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Istanbul

Istanbul

Istanbul, historically known as Constantinople has served as an Imperial capital for almost 1600 years and has a wealth of historical sites of great significance making this one of the most fascinating cities in the world to visit.

On the first day, guests are met at the Arrival Hall in their chosen Istanbul airport and taken to their hotel. The rest of the day is free.

On the second day, guests are collected from their hotels at 9am for a full day tour of some of the key sites in the Sultanahmet area of the city. The tour begins at the Haghia Sophia Museum which boasts the 4th largest dome in the world. This stunning building began as a Byzantine basilica built in the 6th century AD during the reign of Justinian and was an architectural innovation at the time. After this, the tour moves on to the nearby Blue Mosque, so called after the delicate designs of the Ottoman tiles which decorate the walls of the shrine; the mosque is identifiable by its’ six minarets. After lunch, the tour moves on to the Hippodrome, once the centre for sports and entertainment in old Constantinople, the Roman Capital; it was also a very important centre for politics. Finally, the tour ends with the magnificent Topkapi Palace, the Imperial residence of the Ottoman Sultans from the 15th to the 19th century. Home to the Imperial Treasury and the Cabinet, as well as being the site of the barracks for the Janissaries, the elite of the army, every corner of the palace tells about the splendour of the Ottomans. Return to hotels approximately 17.30.

The following day the half day tour begins again at 9am and gives a comprehensive view of much of the city beginning with the remains of the Byzantine city walls and the Golden Horn, that atmospheric and much-photographed peninsula which geographically separates the historic centre from the rest of the city. It then proceeds to the Bosphorous Bridge which stretches across the Bosphorous Straits joining the continents of Europe and Asia, affording a panoramic view of the Asian shore. Return to hotel at approximately 13.30.

On day four, the morning is free to relax and then the afternoon tour begins from the hotel at 12.30 starting with the Suleymaniye Mosque. Located on the third hill of Istanbul, the mosque is one of the best known sights in the city. Built in the mid-sixteenth century, the architect was the well-renowned Mimar Sinan and it is a vast complex blending Islamic and Byzantine styles. Moving on from here, the tour joins the Bosphorous Cruise for a thrilling tour sailing along the Straits, one of the best ways to appreciate all that this wonderful city has to offer including magnificent views of the European and Asian shorelines. Return to hotel at approximately 5pm.

On the final day, guests check out of their hotel and are taken to their relevant Istanbul Airport. Istanbul, historically known as Constantinople has served as an Imperial capital for almost 1600 years and has a wealth of historical sites of great significance making this one of the most fascinating cities in the world to visit.

On the first day, guests are met at the Arrival Hall in their chosen Istanbul airport and taken to their hotel. The rest of the day is free.

On the second day, guests are collected from their hotels at 9am for a full day tour of some of the key sites in the Sultanahmet area of the city. The tour begins at the Haghia Sophia Museum which boasts the 4th largest dome in the world. This stunning building began as a Byzantine basilica built in the 6th century AD during the reign of Justinian and was an architectural innovation at the time. Meeting/pick-up point: Pick up from Istanbul Ataturk Airport on the first day. (For transfers from Sabiha Gokcen Airport there is an additional return charge)

Duration: 4 Nights/ 5 Days.

Languages: in Russian.

What is included: 4 nights accommodation in a 5 star hotel; Transfers to / from airport; Entrance fees to places of visit, the shuttle service Tours, a professional guide, lunch on the first day, Bosphorous trip.

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