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Istanbul Day Tours, Transfers, Activities – Turkey

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ISTANBUL PRIVATE TOUR ITINERARIES

TOUR 1  Old City 1:

Visit the Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, St. Sophia, Underground Cistern, Turkish & Islamic Arts Museum and Grand Bazaar. Lunch at Derailye Restaurant
** St. Sophia closed Mondays.
*** Grand Bazaar is closed Sundays.

TOUR 2  Old City 2:

Visit Topkapi Palace Museum, Spice Market, cruise the Bosphorus on local ferry (from/to Eminonu, Chora Church and Suleymaniye Mosque.
Lunch at Hamdi Restaurant
* Topkapi closed on Tuesday
** Spice Market closed Sunday

TOUR 3 (Jewish Heritage):

Visit Synagogues (Askhenhanzy 0900, Ahrida 1000, Neve Shalom between 1000-1600), Jewish Museum, Galata Tower and Balat district and Ortakoy.
Lunch at a local restaurant
*Synagogues cannot be visited Saturdays and Sundays.
**Cost excludes synagogue donations, clients pay directly (€10 per person/per synagogue)

Private tour prices include entry fees, transport, lunch, professional guiding, exclude drinks , tips to guide/driver.

 

ISTANBUL REGULAR TOUR ITINERARIES

T1) IMPERIAL TOUR

Mornings, Daily plus Tuesday Afternoons
The tour begins in Sultanahmet district, the heart of old Istanbul, at Saint Sophia. Built by Roman Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD, this church is one of the marvels of world architecture and its massive dome dominates the skyline. It is famed for its frescoes and mosaics, including glittering portraits of emperors and empresses. Next, visit the Blue Mosque, which owes its name to the exquisite tiles adorning its interior. Dating from the 17th century, it is the only imperial mosque with six minarets. Next visit the Hippodrome, the stadium of ancient Byzantium which held 100,000 spectators and featured objects from all corners of the empire. Of these, an Egyptian obelisk and a bronze sculpture of three entwined serpents from Delphi survive. The Grand Bazaar was the commercial heart of the old city and its 4,000 shops are still full of treasures – including carpets and kilims, silks, jewellery, ceramics, icons, and leather goods. Wander through the Bazaar and do some shopping, Ottoman style.
Note: On Mondays when Saint Sophia is closed, visit Chora Church, also renowned for its mosaics and frescoes. The Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays.

T2) OTTOMAN SPLENDOURS

Afternoons except Tuesdays
We begin at Topkapı Palace, which, from the 15th to the 19th centuries, was the principal residence of the Ottoman Sultans. Visit the fabulous Imperial Treasury and the Baghdad Kiosk. Topkapı Palace, now a museum, has unrivalled collections of jewellery, including the Spoonmaker’s Diamond, the third largest in the world, Ottoman court costumes and ceramics, notably one of the world’s finest collection of early Chinese ceramics, much of it gifts from other rulers. Interestingly, some of the ceramics have a special glaze that was said to change color in the presence of poison. We also visit the Imperial Armoury, displaying centuries of Ottoman weaponry. But perhaps the loveliest features of Topkapı Palace are its courtyards with their ancient trees and it is easy to imagine the sultan strolling here far from the cares of state and empire. The New Mosque was opened, along with the neighbouring Spice Bazaar, in 1663 and replaced an earlier Mosque destroyed in the Great Fire of Istanbul in 1660.

T1&2) SPECIAL FULL DAY OLD CITY TOUR

Combines tours 1 & 2 – Except Tuesdays

T3) BOSPHORUS CRUISE

Mornings, Daily
We begin with a brief visit to the 17th century Spice Bazaar, one of Istanbul’s most colourful and bustling attractions. Next, take an unforgettable cruise along the Bosphorus, the majestıc strait that runs through Istanbul, linking the Black and Marmara Seas and separating Europe and Asia. From our cruise boat we see the dramatıc sights lining the Bosphorus’ wooded shores: mosques, a bridge that for a time was the world’s longest and the massive Rumeli Hisarı, a fortress built by Fatih the Conqueror in just three months as he prepared to take Istanbul. Also noteworthy are the 19th century mansions of the Ottoman elite and the Sultan’s fanciful gingerbread palaces and hunting lodges.

T5) ASIA

Afternoons, Daily except Mondays and Thursdays
We begin by driving across the first Bosphorus Bridge and head for the summit of Çamlıca Hill for panoramic views of Istanbul, the Sea of Marmara and the Princes’ Islands. From here a short drive brings us to the Beylerbeyi Palace on the shore of the Bosphorus. Perhaps the most elegant of the late Ottoman palaces, Beylerbeyi boasts six sumptuously furnished reception halls.

T3&5) SPECIAL FULL DAY BOSPHORUS TOUR

Combines tours 3 & 5 – Daily

T7) PRINCES’ ISLANDS

Full Day, Daily
To escape from the bustle of Istanbul for a day nothing could be easier than to join a ferry bound for the charming Princes’ Islands. Our destination is Büyükada, the largest of the island chain, but we will pass four other islands on the way. All are famous for their mild climates, lush vegetation and ornate Ottoman houses, and on all of them, cars are banned. The preferred means of transportation is the charming horse-drawn carriage known as the phaeton, which we will use on our circular tour of Büyükada, passing elegant mansions draped in brilliant purple bougainvillea. You will feel as though you have stepped back to a more leisured and gracious age, almost expecting grand 19th century ladies and gentlemen to come strolling down to the waterfront on an afternoon promenade. Lunch will be at one of the many excellent traditional fish restaurants on the waterfront, gazing across the water at the Asian shore of Istanbul, close but feeling a world away.

T8) BURSA & CUMALIKIZIK

Full-Day, Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays minimum 8 required
Travel by ferry to Yalova then by luxury coach to Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire and one of the great treasure houses of Islamic architecture. Visit the Green Mosque and the neighbouring Green Mausoleum, both world-renowned for their superb tile decoration, as well as the late 14th century Great Mosque and the Koza Han, which for centuries was the centre of the silk trade. See the Ottoman Village of Cumalikazik before enjoying a cable car ride up the slopes of Uludağ (Turkish Mount Olympus). Lunch is at one of Bursa’s finest Turkish restaurants, the Darüzziyafe, where you will enjoy the finest Ottoman cuisine in a historic setting where Sultan Murat the Second once dined.

Full day tours include: Lunch (but not drinks with lunch)
All tours include: Hotel pick-up/drop off, transport, professional English language guide & site entry fees.
Tours exclude: Tips to guide, drinks and other personal expenses.
Children: Under 3 years – free; 3-6 years – 50%; 7 years and above: adult price

Morning Hotel Pick up Times (subject to variation):
Sultanahmet Hotels: 8:20am;
Taksim Hotels: 08:30am.
No airport area transfers.

 

WHIRLING DERVISHS

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