This unique boutique mini trip brings together everything you want to see on a mini tour. You will be one of the first foreigners to discover the splendor of this region. A combination of rich history, breathtaking nature, rugged valleys, cascading waterfalls, picturesque lakes and an extremely friendly population.
DEPARTURE: May 18 2023
Elaziğ (1) – Tunceli (1) – Kemaliye (1) – Sivas (1) – Malatya (1)
Group: minimum 8 - maximum 12 persons
499 euro p.p. in double room
Single supplement: 60 euro
Triple room: 479 euro p.p.
Booking fee: 30 euros per reservation.
NO SALE OF CARPETS, GOLD, GEMSTONES AND LEATHER GOODS
Day 1 (189 km): Flight Antalya- Diyarbakır - Devegeçidi köprüsü (bridge) - Hilar caves – Eskibağlar- Hazan lake-Elazığ
After arrival we leave by bus to Elazığ. On the way we stop for breakfast at the Devegeçidi köprüsü, a bridge built by the Ottomans during their expedition to Bağdat. in Ergani we visit the impressive Hilar caves, which were already inhabited in pre-history. Excavations in nearby Çayönü have found centuries-old seeds of wheat, chickpeas and lentils and it has become clear that between 7500 - 5500 man started to settle and became farmers from hunter and gatherer. Then we visit the winery in Eskibağlar where the famous Öküzgözü wine comes from and finally take a boat trip on Lake Hazan.
Overnight in Elaziğ
Day 2 (92 km): Elazığ – Harput – Pertek kalesi Munzur Valley National Park- Tunceli
After breakfast we depart for Tunceli and visit the ancient settlement of Harput on the way .
Harput houses a picturesque open-air museum with several monuments. The castle was built during the Urartu era. The story goes that milk was mixed with mortar when the castle was built and that is why it is also called milk (Süt) castle. The view is great. After the excursion we continue our journey towards Tunceli and cross the Keban reservoir by ferry at Pertek Castle. The castle, on a hill, was built by the Urarten, but is the only structure that stands above the water due to the construction of the dam in 1974. The Munzur Valley is the largest National Park in Turkey. In the valley, flows a river that has 5 springs, rapids and waterfalls. The gigantic area, surrounded by a mighty mountain range, has 1500 different species of plants, wild animals and is the homeland of the Alevis. This mystical belief has strong Shamanic and Zoroastrian roots, a complicated relationship with Islam and an intimate and sacred connection with nature.
At a restaurant on the river we listen to the leğende, who tells the origin of the river and we can relax.
Day 3 (195 km): Tunceli – Kemaliye (Eğin)
We start the day with a morning walk through Tünçeli and visit Cemevi, the religious center of the Alevis. Then we get back on the bus for a beautiful ride along the Euphrates River, which we cross at the Vali Recep Yazıcıoğlu bridge. This legendary governor has meant a lot to the area. A TV series has been made about his life and the bridge. We drive to the center of Kemaliye, the former Eğin, for a walk along the picturesque houses, gardens, a shop, Lökhane, where you can buy local products and on the Mani yolu, a road with the spells of people who moved and with homesickness reminisce about their native land. We will take a break at a local restaurant and take a one-hour boat trip on the Karasu River, which flows through a spectacular gorge called Karanlık kanyon. After walking a bit on the Taş yolu, one of the most dangerous roads in the world (optional jeep safari), the day ends at the hotel.
Overnight in Kemaliye
Day 4 (233 km): Kemaliye – Divriği Ulucami and Darüşşifası – Sivas
Our hotel is located in the village of Sırakonak and is originally Armenian. The traditional houses here are seen as an example of Turkish architecture in Anatolia. After a short walk through the village we visit the nearby Apçağa. In this beautiful town we find the Ahmet Tecer Kültür evi. Ahmet Tecer is known for a poem: Orada bir köy var uzakta; a poem that every Turk knows and that is sung by everyone with melancholy and longing for small remote villages. Then we continue the journey towards Sivas and on the way visit the great mosque and hospital of Divriği. The building, which has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1985, is decorated with special stone ornaments. It is the pinnacle of pre-Ottoman art. The mosque was built between 1228-1229 by order of Ahmet Shah of the Mengücek dynasty and the hospital for his wife Turan Melek, but the man who invented it all is known as Hürrem shah. He was originally from Ahlat, a city not far from Iran, which is still known for its stonemasons. The beautifully situated town of Divriği has beautiful houses and a castle on a hill next to the canyon. Before leaving for Sivas, we pay a visit to Ayanağa mansion, a fine example of the local architectural style.
Day 5 (277 km): Sivas –Darende- Tohma kanyon- Malatya
Located at an elevation of 1,275 meters (4,183 feet) above sea level, Sivas is the highest town in the Central Anatolian region and the most mountainous. Due to its protected location, tribes settled early and the city developed as a commercial center. Between 1142 and 1171 it was the capital of the Turkish Danismend emirs. Later under the rule of the Seljuk Turks, it became a center of learning and science. After breakfast we take a walk to the most remarkable monuments. The Atatürk Congress Building and Museum, where the Sivas Congress was held during the War of Independence, dates back to 1892 and one of the notable Seljuk works of art and architecture is the İzzeddin Keykavus Sifahanesi, which was a 'house of recovery', a hospital. It was built in 1217 and the painted tiles
are beautiful. Sivas Gök Medrese (theological college) and Buruciye Medrese are other fine examples of Seljuk architecture. The architectural style of the Ulu Mosque of the Emirate of Danismend is very different. The Çifte minareli Medrese is remarkable with its two minarets, which rise elegantly on either side of the ornate portal.
After the city walk we drive further towards Malatya and stop at the Günpınar waterfall in Darende. At the entrance of the impressive Tohma canyon is the tomb of Sheyh Hamid I Vali (1331-1412) better known as Somuncu baba. Miraculous fish live in a pool formed by a natural spring flowing from the tomb of the holy man. Natural pools have been created in the river. The water in the pools comes from springs, is very clear and always 22 degrees C. After a walk and break at the river, we stop for a photo break at the Levent canyon and then move into our hotel in Malatya.
Day 6 (224 km): Malatya – Arslan tepe – Silahtar Mustafa Paşa Caravanserai- Battalgazi - Malatya- Antalya
After breakfast, we head for Arslantepe, which is 7 km from the city. The hill where Arslantepe is located has been excavated by the University of Roma La sapienza (Italy) since 1961 and has been on the Unesco world heritage list since 2021. Excavations have shown that the hill was inhabited from 5 BC to 11 th century AD . Among other things, a temple from 3,600-3,500 BC and a palace from the same period have been found. The walls of the palace are two to two and a half meters high and still have the original plasterwork and murals. Two lions and a king statue from the era of the Hittites are on display at the museum in Ankara. Transfer to Diyarbakır airport for your flight to Antalya.
INCLUDING – EXCLUSIVE – GOOD TO KNOW
Flights Antalya – Diyarbakır / Diyarbakır – Antalya
3 and 4* star hotels based on Bed & Breakfast
Luxury mini or midibus
English Speaking Licensed Guide
Lunches and dinners
entrance fees or museum card
Travel and cancellation insurance
Tip for the guide and driver
GOOD TO KNOW:
Minimum pocket money per person per day: 30.- €
Your passport or ID must be valid for at least 6 months when departing from Turkey
UK and EU citizens do not need a visa for Turkey
Make sure you have a good travel and cancellation insurance
Provide sturdy and waterproof walking shoes, casual clothes, warmer clothes for the evening.