ALL OF ISTANBUL in 1 day


ISTANBUL TOUR A: CLASSIC OLD CITY  TOUR

ISTANBUL TOUR A : CLASSIC OLD CITY

This excursion is a “must” for first time visitors of Istanbul. Main attractions in this walking tour are the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapı Palace and Grand Bazaar, which we enter to see from the inside. We also pass by to see Sultans Tombs, German Fountain, Hippodrome, Egyptian Obelisk from the outside. This tour is ideal for people who like history and culture, but may bore young children due to high historic content.

HAGIA SOPHIA

Church, mosque, museum, and mosque again in the year 2020. This 1500 year old monument and masterpiece was a model for many buildings since its erection.

BLUE MOSQUE

Most famous mosque after the Kaaba. Built by the order of Sultan Ahmet I, the mosque is known for its 20000 blue tiles, hence called Blue Mosque.

TOPKAPI PALACE

This palace was the residence and the center of power for Ottoman Sultans, including Suleyman the Magnificent. 70 hectars of land and many interesting interior expositions.

GRAND BAZAAR

The whole hill is a Bazaar. You can get lost in the labyrinth of 4000 shops. Ultimate shopping experience, with optional tile, rug and handicraft presentations.

ISTANBUL OLD CITY TOUR A:

 

Walking through the old city we will enter to see the highlights Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace and Grand Bazaar. Other than these, we will pass by and see from the outside the Turkish-Islamic Art Museum, that used to be the residence of the Grand Vizier Ibrahim Pasha. Also the Million Stone, which was used as a starting point to measure distances to other cities, Sultans Tombs, German Fountain, Hippodrome & Egyptian Obelisk, and the Basilica Cistern.
 
* A walking pace of 50 meters per minute (3 km/h) on the average is essential to keep up with the timing of this full program. Elder or handicapped might need support for this.
** In winter period the Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays. The Topkapı Palace is closed every Tuesday. These will be replaced with the Underground Basilica Cistern visit accordingly.

ISTANBUL  TOUR B: BOSPHORUS & ASIA

ISTANBUL TOUR B : BOSPHORUS & ASIA

In order to see the beauty of this city, sail alongside the european and asian coasts of the Bosphorus Strait by boat. Visit the colorful Spice Bazaar for a degustation of  various sorts of the famous “Turkish Delight”. The asian side offers an amazing panoramic view from the top of Çamlıca Hill to see the sheer size of Istanbul. Beylerbeyi Palace sums up all the beauties a palace can host, accompanying the Bosphorus.

BOSPHORUS BOAT TOUR

Old fortresses and cute residences, fine mosques stand next to Sultans palaces, intercontinental bridges connecting neighborhoods of Istanbul. Take your cameras with you.

SPICE BAZAAR

Next to the Golden Horn, the natural harbour of the ancient city, was the last stop of the Silk and Spice Roads. See and smell the Silk, Spices and golden Saffron.

SUMMER PALACE

Beylerbeyi Palace was used only a few months in the year, to make life more bearable on hot summer days & nights. Visit both, the Official and the Harem Section.

ÇAMLICA HILL

Look over to Europe from Asia. See not only the beauty of the Bosphorus, but also the Prince’s Island in the Marmara Sea, and the vast asian side of the city.

BEAUTIFUL BOSPHORUS & ASIA TOUR B:

 

The SPICE BAZAAR (also called Egyptian Bazaar) is located right at the Golden Horn, which is an arm of the Bosphorus, and is a good starting point for this excursion. You have the opportunity to make colorful photos and a degustation of diverse sorts of the famous “Turkish Delight”.

 

  During the BOSPHORUS BOAT TOUR all beauties of this city are unveiled. Sultans palaces stand next to modern bridges, that connect continents. Mosques and churches side by side, affluent residences in posh districts. The Bosphorus fascinates in every season of the year with breathtaking pictures, to remain as an unforgetable lifelong memory. Its turquoise waters blend with the lightblue sky and blossoming magenta colored judas trees in spring, whereas evergreen cypresses peak out in winter through the snow-covered roofs of elegant mansions, as you pass and listen to the pertaining historical commentary of each.

 

 BEYLERBEYI PALACE was a summer residence of the Sultans, used only a few months in year. A constant breeze from north makes life here more bearable on hot summer days & nights. It was also used as a state guest house, welcoming many european royals. Today it serves as a museum with two sections, the official-administrative and the Harem Section, both of which will be visited. Right at the banks of the Bosphorus and surrounded from three sides with courtyards, where magnolia trees give a soothing shade in the heat of summer, this mostly european style palace mingles with oriental and asian flair.

 

 ÇAMLICA HILL on the asian side offers an amazing view from the top, not only to see the beauty, but also the sheer size of Istanbul. On clear days, you can look to see the Prince’s Island in the Marmara Sea, and even discern the top of Mount Olympos in Bursa.

 

 * The Beylerbeyi Palace is closed every Monday and will be replaced with the Chora Church Museum. Accordingly on mondays the asian side will not be visited as the Çamlıca Hill will be replaced with the Pierre Loti Hill over the Golden Horn.

TOUR C: CAPPADOCIA

CAPPADOCIA TOUR C :

The land of beautiful horses, offers more experiences than its name implies. Highlights like Göreme Open Air Museum, astonishing views of fairy-chinmeys in Zelve & Paşabağ valleys, that are so much more apparent than the impressive cave cities. Beside the wines of Cappadocia the region Avanos is famous for terra-cotta production. History and culture are blended in this tour with an adventurous Hot Air Balloon Ride.

GÖREME MUSEUM

Monks fostered a model for teachings and practices of the Christian world in such monasteries, paintings reflecting their secluded lives.

CAVE CITIES

Suplied with air and water, up to 20.000 people found shelter in times of war or crisis in these cities, interconnected with long secret tunnels.

AVANOS POTTERY

An interactive presentation of regional terra-cotta art is one of the interesting things that you can participate in.

HOT AIR BALLOON

Soar amidst rising and descending balloons at sunrise, above the irreally stunning landscape of fairy chimneys. (must be paid extra)

CAPPADOCIA TOUR C:

 

The astonishing rock formations of Cappadocia will accompany us throughout the day, each and every valley having its peculiarity.  In DEVRENT VALLEY (also called IMAGINATION VALLEY) as well as ESENTEPE PANORAMIC VIEW POINT, everything is up to ones imagination. The unique panorama of cave houses, rock formations and fairy chimneys are more or less similar to other objects one comes across in daily life, leaving space for individual interpretation.

 

MONKS VALLEY (PAŞABAĞ) and ZELVE are famous with their monasteries where monks lived and prayed. Some of the highest fairychimneys with multiple caps are here.

 

AVANOS has become a centre for terra-cotta production since the beginning of settlement in Cappadocia around 3000BC.  An interactive presentation of pottery art is one of the interesting things that you can participate in.

 

The famous GÖREME OPEN AIR MUSEUM is a highlight exposing churches, dormitories, dining rooms, chapels and several other features typical for a monastery, that were very suitable for monks to live their secluded lives. At this stage in Cappadocia, Christian ideology intermingled with cleric practices, to become a centre for religious education, spreading from here to all over the world. Today, Byzantine art, frescoes and paintings that are well preserved are to be seen here.

 

UÇHISAR CASTLE (Cave Rock City) is the highest elevation of Göreme, a big rock with caves and tunnels that served as a fortification and watchtower. From here the village of Göreme and surroundings can easily be discerned.

 

UNDERGROUND CITY: There are plenty of underground cities, which are even connected to each other by tunnels. Air ventilation and underground rivers supplying water, would enable inhabitants to flee from attackers or the cold in winter into these cities, to pass difficult times. These underground cities could provide shelter for as much as 20.000 people. Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı Underground Cities are among the most visited. *Claustrophobics should not enter underground cities.

TOUR D: PAMUKKALE (Cotton Castle)

Walk the Cotton Castle terrace basins, Hierapolis antique city, with the biggest spa of old times. Region famous for onyx & textiles.

 

PAMUKKALE TOUR D : COTTON CASTLE

Main attraction in this excursion are the unique cascading travertines, which, from distance, look like cotton candy. Deep in the earth, water heated by volcanic lava dissolves pure white calcium and rises to cover the surface of this steep hillside. Hierapolis old city was the biggest spa and health center of antiquity, with the famous Cleopatra Bath. Among all the excavated cities, this one hosts the biggest Necropolis.  This tour is a good mix of  history, sightseeing, fun and relaxation.

ANCIENT CITY

The excavated parts of Hierapolis show all facettes of a roman city. The beautiful Triton Fountain, a theatre, Cathedral, the Agora and the numerous roman baths are worthwhile seeing.

COTTON CASTLE

Walk barefeet in Snowwhite terraces and basins, that occur naturally when spring waters rise, loosing heat and pressure, and calciumcarbonate subsides are left on the surface.

NECRO-POLIS

Especially the elder came to find relief for their pains. Some stayed longer and passed away, hence the biggest necropolis that has survived to our day. Different types of tomb mouseleums.

CLEOPATRA BATH

Like sparkling wine, bubbles rise from the spring source, to give CO and CO2 out to the air. One can find it very amusing to take a bath here as did once the legendary Cleopatra herself (extra).

PAMUKKALE (Cotton Castle) TOUR D:

 

CASCADING TRAVERTINES: This place famous for its amazingly white travertines and the ancient city of Hierapolis. Around twenty hot water springs have formed in time, white cascading terraces here. Somewhere deep in the earth beneath Pamukkale and the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis lies a vast source of water heated by volcanic lava. Under heat and pressure, the water dissolves pure white calcium, becomes saturated with it, and carries it to the earth’s surface, where it bursts forth and runs down a steep hillside. When these hot spring waters rise to surface, loosing heat and pressure, carbonmonoxide and carbondioxide is given off. Calciumcarbonate subsides naturally shape these amazing white cascades. Today, one can walk through Pamukkale barefeet and even find a chance to bathe in the hot water of the ancient pool, also called Cleopatra Bath.

 

HIERAPOLIS ANCIENT CITY: Built just above the hot spring waters of Pamukkale, HIERAPOLIS is a mighty ancient city, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Founded in 2nd century BC by the King of Pergamon, it later was taken over by the Roman Empire, to become a commercial center. The city with its hot spring waters was also the biggest Spa center of the ancient world. Especially elder people came here from all corners of the empire, to find relief for their pains. Some stayed longer and passed away here, hence the biggest necropolis that has survived to our day.
Hierapolis Ancient city also hosts a wonderful and well preserved theatre situated on the hillside. Other attractions are the Roman Baths, Domitian Gate, Latrina, Oil Factory, Frontinus Street, Agora, Triton Fountain, Byzantium Gate, Cathedral, Apollon Temple, Plutonium and the Antique Pool (also called Cleopatra Bath). You will find a chance to take photos of the best spots in Pamukkale while walking the travertines barefeet down.

 

 *CLEOPATRA ANTIQUE BATH entrance fee must be paid extra.

TOUR E: EPHESUS

The best excavated antique city in the world. 

EPHESUS TOUR E :

As the Capital of Asia Minor, Ephesus had a population of 250.000 inhabitants in Roman era. Being the last place where the mother of Jesus traveled to and passed away, today Virgin Mary House has become an important pilgrim place, where Lazarist priests still practice daily mass. Not far from Ephesus is the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Şirince village has become very popular with its idyllic character, meanwhile a touristic hotspot famous for its wines and wineries.

VIRGINS HOUSE

Mother Mary House was discovered after a nun’s description of her visions, to be the house where she finally lived and died. The peaceful aura leaves a serene and sublime touch in everyones heart.

EPHESUS OLD CITY

Highlights in this best excavated antique city of the world are, Celsus Library, the theatre, Hadrian Temple, Trajan Fountain, Vestalin Temple, the Odeon and several others.

ŞİRİNCE VILLAGE

A 15 minutes drive from Ephesus is the charming mountain village, where locals turned their homes to cute B&B places. A degustation in a small family winery, at a cozy fireplace can be very cheerful.

ARTEMIS TEMPLE

Lydian King Croesus built the sanctuary, also called Diana Temple in Roman Era. Abandoned after Christianity established itself in this area, today very little is left from the wonderful shrine.

EPHESUS TOUR E:

 

EPHESUS: Refugees from the Aegean Islands settled here in 1040 BC. to provide the basis of a greek trade colony, which eventually rose to become a member of the twelve cities of the Ionian League in Greek Era. In Roman era the port city became capital of Asia Minor, with a population of 250.000, an important commercial and political center. Ephesus is the last place that Virgin Mary traveled to with Saint John The Evangelist. Also Saint Paul visited the city, arrested for his highly emotional speeches, that attracted attention but also arose the pagan society. Highlights to be seen in the antique city are the Celsus Library and theater. Other than these, the Temple of Hadrian, the Fountain of Trajan, the Odeon, Virgin Priestesses Vestalin Temple. Agora, the baths and latrines, several churches are major sights.

 

ARTEMIS TEMPLE: Though the first temple building dates to 8th century BC., the sanctuary is much older. Destroyed three times and rebuilt in 550 BC with the contributions of the famous King Croesus, the Temple of Artemis is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Abandoned after Christianity established itself in this area, today very little is left from the temple since majority of marble columns were reused in other buildings, amongst others the Hagia Sophia.

 

VIRGIN MARY HOUSE: Located at the skirt of Bulbul Mountain, Virgin Mary’s House is a shrine where Lazarist priests still practice daily mass. Discovered after a Catholic nun in Germany described the place in her visions, to be the house where Mother Mary lived and died. It has become an important pilgrim place.

 

ŞİRİNCE VILLAGE: Not far from Ephesus is Şirince, a village that has become very popular with its idyllic character, meanwhile a touristic hotspot famous for its wines. You can make degustation here in the several wineries.

Key Services Tour C-D-E

  • transfers to and from the airports.
  • Round-trip domestic flights.
  • Professional Tour Guide
  • Transportation
  • All entrance fees and tickets.

Our Core Services

TOURS

WE ORGANIZE TIME AND COST EFFICIENT TOURS

PRIVATE TRANSFERS

AIRPORT TRANSFERS ONE WAY / ROUND TRIP

HOTEL BOOKING

GET BEST PRICES WITH OUR CONTRACTED HOTELS

PRIVATE TOURS

A VAN AND A GUIDE TO PLAN YOUR OWN DAY

MICE

MEETINGS-INCENTIVES-CONGRESS-EVENTS

SPECIAL INTERESTS

SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS GET SPECIAL ATTENTION

Click picture for more information.

Question & Answer

Why join our tours ?

We are time and cost efficient, thus you make most of your vacation. You can even combine 2 tours together, not only see more places in one day, you save a day to plan otherwise. You spare also one days hotel cost and expenditure.

What to take care of ?

We plan our route most efficiently, evading traffic whenever possible. Everyone who is able to walk normal walking speed, which is 3 km/h, can do it. Elder/handicapped people might need somebody to help them to keep up with the walking pace.

What about children ?

Children under 5 years are free and don’t have a seat in the coach. 6-7 years pay half price and have a personal seat. 8 years and above pay full price. Attention: Young children may get bored in the tours, due to high historic content. Flights: only 0-2 age is free, without a seat.

What are the conditions of the tours ?

Most important is to be on time. No reeimbursement, or pay back for non-used parts of the tour, if one is lost, late, or has other personal reasons. (Please read general conditions).

WHAT ELSE TO DO IN ISTANBUL ?

TURKISH NIGHT €:50.- DINNER BOAT CRUISE

Dinner night with bellydance & folklore dance Dinner with unlimited non-alcoholic drinks.

TURKISH NIGHT €:70.- DINNER BOAT CRUISE

Dinner night with bellydance & folklore dance Dinner boat cruise, unlimited alcoholic drinks.

ISTANBUL NIGHTLIFE €:25.-

ISTANBUL STREETS AT NIGHT. WALK THE SIDESTREETS WITH A LOCAL.

Pick up in your hotel in the evening, and drive to the boat, where you will be welcomed by “Mehter”, the ottoman military orchestra. After getting your welcome drink, seating places and cold starters, you can choose your menu (grilled fish, chicken, meatballs or vegetarian) and desert.
The dinner is accompanied by turkish folkloric dances from different regions. Caucasian and Gypsy dances, a rhythm show, DJ performance, and also the belly dance show, which is a widespread amusement in Turkey, in origin taken over and adapted from the Near East.
*This tour includes the transfer to and back to the pier, a dinner (shared tables of 8-12 people) with unlimited non-alcoholic drinks.
Pick up in your hotel in the evening, and drive to the boat, where you will be welcomed by “Mehter”, the ottoman military orchestra. After getting your welcome drink, seating places and cold starters, you can choose your menu (grilled fish, chicken, meatballs or vegetarian) and desert.
The dinner is accompanied by turkish folkloric dances from different regions. Caucasian and Gypsy dances, a rhythm show, DJ performance, and also the belly dance show, which is a widespread amusement in Turkey, in origin taken over and adapted from the Near East.
*This tour includes the transfer to and back to the pier, a dinner (shared tables of 8-12 people) with unlimited alcoholic drinks
Pick up in your hotel in the evening to explore the side-streets of Istanbul with a local. Taksim square and the Istiklal Street surroundings, the fishmarket, Flower Passage, Nevizade Street, where the bars, restaurants, night clubs, discotheques, cafes, shopping streets are located. As in every city, some places are more apparent and easily accessible, than the secret corners, where, as a tourist, one would need time to find and explore safely on his own.
*This tour includes the transfer from/to the hotel. Little surprises about turkish street food, here and there. Again one should know where to eat and where not to eat.

TURKISH BATH € 50.-

ONE OF HUNDRED THINGS TO DO IN LIFE

WARNING: PRINCE ISLAND TOUR

WE DON’T OFFER THIS TOUR.

DERVISH SHOW € 25.-

MYSTIC & HUMANISTIC APPROACH OF ISLAM

The Turkish Bath “Hamam” is a combination of Roman and Ottoman baths, including the typical scrubbing and a massage with a pile of soapy bubbles.

Types of the Hamam: Some serve mostly to tourists, some to locals and some to both. Some spas that include a hamam component are another type.

At hamams for locals, communication may be hard, but probably they have the best scrubs and massages. In touristic hamams prices will be high and the service will be mediocre. At the spa-type hamams, you’ll pay the most, and your service will be somewhat westernized though quite good.

Different Service Options: From self-service to full-service, you can choose from a menu, with a range of massage options. It includes warming up in a hot room, a very thorough scrub and soaping, and an optional massage. If you choose the self-service option, you’re just buying access to the facilities.

Arriving at the Hamam: Choose your service and pay when you enter. You will be given a pair of sandals and a large piece of thin fabric. Inside, always wear this fabric called peștemal. The dressing room will have a place to put your belongings, usually with a lock. After changing your clothes, you’ll be directed to a warm area to relax and then into a hot area. Minimum 20 minutes needed to prepare and sweat.

Rules and Etiquette: Hamams are social places, where clothes are taken off in public. Large hamams have a men’s section and a women’s section. Smaller hamams have certain times only for men and other times only for women. Mostly, men work for men, women for women.

Men: Remove all your clothes, including underwear. Wrap the peștemal around your waist and wear it until the end. Never take off the peştemal in the hamam.

Women: Remove your clothes, including your bra. Removing underwear is optional. Most women wear their underwear or a bikini bottom. Wrap your torso (from breast to legs) in the peștemal.

The Hamam Service: On a marble platform heated from underneath, called bektașı, the body scrub takes place. Using the abrasive kese, the masseur will, literally, sandpaper your body, from neck to toes, sparing privates. Assuming that the grey sludge coming off your skin is dirt, you’ll be shocked realizing it is mostly your own dead skin.

Next comes the turkish wash with a special soaping technique. While holding a pillowcase balloon over you, filled with soapy cream, the masseur will squeeze out all the air, and deposit a whipped cream froth of bubbles all over your body. The masseur will then vigorously wash you with these olive oil soap suds, giving you a massage at the same time.  Finally, you’ll be rinsed with bowls of hot and warm water and, if you’re not getting a massage, icy cold water.

The Massage: The massage is optional. It involves Swedish-like deep pressure as well as some Thai-like stretching and bending of your limbs. It’s not a relaxing massage, but you will feel great when it’s done.

Couples Hamams: Separate from women-only and men-only times, couples can experience the hamam together. The masseur will usually be male.

Under no circumstance should a woman remove her peștemal if the masseur is male. During a couple’s hamam, a woman will receive less scrubbing and a less dramatic massage than in a women-only facility. The back and belly won’t be scrubbed since the peștemal needs to be kept in place for modesty.

The Recovery: After the massage you can rest in another part of the hamam and can stay as long as you want. When you’re ready you may go directly to the showers. Many hamams have a dry area with lounging beds to relax in, where tea or juice may be served.

Your masseur may appear looking for a tip. It’s wise to have cash ready to tip 10% to 20%.

Don’t plan on doing anything after the hamam. You will be woozy and exhausted. Go to your hotel room for a good sleep.

HORSE CARRIAGE RIDES ARE POPULAR HERE. BECAUSE THE HORSES ARE EXPLOITED AND TREATED BADLY, WE DON’T OFFER THIS TOUR.

Founded by Jalâluddîn Rumi (1207-1273) and performed by Sufi Dervishes of the Mevlevi Order, the Sema ceremony is a spiritual journey to “perfection”, abandoning one’s ego or personal desires, focusing on god. The mystical dance of the dervishes and the music accompanying it is of exquisite beauty and has been declared a UNESCO Heritage of Humanity.

A whirling dervish is in a form of meditation-worship to end in an “ecstatic trance”. His hat and white shirt represent the tombstone and the shroud, and removing the black cloak, one is reborn to the truth of worldly temporariness and Divine love. Holding his arms crosswise represents #1, god’s unity. While whirling, the right arm is directed to the sky, ready to receive god’s beneficence; his left hand is turned toward the earth, conveying god’s spiritual gift to those who are witnessing the ceremony.

The Sufi fraternities follow islamic expression of life, to further one’s “nourishment of the soul”, actually synonymous with “understanding” the cosmos and “attaining higher knowledge”, thus recognizing the Revelation. Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi says, “All loves are a bridge to Divine love”.

In 1925, all sects and convents were dissolved by decree. In 1954, the Turkish government granted the Mevlevi Order a special permission to perform ritual whirling practices for tourists. Today, in order to distinguish the ceremony of whirling dervishes from a touristic attraction, one has to watch it not only with eyes, but with the soul and spirit. While only men have historically been permitted to take part in the ceremony, some communities now allow women to participate.

Complimentary beverages “Şerbet” are served before the Show.

Photography and children under 6 years of age are not allowed.