Kariye (Chora) Museum

The Church of the Holy Savior of Chora, called in Turkish, KariyeCamii, is, after Hagia Sophia, the most interesting Byzantine church in the city. Not so much for the building itself, pretty as it is, but because of the superb series of mosaics and frescoes which it preserves and which have been magnificently restored and cleaned by the Byzantine Institute of America. The name of the church,”in Chora” means “in the country” because the very ancient monastery to which it was attached was outside the walls of the Constantinian; later when it was included within the Theodosian walls, the name remained the Holy Savior of Chora. The church of The Holy Savior in Chora (KariyeCamii) is the most important monument…

Pierre Loti Hill

You take a cable-lift up to the summit of the hill where you can look down on the Golden Horn and  the beautiful mosques of the Old City and surrounds.  Pierre Loti (born Louis Marie JulienViaud (b. 14 Jan 1850 – d. 10 June 1923), was a French writer who lived in Istanbul at the end of the 19th century. It  is said his name was given Tahitian natives during a journey to  the south Sea Islands He rose to the rank of a Colonel in the French Army and was considered a friend  of the Ottomans but there were those who thought otherwise as .  Amongst the many novels he wrote his main works are; Aziyade his first  novel…

Eyup Mosque

Eyup Mosque was the first mosque built after the Turks conquered Constantinople. One of the first Muslims, EbuEyup El-Sari was killed in the Arab army’s battle in the year 668 AC in this location. Sultan Fatih Mehmet’s religious tutor is said to have discovered his tomb. Fatih built a large tomb, a mosque and a public soup kitchen in that location in memory of the fallen warrior. The interior is magnificent with goldleafed decorations, elegant chandeliers hanging from the dome, and oriental carpets that cover the ground. The tomb of Eyup Sultan was built in 1485 and its walls have been tiled with tiles from various periods. For hundreds of this has been a centre of pilgrimage. The grill inside…

Golden Horn

Situated at the mouth of the Bosphorus this bay separates the old city from new Istanbul. This is where the first colonies settled during the founding of Istanbul in pre-Byzantine times. This was the residential area for Byzantine Jews, Italian traders and other non-Muslim minorities. Drive along the traces of history at Balattasking time out to see the Bulgarian Orthodox metal plated  Church of St. Stephen and drive along the fortification walls of old Constantinople that stretch for 21 kilometres alongside the City Walls(by bus), the strongest fortification of the middle ages.

Çamlıca Hill

On the Asian shores of the Bosphorus there is high pine covered hill which has a restaurant situate at its apex. From here one can inhale the fresh Black Sea air, and obtain the best views of the sprawling metropolis of Istanbul. The best time for pictures is in the morning, but late afternoon offers glimpses on the city’s skyline silhouetted against the sunset while night fall ushers in an impressive portrait of Istanbul as a city of sparkling lights.

Beylerbeyi Palace

Beylerbeyi Palace is on the Asiatic shore and was built by Abdulaziz between the years 1861-1865. The architect was SarkisBalyan, one member of the famous Balyan family, which gave nine renowned palaces to The Ottoman Empire over nearly a century. Serving under the six sultans, they were responsible for the westernization of the city’s architecture. The old palace had been built by Mahmut II, during the years 1826-1827 but the building was damaged during a fire. Beylerbeyi Palace served as a summer residence. There are many architectural resemblances between this building and the Dolmabahce Palace. The palace has 6 halls and 24 rooms. The decoration of the ceiling was done by Ottoman , Italian, and French artists. The painterChelebowsky was…

Spice (Egyptian) Bazaar

It was built in 1660 by the architect Kasim Aga for the mother of Sultan Murat IV, HaticeTurhan Sultan. The Egyptian Bazaar is Istanbul’s second covered bazaar. It is L shaped in plan, a building that borders two sides of the park beside YeniCami. The structure was restored in 1943. There are eighty eight vaulted shops in all, along with a tiny mosque at the inner corner of the L. The structure of the building is dressed stone with alternating brick courses, fine examples of Ottoman Architecture. Merchants selling various herbs and spices such as saffron, mustard, mint, thyme, cinnamon, aniseed, garlic, Indian tea, honey, apple tea, henna, jujube, eucalyptus, mahlep, cloves,etc. can be seen throughout.

Dolmabahce Palace

This beautiful Ottoman Palace, magnificently situated at the European side of the Bosphorus strait, was built by the son of Mahmut II, Sultan Abdulmecit 1839-1861, who ascended the throne at the age 16. His decision to have a new fashionable residence similar to European palaces started the construction of the Dolmabahce Palace in 1843. After the demolition of the former palace in wood, the work for the new palace started under architects Garabet and NikogosBalyan, members of the famous Balyan family which gave nine reputed architect to the Ottoman Empire for nearly a century. Serving under the six sultans, they were responsible for the westernization of the city’s architecture. The construction of the palace which covers an area of 250.000…

Cappadocia Tour – Hot-Air Balloon Ride

(Istanbul – Capadoccia by plane) Visits: Zelve Open Air Museum, Goreme Open Air Museum, Uchisar, Pigeon Valley, Red Valley, Cavusin, Kaymakli Underground city Day 1 – Flight to Cappadocia Transfer from your hotel in Istanbul to the airport in the late afternoon. Fly from Istanbul to Kayseri or Nevsehir. Transfer to Urgup. Overnight in Cappadocia Day 2 – Cappadocia Tour 1 with Hot – air Balloon Ride Option Early Morning 5:00 am: Pick-up from hotel for hot air balloon ride. After hot air balloon ride dropped off back to hotel. After breakfast, picked up for Cappadocia Tour 1.Begin the day in Devrent Valley, followed by Zelve Open Air Museum, one of the most impressive monastery complexes in the area. Next,…

Istanbul – Cappadocia One Day

Transfer from your hotel in Istanbul to the airport. Morning flight from Istanbul to Kayseri. Transfer from the airport to Cappadocia. Begin the tour by visiting both Devrent Valley and Pasabağ (Monk Valley), to see the extraordinary mushroom-shaped rock pinnacles or ‘fairy chimneys’. Continue on to the small village of Avanos by the Red River, famous for clay pottery design. After lunch, proceed to the Goreme Open Air Museum, featuring the most impressive rock-carved churches and Byzantine frescoes in all Cappadocia. Finally enjoy a view of the moonscape valleys from the rock-perched natural citadel of Uchisar Castle. Transfer to Kayseri airport. Evening flight back to Istanbul. Transfer to your hotel.