Arrival in Istanbul international airport, meeting the transfer crew and drive to hotel, along the way you will have a small info speech about this fascinating city. Check in to hotel. As it is a quite long trip we let you free before discovering this mystical city. Overnight in Istanbul.
After tasting the world famous Turkish style breakfast please be ready at the reception for the daily tour of Roman & Byzantium Relics. During the tour we will visit:
BASILICA CISTERN: This reservoir hearkens back to the glory days of Eastern Rome, also called the Byzantine Empire. It was built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century, with water provided from the Belgrade Forests north of the city via a series of aqueducts and it supplied the Great Palace of Constantinople and later the palace of the Ottomans. Covering over 9,800 sq. m. /105,000 sq. ft., the cistern’s cathedral-sized ceiling is supported by 336 marble columns.
HIPPODROME: The center for sporting (chariot races) and political gatherings in ancient times. It contains three masterpieces: the Obelisk of Theodosius, the Bronze Serpentine Column and the German Fountain of Wilhelm II.
MOSAIC MUSEUM: As you know Byzantium Empire was very famous with it’s architecture and as well with the interior decorations. Mostly they used fantastic mosaics to cover the bottom and some part of the internal walls. This small but important museum has the biggest mosaic collection from Paladinum Magnum and Cathisma.Well after giving a break for lunch and for some small shopping we will continue by visiting:
ST. SOPHIA: This fascinating temple is built first by Emperor Constantine the Great in the 4th century and later on rebuild on the beginning of 6th century with the command of Justinianus. It is the third largest basilica in the world and justly-famous for its beautiful mosaics. Late afternoon end of the excursion and return to hotel, rest well cause this was the beginning of our discover in Istanbul.
And again after tasting the world famous Turkish style breakfast please be ready at the reception for the daily tour of Ottoman Relics, well for Ottomans the conquest of this city was a demand of the Great Prophet Mohammed, “How nice Commandant who will conquer Constantinopolis, how nice army who will fight in this conquest” This demand became the main target for all the Muslims. Finally the Ottomans succeeded and they show their respect by building hundreds of fountains mosques, palaces, baths, bazaars, schools, caravanserais and more… In each step you can find for, five hundred years old relics from Ottomans. Today we will see some of the most importants…
BLUE MOSQUE: Towering over the Bosphorus, the Blue Mosque dominates Istanbul’s skyline. The world-renowned structure was commissioned by Sultan Ahmet I in the early 1600’s and built by famed Ottoman architect Mehmet Aga. Construction took over 7 years. The Blue Mosque’s name is derived from the more than 20,000 blue Iznik tiles on the soaring ceiling inside. It’s the only mosque in Turkey with 6 minarets rising up into the heavens
TOPKAPI PALACE: Arguably, Istanbul’s showcase attraction. It was the imperial residence of the Ottoman Sultans between the 15th &19th centuries Now a spectacular museum, it dazzles with its collections of crystal, gold, silver and Chinese and Japanese porcelains – and the Royal Family’s Treasury inside offers up a wealth of sacred relics. At mid day we will give a break for lunch, of course Ottoman Kitchen not a hamburger.
SULEYMANIYE MOSQUE: The celebrated architect, Sinan, completed this momentous Mosque in 1557 for Suleyman the Magnificent. It soon took its place alongside the (rival) St. Sophia Mosque as a structure that “changed the history of architecture”.
SULEYMANIYE TOWN: Sinan did not build only a Mosque, as well he added many public buildings to his great project, the area became one the most important habitat zone for citizens. The facilities as hospitals, schools, aid buildings are as well a great architecture samples.
THE GRAND BAZAAR: Opened in 1461, it’s one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. The Bazaar buzzes with more than 4000 shops and hundreds of thousands of visitors daily. You’ll find rich leathers, gold jewelry, hand-woven carpets, hand-painted ceramics and more. And, oh yes, bartering abounds. So we finish this day too, see you tomorrow. Don’t worry tomorrow will be just a day of pleasure we will take you to Bosphorus and to the Palaces of 19th century,
Right after the breakfast we will take you to a continental trip.
EGYPTIAN BAZAAR: The Bazaar is alive with Turkish silks and slippers. But this fun, “L-shaped” emporium scores highest with its countless varieties of olives, cheeses, fruits and vegetables, not to mention the endless spices and teas that made the ancient Spice Road famous.
CRUISE ON THE BOSPHORUS: The most satisfying way to enjoy Istanbul’s mesmerizing beauty is a traditional, boat cruise through the deep-blue Strait separating Asia and Europe. While you soak up the inspiring natural wonders, lend an eye to the historic Ottoman wooden mansions, splendid marble palaces and small fishing villages.
RUMELI FORTRESS: This fortification was built in 1453 by Mehmet the Conqueror in a scant 89 days to control the strategic Bosphorus - and he changed history by taking Constantinople. Amazingly well-preserved, the Fortress offers an outstanding view of the waterway, as well as the garrison. Stop! Fish time!!! J Lunch in a fish restaurant, bonne apetite.
BOSPHORUS BRIDGE: A modern masterpiece resembling the Golden Gate Bridge. East meets West on this unique link between one continent and another.
BEYLERBEYI PALACE: The dazzling, former summer residence of the Ottoman Sultans is famous for its original, centuries-old furniture, superb wooden panels and enchanting gardens.
ÇAMLICA HILL: The highest point in the vicinity. Head there for a panoramic view of the entire city, the Bosphorus and the Marmara Sea that is nothing short of stunning. The peak gets its name from a delightful little teahouse in one of its pine groves. If we can catch the right season we can watch the bird migrations too.
Day After breakfast check out from hotel and transfer back in to airport. We will mis our new friends.