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The Cradle of Civilization Tour

Journey Synopsis

Icon Holidays : Eastern Mediterranean : Turkey : The Cradle of Civilization Tour
Days: 12 Days
Nights: 11 Nights
Validity: 2016-2017
Pricing From..
Icon Select: $10541.67
Executive: $9395.83
Classic: $10364.58
Premium: $11906.25
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Day 1: 


We will meet you upon arrival and transfer you to your hotel

Spend the rest of the day at your own leisure.

Day 2: 


Today begins with a guided city tour to include such sites as St. Sophia Basilica built in 537 by Emperor Justinian, the Hippodrome and it’s monuments including a 3500 year old red granite Egyptian obelisk erected in 390AD.  You will also visit two fine examples of Ottoman Empire architecture, the Topkapi Palace, home to the Sultans and the Blue Mosque of Sultan Ahmet I. You will also have the opportunity to wander through the Grand Bazaar, a highlight of a trip to Istanbul.

Dinner tonight will be at Maiden’s Tower, overlooking the Bosphorus.

Overnight: Istanbul (B,D)

Day 3: 


This morning you will visit the Spice Bazaar where there will be plenty of time to enjoy the heady perfumes and colours of the various spices. We’ll then join a Bosphorus cruise which passes both the Asian and European shores including landmarks such as Maiden’s Tower (Kiz Kulesi), the Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace and Ortakoy.

Dinner tonight includes a Turkish folkloric show.

Overnight: Istanbul (B,D)

Day 4: 

Istanbul - Cappadocia

This morning, the choice is yours – learn to belly dance, take a cooking class or relax at a traditional Turkish Hamam

After meeting your chef, you will be involved in handling the ingredients with hands-on cooking instruction as you prepare a four course traditional meal. If you choose belly-dancing, prepare for an hilarious time as well as quite a work-out, and those who decide to enjoy the Hamam will experience both the relaxation as well as the vigorous Turkish massage. The choice is yours.

This afternoon we will transfer you to the airport for your flight to Kayseri, and then upon arrival transfer you to your hotel in Cappadocia.

Overnight: Cappadocia (B,D and Lunch for those who choose the cooking class)

Day 5: 


Today take a drive to Avanos where you will see Kizilirmak, the longest river in Turkey, before visiting Kaymakli underground city where early Christians hid from their persecutors.  Later we stop at Tursan where you will have the opportunity to sample several different wines from the Cappadocia region.

Dinner tonight is at a unique cave restaurant.

Overnight: Cappadocia (B,D)

Day 6: 


The day starts with an optional morning balloon ride over the unique landscape for those rising early, followed by a full day excursion to visit sights such as Derinkuyu underground city, the open-air museum in Goreme showcasing Byzantine art, and the natural fortress at Uchisar to view hand-made carpets, Turkish tiles, onyx and local pottery.

Overnight: Cappadocia (B,D)

Day 7: 


This morning we will pick you up and drive to Mount Nemrut, where amazing statues lie scattered over the top of a hill believed to be a royal burial ground. En-route we will visit a 13th century Caravanserai where we will stop for lunch before continuing on to nearby Adiyaman.

Overnight: Adiyaman (B,D)

Day 8: 

Adiyaman - Urfa

An early start to catch the sunrise this morning on Mount Nemrut before we continue to Arsemia, the capital of the ancient Commagene Kingdom, and the 1900 year old Roman ‘Cendere Bridge’. We then return to your hotel for breakfast.

After check-out, you trip will then continue as we depart for Urfa, passing sights such as Ataturk Dam, Abraham’s Cave, the holy carp pools in Harran which is also the site of the oldest Islamic University in the world. You will then reach the ‘beehive’ houses in Urfa.

Overnight: Urfa (B,D)

Day 9: 


Today we explore Urfa, thought to be the location where Rebecca drew water for Jacob, and Abraham decided to move to the land of Canaan.  In the afternoon we will explore Harran, lying on the Mesopotamian plain and known for it’s beehive like dwellings and city walls dating from the 8th century.  We will also visit the Kapali Carsi and  Balikli Gol.

Overnight: Urfa (B,D)

Day 10: 


This morning we will visit the city of Hasankeyf beside the Tigris River, as well as two of the oldest universities in the world located at Midyat and Mardin.

Midyat is famous for its silver objects known as \\\'telkari\\\' and has many elegant, historic houses. Mardin is also known for its\\\' historic houses which have been recently restored by UNESCO. From a distance, the golden stone of the Mardin houses blends into the rock of the hills on which the city is built.

Overnight: Mardin (B,D)

Day 11: 


Today our journey is to Diyarbakir.  Diyarbakir, known in ancient times as Amida, has been a cradle of 26 civilizations during its 5000-year history. The city is spread across a basalt plateau close to the banks of the Tigris River.  We will also visit Ulu Camii (the Great Mosque) built in 1179 by Melik Nasreddin Mehmet.

Overnight: Diyarbakir (B,D)

Day 12: 


On your last day you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Istanbul.

End of services (B)


Premium Classic Executive Icon Select
Ciragan Palace Kempinski (Sea View Room) Crown Plaza Old City (Standard Room) Sultanahmet Palace (Standard Room) Sultanhan Sumahan (Standard Room)
Cappadocia Cave Resort (Deluxe Room) Museum (Deluxe Suite) Tourist (Standard Room) Yunak Evleri (Standard Room)
Zeus (Standard Room) Zeus (Standard Room) Zeus (Standard Room) Zeus (Standard Room)
Cehahir Konuk Evi (Standard Room) Cehahir Konuk Evi (Standard Room) Cehahir Konuk Evi (Standard Room) Beyzade Konak (Standard Room)
Yay Grand Hotel (Standard Room) Yay Grand Hotel (Standard Room) Yay Grand Hotel (Standard Room) Kasri Nehroz (Standard Room)
Dedeman (Standard Room) Dedeman (Standard Room) Buyuk Diyarbakir (Standard Room) Buyuk Kervansaray (Deluxe Room)


  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Sightseeing tours mentioned in the itinerary
  • Hotel Accommodation based on different category of hotels.
  • Meals are as indicated in the itineraries with code letters: B (Breakfast), L (Lunch), D (Dinner)
  • Professional  English Speaking Tour Guides during all sightseeing tours.
  • A/C luxury minivan with driver during sightseeing tours and transfers 
  • Luggage handling in the hotels 
  • Flight from Istanbul to Kayseri.
  • Local Taxes
  • Museum Entrance fees


  • Personal expenses 
  • Customary gratitude to your guide and driver
  • Anything not included in the itinerary
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