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Discover Ancient Turkey: Göbekli Tepe, Çatalhöyük, Cappadocia & more

Ancient Origins is partnering with award-winning tour operator Travel the Unknown to provide its readers with comprehensive escorted tours to some of the most ancient and most mysterious monuments and sacred places around the globe.
We will visit classic destinations as well as more obscure locations where the magic of the past remains as strong today as it did thousands of years ago.
Let us help you to explore the past in the present day with unique adventures that will be remembered for the rest of your life.

THE SPLENDOURS OF ANCIENT TURKEY AND ANATOLIA

Explore the mysteries of Turkey and Anatolia on an exclusive 12-day, 11-night tour in September 2020 hosted by Ancient Origins' Micki Pistorius and special guest Jim Willis, the author of twelve books with a life-time’s experience of spirituality, ancient religion, and lost civilizations.

Jim Willis is the author of twelve books on religion and spirituality including Lost Civilizations (Visible Ink Press, 2019), and The Quantum Akashic Field (Findhorn/Inner Traditions, 2019). He has served as an adjunct college professor in the fields of world religions and instrumental music while working as a part-time carpenter, as well as the host of his own drive-time radio show, an arts council director, and guest lecturer, speaking about topics ranging from historical studies to contemporary spirituality.

Micki Pistorius’ journalist career commenced in printed and television media. She obtained a DPhil Psychology, profiled hardened criminals, and authored several books on the subject. She completed BA Hons in Biblical Archaeology and has affinity for the Bronze Age. She trailed Odysseus from Mycenae on mainland Greece to Troy in Turkey, followed the footsteps of Alexander the Great to Taxila in Pakistan, and traced her Tancred crusader ancestral lineage to Hauteville in France. She lives and writes on a tropical island.

Experience Istanbul: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia & Basilica Cistern - Ankara Museum - Alaca Höyük - Hattusa - Cappadocia: Derinkuyu underground city - Goreme rock churches - Asikli Höyük - Catal Höyük - Whirling Dervishes of Konya - Göbekli Tepe twice - Harran - Şanlıurfa - Nemrut Dag, and much more.

Learn about the sites to be visited as well the very latest news and theories on ancient Anatolia and Göbekli Tepe, as well as on the origins of civilization with talks and guidance from Jim Willis and Micki Pistorius.

Register your details to hold your place on this exclusive tour. To secure your place a deposit payment of US$800 per person is required within 48 hours of completing the form. Payment details are noted at the end of the form.

ANCIENT ORIGINS TOUR OF TURKEY    SEPTEMBER 13 - 24, 2020

12 DAYS/11 NIGHTS

MEETING PLACE ISTANBUL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Pick up point for start of tour is the arrival lounge of Istanbul’s International Airport. On arrival, all clients will be given transfers to hotel in Istanbul regardless of arrival time or date. At the end of the tour all clients will be brought to Adiyaman Airport on the same shared transfer.

Day 1 - Sunday, September 13, 2020
Istanbul
Arrival at Istanbul International Airport. Transfer to hotel. Evening lecture and orientation with Ancient Origins and special guest.
Overnight in Novotel Bosphorus Hotel, Istanbul
Day 2 - Monday, September 14, 2020
Istanbul – Ankara
After breakfast, visit the Sultanahmet district, called the “historical peninsula”. See the Blue Mosque, the most important mosque in Istanbul with its more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles and 200 stained glass windows. Visit Byzantine monuments including the St. Sophia Museum (Hagia Sophia, the former Byzantine Church), the greatest example of Byzantine architecture in Turkey. See also the Basilica Cistern, which was the main water provider for the ancient city of Constantinople, and the Byzantine Hippodrome where we will view beautiful obelisks and columns from the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman periods.
Transfer to the airport for a flight to Ankara.
Meals: B L
Overnight in Hotel Tunali, Ankara
Day 3 - Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Ankara Anatolian Civilization Museum - Gordion – Hattusa
After breakfast visit the Anatolian Civilization Museum of Ankara, and see artifacts and reconstructions from Neolithic sites such as Çatalhöyük as well as the incredible bronzes from the Bronze Age sites of Alaca Höyük. Lunch in Ankara.
After lunch drive to Gordion (the tumulus of King Midas), one of the most important archaeological sites in Turkey. The metropolis enjoyed its golden age in the first millennium when it was the royal capital of the Iron Age Kingdom known as ‘Phrygia’ to the Greeks and ‘Mushki’ to the neighboring Assyrian Empire. Excavated in 1957, the mound of Midas is 300 meters in diameter and is 43 meters high. In the wooden chamber, the corpse of a man was found along with the remains of his last dinner. It still contains funerary furniture, possibly from Midas’ palace. Return to Ankara.
Meals: B L
Overnight in Tunali Hotel, Ankara
Day 4 - Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Hattusa - Alaca Höyük – Cappadocia
Visit the ruins of the Hittite capital of Hattusa. See its green nephrite omphalos stone and sphinx gates. Lunch in Hattusa. After lunch journey on to the magnificent ruins of Alaca Höyük, a Hittite city with origins dating back to the Chalcolithic or Copper Age. Visit the museum, and see the site's extraordinary polygonal walls, similar to those in Peru, Easter Island, and ancient Egypt, as well as its own iconic Sphinx Gate. Drive on to Cappadocia and arrive at your hotel for a late dinner. Time permitting, evening presentation.
Meals: B L D
Overnight in Dinler Urgup, Urgup
Day 5 - Thursday, September 17, 2020
Cappadocia
After breakfast take a walk through the Red Valley with its varying types of rock formations and color, and rock-cut cave churches with beautiful frescoes and paintings. Stop for photo opportunities in this scenic lunar landscape of unique rock formations called “fairy chimneys” Lunch. Climb the Uchisar natural castle with its labyrinth of rock-cut rooms, and later visit the Goreme open-air museum. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it is the capital of Turkey’s eastern province of Cappadocia. See its many rock-cut churches and beautiful art, some of which is very likely shamanic in nature, harking back to a prehistoric age.
Meals: B L D
Overnight in Dinler Urgup, Urgup
Day 6: Friday, September 18, 2020
Urgup - Derinkiyu - Ihlara Valley
Visit the enigmatic underground city of Derinkiyu, constructed in part at the end of the last Ice Age, and the tranquil Ihlara Valley, within which can be found various rock-cut churches containing well preserved religious art. Stop briefly at the 10,000-year-old archaeological site of Aşıklı Höyük, an important urban centre where beautiful obsidian items were manufactured during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic age.
Meals: B L D
Overnight in Dinler Urgup, Urgup
Day 7: Saturday, September 19, 2020
Catalhöyük - Konya
After an early breakfast set out for the ancient city of Konya in the south of the country for a tour around its archaeological museum, which includes spectacular treasures from Çatalhöyük and beautiful art from the Greek and Roman ages. On the way, stop for pictures at the Sultan Han, a large 13th-century Seljuk caravanserai located in the town of Sultanhanı, Aksaray Province. Lunchbox on the coach. Later, visit the famous prehistoric city complex of Çatalhöyük, over 9,000 years old. In the evening experience the breathtaking Mevlana Whirling Dervishes show at the nearby Mevlana Cultural Center.
Meals: B L D
Overnight in Hilton Garden Inn, Konya
Day 8 - Sunday, September 20, 2020
Konya – Şanlıurfa
Travel throughout the day from Konya east into southeast Anatolia. Enjoy talks, discussions, and DVDs on the coach. There will also be regular convenience stops. Arrive at Şanlıurfa by mid-evening. Evening dinner at hotel.
Meals: B D
Overnight in Hilton Garden Inn, Şanlıurfa
Day 9 – Monday, September 21, 2020
Şanlıurfa - Göbekli Tepe – Harran
Visit Göbekli Tepe, the world’s oldest stone temple complex, constructed nearly 12,000 years ago. See its extraordinary rings of T-shaped standing stones with carved reliefs of birds, animals, and other abstract forms. Learn its history and place in the origins of civilization. After lunch, visit the ancient city of Harran, home of the ancient Sabaeans and Chaldeans, as well as the point of origin of the hermetic tradition. See Harran’s ancient city mound, its Seljuk period castle, and also its compelling “astronomical tower,” the possible inspiration behind the imagery of The Tower card in the Tarot pack. Dinner at the hotel.
Meals: B D
Overnight in Hilton Garden Inn, Şanlıurfa
Day 10 - Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Şanlıurfa - Göbekli Tepe - Şanlıurfa Museum
Visit Şanlıurfa’s Archaeological Museum in the morning to see the extraordinary display of artifacts from Gobekli Tepe. See also a full-size model of the site’s fabulous Enclosure D, as well as the reconstructed stone temple of Nevalı Çori, which is 10,500 years old. Packed lunch. Afterward, visit the Pools of Abraham and birthplace of Abraham in the heart of the old city of Şanlıurfa. Later, make our second visit to Göbekli Tepe to get a real taste of this incredible site, this time for meditation and contemplation of the unfathomable motivations behind its construction at the end of the last ice age. Dinner at the hotel.
Meals: B D
Overnight in Hilton Garden Inn, Şanlıurfa
Day 11 - Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Cendere Bridge - Mount Nemrut - Arsemia – Adiyaman
After breakfast in Şanlıurfa, depart north for Adiyaman province, one of the most sacred regions of southeast Turkey. Visit Karakus Tumulus, and also Cendere Bridge, one of the world’s oldest surviving bridges, constructed during the reign of Roman emperor Septimus Severus (193-211). See also the ancient site of Arsemia, the summer capital of the Commagene kingdom and burial place of King Mithridates. See the largest rock inscription found in Anatolia, which describes the political and religious beliefs of the inhabitants, and view a stone stela showing King Antiochus I of Commagene shaking hands with the god Hercules.
At sunset, we visit Nemrut Dagi (Nimrod’s Mountain), one of East Turkey’s most spellbinding attractions. At its peak sits enigmatic statues of King Antiochus I of Commagene, as well as representations of various deities believed to be his ancestors. The views from the summit are sublime. (NOTE: it is a 20-30 minute walk up steps to reach the summit).
Drive to Adiyaman and Farewell Dinner.
Meals: B D
Overnight in Hilton Garden Inn, Adiyaman
Day 12 – Thursday, September 24, 2020
Adiyaman
Free morning in Adiyaman. Leave the hotel at about 12:15 to go to the airport to catch your flight back to Istanbul for completion of the tour. Flight arrives back into Istanbul airport at 15:45.
Photos © Andrew Collins

ANCIENT ORIGINS TOUR OF TURKEY    SEPTEMBER 13 - 24, 2020
12 DAYS/11 NIGHTS

Price per person based on double occupancy: $4225
Please note prices are based on a single person sharing a cabin with another tour guest
Single occupancy supplement: $695
BASIC TOUR DEPOSIT $800
Please note prices are based on a single person sharing a room/cabin with another tour guest

Register your details to hold your place on this exclusive tour. To secure your place a deposit payment of US$800 per person is required within 48 hours of completing the form. Payment details are noted at the end of the form.

TOUR DEPOSIT $800 PER PERSON

A deposit of $800 per person is required to secure immediate booking. The remainder of
the payment will be required ten weeks before the start date of the tour.

Any problems or queries contact  Travel The Unknown

PRICE PER PERSON INCLUDES

  • Airport transfers from Istanbul airport, and from and to domestic airports
  • Flights from Istanbul to Ankara and return flight from Adiyaman to Istanbul airport
  • All transportation to and from sites
  • All entrance fees to museums and sites on tour schedule
  • All hotel accommodation
  • All breakfasts and at least one other meal per day, either lunch or dinner
  • Full-time guiding by a qualified Turkish tour guide

EXCLUDES

  • International flights (can be arranged on request)
  • Drinks in restaurants
  • Meals or services not mentioned
  • Tips
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Private airport transfers

ACCOMMODATION

1 night - Novotel Bosphorus Hotel, Istanbul
2 nights - Hotel Tunali, Ankara
3 nights - Dinler Urgup, Urgup
1 night - Hilton Garden Inn, Konya
3 nights - Hilton Garden Inn, Şanlıurfa
1 night - Hilton Garden Inn, Adiyaman

Final choice of accommodation is subject to change. We will choose hotels of a similar standard where hotel shown is not used.

Tours are run in association with award-winning travel company Travel the Unknown.

Find out about exclusive offers on future tours for returning customers

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Before making any booking please read the Ancient Origins Terms and Conditions for all its tours and tour guests.