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From the Black Sea

to the Mediterrenean

(self drive)

Day 1 : Arrival in Ankara

Upon your arrival in Ankara, the administrative capital of Turkey. Transfert to your hotel.

Day 2 : Ottoman Houses in Safranbolu

Transfer back to the airport to pick up your rental car at the hotel 10 am. Head towards Safranbolu, a 3-hour drive away.

Delcared by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, this town boasts an exceptional Ottoman architectural heritage with 900 houses and buildings dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. Some, restored as museums, recreate the bourgeois habitat of those times.

Cobbled streets lead to exceptional landscapes and small artisan shops unchanged for centuries. Near the village of Tokatli, admire the Akça Canyon, "the crystal terrace," a suspended glass platform.

 

Days 3 and 4 : Heading to the Black Sea

Drive to Amasra on the Black Sea coast, a 1.5-hour drive. This small port and tourist town are highly appreciated for its picturesque setting. It is situated on an isthmus with two notches forming two ports.

You can stroll through the town and along the coast. For two days, you will have plenty of time to swim and enjoy the beaches in the vicinity.

 

Day 5 : Ankara and the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations

Back to Ankara, a 4 hours drive. Chosen as the capital by the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Ankara preserves many interesting sites, including the world-famous Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.

Located in the old town near the fortress, it houses treasures discovered during numerous archaeological excavations in Anatolia. You will discover wonders dating from the Neolithic period (8000 BC) to the Hittite period (2000 BC). A highly educational visit for both adults and children. Overnight in Ankara.

 

Day 6 : Salt Lake and Arrival in Cappadocia

In the morning, head south towards Cappadocia (3.5 hours drive). On the way, stop at the edge of the Salt Lake "Tuz Gölü", a huge shallow salt lake that dries up in summer, transforming its shores into a 30 cm thick salt crust as far as the eye can see. A significant portion of Turkey's table salt comes from this lake. On a group of islands further south, pink flamingos reside.

Upon arrival, Cappadocia will surprise you with the shapes and colors of its unique tuff formations. Three days of wonder begin in the land of fairy chimneys.

 

Day 7 : Churches and Fairy Chimneys

Here’s an opportunity for an unforgettable experience.

At sunrise, aboard a hot air balloon, marvel at this breathtaking creation of nature: the lunar landscapes of Cappadocia.

After breakfast, depart for the Göreme Open-Air Museum to admire the best-preserved rock-cut churches in the region. Then, with your hiking guide, explore the most beautiful Cappadocian valleys, seeking Byzantine rock churches hidden in nature.

Three valleys on the program, each more beautiful than the other: Gemildere Valley for an introduction to meringue-shaped lunar landscapes, Swords Valley with its fairy chimneys and tunnels, and Zemi Valley up to the rocky peak of Uçhisar, which will offer you a magnificent panorama of the entire region. 3 hours of walking.

 

Day 8 : Zemi Valley, Pigeon Valley, Uçhisar Village

A short minibus ride to ascend above the village of Göreme. With your guide, stroll through the beautiful valleys of Gemildere, Görkündere, Pigeon Valley up to the village of Uçhisar. The day will end at the rocky peak of Uçhisar (1300m) for another spectacular view of the region. Return to the hotel. 5 hours of walking.

Day 9 : Villages untouched by time

With your rental car continue your journey westward. Discover the maze of tunnels in the underground city of Derinkuyu, 8 stories deep, which served as a refuge for residents during major invasions. Then, delve into the Ihlara Canyon, a hundred meters deep, to walk along the small river at the bottom of the canyon in search of rock-cut churches. Lunch in the water (literally) awaits you in the small family restaurants of the village of Belisirma by the river. Spend the evening and night in the unusual traditional village of Güzelyurt.

 

Day 10 : Drive to the Turquoise Lake of Eğirdir

Drive towards Eğirdir. After a long 5.5-hour journey, you will be rewarded upon arrival at the large turquoise lake of Eğirdir. A quiet town, it is a peaceful place to settle for a night and to taste the lake's fish in the small restaurants along its shores. A small road leads to the picturesque peninsula with small houses and pensions. Take a boat ride or participate in a fishing outing with the villagers.

 

Days 11-12 : Cirali, the Land of Chimera

Drive to Cirali (3.5 hours), located in a protected green valley, dotted with bungalows by the sea.

It is also an important stop on the Lycian Way, with beautiful hiking possibilities. Here, you will find Olympos, an archaeological site still under excavation, on the edge of a magnificent bay surrounded by mountains, and the surprising Chimera site where eternal flames burn.

Two days of relaxation and swimming. Enjoy your car to go to the surrounding bays such as Adrasan, a fabulous bathing spot, and the bay of Olympos. Excursions by boat are also possible.

 

Day 13 : Towards Antalya

To get closer to the airport, drive 1.5 hours to the old town of Antalya and check into your hotel.

Explire the labyrinth of pedestrian streets and shops. Visit the Archaeological Museum, one of the largest museums in Turkey.

Admire Hadrian's Gate, a triumphal arch built in honor of the Roman Emperor Hadrian (117-138).
 

Day 14 : Departure

Return the car to the airport for your return fligh.

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