Fly from London to Istanbul and drive to our hotel.
Day Two - The Walls of Theodosius, from the Sea of Marmara to Topkapi.
Begun in the reign of Theodosius II in the early fifth century, these magnificent walls protected Constantinople from her foes for over a thousand years. We begin in the south-west, where the great Ottoman Turkish fortification of Yedikule (Seven Towers) stands astride a section of land wall incorporating an early-Byzantine triumphal arch, the Golden Gate. Heading north along the line of the walls, we enter the old city through the Mevlana Gate, with access to the battlements. A diversion through the vast, green cemeteries running parallel to the line of the walls bring us to Zoodochus Pege, a 19th century Greek Orthodox church with a Byzantine precursor. We continue to the half-way point of the walls at Topkapi. A new museum, the Panorama 1453, brings alive the great siege in a 360 degree painted scene. Nearby is a very unusual 16th century mosque, the Takkeci Ibrahim Cavus, with beautiful wood-carved interior.
Day Three - Golden Horn to Galata.
Starting from the sublime Suleymaniye Mosque complex, atop the city’s third hill, we dropdown through a bustling bazaar to the Rustem Pasa Camii, a small mosque noted for its exquisite Iznik tiles. After exploring the Ottoman-era Spice Bazaar, cross the anglerthronged Galata Bridge to the ‘European’ side of the city. We ride the late 19th century underground funicular up and under the former Genoese colony of Galata to Independence Street lined with fine turn-ofthe- century apartment buildings. Just off here is the incongruous but charming Anglican Crimean Memorial Church. More familiar is Genoese Galata Tower, which gives fine views across the old city. In the warren of streets below is the Jewish Museum, the sinuous Kamondo Steps and the Arab Mosque, once the largest church in Galata.
Day Four - Free
Terry will be available to help you choose from the many wonderful options today.
Day Five - The Aqueduct of Valens to the Golden Horn.
We follow the huge arches of the late 4th century aqueduct, west to the first purpose-built imperial mosque, the Fatih Camii. Winding our way through the streets of Istanbul’s most conservative district, we pass Byzantine cisterns before reaching the austerely beautiful Ottoman mosque of Yavuz Selim. The Fethiye Camii has impressive Byzantine mosaics. Heading down atmospheric, narrow streets, we visit St Mary of the Mongols. Followed by the spiritual home of Orthodox Christians worldwide, the Fener Patriarchate, and the cast-iron church of St Stephens of the Bulgars before catching a ferry down the Golden Horn.
Day Six - The Walls of Theodosius
follow the line from Topkapi to the Golden Horn, beginning with a newly-restored Ottoman mosque, the Mihrimah Camii, set on the old city’s highest hill. Continue north along the line of the walls, past the Edirne (Adrianople) Gate, where Sultan Fatih the Conqueror entered the city in 1453, to the Church of St Saviour Chora (now the Kariye Museum), with its outstanding collection of Byzantine mosaics and frescoes. We walk down past the remnants of the Blachernae Palace to the Golden Horn, where we take the ferry down to the Galata Bridge. In the afternoon we can arrange a short tour up the Bosphorus for those who would like, otherwise we finish in the marvellous Istanbul Archaeological Museum.
Private coach to Istanbul airport for group flights to London.
- Flights - Scheduled flights London to Istanbul
- Local Travel - Private coach for group flight transfers; minibus taxi to and from start and end of some walks; ferry Day 6 - this is optional and will incur extra cost
- Guide Lecturer - Terry Richardson. Not to be confused with "guest lecturers"! The guide lecturer will be with you from breakfast to supper, and probably even a drink in the bar afterwards. There is the occasional site where they may not be allowed to guide because of local regulations but otherwise the guides are just that.·They will have been chosen because of specialist knowledge and their ability to communicate and interest you. After 28 years of making tours worldwide, we are highly appreciative of the attributes of a good guide, and intensely critical of people who do not possess them
- Meals - Breakfasts included, all other meals are independent. There are many restaurants near your hotel
- Local Guide - Knowledgeable, English-speaking guide to assist with language and day to day practicalities
- Entries & tips - Entry to all sites in programme - except for the optional Bosphorus boat trip on Day 6. Tips to the driver and local guide included
- Field Notes
6 nights in a wonderfully situated hotel set just off the main tourist area, yet right in the heart of old Sultanahmet with the Hippodrome, Topkapi palace, the Grand Bazaar and the cisterns all within a few hundred metres
|Mon 21st - Sun 27th Oct 2013 with Terry Richardson