Istanbul and Iznik
6 days from £999 per person*
*based on sharing on a twin/double basis and a minimum of 40 paying passengers
Located on both sides of the Bosphorus – the narrow strait between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea – Istanbul bridges the contrasting continents of Asia and Europe. With a population of almost 19 million people, Istanbul is one of the largest cities in the world. With an intoxicating and totally unique cultural and historical mix all of its own, there’s so much to see and do in this fascinating city. Split into 8 distinct districts, Istanbul’s historical heart is located in the Sultahahmet district where you’ll find the awe inspiring Blue Mosque that dominates the city’s skyline, the Topkapi Palace and the magnificent church of Saint Sophia. If you’re looking for a bargain – and don’t mind haggling – our tour will include a to visit the Grand Bazaar for a shopping experience like no other!
Fly from the UK to Istanbul. Upon arrival we will be met by a local representative and coach for the transfer to your hotel with time to settle in. Tonight welcome dinner will be at an authentic restaurant in Kumkapi District
This morning we depart on a full day city tour, starting with a visit to the impressive Topkapi Palace, which served as the palace of the Ottoman Sultans between the 16th and 19th centuries. It has a superb position overlooking the Bosphorus. Then to the magnificent St.Sophia Basilica built originally by Constantine the Great. We continue our visits with the fascinating and impressive Blue Mosque, famous for its six minarets, its beautiful blue Iznik tiles, unique architecture and marble latticework. Then visit the Byzantine Hippodrome where chariot races and competitive athletic events took place. Finally we visit the famous vast and bustling Grand Bazaar. Dinner at the hotel included this evening.
After breakfast visit Chora Church, one of the most beautiful example of Byzantine churches. We continue for a short visit to Spice Bazaar the centre for the spice trade in Istanbul. We will have a private Bosphorus Cruise. The magical journey which covers both European and Asian shores will let us see the marvellous monuments and districts like: Maiden Tower (Kiz Kulesi), Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, Ortakoy from the sea. This afternoon we visit Selimiye Barracks on the Asian side before returning back to our hotel. Dinner at the hotel this evening.
After breakfast we start the day with a visit to the Ancient City Walls of Istanbul from Yedikule to Sirkeci. We then visit Land Walls of Theodosius and Yedikule Tower. The tour continues with Kucuk Ayasofya (S. Sergius and S. Bacchus Church). After lunch we will be continuing our visits with the Underground Cistern – Atmospheric music, rosy flood lighting and the lilting sound of water lapping on marble. Like most sites in Istanbul, the cistern has a colourful history. Known in Byzantium as the Basilica Cistern because it lay underneath the Stoa Basilica, one of the great squares on the first hill, it was used to store water for the Great Palace and surrounding buildings. The cistern is 65m wide and 143m long, and its roof is supported by 336 columns arranged in 12 rows. It once held 80,000 cubic metres of water, pumped and delivered through nearly 20km of aqueducts. Next stop is the Archeological Museum. Facing the entrance is the huge and formidable statue of god Bes. To the left are the halls where matchless antique statues are exhibited, starting from the archaic period and continuing down to the Roman era, in a visitor-friendly arrangement. We end the day at Soliman The Magnificent Mosque (Süleymaniye), which is an Ottoman imperial mosque located on the Third Hill of Istanbul. It is Istanbul’s largest and grandest Mosque designed by the Ottoman Empire’s greatest architect, Mimar Sinan. Inside the Süleymaniye is simply breath-taking in its expanse, a near-square 58 metres by 59 metres, and decoration. Dinner at leisure.
Today we have an early departure form the hotel for the drive to Iznik (Nicea), a little town set beside a picturesque lake, historically famous for hosting the First Ecumenical Council of the church at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. Upon arrival, we will visit the Old City Walls from Roman and Byzantine periods, the Green Mosque, beautifully decorated in light blue ceramics and built by the Ottomans. We then continue to the remains of the St. Sophia Church, the site of the Second Council of Nicea in 787, and see the remains of the mosaic floor and frescoes. Following a lunch break by the lake, we visit the Iznik porcelain workshops to see how the world famous Iznik tiles and other ceramics are traditionally crafted. Return drive to Istanbul. Dinner at leisure.
Free relaxing morning before your return transfer to the airport for the return flight to the UK.
The exact order of excursions is subject to change
The 4 star modern Kent Hotel is located in a central location, near to Beyazıt area and walking distance to Grand Bazaar, Sultanahmet area and the Egyptian Bazaar. All rooms are comfortable with en-suite facilities, air conditioning, direct call facilities, LCD television with international satellite channels, minibar and hairdryer, Wi-fi connection, and safe in every room. The hotel has elegant décor and facilities include a bar, lounge and restaurant.
• Return flights from selected UK airports
• 5 nights half board accommodation 5 buffet breakfasts
• Coach travel throughout your stay
• 3 evening meals
• Local guides for all excursion as per the itinerary
• All entrance fees of attractions as detailed in the itinerary
What’s not included
• Single supplement
• Travel insurance
Any of our tours can be tailored to suit your particular groups requirements.
For further details please contact one of the team on 01225 764205 or email@example.com