Direct flight with Turkish Airline / British Airways including

 

Overview: For a holiday like no other, take a trip to Istanbul and discover why it is consider a must-see destination among travel gurus.  After all, it is the magical meeting place of East and West and has more top-drawer attractions than it has minarets – and that’s a lot. You will start your first full day inside this majestic city with a trip to its famous Blue Mosque which dazzles with its stunning dome, beautiful blue tiles and stunning chandeliers.  There will be plenty of time to see historical landmarks such as Topkapi Palace, and Hagia Sopia Museum as well as putting your haggling skills to the test in the Spice Bazaar and the world-famous Grand Bazaar. Be sure to pack lightly when you come to Istanbul as you will no doubt want plenty of room in your luggage to take back countless handicrafts and ceramics from its markets.

As well as its rich historic and rustic old quarters, Istanbul is also home to a modern art scene and is filled with stylish bars and clubs. To truly unwind you can even treat yourself to a hammam spa bath.

There will be an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, when you hop on a boat and head to the Princes’ Island where bikes and horse-drawn carriages are the main modes of transport. You will also reach new heights as you enjoy a cable car ride to Uludag – the mount of Olympus, as well as exploring Bursa.

This amazing package includes flights, accommodation, early morning cruise, transfers and full board.

 

Holiday Highlights:

  • Visit Blue Mosque
  • Topkapi Place with religious and historical relics
  • Hagia Sopia museum
  • Shop at Grand Bazaar
  • Visit Spice Market
  • Day trip to Princes’ Island
  • Full board
  • Morning cruise along the Bosphorous
  • Visit Busra Grand Mosque
  • Cable car ride to Uludag – the mount of Olympus

Itinerary:

Day 1 – Arrival in Istanbul:

Get ready to explore a magical land that is both modern yet steeped in history when you arrive at Attaturk Airport. The red-carpet treatment will be rolled out for you as you are welcomed by a guide who will take you to Albatros Hotel in Istanbul.  You will have time to freshen up before you are taken to a local restaurant for dinner. On your way back, you can stroll through the markets and shops before enjoying a good night sleep.

 

Day 2 – Istanbul:

Today will be etched in your mind forever, as you will visit the famous Sultan Ahmed Mosque, which is more popularly known as the Blue Mosque because of its blue tiles inside.  You will be mesmerized by Turkey’s most iconic landmark, which boasts six majestic minarets, the biggest courtyard of all of the Ottoman mosques and stunning İznik tiles.  The 260 windows allow natural light to flood into the huge central prayer space, where worshippers come in their thousands to pray. Next, you will go on a tour of Topkapi Place, which was once home to sultans, ambitious courtiers, and beautiful concubines during the Ottoman empire. Be sure to have your camera ready as you explore the palace’s opulent pavilions, jewel-filled treasury and sprawling harem that gives a fascinating glimpse into their lives.

Muslim visitors will also be fascinated to see that the palace, which is now a museum, also houses various religious relics from Islamic Prophet Muhammad including his mantle.  Your penultimate stop will be at the famous Hagia Sophia Museum. During your visit, you will learn how the church later became a mosque and served Istanbul’s Muslim community for nearly 500 years before it was converted to a museum. As you stroll around inside, your guide will point out beautiful mosaics from its Christian period as well as fascinating examples of Byzantine architecture and relics from the Ottoman era. Finally, you will visit to the shrine and graveyard of Abu Ayub Al Ansari before enjoying dinner and a well-earned rest.

 

Day 3 – Istanbul:

See the vibrant city of Istanbul from a new preservative as you enjoy a morning cruise along the Bosphorous. Keep your eyes peeled as you see the domes and minarets of old Istanbul, landmarks such as Leander’s Tower and the magnificent façade of Dolmabahce Palace, as well as the sprawling new districts of office towers. Once you are on dry land, you will be able to put you haggling skills to the test as you visit popular markets including the Spice Bazaar and the famous Grand Bazaar, which is one of the largest covered markets in the world with 60 streets and 5,000 shops. It attracts up to 400,000 visitors daily and is well known for its jewellery, hand-painted ceramics, carpets, embroideries, spices and antique shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by type of goods, with a special area for leather, and gold jewellery. Next, you will explore the Hassam Pasha area, which is home to a landmark mosque with the same name. Finally, as night falls, you will feast on a delicious dinner at local restaurant. Soak up the bustling envirnoment, and speak with friendly locals as you toast to another brilliant day in Istanbul.

 

Day 4 – Princes’ Islands:

There is no better way to escape the bustle of Istanbul for a day than with a visit to the idyllic Princes’ Islands, which are a chain of nine small islands in the Sea of Marmara. They evolved from a place of exile during the Byzantine era, to a popular tourist destination. The main feature of any of the Princes’ Islands is the sound of silence as all motorised vehicles are banned, making the islands an oasis of peace and quiet. Horse-drawn carriages and bicycles are the main modes of transportation. But that’s not the only feature that makes the Princes’ Islands unique. You’ll find yourself walking or riding through narrow streets flanked by either untouched pine-forests or fine, wooden Victorian cottages. The only way to get there is by boat, so enjoy the cool breezes and charming sights along the way to Büyükada, which is the largest Island in the chain. It is famous for its mild climates, lush vegetation, and ornate Ottoman Houses. You will enjoy lunch at one of the many excellent fresh fish restaurants that line the waterfront, gazing across the Asian shore of Istanbul, so close – though it feels worlds away.  As the sun sets, you will take the boat back to Istanbul, which usual takes no more than an hour. Finally, head back to your hotel and rest.

 

Day 5 – Istanbul & Bursa:

Today, you will get a unique history lesson as you explore the first capital city of the Ottoman Empıre. After breakfast, you will be driven to Bursa to vısıt the Grand Mosque. You will be wowed by this large rectangular building, which boasts twenty domes. You will discover that the twenty domes were built, instead of the twenty separate mosques, which Sultan Bayezid I had promised for winning the Battle of Nicopolis in 1396.  Be sure to have your camera ready as you visit the Gren Mausoleum, which is famous for its Iznik tıles.  You will also visit the historical Covered Bazaar and the old Silk Market where you can put your bartering skills to the test once again to pick up some holiday souvenirs.  After the tour, you will be driven to Kusadasi for an open buffet dinner at the Bursa Tiara Hotel, where you will also stay overnight.

 

Day 6 – Bursa & Uludag – the mountain of Olympus:

Be prepared to reach new heights as you visit Uludag – the mount of Olympus – on a cable car. You will spend the day on the mountain, taking in the fresh air and stunning surroundings. Feel free to independently explore teahouses, cook-your-own barbecue restaurants and wooded walking trails. Then when the sun sets, you will be taken back to Istanbul for an overnight stay in Albatros Hotel.

 

Day 7 – Departure:

Relish in the final breakfast of your holiday. You may have time to pop out and pick up a few holiday souvenirs before check-out, where you will be transferred back to the airport for your flight home. If you wish to extend your stay or travel in a premium cabin, then please speak with our travel specialists who will be happy to assist you.


Accommodation:

Istanbul Albatros Hotel – Enjoy a slice of Istanbul’s historic past at this traditional hotel where rooms are inspired by the glorious days of the Ottoman Empire and are decorated lavishly. The spacious rooms all are air conditioned, and fitted with extra-long orthopedic beds and equipped with satellite TV channels. Guests can enjoy traditional Turkish food at the restaurant and admire stunning views over the Sea of Marmara from the roof-top terrace. Afternoon refreshments are served in the shady courtyard garden. The hotel sits in a quiet part of Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet, and is only 200 yards from the iconic Blue Mosque. With a 24-hour reception and excellent transport links nearby, the hotel allows easy access to the Bosphorus, to lively Taksim Square and to Istanbul’s vibrant shopping and street, İstiklal Caddesi.

Hotel facilities & amenities:

  • Sun terrace
  • BBQ facilities
  • Terrace
  • Special diet menus (on request)
  • Snack bar
  • Restaurant
  • Breakfast in the room
  • Bar
  • Internet
  • Parking is possible on site (reservation is needed).
  • Reception services
  • Private check-in/check-out
  • Concierge service
  • ATM/cash machine on site
  • Luggage storage
  • Ticket service
  • Tour desk
  • Currency exchange
  • Express check-in/check-out
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Cleaning services
  • Trouser press
  • Shoeshine
  • Ironing service
  • Dry cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Fax/photocopying
  • Business centre
  • Meeting/banquet facilities
  • Mini-market on site
  • Shared lounge & TV area
  • Airport shuttle (surcharge)
  • Shuttle service (surcharge)
  • Designated smoking area
  • Air conditioning
  • Non-smoking throughout
  • Allergy-free room
  • Heating
  • Car hire
  • Packed lunches
  • VIP room facilities
  • Lift
  • Bridal suite
  • Family rooms
  • Barber/beauty shop
  • Airport shuttle
  • Non-smoking rooms

Room facilities & amenities:

  • Air conditioned
  • Newspapers
  • Safety deposit box
  • Extra-long orthopedic beds
  • Satellite TV channels
  • Telephone
  • Minibar
  • Tea & coffee making facilities
  • Work station

 

Bursa Tiara Hotel – This fantastic hotel boasts a great location as it is centrally located in the city of Bursa. It has a 24-hour reception, spa facilities as well as free wi-fi. Inside, the guestrooms are air-conditioned and feature a satellite TV and mini-bar, while the bathrooms include free amenities and a hairdryer. Some rooms also offer a hot tub. Guests can enjoy breakfast in a traditional style as local and international dishes are served at Tivona Restaurant with à la carte menu options. With temperatures reaching up to 43 degrees, the thermal spa facilities include a Turkish bath, Finnish bath, sauna, indoor thermal pool and a fitness room- which are free for all guests. Massages can be booked at an additional cost. The hotel is only a 30-minute drive to Guzelyali Ferry Port, and a 50-minute drive from Yenisehir Airport.

Hotel facilities & amenities:

  • Breakfast in the room
  • Bar
  • Internet
  • Thermal spa facilities
  • Turkish bath
  • Finnish bath
  • Sauna
  • Indoor thermal pool
  • Fitness room
  • Massages can be booked at an additional cost
  • Parking is possible on site (reservation is needed).
  • Reception services
  • Private check-in/check-out
  • Concierge service
  • ATM/cash machine on site
  • Luggage storage
  • Ticket service
  • Tour desk
  • Currency exchange
  • Express check-in/check-out
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Cleaning services
  • Trouser press
  • Shoeshine
  • Ironing service
  • Dry cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Fax/photocopying
  • Business centre
  • Shared lounge & TV area
  • Air conditioning
  • Non-smoking throughout
  • Allergy-free room
  • Heating
  • Packed lunches
  • Lift

Room facilities & amenities:

  • Air conditioned
  • Newspapers
  • Safety deposit box
  • Comfortable beds
  • Satellite TV channels
  • Telephone
  • Minibar
  • Tea & coffee making facilities
  • Work station