Orient, open up! Istanbul, the only city in the world that exists on two continents. The bridge between Orient and the Occident.
You will meet your guide, Mr Mehmen Yagci, in the lobby of your hotel and we will talk about the course of your stay.
We then start our tour with the visit of the Hagia Sophia, a basilica from the 6th century which was built by emperor Justinian I.
After a detailled sightseeing, we continue to the cistern. Because of its 336 pillars and its size (140mx70m), the locals call it the sunken palace. It was built in the same time like the Hagia Sophia and was used as a water reservation for the Greek Orthodox paternalist who lived in the basilica.
Afterwards, we see the Hippodrome square. There is no other place in the world where you can find as many treasures of art from different millenia. We see the so called "German Fountain", donated by emperor Wilhelm II in 1898, the Egyptian obelisk, the Snake Pillar of Delphi and the brick-built obelisk.
In the afternoon we visit the Ibrahim Pascha Palace, today the Turkish Islamic Museum.
We are now going back to your hotel. You will have dinner at a local restaurant (has to be booked additionally on location.
On of the highlights today is the visit of the Topkapı Palace. On an area of about 700,000m² we will see the most important gardens and buildings: the first garden with the St. Irenen church, the palaces's bakers. In the second garden the palace kitchen with the third-biggest porcelain exhibition of the world and the parliament building. In the third garden the vaults, the audience room, the room with the holy relics of the prophets Mohammed, Moses, Abraham and John the Baptist, the pavilions with their terrific views. There will also be time to spend some time at the historical restaurant.
We will also see the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, also called Blue Mosque, because of its blue tiling. Together with the Hagia Sophia, its six minarets shape the skyline of the old town.
We continue to the Church of Sergius and Bacchus, also called the little Hagia Sophia and which was also built by Justinianus I.
As a closure, we see the Sokullu Pascha Mosque.
We go back to your hotel, dinner is planned in a restaurant that serves typical Turkish Fish specialities (has to be booked additionally on location).
Today we will see the Asian side of Istanbul. We cross the Bosphorus Bridge and go the the Prince Islands by boat and will hop off at the Büyükada (Big Island). Enjoy a round trip by carriage.
We visit the abbey of Holy George. Afterwards, you will have some time on your own to discover the islands or to have lunch.
Afterwards we will take the boat back to the Asian side. We then will visit one of the most popular viewing points, the Çamlica Hill, the highest peak of Istanbul.
Last, we will go to Üsküdar where we will see the legendary Leander Tower.
During the winter months, we will alternatively visit Nicäa where the ecumenical councils took place.
Journey back to your hotel. Dinner will be served in the context of a folkolore event. (bookable on location)
We will visit the Süleyman Mosque and its bazars. Today you have some time for a shopping stroll at the Great Bazar and the Egyptian Bazar.
Afterwards, we visit the Rüstern Pascha Mosque with the most beautiful tiling of the Ottoman dynasty.
We cross the Golden Horn and arrive at the new town of Istanbul. Stroll on the Istiklal Caddesi where a rustic tram drives through the city.
At the Galata quarter we visist the Mevlihane Museum.
You have some more time on your own to see the Galata Tower and to enjoy dinner at a restaurant of your choice.
We drive to the city walls of the ancient Constantinople and visist the Blachernen quarter where we will see the Chora Church with its world famous mosaics.
We then continue to the pilgrimage site Eyüp-El-Ensari with the Eyüp Mosque where the fallen flag carrier of Mohammed is worshipped.
We also visit the Greek Orthodox patriarchy.
One of the highlights today is the visit of the centre of carpet knotting.
Journey back to your hotel. You will have dinner at a typical local restaurant (bookable on location).
We start our last day with a visit at the Archiological Museum, the biggest museum of Istanbul. The most famous piece it the sarcophagus of Alexander. We also see the impressive statue of Bes, an Egyptian god, findings of Troy and a lot more.
In the afternoon, we will take a private boat and drive along the Bosphorus cost. We see beautiful wooden hpuses, which are called "Yali" by the locals.
Journey back to your hotel, dinner at a local restaurant (bookable on location).
We now have to say goodbye! Güle güle...
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• Personal expenses
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