Mesopotamia, the land between two rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates, was one of the most important areas in human history. Many ancient civilizations such as Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, developed in this area. The beginnings of literacy are connected to this area, and the achievements in the field of culture, economy and politics of the inhabitants of Mesopotamia, influenced the development of many other nations, such as Egyptians, Greeks, Phoenicians and Persians. Because of all this, Mesopotamia is known as the "cradle of civilization." The Tigris and Euphrates rivers originate on the territory of Turkey, and the area of Mesopotamia originates from today's Turkey. This journey is a walk through the most important epochs of human history and will take you to biblical places such as Haran, to the site of Gobekli Tepe called the "zero point in time", to the first Christian monasteries from the fourth century, to perhaps the most impressive site in Turkey. Nemruta. You will stay in the city where Abraham, the father of monotheistic religions, was born, cruise by boat on the Euphrates River and enjoy fantastic oriental food all the time, especially in the gastronomic center of Gaziantep. In our opinion, the best guide in Turkey - Damir Skopljak - will give a special stamp on this beautiful trip.
Day 1 - 29.05.2022. PODGORICA - ISTANBUL - MARDIN Meeting of passengers at the airport in Podgorica, at the Oki-air counter at 07:30. Flight to Istanbul TK1086 at 09:25. Landing at Istanbul Airport in Istanbul at 12:10 local time. Continuation of the flight for Mardin TK2676 at 16:15 and landing at 18:05. Transfer to the hotel. Welcome to the fairytale Mardin, a city located in southeastern Anatolia, at about 1100m above sea level. It is considered one of the most beautiful in all of Turkey. Accommodation in a hotel. Dinner. overnight stay.
Day 2 - 30.05. MARDIN - MIDJAT - MONASTERY MOR GABRIEL - MARDIN Breakfast. Drive to the monastery of Gabr Gabriel (monastery of St. Gabriel), one of the oldest Christian monasteries, which is in operation in the world. A visit to this fantastic monastery from the 4th century, which was very important for Christianity. By the Edict of Milan in 313, Christianity was legalized, in 325 by the Council of Nicaea, dogmatized, and in 380, Christianity was nationalized as the official religion of the Roman Empire. You will have the opportunity to visit the oldest existing and one of the most beautiful Assyrian Orthodox monasteries from the 4th century, with fantastic oriental architecture in ocher stone. A unique experience with which we start touring the sites on this trip. Departure for Midjat, a city-museum similar to Mardin. Midiat with its large stone houses, arched gates, churches with high bell towers resembling minarets, looks like a real medieval city. The center of the region was moved 2 km towards Estelle and Midijat was slowly abandoned by its inhabitants who emigrated in large numbers from this area. There are many examples of beautiful architecture in Midiat built by famous builders known as telkers. Several telkers still offer their services at the Midian Bazaar. This important region is also known for its silver makers. The region is an important center of old crafts and attracts more and more tourists. In Midjat, we visit the old part of the city and the ancient building Konuk Evi, the highest point of the city. After the tour return to Mardin. Mardin is a city known for its Arabic architecture. The earliest inhabitants of Mardin were Assyrian Orthodox Christians, who founded the city in the 3rd century. The city maintained its Christian identity during Muslim Arab rule between the 7th and 13th centuries. The city is located on a hill above the Tigris River. Mardin's "trademark" are the minarets of two old mosques, both Seljuk-style, and the domes of one of two large medieval madrassas, all dating back to the 14th century, except for the Ulu Mosque, which was built in the 11th century (Arab Artukid dynasty). The "small embroidery" in the relief decoration of the architecture of these buildings is reminiscent of the beautiful neighboring Persian / Iranian style and has little to do with later Ottoman style (modeled largely on Byzantine architecture - making Ottoman mosques unusually reminiscent of Byzantine churches). After the tour free time. Return to the hotel, dinner, overnight.
Day 3 - 31.05. MARDIN- DEJRUL ZAFARARAN MONASTERY- GOBEKLI TEPE- ŠANLIURFA Breakfast. We start the day by visiting the Dejrul Zafraran Monastery, the Saffron Monastery. One of the most important Orthodox monasteries in southeastern Turkey, dating from the 5th century. It was built in 493, on the site of a temple dedicated to the Assyrian god of the moon, or sun god, which the ancient Romans turned into a fortress after the conquest of northern Mesopotamia. With the fall of Rome in the 5th century, Dejrul Zafraran became a monastery. The continuation of the road leads us to the archeological site Göbekli Tepe (in Turkish “belly hill”). It is an archeological site of a Mesolithic sanctuary on a hill. It is best known as the oldest known example of monumental architecture, dating to around 9000 BC, which is also the oldest religious building in the world. It was most likely erected by hunter-gatherers, as the first permanent sanctuary in the world, and together with the nearby, somewhat younger, sanctuary Nevalı Çori, it permanently changed the understanding of the Eurasian Neolithic. Its distinctive T-shaped monuments, with reliefs of animal figures, provide insight into the way of life and beliefs of the people of Upper Mesopotamia about 11,500 years ago. Therefore, in 2018, this site was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Arrival in beautiful Shanliurf, known throughout history and the Bible as Urfa. Accommodation in a hotel. Free time, dinner and overnight.
Day 4 - 01.06. CHANLIURFA - HARRAN - CHANLIURFA Breakfast. We go to the ancient city of Haran, known as the cultural and religious center of Mesopotamia, also known for the remains of the oldest university in the region where "zero" was invented. The city of Haran is mentioned in the Bible as the place where Adam and Eve settled, banished from paradise. In the Book of Genesis, the city is also related to Abraham and his descendants. Namely, after the flood, the land was rebuilt and the development path was stated, from Adam and Eve to Abraham. In the city of Ur, God turned to Abraham and asked him to move with his family to the city of Haran. Today, Haran is characterized by houses that look like beehives, built in a circular shape from unfired brick, without the use of wood and with a vaulted roof. The shape of these houses provides the cold and freshness, much needed by the people of the Haran climate, who are exposed to great heat, but also warmth during cold days. Although these houses look small on the outside, when you go inside, you can actually see their true size and spaciousness, and families with many members used to live in them. It is believed that this way of building houses comes from the Bantu people. After the tour return to Shanliurf. Sightseeing of this ancient city, which is better known as Urfa, as the locals call it. It will leave you breathless, because you will have the opportunity to experience the city / cradle of civilization, but also Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Apart from its historical significance, this city is adorned with old stone houses, narrow streets, traditional bazaars and a large number of monasteries and mosques, and with castles and city walls, the city acts as an "open-air museum". It is also called the "city of the prophets" because it was inhabited by prophets such as Abraham, James, Job, and Elijah. We will visit the fantastic anthropological museum, where you will see the oldest statue in the world. At the end of the tour, we will visit the cave where the prophet Abraham, the father of monotheistic religions, was born. You will have the opportunity to see Balikli Gol, the place where Abraham was thrown into the fire by the king, in this holy city,… Free time. Dinner at the hotel. In the evening, optional departure to the Anatolian evening "Sira Gecesi" (traditional folklore, music and song). Overnight stay
Day 5 - 02.06. CHANLIURFA-NEMRUT-ADIJAMAN Breakfast. Departure to Adiyaman. Driving through the areas along the Euphrates River where in 1977. the first hydroelectric power plant “Ataturk” was built… Continuation of the trip to the town of Kahta, which will be our starting point for the ascent to Nemrut. Get ready for a unique experience, as this UNESCO-protected site is often Turkey’s first tourist postcard. This mountain got its famous name thanks to the raised statues, on its top, which are supposed to represent the royal tomb of Antiochus I of Komagena from the first century BC. The statues themselves depict the Greco-Persian pantheon of deities. From a height of 2,150m you will have an amazing view and the feeling that you are on the roof of the world. At the crossroads of Eastern and Western civilization, Mount Nemrut is certainly one of the most magnificent sites. After visiting the site departure to Adyiaman. Accommodation in a hotel. Dinner. Overnight stay.
Day 6 - 03.06. ADIJAMAN-HALFETI-GAZIENTEP Breakfast. Departure to Gaziantep via a path through numerous pistachio plantations. Northeast of Gaziantep, on the Euphrates River, is the Eski Halfeti. Halfeti used to be on the edge of the hill, and after the construction of the dam in 2000, the place was under water. Since it was sunk, this pastoral village has served as a setting for numerous films and series, but also as a place from which local ships cruise the Euphrates. At this place we board and embark on a cruise, where in a beautiful gorge of the river, on one of the peaks we will see the remains of the Roman fortress (Rum Kale), and then the sunken village Savašan with the famous, half-flooded minaret of the Batik mosque. After the cruise and after half an hour of driving, we arrive near a place called Biredžik. An endemic bird species - the Middle Eastern Bald Skewer - nests on a limestone rock near the Euphrates River. We will visit this unusual reserve. We continue our drive to Gazientep, where upon arrival we visit the Zeugma Mosaic Museum - the largest museum of its kind in the world. The ancient city of the same name, located along the Euphrates, was one of the most important cities of the Roman Empire. Archaeological excavations at the site of the former Zeugma began in 1987, and the work was completed in 2013. The mosaics discovered in the excavations have been on display at the museum since 2011. In ancient times, mosaics were used, among other things, as sidewalks, which would decorate city roads and courtyards of the homes of Roman greats. The unique and magnificent museum, which covers 30,000 square meters, has an incredible display of mosaics, among which "Dionysus", "Poseidon" and certainly the most famous "Gypsy" today stand out. Arrival in the Turkish gastronomy capital Gaziantep. Accommodation in a hotel. Free time. Overnight stay.
Day 7 - 04.06. GAZIENTEP Breakfast. A day dedicated to the culinary capital and the city of gastronomy. If you ask the Turks about Gaziantep, everyone will immediately start talking to you about food, or more precisely - about baklava. Due to the diverse and delicious cuisine, in 2015 UNESCO put Antep on the list of creative cities in the world. When it comes to cuisine, the Turkish capital of baklava has fully justified this status, because according to some free estimates in the central part of the city, approximately every fifth baklava shop has over 180. Tour of the old part of the city with oriental charm, beautifully built stone houses . The most impressive historical monument of Gaziantep are the remains of a fortress on a hill above the city, built by Emperor Justinian I. Our civilization Justinian I gave the unsurpassed Hagia Sophia, and the Eastern Roman Empire reached its zenith in its territorial space. In the city you can see a large number of mosques built from the 11th to the 16th century. In the former madrasa there is an archeological museum, known for its collection of Hittite seals. Gaziantep is industrial and even better known as the agricultural center of this part of Turkey, also known for wines, halva, baklava, pistachios, anise and tobacco. After a short tour of the historic city center, free time to enjoy and shop. Overnight stay
Day 8 - 05.06. GAZIENTEP - ISTANBUL - PODGORICA Breakfast. Free time until departure to the airport. Flight to Istanbul TK2223 at 14:50. Arrival in Istanbul at 16:35. Continuation to Podgorica at 19:00 flight TK1087 and arrival in Podgorica at 19:50.
The price of the arrangement includes: transport by plane on the route Podgorica-Istanbul-Mardin and Gazientep-Istanbul-Podgorica, transfers by bus according to the program, accommodation in 4 * hotels in Mardin, Adiyaman and Sanliurfa on a half board basis (breakfast-dinner), accommodation in a 4 * hotel in Gaziantep on a bed and breakfast basis tours according to the program, tourist guide services - Damir Skopljak international health insurance, airport taxes, tolls and tips left in hotels.
The price of the package does not include: tickets for all localities provided by the program, boat ride on the Euphrates River, minibus ride to the mountain Nemrut, a total of 70 €. optional departure to the Turkish evening 20 €. Supplement for 1/1 room: 140 eur