Explore Istanbul in depth, from the Spice Bazaar to the Museum of Great Palace Mosaics, the Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace and more, with optional extensions available.
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Day 1 (May 19, 2020): Arrive ISTANBUL
Upon arrival at Istanbul airport, meet your English-speaking assistant and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy a Welcome Cocktail with snacks. Overnight.
Day 2 (May 20, 2020): ISTANBUL ~ Roman & Byzantine Constantinople
Breakfast at hotel and departure for half-day tour. (Walking Tour)
As being the Capital for both East Roman and Byzantine Empires, Constantinople was the cultural centre of Eurasia area for centuries. Start the day with a visit to the Museum of Great Palace Mosaics located in Arasta Bazaar within the Sultanahmet Mosque compound. The museum is constituted in such a way that containing the mosaic pavement partially intact in the northeast section of the arcaded yard of the Great Palace of East-Roman period. After a short walk, arrive to the Hippodrome which once stood as one of the purest examples of Constantinople’s classical Greek origins. Though the original structure dates back to pre-Roman times, the Hippodrome was enlarged and improved by Constantine the Great and remained in use for nearly 800 years. It began to fall into disrepair after 1200, and never restored after the conquest by Ottomans, since chariot-racing was not a Turkish hobby. Today, it is the home of famous Obelisk of Theodosius and the Serpentine Column. Next, visit the Basilica of Saint Sophia with its rich mosaic murals, colossal columns; a true world heritage survived until this day and still makes feel divine serenity.
Day 3 (May 21, 2020): ISTANBUL ~ Between Two Continents
Breakfast at hotel and departure for half-day tour.
Spice Bazaar is the first stop of the day. Once the largest spice trading venue of medieval world, with its abundant stalls still featuring piles of edible exotics, the Bazaar is a definite highlight for anyone exploring Istanbul. It is mind-boggling to think that life and trade have been bustling under its high domed roof for the past 350 years.
Then board a local ferry for an unforgettable trip with your guide and admire the sight of wooden summer mansions and Istanbul’s skyline.
Day 4 (May 22, 2020): ISTANBUL ~ Ottoman Istanbul
Breakfast at hotel and departure for half-day tour. (Walking Tour).
Begin the journey to Ottoman culture by visiting the magnificent home of the Sultans; Topkapi Palace. For centuries, Topkapi Palace served as the centerpiece of the sultan’s power, and contains everything the sultans needed to comfortably oversee the Empire. This includes the Harem section where the sultan lived with his family members.
Continue the experience with Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque with its six minarets and perfect dome, which is inspired from Saint Sophia. You will understand why it is called the Blue Mosque after seeing its turquoise colored tiles.
Day 5 (May 23, 2020): ISTANBUL ~ Relaxed Asia
Breakfast at hotel and departure for half-day city tour.
A combination of history and Istanbul’s beautiful silhouette on the Asian side. The day will start with the summer residence of Ottoman Imperials; Beylerbeyi Palace. This remarkable building was built on 1860s and received many guests, including Empress Eugenie of France. Continue to Camlica Hill, the highest point of Istanbul and take a look at this amazing city from its highest point. Our final stop is Kuzguncuk; one of the most special and cute neighbourhoods of Bosphorus on the Asian side. It is a quiet neighborhood with streets lined with antique wooden houses. And historically one of the spots in the city where you see churches, synagogues and mosques next to each other. A neighbourhood where once the Greeks, Armenians, Jews and Turks lived side-by-side.
Day 6 (May 24, 2020): ISTANBUL ~ The Authentic
Breakfast at hotel and departure for half-day tour. Start the day with a visit to the Church of St. Savior in Chora, a spectacular construction of the late Byzantine era, famous with golden mosaics. Following a visit at the church, take a walk in the borders of the Old City wall to understand and enjoy the diversity of the city.
Enjoy a walk through the former non-muslim districts of the Ottomans such as; Balat and Fener. During this walk, partially you will be walking inside the amazing land walls of Byzantines and along the Golden Horn. This walk will be one of the highlights of the day to give you a very different and special feeling of the city. One of the oldest synagogues of Istanbul, market of Balat and narrow streets with a beautiful architecture of buildings will be a memorable part of it. Our walk will finish at Greek Orthodox Patriarchate Church. Then drive to Eyup quarter to make a visit to the 15th century Mosque Eyup and take the cable car up to Pierre Loti hill for a great view of the Golden Horn.
Day 7 (May 25, 2020): ISTANBUL ~ The Other Istanbul
Breakfast at hotel and departure for half-day tour.
Spend a half day on learning hidden secrets of this multicultural yet Turkish area. The day will begin from Taksim Square and will continue along the Istiklal Avenue; Istanbul’s prominent pedestrian street, on which there are thousands of people strolling at anytime of the day. You will have the opportunity see sights, including the fish market, Saint Antoine Church, famous Pera Palace Hotel and many more. At the end take the Tünel; little old 19th-century, two-station underground train system and arrive Karakoy. Final stop is Galata Tower; built in 1384, it was the high point in the city walls of the Genoese colony.
In the evening, enjoy a Farewell Dinner at your hotel.
Day 8 (May 26, 2020): ISTANBUL Departure
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Istanbul Airport for your flight.
*Note: The day of the tours may change according to fixed dates and museum closing days
on twin sharing
|May 19-26, 2020||$1495 CAD||$375 CAD|
Tour Price Includes
• 7 Nights accommodation at Yasmak Sultan Hotel or similar with Breakfast
• Welcome cocktail (1 local alcoholic drink) on arrival with snacks
• Farewell Dinner with 2 local alcoholic drinks
• All transfers and sightseeing as per itinerary
• Private transportation by 25 seater A/C vehicle
• English speaking assistant during airport transfer
• English speaking Professional tour guide during tours
• Museum entrance fees as per itinerary
• Tickets for Bosphorus Cruise by public boat
• Underground train (Tünel) tickets
• Tips to hotel and restaurant
• Local taxes
Tour Price Excludes
• International Flights
• Visas fees
• Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
• All personal expenses
• Tips/gratuities to guides and drivers
• Any other service not mentioned in the itinerary
We can offer Cappadocia, Gallipoli & Troy, and Ephesus & Pamukkale tours on private basis as extensions to Istanbul. Please find below our program suggestions for all three:
3 NIGHTS PRIVATE CAPPADOCIA EXTENSION
Day 1: KAYSERI / CAPPADOCIA
Arrival at Kayseri or Nevsehir Airport. Meet with your assistant and transfer to Cappadocia. Overnight.
Day 2: CAPPADOCIA
Breakfast at hotel and departure for full-day tour.
The tour begins with amazing Rock formations in Devrent valley and then Zelve-Pasabag valley where the voice of wind mixes with “the songs of fairies”. After lunch at local restaurant, we visit Avanos which has been a centre of terra-cotta work of art since 3000 BC. Afternoon we drive to the famous Goreme Open Air Museum to see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia in rock-cut churches with fascinating frescoes. The tour finishes with the Uchisar Rock Castle to have fabulous panoramic views.
OPTIONAL: Visit Turasan wine houses, learn about Turkey’s 4,000 year old wine production industry and taste beautiful local wines. Each region of Turkey has a different climate and soil composite and offers a different tasting experience. Cappadocia’s mineral-rich volcanic soil and temperate climate makes the perfect growing conditions for grapes and fruits. In Cappadocia the wines are smooth, dry and delightful. The best grapes grown here are the white Narince and Emir and the red Bogazkere, Öküzgözü and Kalecik Karası. These Turkish wines are winning awards and continue to attract more world-wide attention.
Transfer back to hotel. Overnight.
Day 3: CAPPADOCIA
OPTIONAL: A spectacular hot air balloon ride at dawn to see the whole area from a bird’s-eye view.
Breakfast at hotel. Departure for full day tour. Our first stop is Red valley, we hike through the valley by the untouched rock-cut churches and natural rock formations till lovely Cavusin village which has famous houses and churches. At the end of the hike, delicious local food awaits us in a local restaurant. After lunch, we set off for Kaymaklı Underground City, one of the largest of Cappadocia’s many such settlements. Late afternoon visit the Old Greek Village in Cappadocia; The Sinasos. At the end, make a stop at a shop for carpets and kilims. Return back to hotel. Overnight.
Day 4: CAPPADOCIA / KAYSERI
After breakfast transfer to the Kayseri or Nevsehir Airport. End of the services.
1 NIGHT PRIVATE GALLIPOLI & TROY EXTENSION
Day 1: ISTANBUL / GALLIPOLI / CANAKKALE
07:30 Pick up from your hotel in Istanbul and depart for Gallipoli.
Arrive Eceabat and lunch at local restaurant.
After lunch start for Gallipoli tour including; Kabatepe War Museum, Brighton Beach, Beach Cemetery, ANZAC Cove, ANZAC Commemoration Site, Ariburnu Cemetery, Lone Pine Australian Memorial, Johnston’s Jolly (Turkish & Allied trenches & tunnels), 57th Regiment Turkish Memorial, The Nek & Walkers Ridge and Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial.
Transfer to your hotel in Canakkale and overnight.
Day 2: TROY / ISTANBUL
Breakfast at your hotel and departure for Troy Tour.
Visit the famous archaeological and mythological site of Troy, home of the “Trojan Horse” and “Helen of Troy”. See The Trojan Horse, the 3700 year old city walls, The Bouleterium (Senate Building), The Odeon (Concert Hall) and the remains of the various cities from Troy I through to Troy IX.
After the visit transfer to Canakkale for lunch at local restaurant.
Drive back to Istanbul and drop off at your hotel.
2 NIGHTS PRIVATE IZMIR & PAMUKKALE EXTENSION
Day 1: IZMIR / EPHESUS / KUSADASI
Upon arrival at Izmir Airport meet with your English-speaking guide and leave for Ephesus, the veritable cradle of early Christianity. Visit the Shrine of The Virgin Mary where she supposedly spent her later days. Proceed to Ephesus and see the spectacular ruins from the period of St. Paul, some of which have only recently been excavated. See the Odeon, the Bouleterion, Fountains, the Temples, the Brothel, the Library, the Agoras, the Great Theatre, the Roman Baths, the Gymnasiums. After lunch, visit the Temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world). Transfer to your hotel in Kusadasi and overnight.
Day 2: KUSADASI / PAMUKKALE
After breakfast, drive to Pamukkale (the cotton castle) one of the most spectacular sites. See the wonderful formations of the travertine and watch the cataracts falling into basins at the bottom of the mountain. Visit the ancient city of Hierapolis, the Roman ancient city where St. Philip was martyred during the persecutions ordered by Domitian. Overnight in Pamukkale.
Day 3: PAMUKKALE / DENIZLI
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Denizli Airport for your flight to Istanbul.
‘I don’t care for jam-packed tours. Give me a relaxed ‘day to day’, so I can explore at my own pace … free-style! That said, there’s just so much to see in this vibrant city that a few carefully chosen tours are well worth it to give you the lay of the land and introduce you to Istanbul’s ancient history and it’s bustling place in our world today. I’ve included six memorable and essential half day tours (outlined on the back), keeping the majority of time free to indulge your whims ‘freestyle’. To ‘go when you like and rest when you like’. Meander along the cobble-stoned lane ways, uncovering the magic of the city while trying to resist delicious culinary temptations. Browse boutiques, barter in the crazy bazaars, people watch in beautiful parks or go all-in at the huge, modern shopping malls. At day’s end, soothe your body and soul with a super relaxing Turkish Bath. That’s my style. Is it yours?’