Straddling the continents of Europe and Asia, Turkey becomes a bridge between West and East. The portion of Turkey's land in Europe may be small (about 5 percent), but the country's largest city, Istanbul, is there. With nearly 13 million people, Istanbul is the third most populous European urban area, after Moscow and Paris.
Bodrum, Turkey, is a popular holiday resort on the Aegean Sea. In antiquity known as Halicarnassus...Bodrum remains a facinating destination..featuring unique tiny villages, lovely sand beaches, charming white painted houses trimmed with purple bougainvillea. This is an ideal spot for swimming, and all manner of waterports.
DAY 1 - ARRIVAL
Arrive in Istanbul Ataturk International Airport. Meeting and greeting by our representative and transfer to your hotel. Check-in at the hotel. (early check in might not be possible, because the check in time is normally 14:00. It depends on the occupancy of the hotel). Rest of the day is free at leisure. Overnight in Istanbul.
DAY 2 ISTANBUL Old City Tour
Right after breakfast check out from the hotel and start the half day Istanbul city tour.
First, we will visit to the Hippodrome was built by the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in 203 A.D. The hippodrome was a stadium which served as a meeting place for the politicians, for chariot races, wrestling, boxing, and other athletic activities that took place. Obelisk of Theodosius (The Egyptian obelisk) erected by Tutmosis III 1504-1450 B.C. before the temple of Karnak at Heliopolis. The Obelisk brought to Istanbul by Emperor Theodosius I was made of pink granite and its height is 17 meters. Originally, the Obelisk was 27 meters in height, 10 meters higher than it is today and weighed 800 tons. Constantine Column was the landmark of the city because of its height of 32 meters. The column was erected in the fourth century by Constantine the Great. This monument was completely covered with bronze plates. The German Fountain was constructed to commemorate the second anniversary of visit to Istanbul by the German Emperor Wilhelm II. in 898. It was transported in its present site in 1900. The octagonal dome which houses the fountain is buttressed by eight marble columns. The dome's interior is covered with mosaic.
St. Sophia, the magnificent of all Byzantine churches and one of the world’s finest and largest architectural work of art. It is built by Anthemius of Tralles and Isodorus of Miletus between 532 and 537 AD under the rule of Emperor Justinian. It is now a museum where early Christian mosaics and Islamic calligraphy live side-by-side.
Hagia Sophia is the great cathedral that was once the former spiritual heart of the Byzantine Empire. Considered to be the 8th Wonder of the World, Hagia Sophia has an architecture which was way ahead of its time. The central dome has a half-dome at either side and seems to be suspended in space. In the 19th century, extensive work was done to make the church more resistant to earthquakes. The interior is rich with mosaic tiles and arranged in murals. This is one of Istanbul’s best know landmarks.
Blue Mosque built between 1609 and 1616 by Mehmet Aga, a student of the Great Sinan with 260 windows and named for the beautiful Iznik tiles which give the mosque its interior colour. Blue Mosque is one of the world’s great buildings with its six slender minarets gracing the outside, while the interior is a sea of blue. The original seventh minaret was later presented to the mosque at Mecca for diplomatic reasons.
The Blue Mosque, is an architectural masterpiece famed for its exquisite blue tiles and six elegant minarets. Built during the reign of Sultan Ahmet, it remains the centre of religious demonstrations in the Islamic religion. The nickname of “blue mosque” was given due to the numerous blue Iznik tiles in the interior, which is illuminated from the light of its windows. This is the only mosque in the world with six minarets and forms part of the city’s skyline. There are light shows held on summer evenings at the Eastern Side of the mosque.
The Grand Bazaar, was the commercial heart of the old city and its 4,000 shops are full of treasures – including carpets and kilims, silks, jewelry, ceramics, icons, and leather goods. Wandering through the Grand Bazaar, indulge in some shopping, Ottoman style.
Topkapi Palace, which, from the 15th to the 19th century, was the principle residence of the Ottoman Sultans. We will visit the fabolous Imperial Treasury and the Baghdad Kiosk. Topkapi Palace is now a museum and has unrivalled collections of jewelry, including the Spoonmaker’s Diamond, the 3rd largest in the world, Ottoman court costumes and ceramics, notably one of the world’s finest collection of early Chinese ceramics, much of it gifts from Interestingly, some of the ceramics have a special glaze that was said to change color in the presence of poison. We also visit the Imperial Armory, displaying centuries of Ottoman weaponry. But perhaps the loveliest features of Topkapi Palace are its courtyards with their ancient trees, and it is easy to imagine the sultan strolling here far from the cares of state and empire. Overnight in Istanbul. (B,L)
DAY 3 Istanbul - Bodrum
After breakfast free time at leisure and proceed to the Istanbul Ataturk Airport airport and fly to Bodrum. Arrival in Bodrum and proceed to your hotel and check in. Overnight in Bodrum. (B)
DAY 4 – The Mystic Castle Of St. Peter And Bodrum Underwater Archeology Museum
After breakfast departure from your hotel and proceed to Bodrum town ,the fascinating city.
Bodrum Castle was built by the Knights of Rhodes in honour of St.Peter between 1415-1437. The stones and marbles of the Mausoleum, which is one of the seven wonders of ancient world and destroyed by an earthquake in 14th century, were used for the construction of the castle. There are five main towers, reflecting the architectural styles of the nations by whom they were constructed, called English Tower, French Tower, Spanish Tower, Italien Tower and German Tower. The Knights built the walls facing the sea thin, and fortified the walls facing the land, as they had expected attacks from the land. Bodrum was taken by the Turks in 1523. After 1895, the castle was used as a prison. It was converted into a museum, in which, especially the findings of underwater archeology, Mycenean, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantium artifacts are displayed in different sections in chronological order since 1960. The Turkish government decided to use there as a storeroom for underwater findings from several recent shipwreck excavations. The government soon decided these findings were worthy of a separate museum, and what better place for it than the Castle itself Bodrum Underwater Archaelogy Museum. Overnight in Bodrum. (B,L)
DAY 5 – Bodrum
After breakfast today is free at Leisure. Overnight in Bodrum (B)
DAY 6 Bodrum
After breakfast today is free at Leisure. Overnight in Bodrum (B)
DAY 7 Bodrum - Istanbul
After breakfast check out and proceed to the Bodrum airport to take the flight to Istanbul. Arrival in Istanbul and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul (B)
DAY 8 Departure
Right after breakfast, free time at leisure until check out. Then, transfer to Ataturk airport to fly back home. (B)