Be Transported to Another World on a Multicultural Mardin Tour

With a cultural Mardin tour to the old city, balanced on the hillside between an ancient castle and the sweeping Mesopotamian plains, offers a stew of influences from Assyrian, Arab, Kurdish and Turkish cultures, expressed in unique architecture, food, and handicrafts. At the end of the day watch the sunset sink into the distant horizon over a copper cup of Syriac wine or a strong Murra coffee, it is hard not to feel transported to another world.  Read More...

Be Transported to Another World on a Multicultural Mardin Tour

Mardin looks spectacular, its tiered layers of houses and mansions clinging to a citadel-topped rock that comes out of the northern plain on Mardin tours. The sunset is striking, with the locals flying kites, a blue sky filled with swifts, and the shadows on the patchwork of fields on the endless plain. Conflicts on both sides of the border may have struck a blow to Mardin’s tourism over the past few years, but visiting Mardin is as safe and secure now as it ever was with the only difference being that you might feel you have the whole place to yourself.

It is the perfect time to come and participate in some Mardin tours. Many small boutique hotels, mixing in with the charming old buildings, have opened in recent years, along with a few upmarket standard hotels. Handmade organic soaps are big business, as are silver jewellery and, more prosaically, dried fruits and nuts. Mardin also boasts the small Sinemardin film festival (wsinemardin.com.tr), held towards the end of June, with the accent on Middle Eastern cinema.

Mardin’s sightseeing gem is definitely the sacred Deyr-ul Zafaran Monastery. This Syrian Orthodox monastery was founded over 1,500 years ago, and you will see evidence of its sacredness and importance. Historical relics on display, saffron-coloured stone, rose gardens, and peaceful courtyards fill the enormous space; the monks are happy to give a Mardin guided tour.

The monastery sits five kilometres outside of the city, which is a nice walk in pleasant weather. If you want to see more religious sights, the old city itself is stuffed with them. Take a Mardin city tour and see the Great Mosque with its enormous, decorative minaret, the Latfiye Mosque for its elaborate carvings and the Kirklar Church where, if you are lucky, the friendly priest will tell you about the history. Another pretty sandstone building is the city museum, which is worth a visit for informative displays and artefacts dating back millennia. Half the fun of seeing these sights is exploring the narrow, charming streets and getting lost among the old houses and seeing the local life play out.

With a bit more time and a sense of adventure, there are a few good private Mardin tours from the city. Midyat, another multicultural sandstone town, is just an hour away and has an exciting selection of churches, old mansions, and monasteries to visit and it is a beautiful drive through golden hills patched with olive trees. With an early start on a cultural Mardin tour, you can make it in the same day to Hasankeyf, one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited settlements, and now a lovely little village tucked under high cliffs by the Tigris river. Make sure to visit if you get the chance as it is expected to be flooded by a nearby dam construction within the next few years, but for now, it is usually a safe and secure day trip.

Best Time To Visit Mardin

Mardin’s weather can vary from season to season, regularly rising above 40°C in summer and dropping well below freezing in winter. The best season to visit on Mardin tours is spring, when the plains are green, and flowers are in bloom in the churchyards. Autumn is also pleasantly cool, with long crisp evenings. If you visit during the occasional winter snows, the views of sugar-coated, flat-roofed houses are amazing.

Typical Costs in Mardin

Costs will vary and depend on when you decide to travel to Mardin. Prices of food will also depend on where you dine. Local restaurants are reasonably priced but if you're on a budget, street food would be a good option and well worth trying. The shopping in Mardin is very good especially at the local markets you will definitely find a few souvenirs to take home with you. Transport is very cheap and is very easy to get around.

Know Before Visiting Mardin

Always check with the embassy before visiting Mardin as you may need to obtain a Visa before entering Turkey. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear when on your private Mardin tours so that you're comfortable. Also if you are visiting any religious places make sure you stay covered. If possible Keep a copy of your passport and any valuables in your hotel safe.

Weather in Mardin

In Mardin, the summers are very warm, dry, and bright and the winters very cold and partly cloudy. Over the course of the year in Mardin, the temperature can typically vary from 24°F to 87°F and rarely below 12°F or above 95°F. If you want to take a Mardin guided tour then May-June and September - October are the best times to go as it is warm but not too hot.

Dining And Nightlife in Mardin

Cumhuriyet Caddesi is the place to start the search for a good meal and meat plays an essential role in Mardin cuisine, and the city produces its own. There are sheep and goat farming is in the city due to the short spring followed by a hot and dry summer, and harsh winter which is why most of the dishes are made with lamb meat. With its conservative southeastern Turkish ambience, Mardin is not the place to go for a boozy night out, but it is worth trying the local Syriac wine. Assyrian Christian families have been making wine at their home for centuries, and in the last few decades commercial organic winemaking has picked up around the Mardin and Midyat area.

Shopping in Mardin

Mardin has some excellent shopping options when on your Mardin guided tour including locally made copperware, filigree silver, soaps, and wine. Keep your eye out for the Shahmeran, the queen of snakes, a local legend and symbol of female wisdom, who appears on everything from earrings to mirrors to bags. Make your way along Cumhuriyet Caddesi, the old city’s main drag, drop in and out of anywhere that looks interesting, and be prepared for many cups of tea.

How to Reach Mardin

There are daily flights from Istanbul and other Turkish cities in Mardin. If you are flying from a different country, you will most like have to go to Istanbul or Ankara and get a connecting flight. Mardin Airport is around 20km from the city centre.

There are many buses from most major cities in turkey to Mardin central bus station

Although there is a small train station south of the city, it is not in use. The nearest cities with a passenger train connection to the rest of the country are Gaziantep to west and Batman to the north.

The city is connected to the surrounding regions with well-paved highways.

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