Eastern provinces tour of Turkey

“Open your eyes to a Turkey far removed from tourist cliché in a region where Georgian, Persian and Armenian influences colour a timeless and beautiful land.”

Highlights

Ankara | Hattusas | Amasya | Trabzon | Sumela Monastery | Karakoy home stay | Mt Ararat | Ani | Van | Mt Nemrut | Urfa | Gobekli Tepe | Gaziantep Roman site | Antakya

Description of Eastern provinces tour of Turkey

If you think you know Turkey, think again. This tour explores facets of this ancient land far removed from the southern coasts and other tourist-thronged places like Istanbul, Cappadocia and Ephesus. Travel instead to Turkey’s remote eastern provinces, where Georgian, Persian and Armenian influences come together in fascinating weave of history, culture and landscape.

Eastern Turkey is home to ancient citadels, early Christian cave churches plus reminders of civilisations that flourished well before the birth of Christ. Its people too are the highlight – curious and engaging, offering insights into the ‘real Turkey’ away from tacky bazaars.

Diverse historic memorials provides a thrilling underpinning, reflecting on myriad past presences. Hattusas is the 3000-year-old capital of the old Hittite empire, while 10th century architecture fills the streets of the ancient Armenian capital Ani. Trabzon mixes historic rock tombs with charming Ottoman lanes. The neolithic site of Gobekli Tepe, meanwhile, proffers stunning ruins dating back more than 10,000 years.

There will be a chance to experience present-day life too, though often infused with a timeless feel. You'll enjoy a two-night stay with a local family on the Black Sea shores at Karakoy, for example, while exploring a region where Georgian churches mingle with fabulous forest trails trails where you may spot mountain goats or bears.

You'll sail on Lake Van – and be reminded of perhaps the most famous boat in history with a visit to Mt Ararat, where the Biblical Ark of Noah reputedly came to rest after the Great Flood. But this trip will provide a flood of a different sort – wonderful memories.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Eastern provinces tour of Turkey

Environment

Our guides will brief travellers on appropriate behaviour, both cultural and environmental, and we make a point of ensuring that we leave no permanent traces of our stay behind, taking all rubbish with us. We work with our local suppliers to highlight best practice in terms of environmental issues.

The areas of Turkey that we are visiting on this tour do not see the same numbers of visitors that many of the more 'commercial' areas of the country experience and as such some practices which we take for granted may not be found here. We work closely with our suppliers to introduce concepts of environmental responsibility to the communities that we travel through. This can include asking hotels to implement practices such as asking guests if they need fresh cleaned towels each day, and reminding guests to turn off lights when they leave the room – small things that are standard practice in many places in Turkey but not necessarily in the lesser visited areas such as Hasankeyf and Ishak Pasa.

Most of the places that we stay in on this tour will take advantage of the excellent local produce, not only sustaining traditional communities but ensuring that unnecessary food miles are not made.

Community

Far away from cosmopolitan Istanbul lies a land that has long been at the crossroads of civilisations, with each of its visitors leaving their mark. Eastern Turkey couldn’t be more different from its southern coast. The communities here are unaccustomed to tourists and we feel that when we visit, our impact must be as minimal as possible. For that reason, we only offer this tour as a private option, rather than a group tour.

Our local team are working closely with the local community in the village of Harran as this contains the last surviving examples of mud built ‘beehive’ houses that were once common in the area. If this was not such a remote place it would be thronging with tourists and we feel a responsibility to help the local community to preserve their culture and to benefit from the positives that tourism can bring to the region. Furthermore, in order to allow our clients to make an informed decision on where a greater proportion of their money should be spent, we avoid including pre-paid full board meals where possible. Local restaurants and cafes then benefit.

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