A four day, three night tour of one of the World's most fascinating and historic cities.
Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Byzantium, Constantinople & Istanbul.
Where East meets West & Europe meets Asia.
Day 1: Arrival at Ataturk International Airport, transfer to your hotel at the heart of the historic centre of Sultanahmet close to the Hippodrome. We commence with a guided tour of Hagia Sofia Museum, once a Christian Basilica in the city and also formerly an Imperial Mosque. Restoration works that have been ongoing for almost twenty years have recently been completed and now this magnificent structure can be seen in all its glory. Dinner.
Day 2: After breakfast we will head to the 15th Century Topkapi Palace, home to Sultans for 400 years. This richly decorated work of art and architecture houses some of the finest Ottoman craftsmanship to be found anywhere in the World, We will also visit the palace's Harem and spend time admiring the extensive gardens, home to Parakeets and many other birds. Lunch, after which we will visit the labyrinthine Yerebatan Sarayi Basilica Cistern an amazing feat of subterranean Roman engineering that provided fresh water to the area. Supported by 336 marble columns the cistern was supplied with water from a forest nearly 20 kilometres from the city.
Then we will visit the Kapalı Çarşı Grand Bazaar, where glassware, spices, carpets, fabrics, ceramics plus many other items can be seen, some of you may like to haggle with the stall owners to get the best price if something takes your eye. We will then walk to see the Valens Aqueduct that was used to channel water into the city to the Basilica Cistern.
Day 3: Following breakfast we will visit the Sultan Ahmet 'Blue' Mosque. Built at the start of the 17th Century its lavish interior decorated with over 20,000 blue tiles is a remarkable sight to see. It was constructed after the Ottomans lost heavily in a war with the Persians as a way of restoring Ottoman pride and status in the region. From there, after taking lunch we will head down to the River Bosphorus to catch a ferry from the mouth of the Golden Horn over to the Asian side of the city where, after a short walk, we will take a second ferry to visit the Kis Kulesi Tower, many legends exist regarding the history of this delightful place and we'll share them along the way. We will then return to Europe for dinner.
Day 4: After breakfast we will head for the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art to view their marvellous and exquisite collections of glassware, ceramics, metalwork and carpets. The gift shop here will give you one last chance for souvenir shopping and from the balcony we will have our last wonderful views of Sultanahmet Mosque. The we will take an early lunch before arriving back at Ataturk International in good time for your flight home.