Length: 3-5 days
Time: Any time of year (except for winter)
Places to visit: Karacadağ, Harran, the Tek Tek Mountains National Park, Takoran Valley, Birecik, Halfeti, Karaali Spas, Ceylanpınar
What to expect? Trekking, birdwatching, wild life photography, agritourism and rural life, botanic, water sports, spa
Key places: Karacadağ, Harran, Bazda Caves, Han-el Ba’rür, Suayb City, Soğmatar, Sanem Caves, Karahan Tepe,The Euphrates, Ancient Halfeti District, Ceylanpınar, Göbekli Tepe
Tour outline: Discovering natural habitats in Şanlıurfa and its districts
Şanlıurfa that has one of the most special ecosystems in the world, is the transition place of continental climate and desert climate. In this way, it has the ecosystems of mountains, steppes and semi-deserts. Thus, it hosts various plant and animal species. This special ecosystem involves many “firsts” and “uniques”.
Ceylanpınar, the living space of three different great mullein plants, is the only single place in the world where great mullein named Verbascum stepporum is grown. Ceylanpınar and Akçakale plains provide life for several steppes. The nests of black francolins (Francolinus francolinus) and pin-tailed sandgrouse (Ptercoles alchata) are located in these two plains. Moreover, these plains also host birds such as great bustards (Otis tarda) and sociable lapwings (Vanellus gregarious) in winter. The Euphrates softshell turtle (Rafetus euphraticus) which live in the Euphrates can be seen exclusively in this region. The Harran Ruins is not only important in terms of history and culture but in terms of nature.Harran lizard (Acanthodactylus harranensis) that was discovered in 2001 and that is only peculiar to Harran, lives in the holes of Harran Ruins and in the roots of Peganum harmala plants.
Birds are among the important species of wild life in Mesopotamia. Bald ibis (Geranticus eremita) is one of the most important among such birds. This is because it became extinct in other parts of the world and approximately 250 of them still live and reproduce in the coast of the Euphrates in Birecik, Urfa today. Special activities are performed and many efforts are made in order to prevent the extinction of this unique bird.The region is also the living space of several birds living in the desert habitat, in addition to bald ibis. Two sides of the Euphrates from Halfeti as far as the border of Syria, is an ideal place for bird observation. Numerous bird species can be observed on Euphrates River especially in Spring. Rare bird species that you can see only in this region live in Şanlurfa. These birds are bald ibis, Iraq Babbler (Turdoides altirostris), see-see partridge (Ammoperdix griseogularis), blue-cheeked bee-eater (Merops persicus), cursorius cursor (Cursorius cursor), sociable lapwings (Vanellus gregarius), great bustard (Otis tarda), striped scops owl (Otus brucei), pied kingfisher (Ceryle rudis), black francolin (Francolinus francolinus) and desert lark (Ammomenas desertii).
Karaali Thermal Springs offer thermal, health and spa tourism, and Halfeti is an important centre for diving and water sports.