Mt. Nemrut is quite distant from the other Turkey highlights so the recommended path is to participate in a private tour originating from Cappadocia. The tour started by traveling from Goreme to Adiyaman where we would stay the night to prepare for our early morning sunrise hike up Mt. Nemrut. We had a pit-stop in a 13th-century well-preserved caravanserai.
Mt. Nemrut & Harran
If you had made it this far east in Turkey, this is an experience not to be missed. It will take some effort, which involves waking up before the crack of dawn and hiking in loose rocks / gravel, but it will all be worth it. Mt. Nemrut stands at 7000 feet and the ruins, believed to have been erected to give honor to a king’s tomb, were built around 1st Century BC.
After the hike, we explored the various ruins around the vicinity including an old Roman bridge that spanned over the Euphrates river.
Afterwards, we started driving down towards the border with Syria to one of the oldest inhabited places in the world – Harran. This place is also purportedly the place where Abraham lived. The diminutive town continues to feature ancient houses that tourists can explore for a fee.
After touring Harran, we drove north towards the pilgrimage town of Sanliurfa (the Prophets’ City). A cave in the middle of town was purportedly the birthplace of Abraham. The highlight in Urfa is the Golbasi area which, legend has it, recreates the story of Abraham’s encounter with King Nemrod. The complex has two rectangular pools filled with fish (carp) that pilgrims can feed during their visits. There were clusters of religious building surrounding this compound as well.