Highlights: St. Sophia, Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Private Istanbul Bosphorus & Two Continents, Private Princes’ Islands
What is Included:
- Arrival airport transfer from Istanbul Ataturk Airport
- 4 nights 5 star hotel in Istanbul including breakfast
- Private full day city tour with professional tour guide
- Private full day Bosphorus Cruise with professional tour guide
- Private full day Princes’ Island Tour with professional tour guide
- All entrance fees mentioned in the itinerary
- Transportation in a fully air-conditioned, non-smoking coach
- Professional English-speaking tour guides
- Return airport transfer to Istanbul Ataturk Airport
Please Note: Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays, Topkapi Palace closed on Tuesdays, Grand Bazaar closed on Sundays
Not included :
Drinks, tips to guide and driver, personal expenses and optional tours
Day 1 – Istanbul – Arrival Day
Welcome to Turkey, arrival in Istanbul. Transfer from airport and check in to your hotel. If you arrive early, we can arrange some activities for you upon request or just relax after your arrival in this magical city. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 2 – Private Istanbul City Tour (St. Sophia / Hippodrome / Blue Mosque)
Your tour will start at 8:30 and you will be picked up from your hotel.
St Sophia : Hagia Sophia is the supreme masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Its spacious nave is covered by a lofty central dome carried on pendentives, a device not previously employed in monumental construction. It served as model for several of the great Turkish mosques of Constantinople. Documents indicate that the first Hagia Sophia was built by Emperor Constantius, son of Emperor Constantinos I, and was opened for services in 360 AD.
Sultanahmet Imperial Mosque: Across from St. Sophia built in the 16th century by the architect Mehmet, is known as the Blue Mosque because of its exquisite interior decoration of blue Iznik tiles. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (in Turkish Sultanahmet Camii) is regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of Islamic architecture.
The site of the original Hippodrome, which extends away from the Sultanahmet mosque was laid out in 196 by the Roman emperor Severus. Constantine the Great turned it into a vast stadium capable of seating a hundred thousand spectators who watched horse and chariot races, gladiatorial combats, and other spectacles. The Hippodrome was where the heart of Constantinople’s social life beat and also where popular displeasure was given voice and sometimes erupted into riots and rebellion.
The Grand Bazaar (Kapalıçarşı in Turkish) in Istanbul is one of the largest covered markets (Bazaar) in the world with more than 58 streets and 4000 shops. It is well-known for its jewellery, pottery, spice and carpet shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by type of goods, with streets for leather coats, gold jewellery andsuch like.
Topkapi Palace The great palace of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries. The largest and oldest palace in the world, Topkapi is the crown jewel of the Ottoman Empire. With its treasury and sumptous buildings overlooking the Golden Horn, your visit to Topkapi promises to be a truly fascinating experience. It is an incomparably rich treasure-chest, brimming with items of historical and religious importance containing the most holy relics of the Muslim world such as the Prophet Muhammed’s cloak and sword.
Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3 – Private Istanbul Bosphorus & Two Continents
You will be picked up from your luxury hotel and taken to enjoy a magical Istanbul Bosphorus Boat Cruise and Spice Market Tour starting at 8:30. Enjoy the view of the sites you can see from the boat including:
Egyptian Bazaar: Spice bazaar Istanbul: heady fragrances of various herbs and spices. Shops selling fruits, vegetables, flowers, caviar and dry fish etc…
Bosphorus Cruise: On the straits separating the two continents, Asia and Europe. Opportunity to take photographs of marble palaces and ancient wooden villas of Ottoman architecture, tucked in between modern residences and luxurious apartments. Ortakoy is a symbol of tolerance with a church, a mosque and a synagogue existing side by side for centuries.
Bosphorus Bridge: Unique chance to go from one continent (Asia) to another (Europe) in two minutes.
Beylerbeyi Palace : The summer residence of Ottoman Sultans with its original furniture and magnificent gardens with the harem on the Asian side.
Camlica Hill view of Istanbul: Offers a panoramic view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus from the highest point of the city.
Rumeli Fortress: Built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 prior to the conquest of Istanbul was completed in only three months to control and protect the infamous Bosphorus passage. It is one of the most remarkable works of military architecture anywhere in the world.
Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 4 – Private Istanbul Princes’ Island Tour
Enjoy a private cruise in the Marmara Sea to Istanbul’s famous Princes’ Islands. This is your opportunity to see Topkapi Palace, Leander’s Tower and Uskudar from the sea. Stop at Buyukada, the popular summer resort with sandy beaches and pinewood scenery, once the pleasure island of Byzantine Princes. During the Byzantine period, princes and other royalty were exiled on the islands, giving them their present name. During the 19th century the islands became a popular resort for Istanbul’s wealthy, and Victorian-era cottages and houses are still preserved on the largest of the Prince’s islands.
During the summer season, enjoy the magical atmosphere that the Island’s beach resort has to offer including many optional water sporting activities. Tour the island with horse-drawn carriages called phaetons before stopping for a delicious lunch at a fish restaurant. After your tour we will transfer you back to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 5 – Istanbul – End of Tour
After breakfast check out from your hotel.