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Explore the Fabled Capital of Byzantium

Overview

This special, in-depth exploration of Istanbul with a private guide visits intriguing sites not seen on the main trip’s Istanbul visit. Istanbul is truly the bridge between Asia and Europe and it’s a wonderfully walkable city full of delights. We highly recommend extending your time in this fascinating city, and you can take the extension before or after the main trip.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive in Istanbul

You will be met upon arrival at Istanbul airport and transferred to your hotel.  The drive takes you along the shores of the Sea of Marmara and past the ramparts of Istanbul’s old city walls. Meals are on your own today. Overnight at Hotel Levni.

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Day 2
Prince's Islands

Meet with your guide again for a scenic ferry ride to the Prince’s Islands, an archipelago in the Sea of Marmara just off the Asian coast of Istanbul. In the 19th century, grand Ottoman mansions were built on the islands and much of the beauty and romance of that time still survives today. Explore Prinkipo (Buyukada), the largest of the islands, by circling its coastline by horse-drawn carriage (no motorized traffic is allowed), heading to the less populated part of the island through forests of age-old pine trees and alongside seaside cliffs. After lunch at one of the famous fish restaurants along Prinkipo’s seaside, walk up to the monastery of St. George on Yucetepe Hill, perhaps lingering to taste some of the wine produced here. Return to Istanbul on an early afternoon ferry. Later we can arrange an optional visit to the Turkish Hamam Bath for a unique bathing experience. These historic baths are near your hotel, so if you don’t wish to attend you can return to the hotel. (The cost of the bath is not included—approximately $30 per person.) Dinner is on your own, with an overnight at Hotel Levni…BL

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Day 3
Pera District

Ride the streetcar with your private guide to reach the Galata Bridge, then take the “Tunel,” Istanbul’s underground metro, to the Pera District for a walk to the Galata Tower, a 14th century Genoese monument with breathtaking views of all of Istanbul, and visit the Calligraphy Museum that doubles as the local Convent of Whirling Dervishes. The Pera District is the new and fashionable part of “old Stamboul,” where the embassies are located and where we see the “Stamboullou” locals promenade as we walk along Istiklal Avenue, a pedestrian street lined with embassies, churches, cafes, patisseries, great restaurants, and interesting shops in interior passageways. Stroll through the Flower Passage and Fish Market, then after lunch at a restaurant, visit the sumptuous Dolmabahce Palace on the Bosphorus, the final residence of the Sultans. You could also visit the Maritime Museum, one of Istanbul’s most interesting little museums, where among other things are palatial Ottoman caiques (private boats once used by the sultans). Bid farewell to your guide and enjoy dinner on your own. Overnight at Hotel Levni...BL

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Details

Length: 3 days
Cost From: $855  
Arrive: Istanbul, Turkey
Depart: Istanbul, Turkey
Lodging: 3 nights hotel
Meals: Meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

Cultural explorations and walking tours

Visa Requirements

A visa is required for U.S. citizens visiting Turkey. You can obtain your visa on arrival ($20).