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The Pearls of the Black Sea & Eastern Turkey

  • 12 Nights / 13 Days
  • Private Tour
  • April-November
  • Moderate
  • Cultural & Historical
  • Friends, Couple

Highlights of the Itinerary

This 14-day tour of eastern Turkey and the Black sea will reveal a region abundant in historical monuments, religious heritage, and breathtaking beauty. Explore magnificent examples of Greek, Byzantine, and Ottoman architecture as you tour across towns and cities rich in Turkish history. Sample delicious local cuisines during your journey across Eastern Turkey and catch glimpses of spectacular natural beauty.

  • Explore the cliff-top Sumela Monastery and tour St. Sophia Museum
  • Enjoy the forests on the foothills of the magnificient Kackar Mountains
  • Experience centuries of Seljuk architecture in Erzurum
  • Explore the legendary landmarks of Ani Ruins in Kars
  • Uncover the beauty of Ishakpasha Palace
  • Trek through the history and enjoy stunning panoramic views of Lake Van
  • Stroll around the devasted ancient center of Diyarbakir
  • Delight in the most iconic views of Mesopotamia
  • Immerse yourself in Nemrut's captivating statues of gods and goddesses
  • Savor the flavors and vistas of Gaziantep's kebabs and baklava

Departure & Return Location

Trabzon / Gaziantep

Approx. Pick-up Time



Trabzon, Rize, Ayder, Erzurum, Kars, Dogubeyazit, Van, Akdamar Island, Diyarbakir, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Mt. Nemrut, Gaziantep

Price Includes

  • Boutique Style Accommodation
  • All Private Transfers
  • Professional Tour Guide
  • Local (Non-Touristy) Lunches
  • Dinnersbuffet, fix menu or local restaurants
  • All Entrance Tickets/Fees

Price Excludes

  • Flight tickets
  • Gratitudes
  • Beverages


  • Room Upgrade
  • Optional activities
What to Expect

This tour is a journey through a region of unspoiled nature, spectacular scenery, and cultural diversity.

Itinerary Details

Day 1Arrival to Turkey and take a direct flight to Trabzon.

Once you touchdown in the beautiful city of Trabzon, meet with your guide and transfer to your hotel for dinner and a night’s stay.

Overnight in Trabzon | Meals: D

Day 2Trabzon

Start your tour at the Sumela Monastery in Trabzon. Greek monks built the awe-inspiring monastery on the side of a cliff, giving visitors a breathtaking view of the valley and forest below. Proceed to the best park in the Black sea region, the Altindere national park, for a peaceful stroll among the beauties of nature.

Overnight in Trabzon | Meals: B, L, D

Day 3Trabzon

Spend today exploring the highlights of Trabzon city. Visit incredible remnants of Byzantine architecture like the 13th-century Hagia Sophia Museum before proceeding to a mansion rich in Turkish heritage- Ataturk’s villa. Hike Boztepe hill for a panoramic view of the city, visit the small but beautiful Sera Lake and take the famous Akcaabat meatballs for lunch at a local seaside restaurant. In the afternoon, visit an even more breathtaking lake in the Pontic Alps- Uzungol (long) Lake.

Overnight in Trabzon | Meals: B, L, D

Day 4Rize - Camlihemsin - Zilkale - Ayder

Today, we will journey from Trabzon to Ayder and explore the attractions in between. Take a brief stop at Rize and enjoy a panoramic view of Rize city from the botanical garden. Proceed to Firtina (Storm) Valley and have a glimpse of beautiful Ottoman-era bridges of the Firtina River, including the Senyuva Bridge. Visit Zilkale castle in Camlihemsin, overlooking the Firtina, and marvel at the 14th century Ottoman architecture. Other places of interest include the majestic Goksu Falls and Konaklar town.

Arrive in Ayder, where you will have dinner and spend the night in a local wooden hotel.

Overnight in Ayder | Meals: B, L, D

Day 5Erzurum

From Ayder, we drive to the city of Erzurum and explore it for a taste of Seljuk architecture at the Cifte Minare and Yakutiye Medrese buildings. Visit the Rustem Pasha Palace and, in your free time, explore the local Bedesten (Ottoman market hall) that is devoted to the manufacture and sale of Oltutas Jewelry.

Overnight in Erzurum | Meals: B, L, D

Day 6Kars

We drive from Erzurum to Kars, making stops to see attractions along the way. At Kars, explore the medieval ruins of the metropolis of Ani and marvel at the ruins of the Pictorial Church, Great Cathedral, Halaskar Church, and the Ebul Menucehr Mosque.

Explore Kars city and enjoy its unusual blend of Ottoman and Russian style buildings. Visit the 12th century Kars Castle and Kars Museum, where you will view archeological and cultural exhibits from the early Bronze age to the Roman period.

Overnight in Kars | Meals: B, L, D

Day 7Kars - Van

From Kars, we will drive to the small town of Dogubeyazit to visit the 18th century Ishak Pasha and marvel at its unique architectural style. At the town, enjoy a spectacular view of Mt. Ararat- this is where Noah’s Ark docked after the great flood subsided. On your way to Van, stop at the scenic Muradiye Waterfalls.

Overnight in Van | Meals: B, L, D

Day 8Van

After a leisurely breakfast, we start our exploration of Van city at the Fortress of Van. The fortress was built between the 9th and 7th centuries BCE by the ancient kingdom of Urartu. After exploring this one-of-a-kind structure, we proceed to Van museum- a beautiful glass structure just below Van castle, exhibiting one of a kind Urartian collection. After a local lunch, we head to Hosap Castle and the ancient fortification of Cavustepe for more Urartian history.

Overnight in Van | Meals: B, L, D

Day 9Akdamar - Diyarbakir

We depart early from Van and head to the 10th-century Armenian church of Akdamar Island. Explore this historic church and the serene Island before proceeding to Diyarbakir via the 12th century Malabadi Bridge.

Overnight in Diyarbakir | Meals: B, L, D

Day 10Diyarbakir - Mardin

After a warming breakfast, explore Diyarbakir city from the gorgeous city walls, the brightly lit Keldani church, and the breathtaking Ulu mosque. The Seljuk style mosque was completed in the 11th century and could accommodate a congregation of up to 5000 worshippers.

Drive to the city of Mardin and take a stroll along the city’s old brick road to see the dazzling Monastery of Deyr-ul Zaferan.

Overnight in Mardin | Meals: B, L, D

Day 11Sanliurfa & Gobeklitepe

Travel to Sanliurfa and Gobeklitepe for a tour of an area of immense religious and historical significance. Visit the oldest known temple at Gobeklitepe, explore the beehive houses and the ruins of the world’s first Islamic university in the world at Haran. Proceed to Sanliurfa and take the famous spicy Urfa kebab before heading to the birthplace of Abraham. Finish your day at Sanliurfa Archeology and Mosaic Museum.

Overnight in Sanliurfa | Meals: B, L, D

Day 12Mt. Nemrut

Explore the historic and scenic Mt Nemrut region. Visit royal mausoleums, enjoy magnificent Hellenistic statues, tour the ruins of the ancient site of Arsemia, explore Kahta Castle, and visit the Cendere bridge for a glimpse of fine Roman architecture. Hike Mt Nemrut for an unforgettable sunset experience.

Overnight in Adiyaman | Meals: B, L, D

Day 13Gaziantep

Tour the modern city of Gaziantep, whose settlements have been in existence since ancient times- predating the Hittite period. Explore the city’s magnificent architecture, which is a testament to the long period the city has been around. While in the Gaziantep region, tour the ruins of the ancient Commagene city of Zeugma and marvel at its exquisite mosaics famous for their intricate detail.

Enjoy delicious Turkish kebabs and baklava in Gaziantep, where you will spend the night.

Overnight in Gaziantep | Meals: B, L, D

Day 14Departure

Private transfer to the airport for your flight home.

If you wish to continue enjoying this wondrous route, you can continue with a 3-4 days Cappadocia extension, or fly to Istanbul and enjoy 4-5 days there and relax by Bosphorus as well.

Meals: B



Should I book pre/post tour accommodation?

All our itineraries are created to serve the most requested routes and they are all flexible. You can definitely request for pre/post tours, accommodation, and any other travel services to make the planning even better.