(Departs everyday; beginning and ending in Antalya.)
Day 1 - Antalya to Istanbul
We will meet you at your hotel and provide a transfer to the Antalya Airport, where you will enjoy a short 1-hour flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After checking in, you will have free time to relax and explore Istanbul at your own pace. Overnight in Istanbul
Day 2 - Istanbul - (B/L)
After breakfast, around 8:30 AM, you'll start your full-day tour exploring Istanbul's most iconic sites:
* Blue Mosque/Sultanahmet Mosque (Camii) built during the reign of Sultan Ahmet I during 1609-1616. It is the only mosque in Turkey with six minarets. Due to its magnificent hand-dyed blue, green and white Iznik tiles it has been named the "Blue Mosque" by Europeans. The central dome is 43 m in height and is 33.4 m in diameter; it also boasts 260 windows.
* Hagia Sophia/Aya Sofya is a truly awe-inspiring, 1,400-year-old Byzantine cathedral which houses mosaics, relics and iron work. Hagia Sophia was, for nearly a thousand years, the largest enclosed space in the world, and still seen as one of the world's most important architectural monuments. It is one of Turkey's most popular attractions, drawn by the sheer spectacle of its size, architecture, mosaics and art. Built during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD.
* Hippodrome: the backdrop of chariot races and the center of Byzantine civic life. Of the ornaments which once decorated it, only three remain: The Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine.
The Obelisk is in the Egyptian style and was erected in 1547 BC and stood 60m tall. The German Fountain is also within the hippodrome area, constructed in Germany to mark German Emperor Wilhelm II's second visit to Istanbul; it was imported and officially opened on January 1 1901. The fountain's three domes are decorated with gold mosaics.
* Topkapi Palace (Topkapi Sarayi), the residence and administrative center of the Sultans during the Ottoman Empire, was constructed in 1459-1465 shortly after the establishment of Constantinople. You'll see the Treasury that houses the Topkapi Dagger, the 86-carat Spoon Maker's Diamond, and the jewel-encrusted bones of St. John the Baptist.
* Grand Bazaar: this is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with more than 58 streets and over 4,000 shops attracting between 250,000 and half-a-million visitors every day!
The Bazaar's construction began in 1455 and opened in 1461, and is still renowned today for its jewelry, ceramics, spices, textiles, and of course, carpet shops. Many of these shops are grouped together according to the wares being sold.
After the tour, we'll return you to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul
Day 3 - Istanbul - (B)
After breakfast, again at around 8:30 AM, we will meet you at your hotel and take you on your full-day tour of Istanbul.
* Egyptian Spice Bazaar (Misir carsisi): One of the oldest bazaars in the city. Located in the neighborhood of Eminonu, it is also the second-largest covered shopping area in Istanbul after the Grand Bazaar.
There are several documents suggesting the original name of this bazaar was "New Bazaar". However, due to the fact that many spices were imported via Egypt during the Ottoman period, the name "Misir" was favored by the public. The word "misir" has a double meaning in Turkish: "Egypt" and "maize". This is why sometimes the name is wrongly translated as "Corn Bazaar". The bazaar was (and still is) the heart of spice trading in Istanbul.The structure itself is part of the külliye of New Mosque (Yeni Camii), and rent collected from these shops was intended to help pay for the upkeep of the mosque.
The structure was designed by the Sultan's chief architect, Koca Kasim Aga, but was actually completed by the architect Mustafa in 1660.
The Spice Bazaar is an "L"-shaped building, consisting of 88 vaulted rooms, almost all of which are now divided into upper and lower stories. Monumental archways dramtically anchor the ends of both halls, with chambers above each entrance. The main entrance is in the southwest corner, facing New Mosque.
Upon this tour's conclusion, you will be taken back to your hotel (another location if you prefer).
*The Bosporus Cruise glides through the strait separating the two continents of Europe and Asia. You will marvel at the waterfront marble palaces and the historic Ottoman wooden houses (konak) that sit beside ultra-modern residences. You will also see Dolmabahce Palace (where Mustafa Kemal Ataturk resided), Beylerbeyi Palace, and Ortakoy Mosque.
After your tour, we will take you back to the Grand Bazaar and give you free time to explore and do some souvenir shopping.
Overnight in Istanbul
Day 4 - Istanbul to Antalya - (B)
After breakfast, we will provide a transfer to Istanbul's domestic airport for your 1-hour flight back to Antalya. Upon arrival, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
*** Program ends ***
Prices are starting from 435 Euros per person in a double, contact us to get a price quote for your dates
* All domestic flight tickets
* All hotels (individually-chosen superior hotels)
* All land transfers with comfortable vehicles
* All of the meals mentioned in the itinerary (B-breakfast, L-lunch & D-dinner)
* Professional, English-speaking tour guides
* Admissions to Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace
cruise - ferry ticket
* All taxes and service charges
* Drinks with meals
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