(This tour starts in Kars and finishes in Istanbul, Turkey)
(Current as at 15 May 2014)

Day 1: Arrive in Istanbul

We start this tour in Kars, the eastern city of Turkey with a chequered history. On arrival in Kars you will be met at the airport (See Note below) and transferred to your hotel. You will be joined in the late afternoon by participants of the Marvels of the East tour arriving from Eastern Turkey region. You will have an opportunity to ‘meet and greet’ your fellow travellers over a complimentary drink before dinner at the hotel. (D)

Overnight at a comfortable 4* hotel in Kars

NOTE: Suggested flight for travel from Istanbul to Kars is TK2714 departing 14:00 and arriving 16:04. These details may change without notice.

Day 2: Kars - Ayder

After breakfast, we go on walking tour of Kars to see the main city sights including the 10th century Armenian Church of 12 Apostles, the 12th century Selçuk Citadel and the nearby Ottoman bridge from the 16th Century.

After lunch at a local restaurant we set off for the Black Sea coast and travel through some rugged and scenic mountain country and lush green hills with tea plantations as we get closer to the coast. Our final destination today is Ayder where the main attractions are Thermal Springs, Alpine scenery and highland villages (pictured below). There will be time to swim in the Thermal Springs before dinner at our hotel. (B/L/D)

Overnight in an Alpine Hotel in Ayder

Day 3: Ayder – Rize - Trabzon

Today we drive along the Black Sea coast, and stopping at Rize, the ‘tea capital’ of Turkey and visiting the picturesque Uzun Lake. You will be amazed with the five-star scenery along the way. After lunch at a restaurant on the Black Sea coast, we continue our journey to Trabzon, the regional capital, where we stay two nights. On arrival we check into our hotel in the city centre and the rest of the day is free. Dinner is at the hotel. (B/L/D).

Overnight in a comfortable hotel in Trabzon

Day 4: In Trabzon

In the morning, we drive to the Sumela National Park, 45km inland. With fast flowing clean rivers (see picture below), the lush green countryside and charming people, this drive is a real treat.

We have lunch in a nearby restaurant and do some souvenir shopping, before returning to Trabzon in early afternoon. The remainder of the day is free to do as you please. You may visit the local bazaars, which have lots of interesting shops, but unlike the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, not a lot of tourists about. You could wander through the countless ‘traders and artisans’ shops, visit a Hamam (Turkish Bath) or just relax in one of the many tea gardens and cafes. (B/L).

Overnight in the same hotel in Trabzon

Day 5: Trabzon- Giresun

After breakfast, we see city sites including Ayasofya Museum, the 13th Century Byzantine church (pictured below) and Ataturk’s Mansion with panoramic views of the city and the sea.

We then set off for Giresun, a small port city on the Black Sea coast. After lunch at a local restaurant, we visit Kale Park (Castle Park) to appreciate the picturesque coastline before checking into our hotel on the sea front. Rest of the day and evening are free to spend as you like. (B/L).

Overnight in a comfortable hotel

Day 6: Giresun - Amasya 

After breakfast, we continue our journey along the Black Sea coast to Unye where we leave the coast and head inland crossing the mist-covered Pontic Mountain range. After lunch at historical Niksar, we travel along the picturesque Yesil Irmak River valley and head to the city of Amasya, the historic capital of the Pontic Empire on the banks of Yesilirmak River. With a dramatic setting – river, rock tombs and a castle, all flood lit at night -Amasya is a lovely place and one that visitors like immensely. On arrival we check into our hotel, a lovely restored mention from the Ottoman period. The rest of the day is free. Dinner is the hotel. (B/D).

Overnight in boutique style hotel in Amasya

Day 7: In Amasya

Amasya has a rich historical and cultural heritage. Many civilizations flourished here, including the Hittites, the Romans, the Selchuks and, of course, the Ottomans. During the Ottoman period, Amasya province was the training grounds for many Ottoman princes who served as provincial governors before being crowned as sultans. We spend the morning in this charming city taking a closer look at the Pontic tombs, the historic Beyazit II Mosque, the Hazeranlar Konagi (a restored Ottoman mansion) and other notable city sites.

Our organized activities will finish before lunch (not included) and the rest of the day is free to spend at leisure. Dinner is at a mountain top restaurant with spectacular views of the town, rock tombs and the river. (B/D).

Overnight in boutique Style hotel in Amasya

Day 8: Amasya – Safranbolu

After breakfast at the hotel we say farewell to Amasya and its magical setting and travel through some fascinating and scenic country to the World Heritage listed town of Safranbolu. The town is included in the World Heritage List because of its many historical buildings including mosques, Hamams (Turkish Bath Houses) and an abundance of well preserved Ottoman mansions.

We arrive in charming Safranbolu in late afternoon with time for a stroll through the streets of this quaint town. Dinner is at the hotel. (B/L/D).

Overnight in a restored ‘Ottoman Mansion’ in the old town

Day 9: In Safranbolu

This morning, we step back in time to see some of the traditional old homes and other historical attractions, unique in Turkey for their design and construction. They include Kaymakamlar Evi (the Governor’s House, now a museum), Cinci Inn (Caravanserai) and Hamam (Turkish Bath House).

Rest of the day is free time to wander around the town and check out the local scene, especially the local artisans’ shops and shops selling Turkish delight. You must try Turkish delight with saffron, which is a specialty of the town. (B).

Overnight in a restored ‘Ottoman Mansion’ in the old town

Day 10: Safranbolu - Istanbul

We leave Safranbolu after breakfast and drive to Istanbul. On the way we cross the forest covered Bolu Mountains where we stop for our morning break and to admire the mountain scenery.

We then travel through the lush lowlands of Sakarya province and then through the Asian part of Istanbul before crossing the Bosphorus Bridge that spans the continents of Europe and Asia.

The tour ends on arrival in Istanbul in late afternoon. Those staying longer in Istanbul will dropped off at their hotels and those with evening flights will be transferred to Ataturk International Airport for flights to ongoing destinations. (B/L).



(This tour starts in Kars and finishes in Istanbul, Turkey)




  Tour Dates: 
(See Note 1)
Friday 30 May to Sunday 8 June
Tour Code: BS140530
Friday 31 May to Sunday 9 June
Tour Code: BS150531
  Tour Prices (AUD):
– Best of Black Sea Tour
$2,880 for 15 – 16 persons
$2,980 # for 10 – 14 persons
$3,040 for 8 – 9 persons
Single Supplement: $450
$2,880 for 15 – 16 persons
$2,980 # for 10 – 14 persons
$3,040 for 8 – 9 persons
Single Supplement: $450
  Tour Prices (AUD):
– Best of Black Sea and Marvels
of the East Tours Combined
$5,750 for 15 – 16 persons
$5,950 # for 10 – 14 persons
$6,150 for 8 – 9 persons
Single Supplement: $895
$5,750 for 15 – 16 persons
$5,950 # for 10 – 14 persons
$6,150 for 8 – 9 persons
Single Supplement: $895
  Tour duration: 10 days / 9 nights (Combine Tour 2 days / 19 nights)
  Group Size: Minimum 8, Maximum 16  

Tour price includes:
  • Accommodation in special category boutique style establishments and four-star hotels or the best available.
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Modern air-conditioned coach or minibus with spare seats.
  • Arrival transfers on Day 1 (in Kars) and departure transfers on Day 10 (in Istanbul).
  • All entrance fees, all tips (including to hotels, restaurants, tour guide and the driver) and other charges 
  • Services of Turkish born Australian tour leader who is with the group 24/7.
  • Services of professional English speaking tour guide.
  • Drinking water on the coach and with meals.
Tour price does NOT include:
  • International flights and any domestic flights in Turkey.
  • Departure taxes, levies and other charges 
  • Passport and visa fees 
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, minibar, phone calls, etc. 
  • Beverages at meal times except water.
  1. Deposit amount is 10% of the price marked #.
  2. Tour details including the itinerary, tour dates and prices may change without notice.
  3. Shorter “Add-on” tours and other travel packages are available within Turkey, to Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia (the Silk Road) and to other countries in the region.
  4. The Best of the Black Sea tour is preceded immediately by our 11-Day Marvels of the East tour. Hence these two tours may be combined. Visit our website or contact us for details.
  5. When combined, the Best of the Black Sea and the Marvels of the East tours are regarded as a single tour.
  6. Where two or more tours are booked, a discount of 4% applies to the lower priced tour or tours unless they are combined into a single tour.
  7. We can make all your travel arrangements through our travel agent partners in Sydney, including flights at competitive rates, travel insurance and third party tour packages.
  8. This itinerary, which is current as at 15 May 2014, is subject to change without notice.
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