THIS THEME CRUISE WILL NOT BE OFFERED ANYMORE. PLEASE CONTACT US FOR ALTERNATIVE ITINERARIES.
20 to 27th April, 2019 - 7 nights Istanbul - Mardin - Urfa - Gaziantep - Istanbul
We have curated the following programme for you.
This round trip can also be organized on other dates and with the following changes in the itinerary: - only to Istanbul and combined with a beach holiday on the south or west coast. - only to northern Mesopotamia and combined with a beach holiday on the south or west coast.
20.04. (Sat.) - 1st day Joint arrival in Istanbul, connecting flight to Mardin Upon arrival in Istanbul, you will be welcomed by our guide who will accompany you throughout the trip. Domestic flight to Mardin (departure 16.15h / arrival 18.25h) with Turkish Airlines. A comfortable minibus will be waiting for you there. After check-in at the hotel (for 2 nights) you will have dinner in one of the best restaurants in the city. A special local menu is served here.
Dinner: Bagdadi Restaurant Overnight stay: Hilton Garden Inn Mardin
21.04. (Sun.) - 2nd day
Main attractions such as Dayro d-Mor Gabriel in Midyat and Darulzafaran Monastery in Mardin In this Upper Mesopotamian city with its unique architecture a full day with churches and monasteries, but also old, narrow market streets is planned. The biblical area is known as "Tur Abdin". Traces of ancient Christianity can be found here. The Syrian Orthodox churches still pray in the language of Jesus: Aramaic. Dayro d-Mor Gabriel (The Monastery of St Gabriel) is announced to be the oldest surviving Syriac Orthodox monastery in the world.
Lunch: Yusuf Usta in Mardin or Bahar in Midyat restaurant Dinner: The dinner is again a celebration in Cercis Murat Restaurant Overnight stay: Hilton Garden Inn Mardin
22.04. (Mon.) - 3rd day Drive to Şanlıurfa via Birecik, Göbeklitepe, sightseeing, the new Urfa Museum Sights in Urfa: The Pool of Abraham, bazaars etc and presentation at Klaus-Schmitt-House From Mardin you will be driven westwards towards Urfa. You would be crossing the legendary river Euphrates. Together with the Tigris it forms the Mesopotamia. Shortly before arrival in Urfa you will visit one of the highlights of the trip: Göbeklitepe. The sensational discovery of this place of worship and the continuous research about it will rewrite the prehistory of mankind.
If possible, you will also take part in a short lecture to be given by the wife of the deceased archeologist Prof. Dr. Klaus Schmidt (famous German archeologist who has led the founding of Göbeklitepe). Visit of the holy district in Urfa with the pond of Abraham and his birth grotto.
Lunch: Gülbaba in Birecik at the river Euphrates Dinner: In the hotel Overnight stay: Hilton Garden Inn Sanliurfa
23.04. (Tue.) - 4th day Drive to Gaziantep (city of culinary delights), Zeugma museum, visit, Sights in Antep: Museums and bazaars. Zeugma is a sensational historical excavation site on the Euphrates. Archaeologists had to run against time as Zeugma disappeared in the floods of a reservoir. The mosaics of the once rich Roman border town are now presented in the well-maintained Mosaic Museum. The museum is the world's largest collection of Roman mosaics.
Lunch: Küşlemeci Halil Usta Dinner: Asina Restaurant Overnight stay: Hampton by Hilton Gaziantep
24.04. (Wed.) - 5th day Continuation of programme, flight Gaziantep-Istanbul: domestic flight 12.35-14.35 and transfer to hotel
After arrival in Istanbul, your travel guide will accompany you during a short panoramic trip. Here another minibus with driver will always be at your disposal. In the early evening you will dine in one of the most renowned establishments of the giant city. Don't forget to enjoy the view. After dinner, check in at the hotel Çırağan Palace Kempinski Bosphorus Hotel for three nights. It is one of the best hotels in the world. From your "Superior View" rooms, you always have a view of a unique, natural waterway between Europe and Asia - the Bosphorus.
Dinner: Ulus 29 or Ulus Sunset Accommodation: Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul
25.04. (Thu.) - 6th day Private boat trip on the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, Beylerbeyi Palace (sightseeing), Istanbul of the "Grand Siècle": Walk through Galata and Pera, coffee break at the Hotel Pera Palace After a Kempinski breakfast, you will be going on a private boat trip to discover and experience Istanbul through the waterways. With an exclusive private boat you will sail on the waters that have made Istanbul what it is today. The Golden Horn and the Bosphorus are best observed from the waterways. The boat trip takes about four hours. During the guided tour through the Beylerbeyi Palace you will get an impression of the late Ottoman era. After an extensive lunch along the water channel on the Asian side, you will land again in Europe, in order to experience the Istanbul of the 19th century. A coffee break at the Pera Palace Hotel will catapult you into the days of the famous Orient Express.
Lunch: Lacivert Restaurant Dinner with a view of the Golden Horn in Firuze Restaurant Accomodation: Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul
26.04. (Fr.) - 7th day Historical peninsula with visits: Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Cistern, Bazaar, shopping facilities Today you will explore extensively the "classics" of Istanbul: Hagia Sophia, Hippodrom, Blue Mosque and the Sultan's Palace Topkapi. The famous Basilica Cistern and the Grand Bazaar are also interesting attractions. Today you will have shopping possibilities of different Turkish products.
Lunch: Konyali Restaurant In Topkapi Palace Dinner: Dinner will take place in Armada Restaurant terrace with a view. Accommodation: Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul 27.04. (Sa.) - 8th day
Return flight home or for seaside or golf vacation extentions of this trip, flight on to Belek/Antalya (golf resort) or Bodrum (beach holiday)
You will be taken to the airport. Depending on bookings, you will either fly back home to Germany or to the south or west coast of Turkey for a further stay.
Following are included in the prices:
• 4 overnight stays in Mardin (2), Urfa (1) and Antep (1) in the hotels of the Hilton chain on B&B basis. • 3 overnight stays in Istanbul on the Bosporus in the hotel Çırağan-Kempinski on B&B basis in the "Superior Bosphorus View Room". • Top-class, professional guidance in excellent German. • Presence of the travel guide also during meals. • Described itinerary. • All transfers. • All entrance fees and other costs such as tolls and park fees. • Travel in a comfortable private bus both in Northern Mesopotamia and Istanbul. • Comfortable private bus with on-call service in Istanbul. • Extensive Bosporus trip by private boat (at least four hours). • Lunch and dinner in the listed restaurants. • Coffee at the historic Hotel Pera Palace on the 6th day.