1st Day : ISTANBUL
Arrival at Istanbul International Airport.
After customs clearance, reception of the group, transfer to your hotel in Istanbul for five nights.
2nd Day : ISTANBUL
Delve into Ottoman history with a morning tour of Topkapi Palace and the harem as well as a visit to Sultan Ahmet’s Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome located just in front. Enjoy an afternoon of bazaars from the inner bedestan of the Grand Bazaar to the Egyptian spice bazaar, including early Ottoman mosques of Sultan Bayezid and Mahmut Pasha, as well as the late Baroque style mosque of Nurosmaniye.
Return to hotel for dinner and overnight..
3rd Day : ISTANBUL
Survey three of Master Architect Sinan’s great works with a walk from the Shezade Mosque ordered by Sultan Suleyman “The Magnificent” for his killed beloved son, to his great mosque complex; the Suleymaniye and ending at Suleyman’s grand vizier and son-in-law’s mosque, Rustem Pasha.
In the afternoon board a Bosphorus cruise to enjoy views of the impressive geography of the straits separating Asia and Europe passing the impressive castle of Rumeli that Mehmet built to conquer the city. Stop at Beylerbeyi to visit a late Ottoman seaside palace on the Asian shore.
Return to yout hotel.
4th Day : Istanbul - Edirne - ISTANBUL
Enjoy the Thracian countryside and the small city of Edirne where Sinan’s masterpiece, the Selimiye Mosque complex, looms over the city. Edirne was the Ottoman capital before the conquest of Istanbul in 1453 and continued to be a favorite retreat for sultans. View the early Ottoman mosque of the three balconies, Üç Serefeli Mosque and Bayezid I’s hospital complex built on the edge of town. Survey traces of the city’s multi-ethnic Ottoman past that survives in churches and synagogues.
Return to Istanbul. Dinner at hotel.
5th Day : ISTANBUL
Inquire into the cosmopolitan past of Istanbul as you walk from Taksim square to Karakoy on the opening of the Golden Horn. View the old embassies of the European powers (now many are consulates), a variety of churches and synagogues, colorful markets, and historic bank buildings. This district is one of the liveliest neighborhoods of the city today and the main venue for cinemas, art galleries, and cafés. Then visit the Dolmabahce Palace, which represents both the sultan’s rapprochement with the western powers of the 19th century and the end of the empire. Drive to Uskudar, where in the past as Sultans’ mothers and princesses built several mosques and palaces.
Indulge in a Turkish Bath experience.
Return to your hotel.
6th Day : DEPARTURE
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Istanbul International Airport.