Ottoman Empire and Byzantine Legacy Tour
There is no place on earth like Istanbul and our
nine hour excursion will immerse you in this
vibrant, colourful and fascinating city straddling the
Bosphorus, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia.
Many empires have held sway in the place once
called Constantinople including the Greeks, Romans,
Venetians and the Ottomans.
The historic heart of old Istanbul is the Sultanahmet
district where we will find remnants of the Byzantine
Hippodrome where horse and chariot racing once
drew crowds of 100,000 or more. Nearby is the
Kaiser’s German fountain, the bronze Serpent Column
of Delphi, the Egyptian Obelisk and the Walled Obelisk
of Constantine VII.
Recognised across the globe is the Mosque of Sultan
Ahmet, perhaps more popularly known as the Blue
Mosque because of the stunning hand painted blue
tiles inside. It also has six minarets. Whether you are
inside or outside it is well worth taking a few minutes
just to gaze and let the amazing beauty sink in. The
grave of Sultan Ahmet lies inside the mosque.
Across the square sits the imposing Church of
the Holy Wisdom of God or Hagia Sophia, once a
church, then an Ottoman imperial mosque and now
a museum. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine
After lunch we will visit the incomparable Topkapi
Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If all this still leaves you with a thirst for more
discovery you can do no better than explore the sights,
sounds and colours of Istanbul’s incredible Grand
Bazaar, with 4000 shops and stalls, 58 streets under
one roof, 400,000 visitors daily and millions of things
for sale. Not least carpets, rugs, jewellery and leather.
This excursion will give a taste of Istanbul you are
unlikely to forget.