TOUR 1 – SCIENCE & CULTURE COMES TOGETHER
Bird watching Tours for 12 days in Turkey
Day 1 – God & man, nature & art all together created a place in earth that worth seeing. The capital of all empires. Blue World Travel staff will meet you at the airport, arrive at hotel, Welcome to Istanbul, get acquaintance to this big big city, check-in and just relax. Welcome cocktail & brief information about wild life of the birds and some dos & donts for entire tour will be your first activities. Tonight well invite you to a welcome dinner at one of the famous Turkish Restaurants. Rest of the night is your perfunctory exploration around the hotel located in the heart of city
Day 2 – Get your breakfast strong since the most important landmarks await our exploration. Well start with the places of interest in Sultanahmet District here we call Historic Peninsula. The first place is The Blue Mosque which is famous for blue and white Iznik tiles was built between 1609-1616. Well proceed for the ancient Hippodrome, the scene of chariot races and the center of Byzantine civic life, stands in the open space next, well pass Turkish & Islamic Arts Museum that reflects the lifestyle of Turks of every society from the 8th century to the present. Lunch at Konyali one of the well known restaurants in Topkapi. Time to visit Topkapi Palace having the galleries exhibiting the imperial collections of gorgeous crystal, silver and Chinese porcelain of Ottoman era. Visiting Harem, the secluded quarters of the wives, concubines and children of the sultan, charms visitors, an exhibition of imperial costumes worn by the sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the treasury and a priceless collection of miniatures from medieval manuscripts. Hagia Sophia, one of the finest buildings of all time built by Emperor Justinian now Fatih Sultan Mehmets Mosque. Exploring the majestic serenity and the fine Byzantine mosaics of the building. After St. Sophia well proceed for Sunken Palace also known as Basilica Cistern from Justinian era with its 336 marble columns. Late at night well join informative light & sound show in the front of Blue Mosque (if available)
Day 3 – Today our first activity is one of the imperial palaces of Ottoman era and this is surely Dolmabahçe Palace. This magnicifient palace was built in the mid-19th century by Sultan Abdulmecit I. The vast reception saloon with 56 columns and a huge crystal chandelier weighing four and a half tons and lit by 750 lights charm visitors. At one time, birds from all over the world were kept in the Bird Pavilion for the delight of the palace’s privileged residents. Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, died in Dolmabahce on the 10th of November, 1938. After Dolmabahçe Palace well invite you Hop on a cruise thatll take us along the Bosphorus passing under 2 bridges linking Asia & Europe continents. Get ready to see the parade of the imperial palaces. Kiz Kulesi, Çiragan Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, Kirmizi Yali, Küçüksu Kasri, Rumeli Hisari, Anadolu Hisari, Kanlica (famous with honey on creamy yoghurt), Beykoz, Tarabya, are important places youll observe from the sea. The cruise terminates at Sariyer on the European side of the city to see the local fish market, and for lunch. We will then drive further north towards the Black Sea, to a spot where we will watch the birds in spring migration, most probably including White and Black Stork, Black Kite, Egyptian Vulture, Sparrow Hawk, Buzzard, Honey Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Booted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle and perhaps Griffon Vulture, Imperial Eagle and Steppe Eagle.
Day 4 – Transfer to Ataturk Airport Domestic Terminal for Ankara Esenboga Airport, domestic flight will take your 50 mins to Ankara. Welcome to the capital of Turkey that history and that of the surrounding area dates back to the Bronze Age and the Hatti civilization. Upon arrival our first visit is the impressive modern form of Ataturk’s Mausoleum where ancient and modern architectural concepts testifies to the power and grace of Turkish architecture took place. Museum of Anatolian Civilizations with its priceless collection of Paleolithic, Neolithic, Hatti, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian and Roman artifacts, after lunch well proceed for the moonscape Cappadocia where the works of man blend unobtrusively into the natural moonscape surroundings. Upon arrival in Cappadocia, we will be searching for the Long-legged Buzzard and Alpine Swifts soaring above us. Dinner and overnight in traditional cave-style hotel in Cappadocia.
Day 5 – After breakfast we’ll proceed Sultan Marsh To the south of regional Cappadocia is the well known Sultan Marsh Bird Paradise (17.000 ha.), one of the most important wetlands in Turkey. This place has both fresh and brackish water ecosystems with a fascinating view of Mount Erciyes (3916 m.). Here at the wetland you will be able to see several water birds; Pygmy Cormorant, Dalmatian Pelican, Little Bittern, Night Heron, White Stork, Black Stork, Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, thousands of Greater Flamingo, Gadwall, White-headed Duck, Greater Sand Plover, Avocet, Mediterranean Gull, Slender-billed Gull and Gull-billed Tern, as well as the Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Lesser Short-toed Lark and Isabellina Wheatear on the surroundings steppes. Picnic lunch in the field. After dinner we’d like you to invite you the whirling dervishes ceremony in one of the best preserved caravanserails named Sarihan. Watch this spectacular theologic performance having magnificient atmosphere. Traditional shorbet will be served at courtyard upon final. Overnight at cave-style hotel.
Day 6 – Today well start to explore Göreme with Derinkuyu Underground City. Ready to get lost in 8 layer of this hidden city? Youll see miles of tunnels and grape-treading areas in this lighted city. See the deceitful pathways and hidden corners to fail the enemy of this city that were used by the early Christians in order to defend themselves from the persecution. Next stop will be Göreme Valley where youll walk thru the pathways and tunnels among the fairy chimneys and visit the churches having gorgeous frescoes dated back 11th to 12th century and many more. Zelve Open Air Museum offers the visitors just a culture & nature parade, then well proceed Avanos where the most popular handicraft is made, have the chance to try your hand at making a pot in one of the many studios as well as weaving and knotting. Lunch at Valley of Pigeons and Avcilar, a perfect location to get a general view of central Cappadocia. We will stop at convenient birding points along the road. We may spot Egyptian Vulture, Long-legged Buzzard, Roller and Rock Thrush. Overnight at Cappadocia
Day 7 – Today we’ll depart for Adana that is considered the fourth biggest city in Turkey over the picturesque Taurus Mountains. After lunch we will drive further south to Akyatan Lake on the Mediterranean. The wetland (7.500 ha. with dune zone) has varying salinity with the effect of the sea and freshwater systems. Here we will explore one of the largest dune zones in Turkey with reeds, salt pans and grass lands, in search for the Purple Gallinule, Black Francolin, Marbled Duck, White-breasted Kingfisher which are all rare birds, and breeding in the area. We may also see species like the White-headed Duck, Marsh Harrier, Spur-winged Plover, Stone-curlew and Rufous Robin. Overnight in Adana.
Day 8 – After breakfast we will drive to explore Goksu delta which is considered the best birding place in Turkey with dune, salt water, channel and reed habitats. Here we will be able to see the species like Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Purple Heron, Spur-winged Plover, Marbled Duck, White-breasted Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher and Graceful Warbler. We will also be in search for different waders and sea birds, Greater Sand Plover, Audouin’s Gull and Whiskered Tern. After this acitivity we’ll return back to hotel in the city center
Day 9 – Today we’ll explore Goksu Canyon & Uzuncaburc. This morning we will visit Goksu River Canyon. Here at the canyon we may watch the Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Spotted Eagle, Peregrine, White-throated Robin and Rock Nuthatch. Later in the day, in Uzuncaburc we will visit the ruins of the ancient Olba and the Zeus Temple for thre culture in Asia Minor. Here well be watching for the Golden Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Scops Owl, Black-eared Wheatears, Ruppels Warbler, Yellow-vented Bulbul and Kruppers Nuthatch while the Bee-eater can be seen in the spring migration. Picnic lunch in the field and at dusk returning back to hotel.
Day 10 – Today we are heading for the west part of Goksu Delta. Well be following a route passing through dunes, fresh and brackish water wetland ecosystems in search for the Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Ferruginous Duck, Marbled Duck, Purple Gallinule, Spur-winged Plover, Rufous Bush Robin, Graceful Warbler and Fan-tailed Warbler. Black Francolin may suddenly appear in front of us along the dunes. Picnic lunch in the field. We will return to Adana for overnight.
Day 11 – Today we’ll return back to Istanbul and transferring for the hotel. Today is the last day for dedicated to your free activity and last check outs from the city. Those willing to get lost in gorgeous Grand Bazaar having over 4000 shops inside as well as in Egyptian Bazaar which is another paradise for the shop-lovers may gladly follow us. At night well take you an authentic restaurant for dinner as again you wont be able to resist the world famous cuisine. This is our farewell dinner.
Day 12 – After breakfast, depart for your hometown to say home sweet home. Transfer to Ataturk Airport via special bus service. Time to have your present in order to make this trip memorial. Itll be pleasure to host you in Turkey again as there are so many things to see. Thanks for choosing the right agency and have a safe journey home.