Best of South Eastern Turkey | Turkey Tours | Ciconia Travel

Best of South Eastern Turkey

from $988/per person

Uncover the astounding archaeological and cultural treasures of South Eastern Turkey on our 9-day tour. Home to unparalleled sites that are changing the timeline of history as we had previously known, South Eastern Turkey is immensely rich in culture and history. Visit Gaziantep, the city of mosaics Zeugma, and Mount Nemrut National Park. Discover Gobekli Tepe, where huge boulders of 10,000 years of age form the world’s first ever religious site – predating Stonehenge by 6 millennia. Stand in awe against the unspoiled architecture of Mardin and savour countless truly unforgettable meals.

Duration
9 Day
Destination(s)
Turkey
Starts in / Ends in
Istanbul / Istanbul
Departs on
Saturdays
Hotel Rating
5 Star Hotels
12

Sight Visited

  • Golden Horn
    Golden Horn

    The Golden Horn, also known by its modern Turkish name, Haliç, is a major urban waterway and the primary inlet of the Bosphorus in Istanbul.

  • Zeugma Archaeological Museum
    Zeugma Archaeological Museum

    Situated in South-eastern Turkey, Zeugma, literally “bridge” or “crossing” in ancient Greek, owes its name to the fact that it was located at the major ancient crossing point on the river Euphrates. The ancient term Zeugma actually referred to the twin cities on the opposing banks of the river. They were Hellenistic settlements established by commander Seleucus Nicator around 300 BCE.

  • Gobekli Tepe
    Gobekli Tepe

    Six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in southeastern Turkey, Klaus Schmidt has made one of the most startling archaeological discoveries of our time: massive carved stones about 11,000 years old, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery.

  • Mount Nemrut
    Mount Nemrut

    The mausoleum of Antiochus I (69–34 B.C.), who reigned over Commagene, a kingdom founded north of Syria and the Euphrates after the breakup of Alexander's empire, is one of the most ambitious constructions of the Hellenistic period. The syncretism of its pantheon, and the lineage of its kings, which can be traced back through two sets of legends, Greek and Persian, is evidence of the dual origin of this kingdom's culture.

  • Great Mosque
    Great Mosque

    The Great Mosque of Diyarbakır, Turkish Diyarbakır Ulu Camii is the former St. Thomas Christian Church, one of the oldest churches in history. The mosque is considered by some to be the fifth holiest site in Islam.

  • Blue Mosque
    Blue Mosque

    The exterior features a beautiful cascade of domes and six minarets and blue Iznik tiles adorn the interior giving the building its unofficial but commonly used name.

  • Hagia Sophia
    Hagia Sophia

    The Hagia Sophia, among the Seven Wonders of the World, awaits you with all its magnificence. The hundreds of years old structure will fascinate you on sight.

  • Topkapi Palace
    Topkapi Palace

    Home of the Sultans, heart of the Ottoman Empire… Roam through the royal palace of the Ottomans and follow their footsteps to see their most valued treasures.

ITINERARY

1
Day 1: Istanbul
Meet the marvellous merge of Europe and Asia at the magical Istanbul to embark on a cultural discovery through ancient lands. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel by a Ciconia representative at the airport. In the afternoon, join the welcome meeting at the hotel lobby with your fellow travellers and Tour Director. Greet the diverse and incredibly tasteful Turkish cuisine tonight on a group dinner, make sure to leave room for delicious desserts.
  • Hotel: Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus 5*
  • Optional Experiences: Group Dinner
  • Meals: No
2
Day 2: Istanbul, Gaziantep (By Flight)
After a delicious breakfast, prepare to depart for Gaziantep, the first gem of South Eastern Turkey that we will discover. Saving much-valuable time by taking a comfortable flight, check in to your hotel to refresh and embark on a city tour with your expert local guide. The city carries “ghazi” in its name (meaning ‘veteran’) due to the exceptional resistance shown while occupied by foreign invaders post World War 1. Explore the charming old town and castle, historical inns, mosques and bazaars while learning about the marvellous history. Spend your personal leisure time to roam the lovely stalls and shops around the town. Always leave plenty of room and time for dinner, the local tastes will blow you away..
  • Hotel: Divan Gaziantep 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
3
Day 3: Gaziantep, Zeugma, Adıyaman
Enjoy the incredible Turkish breakfast to fuel up for our fascinating adventure. Our first stop of the day is the astounding Archaeological Museum of Zeugma, one of the richest mosaic museums in the world. Zeugma was named by Alexander the Great himself, and has been settled in Hellenistic and Roman eras until the 7th century. A crucial settlement of the Roman empire in the east, the site was home to the world-famous Gypsy Girl mosaic, now displayed at the museum. Delve into ancient history with your expert guide before we depart for Adiyaman.
  • Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Adiyaman 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
4
Day 4: Adiyaman, Kahta, Mount Nemrut, Sanliurfa
Prepare to meet the fascinating landscape and wonders of Mount Nemrut. Discover the national park with your expert guide, learning about the fascinating mythology surrounding the site. At the heart of the ancient Kingdom of Commagene lies ancient bridges of almost 2000 years of age, royal burial sites, and tomb-sanctuaries decorated with impressive monuments as well as large stone heads – similar, yet very different to the ones on Easter Island. With Hellenistic, Roman, Armenian and Persian heritage, the ancient kingdom provides an astounding cultural adventure. Following a beautiful sunset along Mount Nemrut, we drive to our hotel in Sanliurfa.
  • Hotel: Dedeman Sanlıurfa 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
5
Day 5: Sanliurfa, Harran, Gobekli Tepe, Mardin
A day of astounding cultural and archaeological discovery awaits us after a lovely breakfast. Our first stop is Harran, a 5000-year-old settlement and home to the first Islamic university of the world. Follow your expert guide through Harran Fortress, caravanserai and the unique conical houses of the region. Continuing further back in history, we make our way to the world-famous archaeological site of Gobekli Tepe. The ground-breaking findings from this site has debunked widely-accepted theories about the progress of mankind, shifting back the timeline by thousands of years. The ancient site is considered to be the world’s first temple with its huge T-shaped boulders weighing up to 10 tons, and predates Stonehenge by 6000 years! This ancient hunter-gatherer site is still under close spectacle for further clues into our history. Last but not least, our final stop will be other-worldly Mardin. With thousands of years of history reflected in its unspoiled architecture, find your bearings around town while discovering its gorgeous cultural treasures.
  • Hotel: Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Mardin 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
6
Day 6: Mardin, Midyat, Hasankeyf, Diyarbakir
Our adventure continues in the beautiful streets of Mardin before departing for Midyat. Frequenting historical highlights along the route, we start our discovery with a local house displaying the characteristic architecture. Roam the silver market to shop for quality souvenirs and learn about the ancient craft. Following Dicle River, we find Hasankeyf settled on both sides. After a sightseeing tour covering the fortress, local manor house and other amazing highlights with your guide, continue to the modern city of Diyarbakir. Home to incredible historical heritage, discover the Great Mosque, ramparts, Ten-eyed Bridge and more. Enjoy your personal leisure time in the afternoon, as well as the unforgettable local cuisine on your last evening in South Eastern Turkey.
  • Hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel Diyarbakir 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
7
Day 7: Diyarbakir, Istanbul ( By Flight )
Delight at your breakfast and stroll freely around Diyarbakir before departing for our flight to Istanbul. Arrive at your Istanbul hotel in the afternoon and enjoy your personal leisure time. If you’re up for a cultural adventure, why not join the optional Turkish Night with Dinner?
  • Hotel: Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
8
Day 8: Istanbul City Tour
Journey to the heart of Istanbul old town and witness the perfect blend of ancient and modern unfold before you. Stroll with your expert local guide through the Hippodrome, visit the charming Blue Mosque and the mysterious Cistern Basilica. Enjoy an exquisite meal worthy of Sultans next to the magnificent Hagia Sophia. Haggle your way through the famous Grand Bazaar, visit countless monuments and embrace the local culture. In the afternoon meet the breath-taking Bosphorus in all its charm as you cruise in-between Europe and Asia.
  • Hotel: Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
9
Day 9: Istanbul
Our marvellous adventure comes to an end over breakfast with newfound friends. Make sure to bid farewell and exchange numbers before checking-out of the hotel (at 11:00). Complementary airport transfers are available all day, have a safe and smooth journey!
  • Meals: Breakfast
Start
Price ($)

What is included ?

5 Star Characteristic Hotels

Accommodation in authentic,comfortable and ideally located hotels.

Luxury Transportation

Deluxe air-conditioned coach with restroom and complimentary bottled water, Domestic Flights between Istanbul & Gaziantep and Diyarbakir & Istanbul.

Exceptional Authentic Dining

8 Breakfasts, 7 Dinners.

Travel Director

Local & Expert Travel Director throughout your trip.

Journey Highlights

Unique itineraries with all must-see sights, more inclusions. Find more details below and in the itinerary.

All Entrance Fees To All Sights

Entrance fees to all cultural, historical and natural sites on tour.

Private Airport Transfer

Complimentary private airport transfers on arrival and departure dates.

Baggage Handling

Seamless baggage handling, delivered to your room at every hotel.

All Tips, Taxes And Porterage Charges

Tips at the hotels and restaurants, all taxes and porterage fees.

Personal Radio Headsets

Personal radio headsets on tours with 8 or more guests.

Free Wi-Fi

Complimentary hotel and coach Wi-Fi (where available).

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Golden Horn
    Golden Horn

    The Golden Horn, also known by its modern Turkish name, Haliç, is a major urban waterway and the primary inlet of the Bosphorus in Istanbul.

  • Zeugma Archaeological Museum
    Zeugma Archaeological Museum

    Situated in South-eastern Turkey, Zeugma, literally “bridge” or “crossing” in ancient Greek, owes its name to the fact that it was located at the major ancient crossing point on the river Euphrates. The ancient term Zeugma actually referred to the twin cities on the opposing banks of the river. They were Hellenistic settlements established by commander Seleucus Nicator around 300 BCE.

  • Gobekli Tepe
    Gobekli Tepe

    Six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in southeastern Turkey, Klaus Schmidt has made one of the most startling archaeological discoveries of our time: massive carved stones about 11,000 years old, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery.

  • Mount Nemrut
    Mount Nemrut

    The mausoleum of Antiochus I (69–34 B.C.), who reigned over Commagene, a kingdom founded north of Syria and the Euphrates after the breakup of Alexander's empire, is one of the most ambitious constructions of the Hellenistic period. The syncretism of its pantheon, and the lineage of its kings, which can be traced back through two sets of legends, Greek and Persian, is evidence of the dual origin of this kingdom's culture.

  • Great Mosque
    Great Mosque

    The Great Mosque of Diyarbakır, Turkish Diyarbakır Ulu Camii is the former St. Thomas Christian Church, one of the oldest churches in history. The mosque is considered by some to be the fifth holiest site in Islam.

  • Blue Mosque
    Blue Mosque

    The exterior features a beautiful cascade of domes and six minarets and blue Iznik tiles adorn the interior giving the building its unofficial but commonly used name.

  • Hagia Sophia
    Hagia Sophia

    The Hagia Sophia, among the Seven Wonders of the World, awaits you with all its magnificence. The hundreds of years old structure will fascinate you on sight.

  • Topkapi Palace
    Topkapi Palace

    Home of the Sultans, heart of the Ottoman Empire… Roam through the royal palace of the Ottomans and follow their footsteps to see their most valued treasures.

Istanbul: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, the Hippodrome, Golden Horn, the Grand Bazaar, Bosphorous Cruise.
Gaziantep: Zeugma Archaeological Museum
Adiyaman: Mount Nemrut
Sanliurfa: Gobekli Tepe
Diyarbakir: Great Mosque

Stay in Style

Knowing that your accommodation may separate a great holiday from a perfect one, we have carefully selected the below 5-Star hotels of comfort and style:

Please view the “Hotels” section for more details about your accommodation on this trip.

  • Hilton Hotel Bosphorus
    Hilton Hotel Bosphorus

    Nestled in the heart of Istanbul, amidst picturesque gardens, you’ll find Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus, an iconic hotel w

    Read More
  • Radisson Blu Hotel Diyarbakir
    Radisson Blu Hotel Diyarbakir

    Offering a spa centre and hot tub, Radisson Blu Hotel, Diyarbakir is located in Diyarbakır, 7 km from Ataturk City Stad

    Read More
  • Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Mardin
    Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Mardin

    Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Mardin features a restaurant, seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and bar in Mardin

    Read More
  • Dedeman Sanlıurfa
    Dedeman Sanlıurfa

    This prestigious 5-star hotel boasts an impressive all-round city view and provides contemporary accommodation and facil

    Read More
  • Hilton Garden Inn Adiyaman
    Hilton Garden Inn Adiyaman

    Hilton Garden Inn Adiyaman is has a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre and garden. Featuring a 24-hour front

    Read More
  • Divan Gaziantep
    Divan Gaziantep

    Offering a fitness centre, indoor pool and a spa and wellness centre, Divan Gaziantep is located in Gaziantep. Free Wi-F

    Read More

What is not included ?

  • Any flights not stated in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not stated in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Visa fees
  • Optional activities
  • Other services not stated in the itinerary

Hilton Hotel Bosphorus


Nestled in the heart of Istanbul, amidst picturesque gardens, you’ll find Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus, an iconic hotel with a storied past spanning 6 decades. Guest rooms and suites offer modern conveniences and private balconies overlooking the Bosphorus and the Old Town. While you’re here, make use of our full list of resort-style amenities – including indoor/outdoor pools, fabulous dining venues, Turkish baths and spa.

Radisson Blu Hotel Diyarbakir


Offering a spa centre and hot tub, Radisson Blu Hotel, Diyarbakir is located in Diyarbakır, 7 km from Ataturk City Stadium, Diyarbakır. The hotel has a terrace and sauna, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or a drink at the bar. Every room comes with a flat-screen TV. Some units feature a seating area for your convenience. You will find a kettle in the room. The rooms are fitted with a private bathroom fitted with a bath.

Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Mardin


Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Mardin features a restaurant, seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and bar in Mardin. With a shared lounge, the 5-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. The accommodation provides a 24-hour front desk, room service and currency exchange for guests. The hotel offers a continental or buffet breakfast.  

Dedeman Sanlıurfa


This prestigious 5-star hotel boasts an impressive all-round city view and provides contemporary accommodation and facilities. Relax in the heated indoor swimming pool or unwind in the fitness centre, before enjoying an evening meal on the terrace, a drink in the bar, or late night dance at the hotel’s own night club venue.  

Hilton Garden Inn Adiyaman


Hilton Garden Inn Adiyaman is has a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre and garden. Featuring a 24-hour front desk, this property also welcomes guests with a restaurant and a terrace. The hotel features a sauna and a shared lounge. At the hotel, the rooms are fitted with a desk, a TV and a private bathroom. At Hilton Garden Inn Adiyaman, rooms are equipped with a seating area.

Divan Gaziantep


Offering a fitness centre, indoor pool and a spa and wellness centre, Divan Gaziantep is located in Gaziantep. Free Wi-Fi access is available. Rooms here provide air conditioning, heating and a flat-screen TV. There is also a minibar and a coffee machine. Breakfast is served as an open buffet in Divan Gaziantep. You can also enjoy a selection of dishes from Turkish, international or local cuisines with exquisite wine menu. Lobby Lounge & Bar serves a variety of domestic and imported drinks. You can also try traditional delights and chocolates in Divan Patisserie.