The region that lies between the Taurus Mountains and the Euphrates was called Commagene during the Greek and Roman periods. Commagene was established originally as an independent kingdom in 162 BC by Mithridates Kalinikos. I. Mithridates brought together Persians and Macedonians and other communities in the area to form this powerful state and named it Commagene, which means "community of genes" in Greek. The kingdom was at the height of its splendor during the period of King Antiochos I (69-36 B.C.), who succeeded Mithridates. Most of the archeological remains which survive to our times, including the tumulus at the peak of Nemrut Dag, which still refuses to reveal all its secrets, are from the time of Antiochos I.
At the cone shape summit of this 2,200m elevated mountain one can find statues mythical figures of Apollon, Zeus, Hercules and others. These gigantic heads fallen from the tomb of the obscure Commagene king Antiochus, stare at you silenty for more than 2000 years and were first found in 1881 by Karl Sester, a German archeologist. They are carved around 63 B.C during the reign of Antiochus-I, the emperor of the Commagene King. Here you can wonder around the cone shape, a man made summit, where Antiochus' tumulus was located which were hidden under the man made limestone dome.
In 1987, Nemrut mountain became a member of UNESCO World Heritage list. It is also a National park.
Classic Nemrut Tour from Cappadocia (2 nights, 3 days)
Day 1 (Cappadocia - Nemrut Mountain, No Meal)
We will pick you up from your hotel between 08:00 and 08:30 depending on your hotel location and depart from Goreme. After passing Kayseri city, we will visit the 13th century Seljuk Caravanserai "Karatayhan". Then we will keep driving to Kahramanmaras for lunch and to taste its world-wide famous ice-cream. We will drive to Kahta and check-in to our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Kahta or Adiyaman. Today, we will drive about 8 hours in total. (Grand Isias Hotel or Zeus Hotel)
Day 2 (Nemrut - Harran, Breakfast Only)
We will depart from hotel very early in the morning up to the ruins. At the end of the road, we will get off the van and walk 25 minutes until the summit. Here we will watch the beautiful sunrise between the colossal size statues and heads of the kings and Gods. After sun rise, your guide will give information about Commagene Kingdom and the statues while walking around and taking pictures. Then we will drive back to the hotel for breakfast. On the way to hotel we will visit the ruins of the Arsemia, Roman bridge of Cendere and Tumulus Tomb of Karakus. We will keep driving to Sanliurfa and Harran. On our way, we will visit the Ataturk Dam which is the biggest dam in Middle East. We will check-in to our hotel in Sanliurfa and have our lunch here. After lunch, we will visit Gobeklitepe which is a hilltop sanctuary erected on the highest point of an elongated mountain ridge some 15 km northeast of the town of Sanlıurfa. This sanctuary is proved by the archaeologists that it is the oldest sanctuary in the world which is about 11,500 years old. After a drive about 30 minutes, we will visit Abraham's Cave and the Pools of Holy Carp surrounding it. We will then walk around bustling sheep market which gives the best opportunity to see the real life of the local people. Then, we drive about 1 hour to Harran; a village of Spellbinding Mud-Brick "beehive" houses mentioned in the book of Genesis where Abraham spent the last years of his life. After visiting the ruins of Harran, we will drive back to hotel. Overnight in Sanliurfa. (Manici Hotel or similar quality)
Day 3 (Sanliurfa - Gaziantep - Cappadocia, Breakfast Only)
After breakfast at the hotel, we will see Urfa Museum with its fine collection of artifacts from the entire region. The tour continues to Gaziantep before noon time and we will visit Gaziantep Mosaic Museum which is one of the richest mosaic museums in the world. After our lunch, we will transfer you to Gaziantep Airport for your flight back to Istanbul or continue to Cappadocia. The tour ends in Goreme around 18:00.
Nemrut Tours have guaranteed departure on every Sunday starting from April through October. The rate for this trip is 255 Euro per person including professionally-licensed English speaking guide, entrance fees, accommodation and private AC transportation. The rate will be 230 Euro per person in triple rooms and 320 Euro in single rooms. Maximum group size is 12 people on this tour.
The guaranteed departures take place between the 07th of April 2013 and the 27th October 2013.
PRIVATE NEMRUT TOURS
Classic Nemrut tour can also be arranged as private tours or we can tailor-make the tour to include other cities of Eastern Turkey like Mardin, Diyarbakir and Van. You can also have Nemrut tours departing from other parts of Turkey instead of Cappadocia.
On private tours, you will have your private guide and transportation and can adjust the visiting durations according to your interests.
Private tour rates are calculated according to group size and itinerary.