Day 3: Istanbul Bosphorus & Two Continents Tour
Pick up from your hotel. Start the tour with a drive along the old city walls which have only been breached twice – the first breach was during the Fourth Crusade in 1204, and the second by the cannons and troops of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453.
We then continue our drive along the Golden Horn, a natural and secure harbor which divides the European shore of Istanbul into two and has played an important role in the development and protection of Istanbul. Approximately 8km long, the widest part is the entrance from the Bosphorus.
Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar) – where the air is filled with the enticing aromas of every conceivable herb and spice, including cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint and thyme.
Boat Trip on the Bosphorus – we finish our day with a relaxing cruise along the Bosphorus between the two continents of Europe and Asia, passing Dolmabahçe and Beylerbeyi Palaces, wooden villas and mansions, going up to the Rumeli Fortress (viewed from the sea – no interior visit) which was critical to the conquer of Istanbul by Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II in 1453.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. (Drinks are extra)
Turkey is one of the world’s top countries for leather production, and so, after lunch we will watch a fashion show at an outlet centre which manufactures and sells a range of leather products, including jackets and handbags. It’s lots of fun, and a good opportunity to have a look at reasonably priced, high quality leather goods.
While we are on the Asian side of Istanbul we also visit Beylerbeyi Palace – former summer residence of the Ottoman Sultans with its original furniture and magnificent gardens, including the Harem.
We will also drive up Çamlıca Hill, one of the highest points in Istanbul. At the top, you can rest and admire the magnificent panorama of Istanbul and the Bosphorus from the beautiful traditionally-landscaped gardens, as you sip your drinks in a cafeteria.
We then drive across the famous Bosphorus Bridge, giving you a unique chance to cross from one continent (Asia) to another (Europe).
After finishing the tour, return to the hotel and overnight Istanbul. (B,L)