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Home » Destinations » Europe » Turkey » Cox and Kings Istanbul: Byzantines and Ottomans
Istanbul, capital of the Ottoman and Byzantine empires, enjoyed more than four centuries of imperial patronage, resulting in one of the most dramatic skylines in the world. This comprehensive tour visits several of the city’s most exquisite mosques and palaces, including Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia.
– Direct flights from London (regional connections available)
– 5-star accommodation
– Small groups – max 18 people
– Selected meals: 6 breakfasts and 2 dinners
– Guided excursions and entrance fees
– Local transfers in air-conditioned vehicles
– Expert-led touring throughout
– Visit Topkapi Palace
– See the renowned works of Ottoman court architect Sinan in both Istanbul and Edirne
– Enjoy a ferry ride to the Princes’ Islands
Fly from London to Istanbul. Transfer to Levni Hotel (or similar) for 6 nights. Enjoy a welcome dinner this evening.
Morning visit to the Church of Theotokos Kyriotissa (Kalenderhane Camii), Zoodochos Pigi (Silivri Kapi cemetery), Suleymaniye mosque complex, and Basilica of St John of Studius (Imrahor Camii) – the oldest church in Istanbul, erected in 454AD. In the afternoon, see the magnificent mosaics and frescoes of St Saviour in Chora (Kariye Camii) (subject to confirmation), Theotokos Pammakaristos (Fethiye Camii), the Porphyrogenitus Palace ruins, and the Theodosian city walls at Edirne Kapi.
Take the early morning public ferry to the Princes’ Islands, a nine-island archipelago in the Sea of Marmara. Stop at Chalki to visit the Church of St Nikolaos and the Greek Orthodox seminary. Continue to the isle of Prinkipo to visit the Monastery of St George. The final visit of the day is to the Crimea Memorial Church, where a special drinks reception has been arranged (subject to confirmation).
Take a morning walking tour of Sultanahmet, including Topkapi Palace and the superb collections of the archaeological museum. In the afternoon, view the remains of the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, the Mosaics Museum and the Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus (Kucuk Hagia Sofia). Visit the Hagia Sofia Grand Mosque, converted following the conquest of the city in 1453 and once the centre of Orthodox Christianity.
Full day’s sightseeing in Edirne, once known as Adrianople and the Ottoman capital prior to 1453. Visit the Selimiye Mosque, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the nearby Old Mosque; Sultan Bayezid II Complex; Ali Pasha Bazaar; and the Macedonian Tower.
Morning visit to the Church of Theotokos Panaghiotissa (known as Mouchliotissa), the only Byzantine church in the city still belonging to the Greek Orthodox patriarchate. Continue around the old Greek district of Fener, including the Cathedral of St George. This afternoon, visit the Basilica Cistern and the lively Grand Bazaar, then conclude with a stop at the garden of the sacred shrine and spring, Ayazma Blachernae, dating back to 451AD. Evening farewell dinner in the historic Eminönü district.
(Breakfast and dinner)
Morning walking tour of Beyazit, the Third Hill and the old city centre. Fly from Istanbul to London Heathrow.
Hotel Levni, Istanbul
The Hotel Levni is a boutique style hotel located in the Sirkeci area of Istanbul with 75 guest rooms. All feature modern facilities with contemporary design. Public amenities include a restaurant, a bar and an indoor pool with sauna.
This tour is fully escorted throughout by a lecturer who has specialist knowledge of the destination and its culture, as well as an experienced local guide where necessary.
This tour involves some long walks over uneven ground and therefore requires a good level of fitness.
Please note that the exclusive and individual nature of private visits means that they are subject to confirmation nearer the time of departure. Also, churches, private houses and other buildings often have fluid opening times. If any visits have to be re-arranged, please be assured that we will seek alternatives of equal interest.
Please note, prices listed are guide prices only and are based on 2 people sharing and don’t include any additional supplements. Holiday prices are fluid and dynamic and may be changed at a moment’s notice, prior to booking, at which point they are confirmed. Please call the team free on 0808 258 4739 for more departure dates available and a quote.
Please call us free on 0800 707 6229 for pricing and availability
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