Upon arrival, you will be picked up from the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Overnight, in Istanbul.
Depart your hotel and start your tour.
You will see some of the most iconic landmarks of both old. A famous sight in Istanbul is Topkapi Palace for nearly 400 years was the administrative building of the Ottoman Empire.
Being part of one of the most powerful empires in the world, this palace is an important historical monument for which this Palace stands proud.
Another Famous location for both Turks and Christian is Ayasofya or Hagia Sophia, this museum was once a Byzantine Church to later become a mosque after the Ottomans took the city.
After conquering Constantinople, Istanbul’s previous name, the Sultan of the time-ordered traditional Islamic addition be made.
This adaptation was seen in four minarets and a dome, this dome, however, is unique as being one of the few that the shape curved down to a squared-off shape to match the piers below. While being aesthetically pleasing, it also evens out the load weight something unusual for the time period.
The Blue Mosque or Sultanahmet Mosque, a majestic place of worship with six elegant minarets and a series of domes, highlights the difference between traditional and modern Turkish style.
The Hippodrome and Obelisks were once the arenas for chariot races, now the obelisks that stood within now stand tall in the open square outside the Blue Mosque.
The Grand Bazaar is a traditional Turkish market however it is built undercover allowing it to be open all year. Within its lanes, there are 4399 shops, 497 stalls, 2195 workshops and 18 fountains.
After Breakfast we will head to Ephesus, When arriving in Bursa you will visit some destinations that make it a well-known city all across Turkey.
The city of Bursa has gained the name ‘Green Bursa’ because of the city having plenty of parks and other foliage to make nature have its place in the city.
Many of the famous icons of Bursa were built or have taken on the colour green in keeping with the name.
The Green Mosque and Green Tomb are prime examples of beautiful architecture that helped give the name ‘Green Bursa’ to the city. Sultan Mehmet I commissioned the mosque to be built during the decoration so of the period’s great painters were charged with adding their style to it, eventually with a grand artist with specially decorated tiles. The Green Tomb was built for Sultan Mehmet the I but his successor Mehmet II. Being built close to the Green Mosque, it was decided to keep Mehmet I style and use green decorated tiles to make this mausoleum one of the most ornate.
Overnight in Ephesus.
Today will continue with a tour of Ephesus, followed by a journey to Pamukkale.
Ephesus is the highlight of today’s tour. Here you will be able to see some of the best-preserved ruins. While reduced to ruins today, this city was one of the largest of the time, especially so in the region with the suggestion that there were 200,000 people living here 3000 years ago.
During the height of its prosperity, it was said to be only second to Rome in the Empire.
Prior to entering the city, you will notice there is an unusual building nearby, this was the dockyards as when the city was growing it was a coastal city that used the harbour for trading and warships, however now the coast is seven km away!
In this ancient city, there is much to see, starting with the open marble street offering a look at how grand the whole city would have looked when it was a living city.
This street connects many of the iconic buildings across this once great city. The Library of Celsus was one of the largest collections of information, while today the library is only a facade due, to earthquake destruction, the grandeur is not lost.
Continuing along the marble street you come to many remnants including ancient latrines and baths. Hercules gates can be found standing on the main street with the Memmius Monument just off the path after the gate. As can be seen from the ruins this city would have been part of a dense population which offered all amenities such as temples, brothels and libraries.
Humble and quaint by modern standards, the house of the Virgin Mary is what the mother of the Jesus would be living in. Inside you will find a shrine to Mary, outside makes for a peaceful destination to relax at.
Overnight in Pamukkale.
Breakfast and start your tour to Pamukkale
Translated Pamukkale means ‘Cotton Castle’, here are natural stepped pools filled with mineral-rich pools predominantly chalk, limestone and travertine. The water that fills these pools comes from a hot spring giving the water a pleasant warmth to it as you walk around. These stunning steps have putPamukkale on the World Heritage list for its beauty and uniqueness.
Following your time at Pamukkale, you will head to the ancient town of Hierapolis. There are many ruins to see here primarily from the Roman empire. Arts and religion were important to the Roman people this lead to their theatres and temples are well built. The Roman theatre was built twice, once it was destroyed before a hollow being cut from the mountain. To this day most of the stage, seating and VIP areas can still be seen.
There are two places of worship that can be found here, one is the Temple of Apollo, only the foundations are left now but it is easy to see the size of the building. The second it the Plutonium, a small cave, with room for only one. Due to the fast-flowing water further in the cave and the toxic as it was thought that the god of the underworld sent it and those who managed to survive had divine protection. Outside the main areas of Hierapolis, you can find one of the best-preservednecropolis in Turkey Spreading across two kilometres and homes 1200 tombs.
The journey from here will take you to Cappadocia, this part is a peaceful natural landscape almost totally untouched by man. The only dwellings are crude mud huts forming small hamlets. Travelling this countryside offers a window into the past and what would have been seen by travellers of old.
Travel to and stay overnight in Cappadocia
Today’s Tour is a chance to explore the unforgettable landscape of Cappadocia.
This natural landscape feels faintly magical with the fairy’s chimneys in Devrent valley.
The view of the valleys and the rock formations are spectacular, but from the rise of Goreme, there is a panoramic view that should leave anyone astounded.
The town of Avanos is a step back to tradition, this town is famous for its classical earthenware pottery that dates back to the time of the Hittites.
Avanos is beautiful in its traditional style, with cobbled streets and views of the river that the locals collect their much-needed clay from.
Overnight in Cappadocia
Today you will have a stopover at Lake Abant. This beautiful landscape is a perfect location for photos. Rolling green mountains with a wide variety of trees and foliage create many shades of green that end on the shore of a calm, deep blue lake.
Overnight in Istanbul
After Breakfast, have some free time before your transfer to the Airport for Departure.
You will be greeted at the airport and our transfer will take you to your hotel.
Overnight in Istanbul
Today you will explore the wonder of Istanbul’s Old City.
Topkapi Palace is a famous landmark from the Ottoman empire. Used as the administrative centre for nearly 400 years it helped control the empire even during its farthest reaches.
Aya Sofya, or known as Hagia Sophia, is a popular museum close to Topkapi Palace and only a short distance from the Bosphorus. Originally a Byzantium Church it was renovated following the Ottoman Empire conquest of Constantinople, during the renovation four minarets and a dome was added to bring in line with traditional Islamic designs.
The Blue Mosque an active place of worship while also maintaining a stunning architecture and allowing visitors to explore. This not only allows local to view a unique mosque, that has 6 minarets and a series of domes and also learn a little about a faith that may be new to them. In the open park outside there is an obelisk that marked out the Hippodrome where competitions were held which would have been a popular place for the local populace.
The Grand Bazaar a traditional market centre, inside this, covered is 4399 shops, 2195 stalls, and 497 workshops that provide a wide variety of products including handmade items.
Today will be a day of exploring landmarks as you cruise the Bosphorus.
This river the dissects Istanbul is also the border of the continents of Asia and Europe. As you cruise this waterway you will see many landmarks which have been built on the riverside, an unusual building is Rumeli Fortress. Built by the labourers of Mehmet II as his army was preparing to besiege the city, the fortress was a major part of his plan and was built in only four months today it is a popular photography destination with the city and river as a backdrop.
Dolmabache Palace is an extravagant residence that is found looking out onto the Bosphorus quayside. Once the sight of an ancient timber castle known as ‘Besiktas Palace’ which caught alight and burnt down to be replaced by the newer more splendid Dolmabahce Palace that now commands fantastic views of the Bosphorus.
The spice bazaar, much like its counterpart Grand Bazaar, is a fantastic destination.
Filled with the sounds of the market workers calling out their wares and trade happening all around, mix in the fabulous smells of fresh and dried herbs and spices make it a feast for all the sense. After the busy time of the Bazaar, Pierre Loti Hill offers a calm time stood on top of a hill that shows the city of Istanbul stretching below, with views as far as the Sea of Marmara and the Historical Peninsula in the distance.
While you relax and cruise the water you will pass the country-wide famous bridge, Bosphorus Bridge.
This is one of many links between the two continents, however, it stands unique by being the 4th largest in Europe and 7th largest in the world of its kind.
Today the Princess Islands await you.
This island offers a more classical way to tour the beauty of architecture and wonderful vistas. Horse-drawn carriages offer a special way to travel, relax as the sound of horse hooves take you on a journey through the small town that became famous as a place for royalty to be banished to. Across the island, there is a blend of two cultures, where churches such as the Church of Saint George and the Hamidiye Mosque are both visited and looked after equally.
As you travel you will be able to visit both of these religious locations as well as Agios Dimitrios Church.
All given their respective sermons for those who believe. While religion plays a large role in the lives of those who live here the houses offer them a splendid place to retreat to in their lives, which splendid exteriors and pristine gardens make them a marvel by themselves.
Today your adventure continues outside Istanbul in the historical city of Bursa.
You will begin with a ferry to the port of Yalova, from here you will continue on the city by luxury coach.
The city of Bursa was the first capital of the Ottoman Empire. After many generations have added their own flare, the city has gained the name ‘Green Bursa’. While the city resides in some of the most beautiful vistas, the ancient wonders of the city have used a green hue to their building style, one of these is the Green Mosque. Commissioned by Sultan Mehmet I, he wished for a stunning and unique building which led to the builders using handcrafted and painted tiles. After Mehmet I passed a mausoleum was built, it was designed to keep the style and the Green Mausoleum was built for Mehmet I to be laid to rest.
Koza Han is a famous marketplace, smaller than the Grand Bazaar, it made items of great value from trading with those who travel along the Silk Roads. Even to this day artisans still use unique silks and make ornate garments; the central square is popular with locals and visitors for stopping and enjoying their time.
The final stop before returning to Istanbul will be Mt Uludag.
A cable car ride takes you to the top, gently rising above the forested slopes below to the viewing platform that offers a fantastic view of the surrounding landscape including the city of Bursa
Transfer back to the airport for your final departure.
You will be greeted at the airport, and our transfer will take you to your hotel.
Overnight in Istanbul.
Today you will explore Istanbul’s Old City, where iconic landmarks and history come together nestled in the heart of this stunning city.
Topkapi Palace is one of the most famous landmarks in Istanbul for historians and those who enjoy the stunning architecture. This palace was the administrative centre for the far-reaching Ottoman Empire for nearly 400 years.
Aya Sofya, or Hagia Sophia, is a stunning museum that has been used as a place for two different religions. Originally built as a Byzantium Church, it was renovated after the city was conquered by the Ottoman empire, four minarets and a dome were added to the existing building which brought in line with traditional mosques.
The Blue Mosque is an icon of both Istanbul but for the Islamic religion. Its stunning beauty and its extensive size while also maintaining the ability to be an active mosque. Built larger than average, it has 6 minarets with a series of domes.
A courtyard with the fountain for cleaning before praying, surrounded by a domed wall.
Grand Bazaar is a traditional market centre, with 4399 shops, 2195 stalls, 497 workshops with 18 fountains. It is a must-see for visitors and locals alike.
Your day today will be cruising the Bosphorus.
The Bosphorus is a unique body of water as it separates the two continents of Asia and Europe, the city straddles the river.
The Rumeli Fortress was built by the armies of Mehmet II in preparation to conquer Constantinople. It took 3000 labourers only four months to built a fortress to besiege the city from the Bosphorus. The crenellated walls have become a popular photo destination, with the city behind and the Bosphorus flowing in the background.
Along the river is the Dolmabahce Palace, a stunning palace that was built in 1611-1614 after the previous timber ‘Besiktas Palace’ burnt down after a fire. The Spice Bazaar is a spectacular wonder to the senses, with locals and visitors buying spices and herbs.
Traditional Turkish teas and coffees with different kinds being served at small cafes.Pierre Loti Hill offers fantastic views of the city with views as far-reaching as the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus as well as historical Peninsula and islands.
While cruising you pass the Bosphorus Bridge, one of the many bridges that link the two continents of Asia and Europe.
Today you will be returned to the airport for your final departure.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport before being transferred to your hotel.
Overnight in Istanbul
Today the iconic landmarks of Istanbul’s Old City are your destinations.
An icon of Istanbul and the Ottoman Empire is Topkapi Palace, the administrative centre for the Empire for nearly 400 years. This included when the empire reached into both Europe and then into the East. Aya Sofya, Hagia Sophiaas it is commonly known, is now a museum in the heart of Istanbul.
However, it has been renovated a repurposed to fit different purposes Originally built as a Byzantine Church, it was converted into a mosque following the Ottoman Empire conquering of Constantinople. To make it follow traditional, Islamic style the Sultan ordered 4 minarets and a dome to be added, however, the original building was not removed to make way for these.
An iconic sight of Istanbul’s old town is the Blue Mosque. A stunning mosque that has been kept in the beautiful quality it was built with, while it is an active place of worship they have opened their doors for the world to visit.
This allows people of all faiths and from the world to experience the beauty of Islamic mosques. The Blue Mosque is unusual as it has six minarets and a series of domes 7whereas they normally have only two minarets and one dome. In the grounds is Obelisks that marks the land that was once a Byzantium Hippodrome that would host sports and competitions including Chariot races.
Istanbul’s famous Grand Bazaar is a popular visitors destination to enjoy a classic shopping style with 4399 shops, 2195 stalls, 497 workshops with 18 fountains for beauty.
Today your exploration of the Istanbul region takes you to the old and history filled city of Bursa.
Bursa offers an amazing time where you will visit ancient buildings that’s a beautiful nestled and protected in the modern city that is growing all around. You begin with a ferry to the beautiful port of Yalova where you will then enter the city that was once capital of the Ottoman Empire prior to Istanbul.
The city has gained the name ‘Green Burse’ not only for the plants and tree that can be found growing everywhere but also from the green hue of the tiles and buildings that the sultans of the empire used.
The Green Mosque is one of the most famous of the green buildings, commissioned by Sultan Mehmet I.
He wished for a unique building that would be beautiful. The master workers came up with a beautiful hand-painted tile that used a green hue as its primary colour and was approved by the Sultan. Following the Sultans passing his successor laid him to rest close to the mosque in a mausoleum now called the ‘Green Mausoleum’ due Sultan Mehmet I’s predecessor following the design style.
Koza Han is only a small market, however, it was a large part of the Silk Road trades, as the craftsman took the silk and made new items to sell both in their shops within but also to sell to the traders once again. The market still sees craftsman taking silk items and making handmade items.
Mount Uludag is the final stop of the day, where you will look upon the stunning landscape below.
Today you will escape the busy big city and visit Sapanca and Masukiye.
Sapanca Lake is a quiet destination nestled in mountains between the Gulf of Izmit and Adapazarai Meadow.
Scenic tours throughout the area and routes that follow the lakeside, these routes around the lake attract people from Istanbul for relaxation in the fresh mountain air.
Darica Zoo is Istanbul’s biggest zoo, home to thousands of species of plants, hundred types of birds and over 200 different species of animals, This collection of mammals, reptiles and fish species is the largest in Istanbul.
Masukiye Village is located in a remote area in the greater Istanbul region, made famous for its amazing food and relaxing destination. Tradition food while eating in the natural forested area under a waterfall for a unique experience. Kartepe Mountain is a great photo opportunity with vast views and amazing hiking routes that show Sapanca Lake below.
Transfer to the Airport fr your final departure.