Ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman. The phenomenal city of Istanbul, Turkey spans multiple eras, with all of the inherent architecture, culture and ethnic diversity on display. A complete global city and home to more than 12.5 million people, Istanbul has become a world capital and vital span between Europe, Asia and the Near East.
the city can evoke Rome, Athens and other fine, world capitals, the truth is that Istanbul is Istanbul. In other words, free from comparison, the city is without peer on the planet. The former capital of the Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Latin Empire of Constantinople and Ottoman Empire, and European Capital of Culture for 2010, Istanbul is a magnificent gem.
It was built by Constantin the Great, also known as the church of the Divine Wisdom was designed to show the strength and wealth of the Roman emperors. Once it was the greatest Christian church in the world.
The arena with the scenes of chariot races and also cultural focus of the Byzantine (Roman) Empire. Remains of the three of the great monuments can be seen: the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine. The square, with its surroundings, is like an open-air museum.
Arrival to Istanbul Airport. After immigration and customs formalities, board your vehicle for transfer to the hotel.
Today after breakfast begin our tour of the Sultanahmet district, the heart of old Istanbul, at Saint Sophia. Built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD, this church is one of the marvels of world architecture. Its massive dome dominates the skyline of old Istanbul. It is famed for its mosaics, including glittering portraits of emperors and empresses. Next we visit the Blue Mosque, which owes its name to the exquisite tiles adorning its interior. Dating from the 17th century, it is the only imperial mosque with six minarets. The Hippodrome, the stadium of ancient Byzantium, held 100,000 spectators and featured objects from all corners of the empire. Of these, an Egyptian obelisk and a bronze sculpture of three entwined serpents from Delphi survive.
In the afternoon begin our tour at Topkapi Palace, which, from the 15th to the 19th century, was the principle residence of the Ottoman Sultans. You will visit the fabulous Imperial Treasury and the Baghdad Kiosk. Topkapi Palace is now a museum and has unrivalled collections of jewelry, including the Spoonmaker’s Diamond, the 3rd largest in the world, Ottoman court costumes and ceramics, notably one of the world’s finest collection of early Chinese ceramics, much of it gifts from other rulers. Interestingly, some of the ceramics have a special glaze that was said to change color in the presence of poison. We also visit the Imperial Armory, displaying centuries of Ottoman weaponry. But perhaps the loveliest features of Topkapi Palace are its courtyards with their ancient trees, and it is easy to imagine the sultan strolling here far from the cares of state and empire.
The last stop, Grand Bazaar, was the commercial heart of the old city and its 4,000 shops are full of treasures – including carpets and kilims, silks, jewelry, ceramics, icons, and leather goods. Wandering through the Grand Bazaar, indulge in some shopping, Ottoman style.
Overnight in Istanbul.
After breakfast, start your full day tour. Visit Spice Market and take a Bosphorus Cruise by boat. Lastly visit to Dolmabahce Palace. End of the tour, transfer to airport for your flight to Cappadocia. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel and overnight in Cappadocia.
Overnight in Cappadocia.
After breakfast tour start with Devrent valley; walking in Pasabag near Zelve ; “fairy chimneys” where the voice of wind mixes with the “songs of fairies”. Lunch in Avanos, centre of terra cotta work of art since 3000 BC. and a demonstration in a traditional pottery workshop. Afternoon, visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum and see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia in rock-cut churches with frescoes and paintings (10th to 13th century). Continue to the Uchisar Rock-Castle to have a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia.
Overnight in Cappadocia.
Today after breakfast continue to explore Cappadocia; Depart from your hotel to visit Red valley and explore the famous rock- cut churches and hike 5 km through the Gulludere valley. Then visit Çavusin village. This village is famous for the houses and churches of the Christian Clegymen. After lunch Drive to the pigeon valley. In the afternoon visit Kaymaklı underground city; where early Christians lived in fear and faith. End of the tour, transfer to airport for your flight back to Istanbul. Upon arrival to Istanbul, transfer to your hotel and overnight in Istanbul.
Overnight in Cappadocia.
After breakfast check out from the hotel & transfer to airport for your International flight.