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Summer 2009

Tours in Turkey
Discover Istanbul
Enjoy Istanbul
Land of History
Land of Mythology
Land of Sunshine
Land of Wonders




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Winter 2008-2009
Summer 2008
Winter 2007-2008

Istanbul 2010

Chora Museum,  Kariye Museum, Kariye Camii, Church of Holy Savior in Chora

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Discover Istanbul

Upon arrival in Istanbul you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel for early check-in and breakfast. Late morning we start our guided walking tour of old Istanbul. We start with Haghia Sophia, the most influential church of Byzantium. Originally built by Emperor Constantine in the 4th century, reconstructed by Emperor Justinian in 6th century and converted into a mosque by the Ottomans in the 15th century, it still stands today as one of the world's greatest architectural marvels. The magnificent interior is testament to the unique east-west synthesis that is manifest in Istanbul. Shimmering biblical mosaics juxtapose huge plaques bearing the names of Islamic caliphs.
We stop for lunch at an authentic restaurant serving Turkish Cuisine.
Next we visit the Blue Mosque, another of the world's most important religious buildings. Built in the 16th century the mosque is unique for it's 6 minarets and it's celestial interior decorated with the famous blue Iznik tiles.
Next, visit the Hippodrome, scene of chariot races. Although little remains of the great stadium which, in its hey day, is thought to have held 100'000 people, the Obelisk of Theodosius, the Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine are highlights.
From here explore the Basilica Cistern, a vast underground water depot constructed to meet the needs of the Palace of Constantinople.
After lunch visit the grand Topkapi Palace, residence of Ottoman Sultan's from the 15th to the 19th century. With its impressive treasury, exquisite harem, attractive courtyards and pavilions housing huge collections of antiquities, Topkapi Palace offers a true insight into the heart of the Ottoman Empire.
End of the tour and return to your hotel. If requested, dinner and show programs can be arranged at an extra cost.
(B, L)

We start the day with a visit to the colourful 17th century Spice Bazaar and its surroundings. The narrow streets lined with shops here beautifully emphasize the atmosphere of old Istanbul. What a joy it is to smell the fresh coffee, herbs and spices, to see the dazzling mixture of nuts, dried fruits, a thousand varieties of Turkish delights and all being sold as they have been for hundreds of years. From here visit the delightful Rustem Pasha Mosque built by master architect Sinan in the 16th century. Its tiled interior, lavishly decorated with the finest Iznik tiles, is perhaps the best example in the city.
Walking through the main Eminonu square you pass the prominent New Mosque, although completed in 1663, it is newer than the other major mosques, hence the name.
We then embark on a boat tour along the Bosphorus waterway separating Europe and Asia. This is a relaxing way to take in some major landmarks including the magnificent Dolmabahce Palace, the Bosphorus Suspension Bridge and the imposing waterfront villas of Istanbul. We disembark to visit the Rumeli Fortress, built by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 prior to the conquest of Constantinople.
After lunch in a local seafood restaurant, we cross the bridge into Asia. Visit the Beylerbeyi Palace, summer residence of the Ottoman Sultan with its classic Harem. Then cap off the day with a panoramic view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus from Camlica Hill, the highest point in the city. The rest of the evening is at your leisure. (B, L)

Today is your free day. Explore the city yourself, lose yourself in shopping at the Grand Bazaar, a mind-boggling labyrinth of over 4000 shops, take a leisurely stroll along the Bosphorus strait, visit the hightly fashionable Nisantasi district or join one of the "OPTIONAL" following tours: full day Princess Islands or Golden Horn. (B)

For those continuing on with Anatolia Programs transfer to the airport early morning for your connecting flight.

For those returning home, free time or join one of the "OPTIONAL" tours. In the late afternoon transfer to the airport for your return flight.

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Enjoy Istanbul
Enjoy IstanbulTake the leisurely trip to the city on seven hills and plan your time in Istanbul as you wish. Pick and choose from the many optional day excursions and let the magical sights of the city enchant you. Click here for more
Land of History
Land of HistoryTake a tour to the land of history with us. This 4 day excursion takes you to the cradle of civilizations. Start the tour from Izmir on the Agean Coast and visit Ephesus and�the Shrine of Virgin Mary. Click here for more
Land of Mythology
Land of MythologyStart the tour from Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire. Then move on to the north Aegean coast of Turkey to the lovely village of Assos. See the legendary Trojan Horse from the times of beautiful Helen, Queen of the Spartans and Paris, the Trojan Prince.
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Land of Sunshine
Land of SunshineSunshine, turquoise waters and orange orchards await you when you visit Antalya, the Turkish Riviera. Take the trip to see world famous travertines in Pamukkale and relax in the historical�thermal baths.
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Land of Wonders
Land of WondersExplore the mind blowing lunar landscapes, rock formations, caves and fairy chimneys in Cappadocia. For a magical overview to the land of wonders book a Hot Air Baloon Ride. Click here for more
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