Region: Istanbul Comments: This is a boutique tour with a maximum of 14 participants.
Explore Europe and Asia in one day, get lost in the waters of the Bosphorus. This tour is definitely the best way to step onto two continents in less then 10 minutes.
Bosphorus Cruise, Cable Car to Pierre Loti Cafe, Rustem Pasa Mosque, City Walls, Saint Savior in Chora Church Museum, Suleymaniye Mosque
Bosphorus Cruise: We will cruise on the Bosphorus to allow you the prime perspective from which to view the fine palaces, pavilions, Ottoman houses and seaside neighborhoods along the shores of this famous and historic waterway connecting the Black Sea and the Maramara Sea. Rumeli Fortress (From the sea): The largest fortification for the protection of Istanbul built by Sultan Mehmet II in 1451 before his conquest of the city. This garrison is well preserved and its towers and walls can be seen clearly as our boat passes by.
Cable Car to Pierre Loti: Enjoy the beautiful view from the cable car as you climb the hill to the cafe named for the famous French writer and naval officer, Louis Marie Julien Viaud a.k.a. Pierre Loti (1850 -1923), who wrote fiction based on his experiences in Istanbul .
Rustem Pasha Mosque: This majestic and surprising little mosque was designed by the most famous of Ottoman architects, Mimar Sinan, for the Grand Vizier Rustem Pasha who had married Princess Mihrimah, one of the daughters of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. Its construction took place from 1561 to 1563. The mosque is famous for its exquisite tiles from Iznik that are set in beautiful floral and geometric arrangements and which cover not only the facade of the porch but also the mihrab, minbar, walls, and columns of the interior.
City Walls and Golden Horn by vehicle: As you will ride along the shores of the Marmara Sea with your driver and guide, you will follow a major portion of the city’s Byzantine walls and will continue to follow them when we turn inland from the sea. Your guide will discuss the remains of Constantinople’s old city walls and you will hear the history of their construction and about the battles during which the walls either saved the city or were breached by its attackers.
Saint Savior in Chora Church Museum: This delightful church was built in the 11th century just within the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople, as the city was known throughout the Byzantine era. The Theodosian Walls were built roughly 1500 meters beyond the original Constantinian Wall at the behest of Emperor Theodosius II during the early 5th century. The significance of the church’s name (Chora means countryside in Greek) lies in the fact that it was constructed upon the site of a much older church that had been built outside of the Constantinian Wall prior to the construction of the Theodosian Walls. The Chora’s dozens of exquisite mosaic depictions, dating from the early 14th century and visible throughout the interior, are what have made it a must see destination when in Istanbul. These are some of the highest quality Byzantine mosaics anywhere that have survived until the present. Ironically, it is because the mosaics were covered with plaster when the church was used for centuries as a mosque that the mosaics have been so well preserved.
Suleymaniye Mosque:This elegant mosque with its distinguishing four slender minarets was built on the order of Sultan Suleyman by the most famous of Ottoman architects, Mimar Sinan, between 1550 and 1558. It is the second largest mosque in the city and sits prominently upon the third of old Istanbul’s seven hills. In addition to the mosque, the original complex consisted of a hospital and medical college, four madrasahs as well as a special school for study of the hadith, a hamam, a Caravansarai and a public kitchen. The tomb of Mimar Sinan is located adjacent to the mosque.
Pick up and drop off to local Hotels
Professional English speaking Guide
Entrance fees to Museums
Lunch in a Local Restaurant (Excluding Drinks)