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Neil Davis

Platinum Travel Consultant

020 7808 6785

020 7808 6785

Lead Price
From £1795pp
Duration
7 days & 6 nights
Itinerary Type
Group Tour
Holiday Type
Specialist-led
Tour Highlights

Istanbul: Byzantines and Ottomans

Istanbul, capital of the Ottoman and Byzantine empires, enjoyed more than four centuries of imperial patronage, resulting in one of the most dramatic skylines in the world. This comprehensive tour visits several of the city’s most exquisite mosques and palaces, including Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia. Together with the energetic street life and vibrant bazaars, they make Istanbul one of Europe and Asia’s most alluring cities – as you will discover first-hand.
Dates and prices

Your expert lecturers

Rowena Loverance

Rowena Loverance is a Byzantine art historian, specialising in sculpture, mosaics and icons. She worked for more than 20 years at the British Museum and is a visiting research fellow at King’s College, London. Rowena also accompanies groups on the following tours:

Dr William Taylor

Dr William Taylor is an Anglican priest, chairman of the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association, a writer, and broadcaster on the Islamic world and the Orthodox churches. He has worked and lived in Jordan, Cairo, and Turkey and travelled and lectured in the Middle East and Central Asia. William also accompanies groups on the following tours:

Itinerary

YEAR:
DAY 1: Fly to Istanbul
- +

Fly to Istanbul

Fly from London Heathrow to Istanbul. Transfer to the Levni Hotel (or similar) for 6 nights. Evening welcome dinner. (D)

Meal basis: As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

Accommodation: Levni Hotel
DAY 2: Istanbul
- +

Istanbul

Morning visit to the Church of Theotokos Kyriotissa (Kalenderhane Camii), Zoodochos Pigi (Silivri Kapi cemetery), Suleymaniye mosque complex, and Basilica of St John of Studius (Imrahor Camii) – the oldest church in Istanbul, erected in 454AD. In the afternoon, see the magnificent mosaics and frescoes of St Saviour in Chora (Kariye Camii) (subject to confirmation), Theotokos Pammakaristos (Fethiye Camii), the Porphyrogenitus Palace ruins, and the Theodocian city walls at Edirne Kapi. (B)

Accommodation: Levni Hotel
DAY 3: The Princes’ Islands
- +

The Princes’ Islands

Take the early morning public ferry to the Princes’ Islands, a nine-island archipelago in the Sea of Marmara, passing Leander’s Tower, ancient Chalcedon and Antigone. Stop at Chalki to visit the Church of St Nikolaos and the Greek Orthodox seminary. Continue to the isle of Prinkipo to visit the Monastery of St George. The final visit of the day is to the Crimea Memorial Church, built in the mid-19th century in memory of fallen British soldiers, where a special drinks reception has been arranged (subject to confirmation). (B)

Accommodation: Levni Hotel
DAY 4: Istanbul
- +

Istanbul

Take a morning walking tour of Sultanahmet, including Topkapi Palace and the superb collections of the archaeological museum. In the afternoon, view the remains of the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, the Mosaics Museum and the Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus (Kucuk Hagia Sofia). Visit the Hagia Sofia Grand Mosque, converted following the conquest of the city in 1453 and once the centre of Orthodox Christianity. (B)

Accommodation: Levni Hotel
DAY 5: Edirne
- +

Edirne

Full day's sightseeing in Edirne, once known as Adrianople and the Ottoman capital prior to 1453. Visit the Selimiye Mosque, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the nearby Old Mosque; Sultan Bayezid II Complex; Ali Pasha Bazaar; and the Macedonian Tower. (B)

Accommodation: Levni Hotel
DAY 6: Istanbul
- +

Istanbul

Morning visit to the Church of Theotokos Panaghiotissa (known as Mouchliotissa), the only Byzantine church in the city still belonging to the Greek Orthodox patriarchate. Continue around the old Greek district of Fener, including the Cathedral of St George. This afternoon, visit the Basilica Cistern and the lively Grand Bazaar, then conclude with a stop at the garden of the sacred shrine and spring, Ayazma Blachernae, dating back to 451AD. Evening farewell dinner in the historic Eminönü district. (B, D)

Accommodation: Levni Hotel
DAY 7: Fly to London
- +

Fly to London

Morning walking tour of Beyazit, the Third Hill and the old city centre. Fly from Istanbul to London Heathrow with British Airways. (B)

Meal basis: As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

DAY 1: Fly to Istanbul
- +

Fly to Istanbul

Fly from London Heathrow to Istanbul. Transfer to the Levni Hotel (or similar) for 6 nights. Evening welcome dinner. (D) Meal basis: As per itinerary - B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

Accommodation: Levni Hotel
DAY 2: Istanbul
- +

Istanbul

Morning visit to the Church of Theotokos Kyriotissa (Kalenderhane Camii), Zoodochos Pigi (Silivri Kapi cemetery), Suleymaniye mosque complex, and Basilica of St John of Studius (Imrahor Camii) – the oldest church in Istanbul, erected in 454AD. In the afternoon, see the magnificent mosaics and frescoes of St Saviour in Chora (Kariye Camii) (subject to confirmation), Theotokos Pammakaristos (Fethiye Camii), the Porphyrogenitus Palace ruins, and the Theodocian city walls at Edirne Kapi. (B)

Accommodation: Levni Hotel
DAY 3: The Princes’ Islands
- +

The Princes’ Islands

Take the early morning public ferry to the Princes’ Islands, a nine-island archipelago in the Sea of Marmara, passing Leander’s Tower, ancient Chalcedon and Antigone. Stop at Chalki to visit the Church of St Nikolaos and the Greek Orthodox seminary. Continue to the isle of Prinkipo to visit the Monastery of St George. The final visit of the day is to the Crimea Memorial Church, built in the mid-19th century in memory of fallen British soldiers, where a special drinks reception has been arranged (subject to confirmation). (B)

Accommodation: Levni Hotel
DAY 4: Istanbul
- +

Istanbul

Take a morning walking tour of Sultanahmet, including Topkapi Palace and the superb collections of the archaeological museum. In the afternoon, view the remains of the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, the Mosaics Museum and the Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus (Kucuk Hagia Sofia). In the evening, visit the Hagia Sofia Grand Mosque, converted following the conquest of the city in 1453 and once the centre of Orthodox Christianity. (B)

Accommodation: Levni Hotel
DAY 5: Edirne
- +

Edirne

Full day sightseeing in Edirne, once known as Adrianople and the Ottoman capital prior to 1453. Visit the Selimiye Mosque, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the nearby Old Mosque; Sultan Bayezid II Complex; Ali Pasha Bazaar; and the Macedonian Tower. (B)

Accommodation: Levni Hotel
DAY 6: Istanbul
- +

Istanbul

Morning visit to the Church of Theotokos Panaghiotissa (known as Mouchliotissa), the only Byzantine church in the city still belonging to the Greek Orthodox patriarchate. Continue around the old Greek district of Fener, including the Cathedral of St George. This afternoon, visit the Basilica Cistern and the lively Grand Bazaar, then conclude with a stop at the garden of the sacred shrine and spring, Ayazma Blachernae, dating back to 451AD. Evening farewell dinner in the historic Eminönü district. (B, D)

Accommodation: Levni Hotel
DAY 7: Fly to London
- +

Fly to London

Morning walking tour of Beyazit, the Third Hill and the old city centre. Fly from Istanbul to London Heathrow with British Airways. (B)

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The Cox & Kings signature experiences

  • Specialist-led group tour, accompanied by an expert in Byzantine and Ottoman history and culture
  • Visit Topkapi Palace, the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for more than 400 years
  • Stay at a premium hotel in Istanbul’s historic centre for the duration of the tour 
  • Enjoy a ferry ride to the Princes’ Islands, famed for their beautiful gardens and villas

Important information

Expert-led tour
This tour is fully escorted throughout by a lecturer who has specialist knowledge of the destination and its culture, as well as an experienced local guide where necessary.
Superior tour
This tour is based in 5-star accommodation. Please visit this tour on our website to see details of the hotels included.
Accessibility
This tour involves some long walks over uneven ground and therefore requires a good level of fitness.
Private visits
Please note that the exclusive and individual nature of private visits means that they are subject to confirmation nearer the time of departure. Also, churches, private houses and other buildings often have fluid opening times. If any visits have to be re-arranged, please be assured that we will seek alternatives of equal interest.
Guaranteed departures
Where a tour date shows ‘Guaranteed departure’, this tour is guaranteed to run. For all other departure dates, once the minimum number of people booked has been reached, this tour is also guaranteed to run. Our sales consultants will be able to advise how many people are booked for your chosen date at the time of enquiry, giving you the confidence to book safe in the knowledge your tour will go ahead.
Dates and prices
Unless otherwise stated, the tour prices and upgrade supplements are all per person in pound sterling, based on two people sharing a twin/double room. The online price is a guideline price; your final quote may differ due to flight availability, and you may be asked to pay a flight supplement.

What's included

  • Direct flights from London (regional connections available)
  • 5- star accommodation
  • Small Groups - max 18
  • Guided excursions and entrance fees
  • Local transfers in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Expert-led touring throughout

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Small groups promise a more personal touring experience. That’s why Cox & Kings maintains a maximum group size of 18 guests on most tours, and an average of just 14.

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