Day 1 : Arrive in Istanbul
Arrive into Istanbul airport, where you will be met by a Trave the Unknown representative and transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
Meal plan: Dinner
Journey along the ancient pathways of Turkey's Silk Road. Take a boat across the azure waters of Lake Van to admire the sublime Armenian carvings of Akdamer church on Akdamar Island. Wend your way through the streets of UNESCO-listed Sarfanbolu and visit Edirne, one of the most fiercely and frequently contested cities in the world. Marvel at the magnificent Ottoman architecture of Ishak Pasa Palace, take in the striking views from Amasya Castle and experience the unique healing properties of Sivas' thermal springs.
NOTE: This tour can continue on from Silk Road Through Persia by starting from Tabriz to Van instead. Ask us for details.
Istanbul - Van - Akdamar Island - Doğubayazit - Erzurum - Gumushane - Trabzon - Sivas - Amasya - Kastamonu - Sarfanbolu - Iznik - Yerebatan Basilica (Basilica Cistern) - Edirne
Extend your trip from Istanbul
Ancient trading routes, historic battles and striking scenery
Discover Turkey's most hidden secrets
Uncover historical secrets in the west
Discover the incredible history of Eastern Turkey
Journey through Turkey's iconic sites
A glimpse of Turkey's hidden charms
Stunning eastern peaks including Mount Ararat
Unique history and fairytale landscapes
Discover the exotic charms of this eternal city
Caroline & Peter , Eastern Turkey Snapshot, 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.
Marion McCallum , 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.
Joy Lawley , 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.
Peggy Roberts , 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
Jane Neild , Eastern Turkey Explorer, 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!
Michael Wilson , Archaeology of Western Turkey, 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.
Jane Kimberley , The Magic of Cappadocia, 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 :-) :-)
Jim Cleary , Eastern Turkey Explorer, 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.
Anthony Twohig , 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.
Andrea Selfridge , Tailormade Turkey
I would not hesitate in using Travel the Unknown for any future journeys to off the beaten track destinations.
Cynthia Bishop , Eastern Turkey Explorer, Turkey
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