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Ankara / Hattusas / Cappadocia
EXAMPLE ITINERARY - 7 NIGHTS / 8 DAYS
|Day 1||FLY TO ANKARA VIA ISTANBUL AIRPORT
Fly to Esenboga Airport (Ankara), meet your guide and driver upon arrival and transfer to Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. Orientation drive through the modern city and the old town before reaching your hotel.
Start discovering Ankara, first drive to the old town (Angora), visit the 15th Century Haci Bayram Mosque and the Temple of the Roman Emperor Augustus. Then on to the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations - the building is a restored old bazaar. The museum holds unique and priceless collections dating back to the prehistoric era. You will see relics of Hittites, Assyrians, Phrygians, Urartians and the Selcuk Turkish period in a wonderful display.
In the afternoon walk through the narrow streets of old Ankara and enjoy the local market and central Anatolian lifestyle with visits to the Alaattin Mosque of 1178 and 13th Century Aslanhane Mosque. Visit the Mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, revered by the Turkish people. This magnificent structure serves as a tribute to him as founder of modern Turkey. In the evening, dine at a well known city restaurant.
|Day 3||ANKARA - Hattusas - Yazilikaya - SUNGURLU
Depart early in the morning for Hattusas. This ancient city was the capital of one of the earliest Hittite empires in Asia Minor. The Hittites reigned from 1750 BC to 1180 BC. Their empire stretched from the Black Sea to Syria. Drive first to Kirikkale and Sungurlu to check in at the Mavi Ocak hotel near Hattusas. After lunch, visit the ancient city of Hattusas including the city walls, gates and settlements, and then the local museum. During the afternoon visit the outdoor shrine of Yazilikaya. This is the site where Hittite gods reputedly marched across the cliff face.
|Day 4||SUNGURLU - Kirsehir - Hacibektas - CAPPADOCIA
Leaving Sungurlu, drive over the Central Anatolian Plateau to the town of Kirsehir. This town was the centre of the Ahi brotherhood. Visit the Cacabey Mosque dating from 1272, which was originally built as an astrological observatory; followed by the Ahi Evran Mosque. Continue to Hacibektas, the town where Haci Bektas Veli settled and established his Bektas Sufi Order in the 14th Century. Drive on to Cappadocia and check in to your hotel.
|Day 5||CAPPADOCIA - Goreme Valley - Cavusin - Zelve - Avanos
After breakfast start discovering the region with a climb up to the natural citadel of Uchisar, then Pigeon Valley, before driving to the Goreme Valley. Visit the monasteries and churches with their marvellous frescoes carved into rock by exiled early Christians. This region was formed out of the volcanic lava from Mt. Erciyes and Mt. Hasan. The tufa, lava, ash and mud which covered the area were eroded by the rain and wind creating a spectacular landscape. Then you can see the rock cones and fairy chimneys in Cavusin village and Urgup town. In the afternoon walk to the Zelve Valley with possibly the most interesting examples of fairy chimneys and a very early monks' chapel, followed by a drive to Avanos. See the ceramics produced from the clays of the Kizilirmak river.
|Day 6||CAPPADOCIA - Kaymakli - Ihlara Valley
In the morning drive to the village of Kaymakli. Visit the underground city carved by early Christians 9 floors underground, with numerous connecting tunnels between cave dwellings. These were used as a refuge in early Byzantine times. En route to the Ihlara Valley, stop at Nar Gol, a crater lake. Walk down into a canyon at the Ilhara Valley, and follow the river walk for a section of this wonderful landscape.
You could also take your lunch here at a local restaurant alongside the river. Return to your hotel.
Balloon ride over
|CAPPADOCIA - Sultansazligi - Soganli - Sinasos - Sobesos
After breakfast, visit the best example of cool-air storage in Cappadocia where lemons, quinces, oranges and other locally grown produce are stored. Drive to Sinasos, an old Greek town with spectacular old houses and fine architecture. Then on to Keslik monastery near Cemil that hides its frescoes behind a very thin smoke layer that can be seen only by torchlight. At Sahinefendi visit Sobesos, a recently discovered Roman city. In the afternoon continue to Soganli, a spectacular valley with numerous chapels, churches and houses in a wild natural setting.
This is another valley with a lovely circular walk.
|Day 8||After breakfast depart for Kayseri and a flight to Istanbul where you can connect with international flights or extend your holiday in Turkey.|
|Optional Extra: Early morning hot air balloon journey over Cappadocia which can be fitted in either on Day 6 or 7.|
|PRICE||Contact DayDreams for a quotation. The price will include all hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis; all transport and transfers in a private vehicle; all meals and beverages as listed in the itinerary; an English-speaking guide; all meals and travel expenses of the driver, guide; all entrance charges to museums and local taxes.|
Reference Books for further background :
The Rough Guide - Ancient Anatolia by Seton Lloyd (A Traveller's History of Anatolia)