This private shore trip is designed as a flavor beside the highlights of Istanbul to give a more in-depth Istanbul experience.
First, we will visit the Suleymaniye Mosque, built on the order of Suleyman the Magnificent and constructed by the great Ottoman architect, Mimar Sinan, in the year 1557 AD. It was designed to be an architectural counterpart to Hagia Sophia, and is regarded as being one of the most beautiful of all imperial mosques. We will view the architecture from the outside of the building, and also visit the tombs of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent with his wife, Roxelana (Hurrem Sultan).
Next, after driving alongside the inland-facing portion of the old City Walls of Constantinople, en route to the Chora Church. These walls have protected the city from numerous sieges for centuries, breached only once from one side by the crusaders in 1204 that ended in the sacking of the city, and during its fall in 1453 through the bombardment of Ottoman cannons (first usage of siege cannons in warfare). Much of the walls are still in-tact but have become part of the city’s texture in some neighborhoods.
Afterwards, we arrive at the Chora Church, an old Byzantine church famous for its well-preserved wall-mosaics showing scenes from the Old and New Testament. It is one of the most uniquely fascinating examples of early Christian history. We will shortly stop for lunch.
Next, we will go to the district of Eyup, named after Abu Ayyub al-Ansar, the flag carrier of Prophet Muhammed during the Arab Siege of Constantinople, who died during the siege and was buried there. We will take the cable cars to the coffe house of Pierre Loti, which overlooks the Old City from the hill-top from giving a panoramic view over the Old City.
The tour will continue with a Bosphorus Cruise, where we will board a specialized tour ferry for an exciting cruise along the Bosphorus Strait, from where you will see the grand Ottoman palaces and castles, including the Dolmabahce Palace, the Beylerbeyi Palace, and Rumeli Fortress – your guide will narrate the history of the city and its landmarks throughout your Bosphorus cruise.
Finally, we will head towards the Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar), famous for its immense selection of spices like saffron, oregano, mint, cinnamon, henna for the hair, special Turkish spices for meat, different kinds of pepper, Turkish sweets such as baklava, lokum, and a huge variety of herbal tea.
After all the visits, we will return back to the port of Istanbul.
Inclusions & Remarks
- Pick-up & drop-off at the port of Istanbul
- Transportation in a fully air-conditioned, non-smoking private vehicle
- Fully escorted by a professional tour guide
- Entrance fees at the sites mentioned
- Please expect dense traffic conditions in Istanbul. The order of the sites visited may change depending on traffic and avoiding crowds.
- We will be stopping for lunch during the tour. However, lunch is not included and the guests are free to choose on site.
- Tour guide is English-speaking by default. If it is demanded, other languages are available for private groups or individual arrangements. Other language guides may cost extra.
- Please confirm the days in which the above locations/sights are open before making a booking for that particular day.
- We kindly request our guests to be ready 15 minutes from your departure time.