Day 1
Arrival to Istanbul. Transfer to the hotel.

Day 2
ISTANBUL city tour. Tour of "Sultan Ahmet Center", the heart of the "Old City" from where the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires were ruled. Hagia Sophia, the Church of Divine Wisdom, one of the greatest marvels of architecture, constructed as a basilica in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian. Blue Mosque, facing Hagia Sophia, famous with its blue İznik tiles and unique with 6 minarets, built in the name of Sultan Ahmet. Hippodrome, center of sportive events (chariot races, athletics) and political activities of the old city. Serpentine Column, Obelisk of Theodosius and German Fountain of Wilhelm II are the monuments decorating the Hippodrome. Golden Horn (from the bus), the arm of the Bosphorus and a natural harbour of the historical peninsula separating the old and the new parts of İstanbul where the first colonies settled during the Byzantines. The residential area for Byzantine Jews, Italian traders and other non-muslim minorities. Drive along the traces of history at Balat viewing Metal Church of St. Stephen the Bulgarian, Jewish Hospital (Or-Ahayim), Fener Orthodox Patriarchate and 22 kms. long Byzantine City Walls, strongest fortification of the middle age. Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar), mystical smells of different aromas of various spices. Shops selling fruits, vegetables, fish, flowers etc. Bosphorus Cruise (regular boat) , through the waterway separating the two continents, Europe and Asia, with a possibility to take photographs of marble palaces, ancient wooden villas of Ottoman architecture besides modern residentials and luxurious apartments. Rumeli Fortress (from the boat - no interior visit), historical armament built by the Conqueror to control and protect the Bosphorus. A unique example of military architecture.
Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 3
ISTANBUL: Istanbul departure for Kayseri (Cappadocia ) transfer to the airport , fly to Kayseri on arrival meeting with our driver and transfer to the hotel in Cappadocia. Afternoon visit to; the deepest underground city in Cappadocia, Derinkuyu. Derinkuyu underground city will take you 8 levels underground, exploring the many stables, halls and churches that were once inhabited by entire communities, Photo stop at Panorama point and free time for tea & coffee at that point, back to the

Day 4 – CAPPADOCIA: AM Optional Hot Air baloon
Breakfast at the hotel, Am departure from hotel for Full Day Cappadocia tour; Visit to; Goreme Open Air Museum where you will visit the many rock churches of Old Goreme. The open-air museum houses some of the best preserved Christian frescoes from the 8th through to the 13th centuries. You will stop for a local lunch before continuing onto Cavusin village before moving to Avanos, a small town known for its ceramics. The next stop is in Pasabag where you can see a type of fairy-chimney with multiple caps and stems situated in the middle of a vineyard. In Devrent valley you can view rocks of different shapes, there is one that resembles a camel; Wonderful stop to view the famous fairy chimneys. end of the tour back to the hotel.

Day 5
Option 1: Breakfast at hotel or we will arrange a breakfast box due to the departure from hotel from Cappadocia to Georgian border of Turkish Part ‘’ Sarp area ‘’ apprx11 hrs around.
Option 2: fly from Cappadocia to Tbilisi. City tour in Tbilisi. Transfer to the hotel.

Day 6 Metechi-Narikala-Svetitskhoveli-Jvari
Visit to Old town: Metechi church and the statue of king Vakhtang Gorgasali; Abanotubani – is the ancient district of Tbilisi, known for its sulfuric baths; Narikala fortress; Sharden street, Sioni Cathedral.
Drive to Mtskheta - one of the oldest cities of the country of Georgia, was capital of the early Georgian kingdom of Iberia during the 3rd century BC - 5th century AD and it was the site of early Christian activity. Visit UNESCO Heritage Sites: Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century) and Jvari Monastery (6th century).
Return Tbilisi.

Day 7 Bodbe- Sighnaghi-Veliscikhe
Drive to eastern part of Georgia- Kakheti region. Visit Bodbe Monastery (9th century) - is a Georgian Orthodox monastic complex where St. Nino, the Cappadocina maiden who preached Christianity in Georgia in the year 337. Visit Sighnaghi – one of the beautiful towns of the Kakheti region. Sighnaghi and its environs are home to several historical and cultural monuments. The town is walled with the remnants of 18th century fortifications. At the elevation of about 790 m above sea level, the town overlooks the Alazani valley and faces the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Free time in Sighnagi. Drive to Veliscikhe village. Visit wine cellar with wine degustation. Drive back to Tbilisi. Farewell dinner in national restaurant. Enjoy live folk music, Georgian traditional toasts and a superior atmosphere. Overnight in Tbilisi.

Day 8 Akhtala-Haghpat-Sevan
In the morning transfer to Georgian-Armenian border. After passport control enter to Armenia. Drive to Akhtala village, visit Akhtala monastery (13th c.) and fortress. Continue to Haghpat monastery (10-13cc in UNESCO 1996). Drive via Dilijan town to Lake Sevan, Sevan (1900m high from sea level), it is the largest and highest lake in Europe. Drive to Yerevan- the capital of Armenia. Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 9 Hripsime-Echmiadzin-History museum
In the morning drive Armavir region, visit St. Hripsime church (7c. UNESCO), continue to Echmiadzim Cathedral -the seat of the Catholicos of all Armenians, the Holy center of Armenian Christianity, included in UNESCO World Heritage List, 2000. On the back way to Yerevan visit the archeological site of Zvartnots Cathedral (7th c. UNESCO). In Yerevan, visit History museum of Armenia, where you can see the oldest shoe in the world (5500 years). Overnight in Yerevan.

Day 10 City tour-Garni-Geghard
City tour in Yerevan. Cascade art and sculpture garden, then visit Matenadaran-manuscript museum (Documentary heritage submitted by Armenia and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 1997) (closed Sunday & Monday)). In the afternoon drive to Kotaky region, visit Geghard rock- caved monastery (13th c.). The monastery with the Upper Azat Valley from 2000 is in UNESCO World Heritage list. Drive to Garni Hellenistic Temple 1st c., (The Historical and Cultural Museum-Reservation of Garni (Armenia) and the Palestinian cultural landscape of Battir are the winners of the Melina Mercouri International Prize for the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes (UNESCO-Greece). 2011), In the Garni temple you will listen duduk(tsiranapokh), which music inscribed in 2008 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Return Yerevan.

Day 11 Khor Virap-Noravank-Areni-Yerevan
Drive to Khor Virap Monastery from where you can see Holly Mt. Ararat. Noah’s ark landed on Ararat mountain after the great flood. It is the nearest view point from Armenia. Then continue to Vayots Dzor region. Visit Noravank Monastery(13thc.). On the back way to Yerevan visit Areni cave 1, the world oldest winery (6100 years old), Armenia is the first country in the world to make wine, afterwards to active wine cellar, to have different wine degustation. Overnight in Yerevan. In the evening farewell dinner with traditional folk show.

Day 12
Departure

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  • 25 Sep 2018

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