Istanbul

Double Occupancy Single Occupancy
$1,498 $1,896

 

 

Days 1 & 2 - Thursday & Friday, September 12 & 13

U.S. / Istanbul

Fly independently from the U.S. to Istanbul, Turkey. Upon arrival, check into the Ottoman Imperial Hotel or Levni Hotel, both located in Istanbul’s “Old Town”. (Meals Aloft)

Day 3 - Saturday, September 14

Istanbul

Spend a full day exploring Istanbul’s most famous classical monuments. Begin at the Hagia Sofia, the church of Holy Wisdom for 916 years. The Hagia Sofia became the symbol of conquest of Constantinople by the Turks and served as a mosque for 482 years. Finally Ataturk, the founder of Turkish Republic, converted it into a museum in 1935, making this Turkey’s most visited museum. Our guided Istanbul tour then takes in the Blue Mosque. The Blue Mosque was commissioned by Sultan Ahmet I when he was only 19 years old. It was built near the Hagia Sophia, over the site of the ancient Hippodrome and Byzantine imperial palace. Construction work began in 1609 and took seven years. Before a lunch of local favorites we also visit the Hippodrome. The site of the original Hippodrome 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 the heart of Constantinople and where popular displeasure was given voice and sometimes erupted into riots and rebellion. This afternoon, visit the Grand Bazaar and embark on a Bosphorus cruise. Enjoy dinner on one Bosphorus’ floating restaurants before returning to the Ottoman Imperial Hotel or Levni Hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 4 - Sunday, September 15

Istanbul

Spend our morning in Istanbul touring the Topkapi Palace, the first Ottoman palace in Istanbul. The palace is located on the historic peninsula, in the district called Sultanahmet. Built in 1478 for Fatih Sultan Mehmet, more than 4,000 people once lived in this palace, where the state was governed for centuries before the ruling family moved to Dolmabahçe Palace. Next, we tour the Underground Cisterns. The Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city. Located 500 feet southwest of the Hagia Sophia, the Basilica Cistern was built in the 6th century during the reign of Justinian I, and can hold 2.8 million cubic feet of water. After lunch and before a late afternoon at leisure, explore the spice market. (B,L)

Day 5 - Monday, September 16

Istanbul

Explore a section of Istanbul rarely visited by outsiders but a favorite of the locals; the Princess Islands. Enjoy a ferry ride to Buyukada, largest of the Princess Islands, where your guide will lead you through the charming and quite streets…no motorized vehicles are found on these islands. Bicycle bells and the clip-clop of horse hooves fill the streets lined by pine forest and Victorian cottages. Enjoy lunch and free time on this peaceful island before returning to Istanbul. (BLD)

Day 6 - Tuesday, September 17

Istanbul / Dalaman

After breakfast at the hotel you’ll drive to Istanbul airport to meet the main group and fly together to Dalaman to start your Turkey and Greece adventure. (B)