DAILY EXCURSIONS – ISTANBUL
BOSPHORUS CRUISE (3 ½ hours) – $39.00 per person
Explore the most awe-inspiring areas of Istanbul, one of the single most beautiful cities in both Europe and the Middle East – for it is the city that bridges these two contrasting continents.
Start by becoming acquainted with your knowledgeable guide, who will accompany you throughout the duration of this exciting tour and tell you all about the interesting history and fun facts behind every Istanbul landmark you come across. Your first destination is the Egyptian Spice Bazaar, where your senses will discover pleasures unbeknownst to them until that moment. Admire the staggering abundance and variety of not only spices, but also fruits, vegetables and flowers that line the exotic stores.
Afterwards, join a relaxing cruise along the Bosphorus, the magnificent river that splits Istanbul into a Western and a Middle Eastern half. Contemplate the breath-taking marble palaces and ancient wooden villas of beautiful Ottoman architecture. These elegant old buildings stand in stark contrast with the more modern residential luxury apartments erected alongside them, so that Istanbul’s wealthy can relax while enjoying the views of the shimmering waterway.
Then, it is time see from the outside Rumeli Fortress, a historical armament erected to keep a watchful eye over the appreciated river, a hub of international commerce back in the day. This fortress is a grand example of military architecture and it can be seen from the sea during the tour. This trip will make you fall in love with this bewildering, multicultural city while you discover its more historical side.
Spice Bazaar is closed on Sundays. No transfer back to hotels, last stop Taksim area.
ISTANBUL CLASSIC TOUR (5 hours) – $50.00 per person
Take in the highlights of Istanbul, a truly enchanting city that is full of history, culture and intrigue at every turn. Once the seat of the powerful Ottoman Empire, today Istanbul is home to more than 14 million people and a diverse range of cultures. Take in architectural masterpieces such as the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia as your guide leads you to the city’s most spectacular landmarks before finishing the trip at Istanbul’s famous Grand Bazaar. Boasting over 4,000 shops and tiny cafés under its roof, it is believed to have the most individual stalls of any marketplace in the world.
Begin your tour by driving to the very heart of old Istanbul, the Sultanahmet Square. Once the sporting and social centre of Constantinople with a huge horseracing circuit, it is now a beautiful square in the heart of the city and still contains relics of the original structure. Tour its key points and learn about the atmospheric events that would regularly take place here.
Proceed to the Blue Mosque, one of the most striking buildings in the city and one of the most beautiful mosques in the world. With its domes, secondary domes and minarets, the mosque is a striking visual spectacle and its blue-tiled interior provides its nickname. Next head to Hagia Sophia, considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture. Having been used as both a cathedral and a mosque, the vast and intricate building is now a fascinating museum.
Finish your unforgettable city tour at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, renowned for its multitude of stores and stalls. Browse the vast array of goods on display and make sure to barter and haggle the price with the stall owners!
Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays. Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays (replaced with Basilica Cistern). There is no transfer back to the hotels; the last stop is Grand Bazaar. As mosques are closed on Fridays, there will only be external visits on that day.
BYZANTINE AND OTTOMAN RELICS TOUR (full day tour) – $99.00 per person
Delve into the heart of the Old City of Istanbul on this exciting tour of some of the most beautiful landmarks and sites in the area. Istanbul always causes a striking impression and then leaves a dear lasting memory for its unparalleled mix of Western and Middle Eastern culture, being the city that bridges the European and the Asian continents.
Begin by being driven to the nucleus of the Old City: Sultanahmet Square. You are then taken to explore the thrilling Hippodrome, which used to host chariot races in the days of the Byzantine Empire. Then head over to the sprawling and awe-inspiring construction of the Blue Mosque, one of the most impressive sights in the city. After the Blue Mosque, head over to another colossal god-fearing construction: the Hagia Sophia, one of the finest examples of Ottoman architecture.
Enjoy a traditional Turkish lunch before continuing to the Topkapi Palace, one of the single most popular attractions in the whole of Istanbul. It stands on Seraglio Point, also known as Sultanahmet. This 15th century palace was the residence of many of the wealthiest sultans and their respective harems. Later on, visit the tombs of these very sultans in one of the most beautiful examples of 16th century Ottoman architecture; its red, green, purple and blue flower motives will fill you with awe.
Round the day off with a visit to one of the largest covered markets in the world, the Grand Bazaar and its more than 4,000 shops; a true Istanbul experience.
Grand bazaar is closed on Sundays, HG Sophia museum closed on Mondays replaced with Basilica Cistern, Topkapi palace Museum closed on Tuesdays replaced with Basilica Cistern.
As mosques are closed on Fridays, there will only be external visits on that day.