of
mid-nineteenth-century southeastern Anatolian Architecture may seem an
incongruous feature of this once-wealthy trading center in southeastern
Turkey but are only one of many elements in
a well-preserved example of cultural and religious integration in
the late Ottoman Empire. The missionary hospital and school constructed
at the request of
Tepebasi's merchants still stand alongside a collection of synagogues,
Mosques, and Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox churches in the
historical district of Gaziantep.
At the center of the district is the Millet Hani, the largest and
grandest of the city's Hans, or travel lodges, featuring kitchens,
animal stalls, and guestrooms that welcomed both wealthy merchants and
refugees. During World War I, Tepebasi was a destination for Armenian
refugees, whose craftsmanship is still visible in intricate Ironwork,
carved stone arches and columns, basalt ornamentation, and colorfully
tiled courtyard fountains. Enjoy a sightseeing tour and free time for
shopping in the Copper and Mother of Pearl Workshop Bazaar. An optional
dinner at a traditional restaurant is available for extra cost. A large,
rich, delicious variety of kebabs
and deserts will be served. Overnight at Gaziantep.
Day 6. Gaziantep
After breakfast transfer to the airport. End of services.
Additional tours in
are also available
Transportation by air-conditioned private car/bus.
Snack service on the bus/car.
5 nights of accommodation in 4 and 5 star hotels
Boat trip around Hromgla.
Services of a private guide and driver
All the entrance fees to the historical sites and museums.
Gaziantep or Diyarbakir domestic flights
lunches and dinners and drinks with the meals,
porterage, tips and personal items
Gaziantep : Anatolian Houses (boutique
hotel), Tugcan Hotel (5 star) or
Safir Hotel (4 star
Sanlıurfa : Harran Hotel (4 star) or Elruha Hotel (5 star)
Mardin: Dara Konagi (boutique hotel ) or
Erdoba Houses (boutique hotel)
Diyarbakır : Green Park Hotel (4 star) or similar
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