Day 1: Istanbul. Arrival to Istanbul. Upon arrival, you will be met by our representative at the exit gate of arrivals hall and transfer your hotel. On the way, driving along the 1700-year-old ancient city walls will be a great photo opportunity. There will be time to relax and refresh before meeting your guide in the evening for an orientation walk around Sultanahmet by night. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 2: Bosphorous and Dolmabahce Palace. Breakfast at hotel, then meeting your guide at the hotel lobby and short drive down to Eminonu to visit Spice Bazaar with mystical scents of various herbs and spices. Here, you will have a chance to improve your bargaining skills at the shops selling spices, Turkish Delights, souvenirs, fruits, Caspian sea caviar, vegetables, fish, flowers, etc. Then walk to the harbour to embark on the Bosphorus Ferry for a cruise on the Bosphorus. We believe a visit to Istanbul is never complete if you haven't joined the Bosphorus Cruise. During the cruise you will see the city from a different perspective, the old wooden villas, Rumeli Fortress, Ortakoy Mosque, both bridges linking Asia and Europe, and much more.
After lunch, continue on land to visit Camlica Hill for 360 degrees panoramic views over the city and driving back to Europe over the Bosphorus Bridge we visit Dolmabahce Palace, with more than 340 rooms and 8 Turkish Baths the Imperial Residence of the last 6 Sultans, is sure to fascinate its visitors. At the end of the tour, your guide will take you back to your hotel, evening at leisure. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3: Byzantine and Ottoman Traces. After breakfast at hotel, your guide will take you to visit some of Istanbul's most fascinating sights such as the Blue Mosque; unique with its 6 Minarets, St. Sophia Museum; the jewel of Byzantine architecture in Istanbul, a 6th Century Church dedicated to Divine Wisdom. We walk around the Hippodrome where once chariot races and other activities took place during the Roman period. We will have lunch at a local restaurant serving Turkish Cuisine before heading to the Grand Bazaar; worlds oldest and biggest covered bazaar with more than 4000 shops which are still in business today.
Finally we visit Topkapi Palace; the home of the Ottoman Sultans & their families for over 400 years, a city within a city with 3000 residents. We will also see the Harem section and and it's chambers which have become a myth in the West due to the discrete life of the Sultans living here. The day will finish with the visit to the Mosque of Suleymaniye the Magnificent. At the end of the tour, your guide will take you back to your hotel, evening at leisure. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 4: Izmir and Ephesus. Flight to Izmir and Ephesus Ancient City Tour. Breakfast at hotel, check out and transfer to Istanbul Airport. Departure on the domestic flight to Izmir. On arrival to Izmir Airport and meet with your new guide depart on to the town of Selcuk to visit the Ancient City of Ephesus, one of the best preserved Greco-Roman Cities in the world. Depart for the House of Virgin Mary where she is said to have spent the last of her days.
After lunch in a local restaurant, the tour also includes a visit to the remains of Artemis Temple and if time allows a visit to the old Greek Village of Sirince. At the end of the tour you will be transferred to Izmir Airport for the domestic flight to Istanbul. On your arrival to Istanbul Airport, you will be met at the airport for the transfer to your hotel in Istanbul. Evening at leisure. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 5: Transfer to Istanbul Airport. Breakfast, check-out and meeting your transfer staff for drive to Istanbul International Airport.
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