Istanbul & Ephesus Tour 5 Days
Departure : Everyday
Highlights : Istanbul - Ephesus - Istanbul
Welcome to Istanbul, the only city in the world to straddle two continents. It’s no surprise that this vast metropolis is home to a beguiling mix of different cultures and traditions, blending the influences of both east and west.
You will meet your driver waiting for you outside of customs with a sign with your name on it. You will be transferred to your hotel. You have free time for the rest of the day in Istanbul.
Meal Plan: No meal
Breakfast at the hotel, you will be picked up from your hotel for a full day Istanbul tour.We begin our tour of the Sultanahmet district, the heart of old Istanbul, at Hagia Sophia*. Converted into a mosque in 1453, it is now a museum. Its massive dome still dominates the skyline of old Istanbul. Next we visit the Blue Mosque, The Hippodrome and The Grand Bazaar was the commercial heart of the old city and its 4,000 shops are full of treasures including carpets and kilims, silks, jewelry, ceramics, icons, and leather goods. Wandering through the Grand Bazaar, indulge in some shopping, Ottoman style.
After the lunch we begin our tour at Topkapı Palace, which, from the 15th to the 19th century, was the principal residence of the Ottoman Sultans. We will visit the fabulous Imperial Treasury and the Baghdad Kiosk. Topkapı Palace is now a museum and has unrivalled collections of jewelry, including the Spoonmaker’s Diamond, the 3rd largest in the world.We also visit the Imperial Armory, displaying centuries of Ottoman weaponry. But perhaps the loveliest feature of Topkapı Palace are its courtyards with their ancient trees; it is easy to imagine the sultan strolling here far from the cares of state and empire. Last but by no means least, we visit the Rüstem Pasha Mosque, completed in 1563.. The large quantities of exquisite Iznik tiles, arranged in a wide variety of beautiful floral and geometric designs, as well as the spacious central courtyard, make this mosque a must-see Istanbul attraction.
Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch
**Please note that Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays and Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays. Blue Mosque will not be visited on Fridays.
We begin with a brief visit to the 17th century Spice Bazaar*, one of Istanbul’s most colorful, bustling attractions. Next, we travel the Golden Horn on our way to an unforgettable cruise along the Bosphorus, the majestic strait that runs through Istanbul, linking Europe and Asia. From our cruise boat, we view the dramatic sights lining the Bosphorus’ wooded shores: mosques, a bridge that for a time was the world’s longest and Rumeli Hisarı, a massive fortress built by Mehmet the Conqueror in just three months as he prepared to take Istanbul. Also noteworthy on this tour are the 19th century mansions of the Ottoman elite and the Sultans’ fanciful gingerbread palaces and hunting lodges.
*On the rare Sundays when the Spice Bazaar is closed, we offer an orientation session
Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch
You will be picked up from your hotel in Istanbul and transfer to the airport. Upon your arrival to Izmir airport, you will be met our driver and transferred to Ephesus where the tour begin. We will depart for a full day tour of Ephesus and Virgin Marys House. First, we will visit the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Then proceed to the Ancient City of Ephesus where you will explore some of the best-preserved theater, fountains and buildings in the world. Then we will continue to the House of Virgin Mary on top of the mountain. A pilgrimage site for many people of all denominations and little village Sirince. After the tour, we will return to airport to fly to Istanbul. Upon arrival, you will be picked up from the airport and transferred to your hotel in Istanbul.
Meal Plan: Lunch
You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your international flight. End of services.
Meal Plan: Breakfast
• 4 nights accommodation in 3 Star or 4 Star hotels.
• Airport transfers with air-conditioned vehicles.
• Domestic flight tickets Istanbul to Izmir & Izmir to Istanbul.
• Services of a professional tour guide on sightseeing tours.
• Entrance fees for the sites and museums.
• Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
• Tips to staff, items of a personal nature.
• Drinks with meals (except the drinks served with breakfast).
• International arrival & departure flight tickets.
• Entry visa.