(Istanbul, Urfa, Gaziantep)
Embark on this ancient journey of a lifetime by discovering Istanbul, a striking mosaic of east and west. Renowned for it's ancient structures, from its mosques to the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empire influenced architecture, it is also a city rich in contrasts. Learn more about Byzantine architecture from your expert private guide. Take advantage of your guides knowledge on visits to St. Sophia Church, and the Blue Mosque, known for its blue colored tiles and architecture. Continue with a flight to Urfa, the enchanting capital of Sanliurfa province. Explore this city rich in history, also known as the city of Prophecy and Prophets. Visit Harran and discover the unique architecture of beehive-style mud hut dwellings. You may wish to take it all in at a traditional, open-air Turkish cafe with signature kebab, especially popular in Urfa. Your private guide will prove invaluable at your next stop, Mt. Nemrut, one of the most popular UNESCO world cultural heritage sites. As the sun rises, be amazed by the colossal heads and statues of ancient deities scattered throughout the summit while listening to your private guide recount the rich, captivating history of this ancient royal tomb. Finally, complete your journey to Gaziantep, one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. Tour this remarkable city with your private guide, visiting the Mosaic Museum only the second of it's kind worldwide. Complete your adventure with a boat ride on the Euphrates River, including a cruise around the Roman fortress of Rumkale.
A transfer between the airport and the city or your hotel with a private vehicle, driver, and assistant is provided.
A welcome package with a city map, e-tickets (if relevant), and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
Enjoy a full day tour of Istanbul with a private guide who will show you the most important sights. Visit the Hagia Sophia, the pride and glory of the Byzantine architecture, the Blue Mosque, the Byzantine Hippodrome, where chariot races were once held, the Grand Bazaar, the world’s largest covered bazaar with 4000 shops, and Topkapi Palace, the famous residence of the Sultans. The Harem section of Topkapi Palace is not included.
Flight from Istanbul to Urfa. The flight takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Enjoy a private airport transfer with Assistant or English speaking driver.
A guide & driver will accompany you .
Today you will enjoy a tour of Urfa and a visit to the village of Harran with private vehicle and English speaking guide. Sanliurfa, often simply known as Urfa in daily language, is located in south-eastern Turkey, and the capital of Şanlıurfa Province. The history of Sanliurfa is recorded from the 4th century BC, but may date back to 9000 BC, when there is ample evidence for the surrounding site at Harran. Visits Harran, including the Ancient ruins of Harran University adopted as the first university in the World, Soil cone-roofed houses of Harran and the cave where Prophet Abrahama was born, Fish pound. Return to Urfa, where you’ll have time for lunch before exploring its Arab Quarter and Old Town.
Drive with a private vehicle and English speaking guide to Mount Nemrut, stopping along the way to visit the controversial Ataturk Dam on the Euphrates. The Atatürk Dam, originally the Karababa Dam, is a zoned rock-fill dam with a central core on the Euphrates River on the border of Adiyaman Province and Sanliurfa Province in Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey. You will also visit Gobeklitepe. In view of the scholars the Gobeklitepe site is no less than 14 thousand years old, in other words it is 7500 years older than the Egyptian Pyramids. According to Schmidt it was once part of the fertile golden crescent but the misuse of mankind resulted in the loss of this heaven on earth. Then the inhabitants, 8000 years ago, buried all these carved stone columns under a pile of earth in a regular sequence. Then you will have lunch before exploring Mount Nemrut —a UNESCO World Heritage Site —where the Armenian king Antiochus ordered huge statues built in honor of himself and the gods. The massive stone heads on the hillside—all that remain of his once-magnificent tribute to Hercules, Zeus and others—have become one of the most recognized symbols of Eastern Turkey. Return to Urfa.
In the morning you will enjoy a 2 hour drive to Gaziantep with private vehicle and English speaking guide. Gaziantep previously and still informally called Antep is a city in southeast Turkey and amongst the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. After lunch you’ll visit the Mosaic Museum of Gaziantep, which houses relics from the ancient city of Zeugma. Continue with a tour of the old city and castle district, after you will be transfered to hotel. Entrance fee included.
Embark upon a boat ride on the Euphrates River, including a cruise around the Roman fortress of Rumkale, where St. John the Apostle is said to have written his Gospel. Following a picnic lunch around Halfeti, you will return to Gaziantep to enjoy time for independent exploration.
Flight from Gaziantep to Istanbul. The flight takes around 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Situated in the heart of downtown Istanbul, Yasmak Sultan Hotel (4*) neighbours celebrated museums, mosques, palaces, and shopping areas. Just a short walking distance from the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar, the centre of old city Istanbul awaits discovery. Yasmak Sultan brings a refreshing alternative to the typical Istanbul Hotel, pairing boutique style with elegant guest service.
Manici Hotel is located in the city centre of Urfa near Balikligöl and Urfa Castle. The hotel was renovated in a new architectural style and has become one of the most favourite accommodations in the city. All rooms are renewed, two of which are suites and have a view of Balikligöl and Urfa Castle from the balcony. Traditional kebab and the delicious tastes of the Middle East are what you will find in the hotel's restaurant. At restaurant Narli Ev you can enjoy your meal in the special Eastern style rooms that are reserved and be a part of Turkish culture.
The Sirehan Hotel was founded in 1885 and after a major fire in 1994 it had to be restored. Being located in the city center, the hotel opened its doors again in 2013 for the people to enjoy. Now offering120 rooms, this hotel is a relic of the Ottoman period and it provides comfort in the most elegant of ways. Guests can dine in the a la carte restaurant and sip on a cocktail from the lobby bar. The beautiful courtyard is an open environment where guests can sit and relax at any point during their stay.
Vanessa Oquendo ,
April 21, 2014
"Melissa Field was extremely helpful! She was courteous, professional, knowledgeable, and friendly! She kept me updated on the status of everything and provided timely correspondence. She took ownership for any problems I had and remedied them. I had the most amazing time of my life in Iceland and Paris! I would not have experienced everything without the help of Kensington Tours."
Marilynn Weaver ,
April 21, 2014
"All of our guides were beyond fabulous! Our time in Dublin was much too short, would have loved to stay there at least one more full day. Would recommend extending this package to 15 days for any future visits. The train to Edinburgh was super! Beautiful scenery and great steak pies!"
Ann Saxon ,
November 06, 2013
"Our trip was fantastic!!! I cannot say enough good things. Lianne worked with our exact dates and time frame beautifully.Our drivers were prompt and friendly. The private guides were so knowledgeable. We left with an appreciation of the history, the culture, and the beauty of Andulasia. We were very pleased and will certainly recommend your company to friends and family."
Coby Scherr ,
November 05, 2013
"Everyone involved in our Portugal trip made it terrific. Exactly as advertised. Every event on time and most pleasant. Guides were well-informed, courteous and friendly. Really made for a great journey every time. Each hotel was clean, upgraded and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks. Breakfasts were complete -- almost too much to eat. It will always be a wonderful memory thanks to Kensington Tours."
Couples Dellinger & Hubbell ,
November 06, 2013
"We've been raving to everyone about the food, the friendliness of the people and the amazing history and sites in Turkey. Yes, we want to go back."
John Edstrom ,
October 22, 2013
"Overall, our tour in Spain was very enjoyable, and well planned and executed. Our private tour of the Alhambra was excellent. Virginia, tour guide for royal palace ruins outside of Cordoba, was also excellent. In Seville, we went to the Flamenco Show/dinner, and the Flamenco was outstanding!"
Kevin Wilshere ,
October 19, 2013
"Great trip to Spain! Thanks again for all your help, Lianne. The destinations, hotels, guides and everything were all top notch."
Chery Westlund ,
November 07, 2013
"My husband and I took a 3 week vacation to southern Europe and North Africa and had a great time. All the guides were very knowledgeable and bent over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangements made by Kensington went off without a hitch. This is our second trip with Kensington (we went to Peru in 2009) and we will certainly book with them again."
Randy Gramlich ,
October 07, 2013
"Thank you for your follow up, we both loved our time in Croatia. It’s really a beautiful place, especially the coast. Your choice of hotels was great. It was an incredible view from the Bellevue hotel in Dubrovnik and the Vestibule in Split was in the best possible location. We were able to relax in our room listening to the wonderful singers in the courtyard and its central location made it so easy to walk anywhere we wanted to see with ease. "
Jay Steffan ,
September 24, 2013
"We just returned from a 10 day trip to Paris and Normandy. We spent three nights in Paris and then enjoyed a seven night cruise on the Seine to Normandy with AMA Waterways. The time in Paris was well spent and has piqued our interest to return for a more thorough visit. Guide Wafaa Lankey was superb in our visit to Versailles. The Seine cruise was relaxing and beautiful. So many wonderful little towns and we wished we had more time in each one to explore and enjoy.
We traveled to Croatia and Slovenia using Kensington earlier this year which was a fantastic trip."
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