Adding Hatay extension to your trip to Gaziantep makes it a perfect short trip discovering the best mosaics of the World . Hatay which has been the home of numerous civilizations since the early Bronze age considered to be the cradle of civilization along with Gaziantep. Both cities also possesses an incredible culinary culture which fascinates its visitors.
Therefore Gaziantep – Hatay tour can also be considered as a historical culinary tour
Day 1 - Take the early morning flight to Gaziantep. Upon arrival you will be met at the airport by your private guide and transferred to the Ancient City of Zeugma in Nizip Province of Gaziantep which is 50 km's away from the city . It is important to see this Ancient site before the Zeugma Mosaic Museum visit in order to understand the importance of those mosaics.
After Zeugma Ancient city visit return back to Gaziantep and have a lunch break in one of the well-known meat restaurants of Gaziantep. After lunch your first stop will be to one of the best mosaic museums of the world which is Zeugma Museum. Today in the Zeugma Mosaics Museum 500-meter square-wide mosaics, 35 mosaic panels as well as the famous 1,50 cm long bronze Mars and Aphrodite statutes are in display. The Museum will easily take at least 2 hours to visit. Later on, your local guide will take you to the Old Town of Gaziantep where you will discover many interesting old streets, small museums about the daily life of Ayuntap which is now known as Gaziantep. You will visit the lively market place, baklava shops , you will have time to shop and see the daily life of the city before checking into your comfortable hotel. Overnight in Gaziantep.
Day 2 – After breakfast check out of your hotel and your first stop will be at Yesemek Open Air Museum on the way to Hatay. Yesemek open Air Museum also known as the Yesemek Quarry and Sculpture Museum was discovered in 1890 by the archaeologist Felix Von Luschan. Extensive excavations conducted between 1989 and 1991 unearthed several pieces of statuary and the site has now been converted into an open-air museum and has been nominated for the UNESCO World Heritage tentative list. After Yesemek visit continue to Hatay and upon arrival have a lunch break in one of the local restaurants and taste the amazing culinary dishes of the city. After lunch break leave the afternoon for the Hatay Archeological Museum where the world’s second largest collection of 2nd and 3td century mosaics plus depictions of Narcissus and Orpheus, Thalasaa and the statue of BC King Suppilulium and much more are on display. After the museum visit check into your comfortable hotel in Hatay.
Day 3 – After breakfast with your guide head towards the Samandagi Mountains first visiting the only remaining Armenian village of Vakifli then continue the trip down the Roman water tunnel known as the Titus Tunnel and explore the beautiful Besikli Magara caves before climbing the hill known as the Hill of Wonders to visit St Simeon's Monastery, named after the famous Stylite. Antakya itself was one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire and boasts numerous interesting sites; return back to the city for the final visit to the market place before taking the evening flight back to Istanbul.