Black Sea & Eastern Turkey


Natural wonders, ancient sites & Kurdish culture

14 days £3,645 pp This is the per person group tour price, based on 2 sharing. The price is subject to change with exchange rate and flight cost fluctuations.
Intro, Dates & Prices


Turkey's East is a region of incredible natural beauty and some of the friendliest, most hospitable people anywhere in the world. Arguably its greatest draw however is its fascinating and ancient history. On this tour you will visit the world's first temple, Göbekli Tepe; the lush coastline of the southern Black Sea; the haunting emptiness of Ani, the former Armenian capital; the monumental statues of Mount Nemrut; the prophet Abraham's city of Urfa; and the pinnacle of Ottoman architecture, Ishak Pasha Palace.

If that's not enough for one lifetime, how about spectacular views of Mount Ararat? Gaziantep's world-famous mosaic museum? A boat ride across the azure waters of Lake Van? And to round off this once-in-a-lifetime journey, eastern Turkey is where your taste buds come alive with flavours of the East.


  • Sublime Sumela monastery
  • Stunning alpine beauty of Karagöl Lake
  • The strange, lonesome figure of the Devil's Castle.
  • The ancient Armenian capital of Ani, once thought to rival Constantinople for beauty.
  • Akdamar Isle and its Orthodox church
  • Midyat, the ancient settlement and city of caves
  • Göbekli Tepe: the world's first temple
  • Famous Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Gaziantep

Places Visited

Trabzon - Karagöl - Savsat - Kars - Şeytan Kalesi - Devil's Castle - Ani - Van - ​Akdamar Island - Mardin - Urfa - Göbekli Tepe - Karahan Tepe - Harran - Mount Nemrut - Halfeti - Rumkale - Gaziantep

What's Included

Airport pick-up & drop-off
Ground transport
Entrance fees to sites
Drivers and guides

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Itinerary & Map
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Day 1 : Trabzon

On arrival in Trabzon you will be met by a Travel The Unknown representative and taken to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to rest. Overnight in Trabzon.

Please let us know if you would like to do a pre-tour is Istanbul or elsewhere in Turkey, and if you require us to book your flight to Trabzon.

Overnight in Novotel Trabzon, Trabzon

Meal plan: n/a

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Day 2 : Trabzon

Experience your first taste of this delightful Pontus region of the Southern Black Sea to witness the spectacular cliff-face monastery of Sumela. The afternoon sees us embark on a city-wide sightseeing trip. First we head to the 13th century Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia, long ago converted into a mosque. Then we'll explore a little more of this characterful port city that traces its roots to the pre-classical era of Greek settlement expansion around the Black Sea.

Overnight in Novotel Trabzon, Trabzon

Meal plan: Breakfast

Trabzon, historically named Trebizond, is a city that lies along the historical Silk Road. It became a significant gateway to Persia and the Caucasus during this time, and was frequently visited by merchants of silk, linen and wool. It is due to this trading history that the city remains a melting pot for culture.

Sumela Monastery, also known as the Monastery of the Virgin Mary, is a historic and iconic site situated in the Pontic Mountains of northeastern Turkey, near the town of Macka in Trabzon Province. Perched on a cliff-side overlooking a lush valley, this Greek Orthodox monastery is renowned for its stunning location, rich history, and religious significance. The origins of the monastery can be traced back to the 4th century AD, making it one of the oldest monastic sites in the region. It gained prominence during the Byzantine era and served as a spiritual retreat for monks seeking solitude and worship. The monastery complex, nestled against the rock face, consists of various buildings and chapels, the most notable being the main church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Inside, visitors can admire beautiful frescoes depicting biblical scenes and religious figures, showcasing the remarkable craftsmanship of the Byzantine era.

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Day 3 : Trabzon - Black Lake - Şavşat

Today we go east into Artvin Province, ever closer to the Georgian border. Our inland destination, some 4-hours by road, is Şavşat. Along the way, we’ll stop at the idyllic surrounds of the black lake at Kara Göl - Sahara National Park. Our long but exciting day winds up in the so-called slow city of Şavşat, where you'll be staying in cosy bungalows set in the green heart of Artvin's much-lauded nature.     

Overnight in Şavşat Bungalov, Savsat

Meal plan: Breakfast

Translated from Turkish, ​Karagöl means "black lake", named so because of its dark blue colour and the depth of it. It is located in the ​Karagöl Mountains in the Black Sea region of Turkey.

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Day 4 : Şavşat - Kars

Our route from Şavşat to Kars carries us onward toward the Armenian frontier. En route we'll come upon the small city of Ardahan, whose fortress was re-commissioned by none other than Suleyman the Magnificent. Beyond Ardahan we'll come to the Devil's Castle (Şeytan Castle), a monument of eerie beauty whose foundations remain mysteriously unknown.

Note:  getting inside this castle is the most challenging part of this trip, but anyone who does not want to go inside can still enjoy the beautiful atmosphere outside.

Afterwards, we'll practically brush the borders of Georgia and Armenia en route to Kars, passing via the 2,000m high Lake Çildir. At this high altitude freshwater lake we'll rest for a lunch you won't forget in a hurry. From there it's onward to Kars.

Overnight in Beylerbeyi Palace Hotel, Kars

Meal plan: Breakfast

Meaning "lake of shadows", Lake Çıldır is a large freshwater lake in the mountains of the Ardahan Province. Because of the high altitude and low temperatures in winter, the lake freezes over and is solid enough to rent horse drawn carriages or snow mobiles to take you around, and you can watch fisherman make holes in the ice to get their catch.

Made famous as the setting of the novel “Snow” written by the Nobel-prize winning author Ohran Pamuk, Kars is a quintessentially diverse city. Originally Armenian, then Georgian, later Ottoman, the city fell under Russian occupation for much of the 19th Century and its recapture remained a Soviet aspiration up to and beyond the end of World War II. During its freezing winters the city is often cut off by snow (as happened in the novel “Snow”). The city is also famous in Turkey for its gravyer cheese, butter and honey.

A lonely reminder of a feudal past in the borderlands of northeastern Turkey and Georgia, the fortress ruins of Şeytan Kalesi, the Devil's Castle, sit aloft over the plunging Karaçay Canyon. This stronghold was in Georgian hands for centuries, and was known as Qajis Tsikhe.

Visible from the road that loops around Çıldır Gölü (Çıldır Lake), the Devil's Castle is a must-see on any overland trip around the wild expanses of Eastern Turkey. 

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Day 5 : Kars

Today, we are based in the Kars region. The first item on today’s itinerary is a nearby visit to the ancient former Armenian city of Ani, whose origins lay shrouded in mystery, and whose reputation for beauty was said to rival that of none other than Constantinople.

Next up, a return to the city of Kars to tour the sights of this extreme edge of Turkey. We’ll spend a comfortable night in Kars. 

Overnight in Beylerbeyi Palace Hotel, Kars

Meal plan: Breakfast

Made famous as the setting of the novel “Snow” written by the Nobel-prize winning author Ohran Pamuk, Kars is a quintessentially diverse city. Originally Armenian, then Georgian, later Ottoman, the city fell under Russian occupation for much of the 19th Century and its recapture remained a Soviet aspiration up to and beyond the end of World War II. During its freezing winters the city is often cut off by snow (as happened in the novel “Snow”). The city is also famous in Turkey for its gravyer cheese, butter and honey.

Ani, the former Armenian capital, once rivalled Constantinople in beauty and status. Named for the ancient Urartian fertility goddess Anahid, a city had stood here for centuries before King Ashot III chose it for the site of his capital in 961. Successive kings built a citadel, great churches and monasteries within mighty city walls at the edge of a deep river gorge. Since then it has been home to the Byzantines, the Seljuks, the Kingdom of Georgia, the Persians, various Kurdish Emirs and even the Mongols! An earthquake in 1319 destroyed much of the city and lead to its abandonment by the Mongols. It has lain abandoned ever since. Nonetheless many of the buildings in Ani were built to the highest engineering and construction standards of their era and much still remains intact. Today, Ani retains that atmosphere. 

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Day 6 : Kars - Van

Our onward journey takes us south in the direction of Lake Van. Before reaching our destination we’ll stop and state at the sublime Ottoman majesty of the Ishak Pasha Palace, and its volcanic surrounding landscapes. You’ll spend tonight and tomorrow at your hotel on the shores of the famous lake.

Overnight in Vanlife Hotel, Van

Meal plan: Breakfast

Van today is a young vibrant university town but the history of the region goes back more than 7 millennia, and the town itself was the Urartian capital as early as the 9th Century BC. 

Lake Van, Turkey's largest lake, is flanked by the snowy peaks of the volcanoes of Mount Suphan and Mount Nemrut. The beautiful azure waters of the lake are highly alkaline and drilling at the bottom of the lake by German palaeontologists has revealed climate data covering almost 15,000 years despite only penetrating the first few metres of sediment. It is believed the sediment may hold climate data from the last 800,000 years!

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Day 7 : Van

From our vantage point in the town of Van, we’ll take a boat ride to the tiny isle of Akdamar, home to the improbable sight of an Armenian Church. Upon our return, we'll take in a broad sweep of Hosap Castle, Van city centre, Van Castle and the Urartian Museum.

Overnight in Vanlife Hotel, Van

Meal plan: Breakfast

Akdamar Island is a small island 3km from the Shore of Lake Van, most famous for the Armenian Cathedral of the Holy Cross (a.k.a. Akdamar Kilisesi). The unique importance of the building comes from the extensive array of bas-relief carvings, of biblical scenes predominantly, that adorn its external walls. Due to the contentious history between Turkey and Armenia the site has been subject to vandalism in the past and its restoration was never short on controversy, but the outcome is spectacular. Besides the marvellous views of the church, the island, the lake and the mountains beyond, there are ruins of an Armenian monastery which once served the church.

Hosap Castle is a large medieval castle in the village of Hoşap (meaning "Good/Sweet Water" in Kurdish) near the border with Iran. It was built by a local Kurdish lord, Mahmudi Suleyman, in 1643. Legend has it that the hands of the architect who built this formidable stronghold were cut off so that he could not build another. Be sure to find its intricate lion carvings. A short distance from Hosap is the Urartian centre Cavustepe. Built in the 8th century B.C., Cavustepe was once home of the kings of Urartu.

Van today is a young vibrant university town but the history of the region goes back more than 7 millennia, and the town itself was the Urartian capital as early as the 9th Century BC. 

Van Castle, outside of the modern town, is a vast sprawling Urartian structure dating from the 9th to 7th Centuries BC that affords excellent views of the beautiful surrounding countryside. Don’t miss the perfectly-preserved 5th Century trilingual (Old Persian, Babylonian, and Elamite) inscription from Xerxes the Great, the only Achaemenid royal inscription located outside of Iran. The town of Van is also famous throughout Turkey for its kebabs.

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Day 8 : Van - Mardin

Today is an overland journey day to our next destination, Mardin. We’ll wind southwest through the mountains until we reach UNESCO-listed Mardin, with its Syriac population. Just over halfway there, we’ll take a side trip to the 3,000 year old settlement of Midyat, with its labyrinth of caves. Enjoy the next two nights in the pleasant surroundings of Mardin.

Overnight in Izala Hotel, Mardin

Meal plan: Breakfast

Mardin is a remarkable town full of beautiful mosques and churches and a setting that will take your breath away. With baked-brown alleyways, honey-coloured buildings, a maze of a market and stunning ancient buildings, you will quickly see why Mardin has become a favourite with Turkish travellers. 

Midyat is a town in Mardin Province of Turkey. The ancient city lie at the heart of a centuries-old Hurrian/Hurrian town in Southeast-Turkey, widely known by its Syriac name Tur Abdin. A cognate of the name Midyat is first encountered in an inscription of the Neo-Assyrian king Ashur-nasir-pal II (883-859 B.C.). This royal text depicts how Assyrian forces conquered the city and its surrounding villages. In its long history, the city of Midyat has remained politically subjected by various rulers - from the Assyrian Empire to the modern Turks. Today it boasts many beautiful buildings and a relaxed atmosphere.

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Day 9 : Excursion to Dara - Deyrulzafaran - Kasimiye

While continuing to base ourselves in Mardin, today we’ll venture out on three short hops to three fascinating sights in the vicinity. Those three places are Dara, Deyrul Zafran and Kasimiye. Both Dara and Deyrulzafran can be traced back to Roman citadels, while Kasimye ranks as an important madrassa, or school of Islamic teaching. Return to Mardin in the evening.

Overnight in Izala Hotel, Mardin

Meal plan: Breakfast

Dara was an important East Roman fortress city in northern Mesopotamia on the border with the Sassanid Empire. Because of its great strategic importance, it featured prominently in the Roman-Persian conflicts of the 6th century, with the famous Battle of Dara taking place before its walls in 530. Today the Turkish village of Oğuz occupies its location and there are many cave dwellings and other interesting archaeological and geographical features.

The Kasimiye Madrasa was completed around 1459 and was used as a theology school with its own adjoining mosque. The building is open-faced to the south and is one of the biggest buildings in Mardin.

Mardin is a remarkable town full of beautiful mosques and churches and a setting that will take your breath away. With baked-brown alleyways, honey-coloured buildings, a maze of a market and stunning ancient buildings, you will quickly see why Mardin has become a favourite with Turkish travellers. 

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Day 10 : Mardin - Göbekli Tepe - Urfa

Today promises to be a major highlight, as we’ll be taking you from Mardin to what is considered to be the world’s first temple: Göbekli Tepe. People are only now discovering this wondrous, but as yet only partial, unravelling of the mysteries of our deeply distant ancestors. This landmark archaeological site chronicles the little-known transition between man as hunter-gatherer and farmer.  Afterwards, we’ll move on to Urfa, a centrepoint for all surrounding ancient sites.

Overnight in Palmyra Hotel, Urfa

Meal plan: Breakfast

Urfa (a.k.a. Sanliurfa, “the prophet’s city”, or Edessa in ancient times) is the most spiritual city in Eastern Turkey. It is a major centre for pilgrimage and its traditions are very much alive and well. The “Sanli-“ part of its name (meaning “great” or “dignified”) was awarded by the Turkish legislature in 1984 in recognition of the city’s pivotal role in the Turkish war of Independence. Of particular note for visitors are Urfa Castle (the current walls were constructed by the Abbasids in 814AD), the Pool of Sacred Fish where Abraham was thrown in to the fire by Nimrod, the park of mosques, the market area and the Urfa museum.

Göbekli Tepe, the oldest place of worship in the world, is an archaeological site without equal. Prior to its discovery in 1994 and its subsequent excavation it was widely believed by anthropologists that religion evolved as a result of living in larger communities which was itself the result of the change from foraging to agriculture. However, Göbekli Tepe has turned our theories of our own evolution on their head. The vast religious site dates from the hunter gatherer period and there is no evidence of any agriculture or even human habitation, suggesting that it may have been the emergence of religion that lead us to civilisation and thus to agriculture. The site contains a vast array of circular structures and huge pillars, some with beautiful limestone carvings of lions, foxes, snakes and birds, believed to be gatekeepers of the entrance to the next world. To date, less than ten percent of the site has been excavated. 

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Day 11 : Excursion to Karahan Tepe & Harran

From our base in Urfa, this morning we’ll consolidate yesterday’s trip to Göbekli Tepe by stepping into the much less-visited, but equally as edifying site, of Karahan Tepe. This little-known archaeological gem dates back to almost the same time as Göbekli Tepe. 

We shall return to Urfa for lunch. In the late afternoon we’ll visit Harran, putative birthplace of the prophet Abraham, and known for its bee-hive style homes and the ruins of what was once the world's first Islamic university. Return in the evening to your hotel in  Urfa.

Overnight in Palmyra Hotel, Urfa

Meal plan: Breakfast

Not far from Göbekli Tepe is another Pre-Pottery Neolithic site called Karahan Tepe, which dates to a similar age as Göbekli Tepe. Stone rows, T-shaped stone pillars, and other standing stones cover a hill but they have not been excavated so are still largely covered with soil though they stick. Some people believe it may prove to be even more important than Göbekli Tepe. 

Visit the ancient city of Harran, once the centre of Egypt's Hermetic tradition. See its ominous "Astrological Tower", citadel and local village and take in one of the most atmospheric sites anywhere in the world. Mentioned in the Book of Genesis, Harran is believed to have once been home to the Prophet Abraham. The site of the first Islamic university in Anatolia, Harran also boasts the remains of an 8th century mosque, a citadel and some 300 year old beehive mud homes which enjoy a constant temperature throughout the year, winter or summer. 

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Day 12 : Urfa - Mount Nemrut

Setting off from our base in Urfa, this time we ascend to perhaps one of Anatolia’s most enduring and iconic ancient sights, that of the well-preserved stone heads atop Mount Nemrut. This was the dying wish of King Antiochus of Commagene, to leave a cultish legacy until the end of time itself. His ultimate conceit has bequeathed something special to us. A half-hour climb is rewarded with unforgettable views and bizarre beauty. Best of all, we're staying the night in the mountains nearby.

Overnight in Hotel Euphrat, Mount Nemrut

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

A mountain of around two thousand metres, Mount Nemrut is home to the tomb of the pre-Roman king, Antiochus I Theos of Commagene. Built by the king himself in about 62 BC as a shrine to his own remains, the site consists of two large statues of Antiochus which dwarf two statue pairs of eagles and lions, and various Iranian, Greek and Armenian Gods. The statues are now damaged and mostly appear beheaded. Scholars have largely attributed this to later attacks on iconoclasm, but the statues have since been returned to their original places. Behind the display of statues are some well-preserved slabs of stone which feature figures in relief carving and are originally thought to have formed a large frieze. Archaeologists interpret the figures as Antiochus’ ancestors, which allegedly included Greeks and Persians. It is the perfect place to experience a sunset or sunrise as the views from the summit are sublime.

NOTE: it is a 30-40 minute walk up uneven steps to reach the summit.

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Day 13 : Nemrut - Halfeti - Rumkale - Gaziantep

In contrast to the aridness of Mount Nemrut, we head off early morning to Roman relics strategically positioned high above one the major rivers of the ancient world. The ruined citadels of Halfeti and Rumkale are a must-see. Both lie on opposite banks of one of the greatest rivers of early civilisation - the Euphrates (the others being the Tigris, the Nile, the Indus, Ganges and Yellow river). 

The quiet hillside town of Halfeti was partially submerged by the introduction of a dam in 2001. And Rumkale was a Byzantine fortress perched on rock above a dramatic u-bend in the river. Following lunch, we leave the Euphrates to head toward your final destination: Gaziantep. Arriving late afternoon, we will visit the Zeugma Mosaic Museum, the largest of its kind in the world. Afterwards transfer to hotel. 

Overnight in Anadolu Evleri, Gaziantep

Meal plan: Breakfast

A small farming district situated on the East bank of the river Euphrates, Halfeti has been a home to the Assyrians (first established by Assyrian King, ShalmaneserII I in 885 BC), the Greeks, Romans, the Mameluks and the Ottomans. Despite being sieged by the Mameluks, parts of the old city walls still remain.

Rumkale translates to ‘Roman Castle’ and was once a powerful fortress, overlooking the river Euphrates. In ancient times a site of great strategic importance to Romans and Assyrians alike, the fortress is accessible by boat from the neighbouring Zeugma Region. Today, much of the lower-lying town area has been flooded, but the dramatically situated Rumkale helps you imagine the magnificence of the area in ancient times.

The culinary capital of Eastern Turkey, Gaziantep’s famous baklava (pistachio pastries) are shipped all over the country and beyond, and its renowned restaurants serve up mouth-watering dishes. Besides cuisine, Gaziantep boasts a fine Seljuk-era citadel, numerous impressive mosques and restored old buildings. Gaziantep’s chief draw however, is its mosaic museum, believed to be the best in the world. The mosaics were recovered from the ancient Roman town of Zeugma, now underwater. The town’s bustling city markets are also well worth a visit.

The Zeugma Museum houses many impressive artworks and sculptures which testify to the area’s magnificence in Greek and Roman times. Its highlight however is a series of mosaics, the most famous of which is a mosaic known as the “Gypsy Girl”.

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Day 14 : Gaziantep - Istanbul

All good things must come to an end. Today heralds the end of your journey trhough eastern Turkey. Fly from Gaziantep to Istanbul and onward. Or, if Turkey feeds your soul, stay a while longer and extend your trip with us. 

Let us know if you require us to book your flight from Gaziantep to Istanbui.

Meal plan: Breakfast



All accommodation subject to availability. Final accommodation choices will be confirmed after booking.

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Novotel Trabzon

Trabzon (2 nights)

Novotel Trabzon is a splendid resort for vacationers in Trabzon. A trendy atmosphere in its lobby, restaurant and halls, spacious rooms, stylish furniture and relaxing Black Sea views characterize the hotel. High speed Wi-Fi, LED TV and minibar elevate comfort. Free car park, indoor swimming pool, tennis court and evergreen garden refresh your soul. Trabzon Novotel is also known for its multi-purpose meeting rooms, and high quality conferencing, banquet, buffet breakfast and meal services.

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Beylerbeyi Palace Hotel

Kars (2 nights)

In 1579, Sultan Murad III's regional governor (Lala Mustafa Paşa) built an imposing palace on the southern foreslopes of Kars Castle crag. The structure was ravaged in the 1828 conflict with Russia and left in ruins, which remained little noticed until 2017. Since then, partial reconstruction of the central palace building has been proceeding (very slowly), with possible plans to one day make it a boutique hotel.(Lonely Planet).

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Izala Hotel

Mardin (2 nights)

Situated in the centre of Mardin, Izala Hotel is a restored historical building with stone exteriors and a courtyard. The hotel offers a terrace with castle and Mesopotamia Valley views. The rooms of Hotel Izala are equipped with an electric kettle, air conditioning and a minibar. Daily breakfast is served as an open buffet. Mazruna Restaurant and Safran Restaurant offer an à la carte menu including regional delicacies of Mardin and international dishes.

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Palmyra Hotel

Urfa (2 nights)

Stone boutique hotel with lovely open courtyard 

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Hotel Euphrat

Mount Nemrut (1 night)

A basic hotel located close to Mount Nemrut. All rooms are en-suite and come fitted with an LCD TV, minibar, air conditioning and free wireless Internet. The on-site restaurant serves a range of local delicacies. 

Visit hotel's site
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Anadolu Evleri

Gaziantep (1 night)

Located in the city centre of Gaziantep, Anadolu Evleri hotel features a restored, stone built structure with a courtyard and a wine cellar. The hotel offers unique rooms with authentic interiors and air conditioning. The restaurant serves regional cuisine so you can enjoy local delicacies with a relaxing glass of wine.

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I went on this trip rather than all the other interesting possibilities in the world because I wanted to go to Gobekli Tepe. Being there was all I could have hoped for. It was a stunning experience and I was moved to tears. Thank you so much for the opportunity. Regarding the food, the olives were the best I`ve ever tasted. And the yoghurt is fabulous. Also the cheese and pistachios and apricots. Oh yes, and the watermelon : ) Thanks to David too for being so patient with my endless questions

Cynthia Bishop , Eastern Turkey Explorer, Turkey

I had a lovely time in Turkey. Both of the tours that were part of the package were fabulous, both tour guides were very knowledgeable and made the trips very interesting providing plenty of information, and the places where we went for lunches as part of the trip were superb. David McGuinness is a credit to Travel the Unknown, he goes that `extra mile` to keep customer happy. I`d like to say a huge `thank you` for all the help you gave me organising and planning my trip. I certainly will recommend anyone to use you for planning their `unknown` destination holiday. The emails, telephone calls were all spot on, well done :-) :-)

Jane Kimberley , The Magic of Cappadocia, Turkey

We covered many miles and saw some fantastic sites and sights. The special access that our tour leader provided really enhanced the experience for me - I`ll certainly never forget tracking down an inscription in Van with his help - and to see Gobekli Tepe and Nemrut Dag on the same day was marvelous. At the end of the trip, the Zeugma Mosaic Museum was a wonderful surprise - the best mosaics I`ve ever seen, in a truly world-class setting.

Jim Cleary , Eastern Turkey Explorer, Turkey

Travel the Unknown provide good friendly advice and information before travel. They are very approachable and helpful. The accommodation is of a high standard as are the meals. Local guides are knowledgeable and anxious to ensure that travellers have a good and rounded experience.

Anthony Twohig , Eastern Turkey Explorer, Turkey

I would not hesitate in using Travel the Unknown for any future journeys to off the beaten track destinations.

Andrea Selfridge , Tailormade Turkey

Arda, our local guide was absolutely the best. Always a smile, always running (literally) to fulfill every request, treating every member as his personal responsibility, and going way way above and beyond to assist and accommodate. He is a so remarkably knowledgeable, and seemingly found no question beyond his ability to answer & explain. And his English is impeccable. KEEP HIM!!! Very special individual. Andrew is an incredible guide, with such a wealth of information and passion for his subjects. He never tired and made the trip fascinating and exciting due to the perspectives and explanations he shared continuously based upon years of research. Felt very fortunate to be in his presence for 2 weeks in such places that we were able to visit. Same for Hugh. And Hugh`s constant humour was delightful. These two balance each other well, and make a great team

Peggy Roberts , Tailormade Turkey

We greatly enjoyed visiting the ancient sites of Western Turkey with an experienced guide and seeing the remains of so many different periods and cultures. The scenery was spectacular and we felt that the tour gave us a wonderful introduction to the country.

Michael Wilson , Archaeology of Western Turkey, Turkey

This was a very exciting itinerary including fantastic historic and prehistoric site visits, as well as visits to wonderful towns, restaurants and markets. The attentiveness of the guide ensured that everything went smoothly, even in very out-of-the way places. It was possible to fall in love with the drama of the landscape, the character of the architecture, the colour, sights and sounds of the towns, the friendliness and honesty of the people - and I did!

Jane Neild , Eastern Turkey Explorer, Turkey

Charming people organising the trip and acting as guides. An inspirational visit taking us to out of the way places we would never have had the chance to visit. The personal touch Travel the Unknown brings sets them apart.

Caroline & Peter , Eastern Turkey Snapshot, Turkey

A great way to travel to some of the more remote and interesting places in the world. It was a very interesting area and we saw a lot that we would never have managed on our own. I would recommend the holiday to others.

Marion McCallum , Eastern Turkey Snapshot, Turkey

This trip was an amazing and very exhilarating experience. We had high hopes of Gobekli Tepe, which were totally fulfilled- it is utterly amazing, but we had not anticipated some of the other gems to be so exceptional as well. We were a small group, which made the trip very personal. Altogether it was a marvellous week, helped by having a caring guide and an excellent driver.

Joy Lawley , Eastern Turkey Snapshot, Turkey

Travel the Unknown were very responsive to my personal wishes, and flexible enough to make this a fantastic tour- we covered a lot in a limited time. Guides were pleasant and informative, and the transport was excellent.

John Colligan , Eastern Turkey Snapshot & archaeology extension
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