Tour 2 – Best of Turkey and Bird Watching

Tour 2 – Best of Turkey and Bird Watching

Tour 2 BIRDING PARADISES IN TURKEY’S BEST ROUTE

Bird watching Tours for 15 days in Turkey

We’d like you to invite you to show the richness of Anatolia in terms of both ecological and cultural facts for your exploration in the cradle of civilization. Just follow us to be the witness of this wealthness of fertile Anatolia having golden hearted people, magnicient mixture of the flora and fauna, far dated back well preserved civilizations, breathtaking view of the mountains, silent song of the lakes and of course winged visitors and landlords of these beauties. Get the cream of the crob by also exploring the best of Turkey route featuring dazzling Istanbul.

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 and proceeding the heart of the city, 2 hrs sightseeing for getting acquaintance with this big city and transferring you to historic Haydarpasa Train Station for your overnihght journey to the capital. Boarding the train at 22:00 and departure at 22:30. Please enjoy your dinner at the train’s restaurant and overnight couchette sleeper cabins in the train.

Day 2 – Good morning, arrival to the Ankara Train Station and 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 we’ll 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 3 – Today we’ll have an early morning start with a picturesque drive through the Cappadocian villages and over the mountains to catch a glimpse of the 250 plus species of birds that visit the Sultan Marshes Bird Paradise, one of the largest wetland ecosystems in Turkey. This wetland area consists of two reed-covered freshwater lakes, Egrigol and Col Golu, and a saltwater lake, Yay Golu, between them as well as the surrounding marshlands. Waders sand small birds including Bearded and Penduline Tits, Pigmy Cormorant, Spoonbills, Night and Squacco Herons are common. Wryneck, Roller, Hoopoe, Glossy Ibis and Rose-coloured Starling are all possible. This tour includes a boat trip through the marshes before we proceed to nearby Yay Golu were we will find a population of pink flamingos which are as impressive as those on Lake Nakuru in Kenya or Lake Manyara in Tanzania.After an eventful morning we drive to the Natural Open Air Museum of Soganli Valley, also known as the ‘Valley of Dolls’, where we will see unusual churches, carved out of conic formations and the original pigeon houses carved high in the steep canyon walls. After lunch we will visit the extraordinary Keslik Monastery, the beautiful frescoes of which are hidden behind a thin layer of smoke. Continuing on to the Old Greek town of Mustafapasa (Sinasos) renowned for its excellent Ottoman and Greek architecture. 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 4 – Very early morning departure to Ovacifligi lookout tower for another bird watching session in Sultan Marshes Bird Paradise. From there we journey across the fertile plains for the well-preserved Agzikarahan Caravanserai and then continue to the sheer-sided Ihlara Canyon. We embark on a 2 km walk through the Ihlara Valley to Belisirma, enjoy the bird watching and this surreal canyon surroundings with its several rock hewn churches. Late afternoon visit the multilevel underground city of Derinkuyu. Ready to get lost in 8 layer of this hidden city? You’ll 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. We’ll continue travel the Silk Road back to Cappadocia for overnight in cave-style hotel.

Day 5 – A full day tour of historical Cappadocia including the fascinating frescoed and rock carved churches of the Göreme Open Air museum, the fairy chimneys of Pasabag and Devrent Valleys. Visit Cavusin, Uchisar Castle including a visit to a typical dwelling house. Continue to Nevsehir for lunch and visit the museum of Nevsehir. Sample in Urgup some of the wine produced in the area. Enjoy a panoramic view over Göreme from the Red and Rose Valleys. Visit the pottery artisans in the traditional rock carved village of Avanos before returning to your hotel. As always there will be opportunity for bird watching. Overnight Cappadocia cave-style hotel.

Day 6 – Today we’ll depart for Konya in the morning en route visiting to the magnificent Sultanhani Caravanserai of the Silk Road then proceeding to Konya one of Turkey’s oldest continuously inhabited cities was known as Iconium in Roman times and the capital of the Seljuk Turks from the 12th to the 13th century. Visit the mausoleum of Mevlana, Konya’s most famous building, Karatay Medrese (College) displays bold and striking Seljuk ceramics, whirling Dervishes monastry of 13th century. Dinner will be served in Konya’s one of the best restaurants offering regional food in this historic city.

Day 7 – In the morning we depart for the Turkish Lake district area, stopping on the way by the some of the lakes, such as the Beysehir Lake and the wooded Kovada National Park in search of Krüper’s Nuthatch, White-throated Robin and Sombre Tit. Continue to Egirdir. Late in the afternoon we set for a walk/boat trip to explore the Lake Egirdir region. The area around the lake is perfect for walking and hiking, with magnificent views of the lake from all angles. The lake has suffered relatively little pollution and is therefore full of wildlife. The bird species are numerous including many species of ducks and geese, cormorants, egrets, grebes and many more. Overnight Egridir.

Day 8 – Our journey straight to Pamukkale the magical and spectacular natural site, unique in the world, that declared a world heritage site by UNESCO en route we’ll stopover by some of the lakes like Lake Burdur and Salda Lake for some more bird watching. In the mountains we may spot Chough, Alpine Chough, Red-fronted Serin, Golden Eagle and Lammergeier. In the afternoon we set on exploring tour of ancient the Roman city of Hierapolis scattered around the natural beauty of Pamukkale famous for its fairylike, dazzling white, travertine terraces. We will have free time to explore the terraces and have a swim in a thermal pool. Here is a tip, take the advantage of this ancient spa to sooth your body in order to get rid of the tiredness. Overnight in Pamukkale

Day 9 – A short walk around the ancient city Hierapolis before breakfast may give the chance to encounter Hoopoes, Finsch’s and Black-eared Wheatears, Tawny Pipits and Rock Nuthatches. We continue to the Bafa Lake, a beautiful natural area set amidst pine, olive and oleander trees. While there, we visit the ruins of Herakleia (Latmos). We take a boat trip to the monastery ruins and swim in the clean waters of the lake. This peaceful national reserve is an excellent place for bird-watchers, trekkers, nature-lovers and photographers. Then we continue to Dilek Peninsula National Park. Here amidst incredibly beautiful surroundings are some of the most wonderful views and some of the rare wild animals in Turkey, including the Anatolian Cheetah and some of Turkey’s last wild horses. The park is a wildlife reserve and a haven for many species of animals and birds including Chukar Partridge, Sardinian Warbler and Woodchat Shrike, and possibly even a Sea Eagle. Overnight in traditional Anatolian Village that’s Sirince in village guest houses in the heart of history.

Day 10 – We start the day by a visit the biblical city of Efes “Ephesus”, the ancient Roman capital of Asia Minor, and one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Ephesus is widely regarded as one of the best-preserved Roman cities in the world and as a center of early Christianity. The Basilica of St John is an incredible sight with its labyrinth of halls and marble courtyard. The House of the Virgin Mary is believed by many to be the place where Saint John took the mother of Jesus after the crucifixion and from where she ascended to heaven. Also pay a visit to the nearby and highly regarded Archeological Museum, with some of the best collections of Greek and Roman artifacts to be found anywhere in Turkey. Apart from the interest of the site itself, there are numerous birds in the area too. In the afternoon we drive to the Spil Mountain National Park where we may see the soaring raptors and Chough, Cirl and Rock Bunting, and the much sought after Kruper’s Nuthatch. Returning back to Izmir the third biggest city in Turkey which is called pearl of Aegean. Overnight at the hotel in the city center.

Day 11 – Early morning departure for one of the most important bird migrating sites – the Izmir Camalti, “Bird Paradise” near Cigli for a session of bird watching, where Avocets are obvious, but many of the passage waders and gulls will prove more of an identification challenge. Then we head for Bergama “Pergamon”, once a powerful and cultured kingdom. We explore the stunning attractions of the ancient city such as the Asclepion (ancient medical school) grew famous and whose library rivalled that of Alexandria in Egypt; the Acropolis and the Great Theatre, which retains its astounding acoustics. The place offers wonderful views over the plains, and there will be plenty of bird and flower interest. Follow the scenic costal road to fishing town picturesque Ayvalik, a small seaside resort. Overnight in Ayvalik.

Day 12 – In the morning we drive to Kuscenetti Milli Parki (Bird Paradise National Park) the greatest and very well established features giving guests to watch the birds. This 64-hectare reserve on the shores of Kus Golu – Bird Lake, the ancient Manias- boasts from two to three million feathered visitors of 255 different varieties, each year. The annual migration takes place in April to June and September to November. More than 60 species of bird, including Dalmatian Pelicans, Spoonbills, cormorants, various Owls, Ibis, Heron and Ducks breed here every year. The visitor center has exhibits of stuffed birds in simulated habitats. From there we drive to Canakkale, on the way stopping by Gönen, Turkey’s most important thermal resort. The springs were used even in Roman times and a fifth century mosaic remains from what was originally a Roman bath. These waters come from 500 meters below the ground and emerge heated at approximately 82 degrees. Overnight Canakkale (B/D)

Day 13 – Today we’ll visit ancient city Troy where the Trojan War took place between Greek & Trojan people for the honor of Helen, Just pay attention to the story of Wooden Horse in here. After Troy, we’ll depart for Istanbul but just before we’ll drive for Çanakkale en route, honored Dardanelles (Canakkale) that connects the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean. Since Canakkale has a strategically importance, the castles in here barely visible at both Asian and European sides. Cross the Gallipolli by car-ferry, here you can take the picture of World War I Memorial of Dardanelles, along the Thrace & Marmara Sea and passing thru Saroz Bay, reaching Istanbul and overnight in Historic Peninsula in the hearth of city. Your hotel will be renovated and certified special class Ottoman Chalet in this mystical city.

Day 14 – Get your breakfast strong since the most important landmarks await our exploration. We’ll 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. We’ll proceed for the ancient Hippodrome, the scene of chariot races and the center of Byzantine civic life, stands in the open space next, we’ll 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 Mehmet’s Mosque. Exploring the majestic serenity and the fine Byzantine mosaics of the building. After St. Sophia we’ll proceed for Sunken Palace also known as Basilica Cistern from Justinian era with its 336 marble columns. This vibrant city is full of birds and it is a good ground for Red-breasted Flycatcher, Bee-eater, Ring-necked Parakeet and Laughing Dove. Late at night we’ll join informative light & sound show in the front of Blue Mosque (if available)

Day 15 – Today we get aboard a ferryboat for a cruise up the strait of Bosphorus, passing half a dozen Ottoman imperial palaces, traditional Yalis (waterside villas) and shore villages. Disembark at Sariyer for lunch. We then drive to Camlica Hill, the highest spot in Istanbul 262 m, which is a perfect place for you to see the whole Istanbul, Bosphorus and the magnificent panorama. On the Camlica Hill, the prime migration watch point, we should be able to see good numbers of Honey Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Black Kite, Levant Sparrow hawk and other raptors, not to mention both Black and White Storks. The pinewoods and scrub can reveal Nightingales, Redstarts and Warblers, as well as interesting residents such as Middle Spotted Woodpecker. In the afternoon, accompanied by your escorting guide, explore the Grand Bazaar (Kapalycarsi), the world’s oldest “shopping mall”, to look for treasures in its 4000 shops and then dive into the colourful sights, vibrant sounds and intriguing scents of the Egyptian Market (Spice Bazaar). At 20:00 depart from hotel to the fascinating Kumkapi district for our farewell dinner accompanied by live Gypsy music. Overnight Istanbul.

Day 16 – Today is the last day of yyur visit. 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. It’ll 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.