Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, the Egyptian Spice Bazaar, the Bosphorus waterway, Yerevan, Garni - Geghard, Khor Virap - Noravank - Areni - Selim â€“ Sevan - Dilijan - Haghatsin â€“ Alaverdi - Haghpat - Sanahin - Sadakhlo border â€“ Tbilisi - Mtskheta â€“ Gudauri â€“ Kutaissi - Kutaisi and Gori.
Welcome to Turkey Istanbul Airport. Meet with TravelShop Turkey staff and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
Pick up at 08:30am from your hotel for the a day tour of old Istanbul city. Visit to ST. SOPHIA This ancient basilica, built by Constantine the Great in the 4th century and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century, is one of the architectural marvels of all time. TOPKAPI PALACE The great palace of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries housing an exquisite collection of cyrstal, silver, and Chinese porcelain, robes worn by the sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the Imperial Treasury, miniatures, the Holy Mantle enshrining relics of the Prophet Mohammed. SULTANAHMET IMPERIAL MOSQUE Across from St. Sophia built in the 16th century by the architect Mehmet, is known as the BLUE MOSQUE because of its magnificent interior decoration of blue Iznik tiles. HIPPODROME Ancient Hippodrome, the scene of chariot races, with the three monuments the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine. Murtis tour will then take you to the GRAND COVERED BAZAAR In this labyrinth of streets and passages are more then 4, 000 shops with each trade having its own area: the goldsmiths street, the carpet sellers, Turkish arts and crafts, such as handpainted ceramic plates, hand - honed copperware, brassware and trays, water ewers, onyx - ware and meerschaum pipes. After the tour, transfer back to your hotel. Free Evening and optional Istanbul Evening Shows or Bosphorus Dinner Cruise incluing traditional Turkish entertainment and dinner. Overnight in Istanbul.
Pick up at 08:30am from the hotel and depart for the Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise and Shopping tour. Visit the SPICE BAZAAR (Egyptian Bazaar) The air here is filled with the enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme and every other conceivable herb and spice. BOSPHORUS BY BOAT a traditional excursion by boat along the waterway separating Europe and Asia. The shore is lined with old wooden villas, palaces of marble, fortresses, and small fishing villages. During the excursion you will see the magnificent sights of the following attractions from your boat. See Dolmabahce Palace, and further along, the parks and imperial pavilions of Yildiz Palace. On the coastal edge of this park, is Ciragan Palace, 300 meters of its marble facade faces the shore. At Ortakoy a great variety of artists gather every Sunday to display their work along the street. Ortakoy is a symbol of tolerance with a church, a mosque and a synagogue existing side by side for centuries. RUMELI FORTRESS Built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 prior to the conquest of Istanbul was completed in only four months to control and protect the infamous Bosphorus passage. It is one of the most beautiful works of military architecture anywhere in the world. BEYLERBEYI PALAS (PALACE) The summer residence of Ottoman sultans exists in its original renovated glory featuring original antique furniture and magnificent gardens with the Harem on the Asian side of Istanbul. BOSPHORUS BRIDGE enjoy a unique chance to step from one continent (Asia) to another (Europe). CAMLICA HILL the highest point in Istanbul. At the top of it you can rest and admire the magnificent panorama of Istanbul and the Bosporus from the beautiful gardens, landscaped in traditional Turkish Ottoman style.
SHOPPING TOUR (after cruise) Experience the traditional silk weaving skills of Turkish women at the carpet weaving courses provided by The Ministry of National Education. You will get the opportunity to see jewellery, handcrafts centre and a modern leatherwear show. Enjoy the experience of shopping whilst gaining the knowledge of the ancient craftsmen, with Murtis tours local escort full of knowledge about how to haggle the streets of Istanbul. The rest of the evening is yours to explore Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul.
After breakfast we start to Yerevan sightseeing tour. Visit Matenadaran Museum which was built in 1959, has one of the worldâ€™s largest manuscript collection in the world and has the largest collection of Armenian manuscripts. Continue to the famous Yerevan Brandy Factory founded in 1887. Our tour continue to Garni is the only non - Christian temple currently standing in Armenia and cave monastery in Geghard Temple. Lunch at a local house in Garni where you will have opportunity to watch Armenian national bread lavash baking and barbeque making process in the underground stove called tonir. Northeast of Garni, higher up the gorge of the Azat river, there is a magnificent monument of medieval Armenian architecture - Geghard monastery inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage list (inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage list). Geghard is another incredible ancient Armenian monastery, partly carved out of a mountain. Dinner at the National restaurant Our Village where you can taste Armenian National food and listen Folk music. Overnight in Yerevan.
After breakfast the excursion to the center of Armenian - Apostolic Church in Echmiadzin. Visit to Main Cathedral and Hripsime church. Ejmiatzin means the coming of the only begotten because it was built were people said Jesus Himself descended from heaven to show where He wanted a church built. Lunch. Afterwards we will head north passing by Armeniaâ€™s highest Mount Aragats to Gyumri, the second largest city that used to be an important Armenian cultural center in the late 19th early 20th century. We will take a walk through its historical center (Alexandropol) that has many traditional 19th - century houses and visit a museum located in one of them. Dinner and overnight in Gyumri.
After breakfast we depart Gyumri to drive to the Armenian - Georgian border to the Samtskhe - Javakheti region of Georgia. Passed the border, on our way from Akhalkalaki to Akhaltsikhe, we will come across Khertvisi fortress (founded in the 2nd century BC) towering above the convergence of Parvana and Kura (Mtkvari) rivers. It is said to be the most favorite fortress of Tamara, the queen of Georgia (12 - 13th centuries), and one of the best preserved fortresses in the Caucasus. Lunch picnic. We will then continue our drive through the mountains to a unique cave monastery complex of Vardzia (12th century), which used to have thirteen stories, thousands of apartments and a church, where we can still find magnificent frescoes. Afterwards we will drive to Akhaltsikhe, the capital and the largest town in this region. We may go up the castle here that dates back to the 12th century. Near Akhaltsikhe, concealed in scenic mountains, we will discover the Sapara Monastery (10th century) where we will also see beautiful architecture and frescoes. Dinner and overnight in Akhaltsikhe.
After breakfast in the morning we leave Akhaltsikhe for the Georgian - Turkish border. Past the border lie beautiful mountains and forests of Ardahan region. Arriving in Kars we will tour its narrow streets that have many 19th century buildings in Russian architectural style, see the medieval stone bridge and the imposing Church of Apostles (10th century). We will ascend to the royal fortress of Kars, once the capital of Armenia, the seat of Bagratouni kings, and witness to numerous wars. During the lunch in Kars we will taste local honey and cheese for which the town is famous for. Our next stop will be legendary Ani, the magnificent capital of the mighty Armenian kingdom of the 9 - 11th centuries. It used to be called the city of one thousand and one churches, and was the largest religious, trade, and cultural center on the Silk Road at the Europe and Asia crossroad. We will experience the power of the medieval city walls and towers, glorious cathedrals and palaces and mosques that are still standing after a millennium. Dinner and overnight in Igdir.
After breakfast on our way from Igdir to Dogubayazit (Bayazed) we will enjoy the panoramic view of Mount Ararat from the opposite side. In old Bayazed we will tour the magnificent 17th century palace of Ishak Pasha, its peculiar harem rooms, deep dungeons and cozy courtyards. By the palace we will see the unassailable fortress of Daroink, the Arshakouni kingsâ€™ (1 - 5th centuries AD) treasury and stronghold. Next we will head to Van and make a stop by the beautiful waterfall of Muradiye. Lunch picnic at the waterfall. Upon arrival in Van we will visit the ancient Urartian fortress of Tushpa/ Van (9th century BC) that has impressing cuneiform inscriptions of King Sarduri, then we will descend to the famous Husref Pasha mosque (16th century). We will drive up the mountain to Varagavank church complex (Seven Churches), the archbishopric seat of medieval Vaspourakan kingdom. From here we will descend to the turquoise Lake Van. We will take the boat to Aghtamar Island and enjoy the unique Sourb Khach cathedral (10th century) that is all covered with magnificent Biblical relieves on the outside and frescoes inside. It is considered an exclusive architectural treasure worldwide. At the restaurant by the lake we will taste the famous tarekh or inji kefal, the only fish specie found in the lake, and enjoy swimming and resting on the lakeshore. In the evening we will return to the city of Van for overnight.
After breakfast in the morning we will drive to the town of Bitlis that is nestled in a gorge in Taurus Mountains. We will see the impregnable fortress, the founding of which is ascribed to Alexander the Great. From Bitlis we will enter the beautiful Mush valley through which Eastern Euphrates flows. After an old Mush city tour we will go on to the historic Murat (Souloukh) bridge on the Euphrates. Lunch. We may visit the remnants of Msho Sultan Sourb Karapet cathedral (founded in the 4th century on a pagan temple), once the second important, after Ejmiatsin, religious center of the Armenian Church. Its architecture was wonderful once, but now only ruins remain inside a Kurdish village. From here our route will take us to Erzurum, the largest city in Eastern Anatolia known for its strong Turkish nationalism tradition. On the way to Erzurum we will drive through Bingol and Palandoken scenic mountain ranges. We will arrive late and stay overnight in Erzurum. Dinner and overnight in Erzurum.
After breakfast we will tour downtown Erzurum to see the Byzantine Theodoupolis fortress (5th century) as well as the Ulu Cami mosque (12th century). From Erzurum we will drive northwards toward the historical Tao - Klarjeti region, which historically was an Armenian then a Georgian princedom. We will drive through the Tortum river gorge passing by the beautiful and tranquil lake and stopping by the waterfall of Tortum. Then the route lies to the monastery of Ishkhan (7th century, firstly Armenian, then Georgian), on a top of a spectacular mountain range. Lunch. From here a picturesque drive will take us to the town of Artvin, sprawling on a mountain, and further down to the Black Sea. Reaching and passing the Turkish - Georgian border we will find ourselves in Batumi, the center of Adjara region in Georgia. Batumi used to be a Greek colony in ancient times, now it is a famous coastal resort. Dinner and overnight in Batumi.
After breakfast we start the day taking a stroll on the famous Batumi Boulevard, along the beach, enjoying the characteristic 19th century Russian architecture. If the weather permits we will swim in the Black Sea. The next stop after Batumi will be Kutaisi, the center of Imereti region. We will see the magnificent Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery complex (11th and 12th centuries) both of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. We may also visit the market area and the old Jewish district. Following our way to Tbilisi we will stop in the town of Gori, the birthplace of Josef Stalin. Lunch picnic in Gori. We will have a look at Gori citadel, said to be once conquered by Pompeii, the Roman general. But more interestingly, we will see Stalinâ€™s impressive statue on the central square, such statues are rare to find in the former Soviet Union these days. Those who wish may visit the Stalin Museum to learn in detail about the life of this unordinary person while others take a short drive to Uplistsikhe (11 - 9th centuries BC), an ancient cave city with interesting architecture, where they produced first wines in Georgia. Evening arrival and overnight with dinner in Tbilisi.
After breakfast we will walk in the old town to explore the cultural treasures of Tbilisi. We will visit Metekhi church (13th century). We will walk through the celebrated Chardin and Sololaki quarters see St. George Armenian church where the famous poet Sayat - Nova was killed during the Persian invasion. Not far from it stand the Synagogue and the Sioni Cathedral (6th century) that retains the first vine cross of Georgiaâ€™s enlightener St. Nino. In this same quarter we will see the renowned decorated Sulfur Baths and the Mosque. Lunch. We may ascend the Narikala Fortress (4th century) and enjoy a panoramic view of the city. Passing the old town we will reach Rustaveli Avenue, the heart of Tbilisi. The Freedom Square with the golden statue of St. George the Victorious, the symbol of Georgia, will be an interesting sight. In the second part of the day we will explore Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We will visit historic churches that are outstanding examples of medieval religious architecture: Samtavro, the burial and coronation place of the Georgian royal family, Svetitskhoveli (4th century), the heart of the Georgian Orthodox Church where the robe of Christ is buried, and Jvari where St. Nino erected the first cross in Georgia. While in Tbilisi we will taste the celebrated Georgian food and wine (note, Georgia boasts to be the birthplace of wine). Overnight in Tbilisi and dinner accompanied by folklore show.
After breakfast in the morning from Tbilisi our route lies back to Armenia. Crossing the Georgian - Armenian border we will enter the Lori region. Here we will visit the renowned Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries (10th century), UNESCO World Heritage sites. Through the scenic National Park we will reach the town of Dilijan to walk in its famous Artisans street. After walk we will have a lunch in Dilijan. We may visit Haghartsin monastery hidden in a virgin forest, a short drive from Dilijan. Our next stop will be Lake Sevan, the treasure of Armenia, one of the unique high - altitude freshwater repositories of the world (2000 meters above the sea level). Trying the local fish will be a special delight. Our program will finish here. At the farewell dinner we may toast each other to the memorable experiences of the previous days. Overnight in Yerevan.
Check out from your hotel before 11:00 am. We hope you had a memorable tour and we look forward to seeing you in the future on another TravelShop Turkey tour. We make your return airport transfer services. Have a safe trip back home and thanks for choosing TravelShop Turkey.
Arrival airport transfer from Istanbul Ataturk airport 3 nights hotel in Istanbul including breakfast Guided Istanbul City tour Guided Istanbul Bosphorus cruise and shopping tour Return transfer to Istanbul Ataturk airport International flight from Istanbul to Yerevan Arrival airport transfer from Yerevan airport 3 nights hotel in Yerevan 1 night hotel in Gyumri 1 night hotel in Akhaltsikhe 1 night hotel in Igdir 1 night hotel in Van 1 night hotel in Erzurum 1 night hotel in Batumi 2 nights hotel in Tbilisi 11 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 11 dinners Guided tour Yerevan tour Guided Gyumri tour Guided Akhaltsikhe tour Guided Tbilisi tour Guided Igdir tour Guided Van tour Guided Erzurum tour Guided Batumi tour All entrance fees mentioned in the itinerary Transportation in a fully air-conditioned, non-smoking coach Professional English-speaking tour guides Return transfer to Yerevan airport
Tour Does Not Include
Turkey Visa Armenia Visa Georgia Visa International flights Insurance: All types Items of a personal nature such as alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, laundry Any others expenses which are not mentioned at the included section
Available On Weekdays Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Available On Dates
12 December, 2016
Office hours: Mo-Sa 8:30am to 7:00pm Standard time zone: UTC/GMT +2
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