0860 555 777

Ottoman and Islamic Culture Heritage Tour of Turkey

FROM R 41 850

Pricing Terms

Set travel dates: 19 JUN 2019 - 04 JUL 2019

**  Full payment due 72 hours after booking. **

** Please inquire with your travel consultant for rates ex CPT and DUR ** 

Pricing valid until

22 May 2019

Terms & Conditions apply
Regions EuropeCountry TurkeyType Cultural

14 Days

Valid from

19 June 2019

Valid to

4 July 2019

Take a 14 day leisurely jaunt through Turkey to discover the Ottoman Imperial Süleymaniye Mosque, visit Museum Panorama 1453, site of the conquest of Istanbul, see the Whirling Dervishes and so much more.

  • Return flights to Turkey from Johannesburg
  • Pre-payable airport/security taxes
  • Return airport/hotel transfers
  • 13 nights hotel accommodation
  • Breakfasts daily, 2 lunches (Be my Guest experience at the Taurus Mountain Muslim Village & Hamamönüa) & 11 dinners
  • Travel by luxury air-conditioned coach
  • Assistance of an expert Travel Director
  • All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes
  • Must-see sights with VIP entry and queue jump
  • Unique Insider Experiences


  • Day 1 19 JUN 2019 - Departing Johannesburg to Istanbul

    Board your flight to Istanbul.

  • Day 2 20 JUN 2019 - Istanbul

    Welcome to Istanbul. Once the capital of the Ottoman Islamic empire, Istanbul spans two continents and places you at the
    ancient crossroads between Europe and Asia. This enormous city, dripping with culture, is crammed with dazzling historic
    buildings, museums and art galleries. One of the main highlights is the Topkapi Palace which was the main residence of the
    Ottoman Sultans for 400 years.
    On arriving in vibrant Istanbul, your group will be transferred to the hotel before joining your Travel Director for a
    memorable Welcome Reception at the hotel to kick off your trip.
    Hotel: Ramada Plaza City Center or similar
    Meal(s): Welcome Reception including dinner held at the hotel includes 2 soft drinks

  • Day 3 21 JUN 2019 - Istanbul

    We start the day with breakfast at the hotel to prepare you for a full day of historical tours and visits to these sites and
    Topkapi Palace (Islamic Sacred Relics)
    The palace was the Imperial residence of the Ottoman Sultans from the 1460’s’to the 1800’s’and is the most extensive
    and fascinating monument of Turkish civil architecture in existence. In addition to its historical and architectural interest, the
    palace houses extraordinary collections of porcelain, armoury, fabrics, miniatures, calligraphy, and many precious objects
    and works of art that belonged to the sultans and their court (Harem section is not included).
    The Blue Mosque
    Built in the early 17th century and probably the most famous mosque in the city. It is distinguished by six slender
    minarets and walls covered with amazing blue Iznik tiles.
    The Hippodrome
    The former centre of sportive and political activities when Istanbul was known as Constantinopole. During the visit you’ll be
    able to see the Obelisk from Egypt, Serpentine Colum from Delphi, and the Fountain of Willhem II.
    The Hagia Sophia
    The church of Holy Wisdom, undoubtedly one of the greatest architectural creations in the world, was built by the
    Byzantine Emperor Justinian circa 535 AD. It was transformed into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of the city in
    1453.Now a museum, it is awesome in size, and contains beautifully preserved Byzantine mosaics.
    The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts (Ebrahim Pasha Palace)
    A delightful museum on the ancient Hippodrome, housed in the Ibrahim Paşa Palace, the of Süleyman the Magnificent’s
    Grand Vizier. Beautifully displayed Islamic objects and antique carpets.
    The Grand Bazaar (Dive into Culture)
    You cannot say you’ve been to Istanbul if you haven’t visited the Grand Bazaar. A labyrinth of over 4,000 shops
    displaying everything from souvenirs in copper and onyx to precious jewelry, antiques and Oriental carpets awaits you.
    Before returning to the hotel we will transfer to the Hodja Pasha Cultural Centre to watch a Whirling Dervishes
    Mevleviye are known for their famous practice of whirling dances and dervishes. At their dancing ceremonies, or Sema,
    a particular musical repertoire called Ayin is played. The Sema ceremony represents a mystical journey of man’s spiritual
    ascent through mind and love to perfection.
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner at the hotel (drinks excluded)

  • Day 4 22 JUN 2019 - Istanbul

    After a hearty breakfast at the hotel we will start another full day tour with visits to the below sites and museums:
    Museum Panorama 1453
    The conquest of Istanbul in 1453 by Fatih Sultan Mehmet (Mehmet II) presents you an ambiance where you can live the
    events told or written about the conquest of Constantinople in 3D. Modern miniature works that narrate the establishment
    of the city of Istanbul, the siege and conquest of the city, the life of Fatih Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, the laws, arts,
    civilisation, culture and construction works of the city, take place at the exhibition as supported with the original miniatures,
    engraving and pictures of the wars in a present perspective.
    The Eyup Sultan Mosque & Ayyub Al-Ansari (Companion of the Prophet)Tomb
    The traditional site for the coronation ceremony of the Ottoman Sultans is one of the most holy and important mosques
    in all of Turkey. It is so revered because it located on the site of the tomb of Ayyub Al-Ansari (Eyüp Ensari in Turkish) –
    who was both a friend and standard bearer for the Prophet Muhammed, and was killed during the first Arab siege of
    Constantinople (674-678).
    The Pierre Loti Café – cable car to Pierre Loti Café to explore the panaromic view of the city.
    A Bosphorus Cruise
    Enjoy a private cruise on the Bosphorous, the strait that divides Europe from Asia and define Istanbul. See mosques on both
    sides and, if we are lucky we’ll hear the Call to Prayer on two continents.
    The Suleymaniye Mosque and Complex
    The Ottoman Imperial Mosque commissioned by Suleyman the Magnificent and designed by imperial architect Mimar
    Sinan. The complex includes a madrassa (religious school), soup kitchen, hospital, caravanserai, library, bazaar and
    several tombs. Some of these facilities are still in use today. It is Sinan’s masterpiece. The massive scale of this mosque
    is best appreciated from a distance. Up close, it’s formal and rather forbidding, but it is interesting to wander around the
    surrounding complex of buildings.
    Istiklal Street + Taksim Square
    We will enjoy some evening shopping on Istiklal street. This is one of the most active pedestrian streets of Istanbul and there
    are numerous shops, cafes, restaurants, book shops to choose from. While walking ahead you will see the old beautiful red
    tram which was renovated and still used.
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner at the hotel (drinks excluded)

  • Day 5 23 JUN 2019 - Istanbul/ Bursa

    Have your bags packed and ready for collection by the porter as we will leave Istanbul today. After a delicious breakfast
    at the hotel we depart for Bursa by coach and ferry. Bursa is the Birthplace and First Capital of the Ottoman Empire. Upon
    arrival our sighteeing begins. We’ll visit th Great Mosque (Ulu Camii), the Tophane Citadel (Tombs of Osman Gazi and
    Orhan Gazi, founders of the Ottoman dynasty), the Green Mosque (Mosque of Mehmed I) and the Green Mausoleum.
    Our last visit of the day will be to the Koza Han (Cocoon house) Silk Market.
    Hotel: Crown Plaza or similar
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner at the hotel (drinks excluded)

  • Day 6 24 JUN 2019 - Bursa / Kusadasi

    Have your bags ready for the porters as after breakfast we drive to Kusadasi.
    En-route our first visit will be to the Muradiye Complex which hosts the tombs of the early Ottoman sultans and other
    members of the dynasty. From here we drive to Cumalikizik Living Ottoman Village (a World Heritage Site). One of the
    most priceless civil masterpieces of the countryside, Cumalıkızık was built as a foundation village in piedmont of Uludag,
    Bursa during the reign of Ottoman Sultan Orhan Gazi (1326-1360). The structure is absolutely splendid and it includes a
    total 270 homes (60 of them are still livable today). It is reflective of the Ottoman Style.
    We then continue to the ethnography museum to observe all the various objects belonging to the past of Cumalıkızık
    Village, collected and donated by the community in the museum. There are illumination and heating tools, kitchenware,
    agriculture tools and equipment, weapons, technical tools, hunting and chase materials, carriages belonging to 18th, 19th
    and 20th centuries, all composing a fine collection.
    Upon arriving in Selcuk we will visit İsa Bey Mosque - Selçuk (Selçuk era: 1374 – 1375.) Isa Bey Mosque is one of the
    best and most important examples reflecting the end of the Seljuk Empire period. In addition, this mosque bears the imprint
    of Umayyad mosque in Damascus in which is one of the Islamic centres for scientists and scholars.
    Hotel: Kusadasi Charisma or similar
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner at the hotel (drinks excluded)

  • Day 7 25 JUN 2019 - Kusadasi/ Pamukkale

    We breakfast at the hotel before heading to the ancient city of Ephesus. It began as a port on the mouth of Cayster River
    and then became one of the leading cities of the world, linking the western end of trade routes in Anatolia with the rest
    of the Mediterranean. Ephesus is one of the world’s finest archaeological sites. Walk along the Arcadian Way to view
    the splendid facade of the library of Celcus and visit the Amphitheatre. We will leave Ephesus and make our way to
    Pamukkale, which is the best known of the hundred hot springs in Turkey. The evaporating waters have left behind beautiful
    white travertine terraces.
    Hotel: Pamukkale Richmond Thermal or similar
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner at the hotel (drinks excluded)

  • Day 8 26 JUN 2019 - Pamukkale/Antalya

    Today we will tread in the footsteps of the ancients who sought relief and relaxation at the Roman health spa of Hieropolis.
    Stop and admire the bubbling pools and delicate white cascades of water of Pamukkale’s Cotton Castle Springs. Later,
    we travel through scenic countryside and join the Yazir community in the Taurus Mountains for an unforgettable Be My
    Guest lunch and insights into their traditions. Our stop for the next two nights is the Mediterranean retreat of Antalya
    where we have some time at leisure to wander the winding lanes of the old city and admire beautifully preserved Ottoman
    architecture. This evening, join your travel companions for a regional meal at a local restaurant.
    Hotel: Rixos Downtown or similar
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Regional Dinner

  • Day 9 27 JUN 2019 - Antalya

    After breakfast at the hotel we will have a full day of sightseeing. Enjoy a walking tour of Antalya’s old town. We will
    explore the old town (Kaleiçi ), the ancient roman walls and the Hadrian Gate. We continue to the Yivli Minaret Complex
    (Seljuk), which consists of a group of buildings with various social functions. These buildings are the Grooved Minaret
    Mosque, İmaret Madrasah, Atabey Armağan Madrasah, Mevlevihane (Dervish House), Mevlevihane Hamam, Mehmet
    Bey, the Chainbreaker, Tomb and Lady Nigar Tomb. And then to Murat Pasha Mosque an Ottoman mosque in 1570’s. In
    the afternoon embark on a private Yacht for cruise to the Lower Duden waterfall.
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner at the hotel (drinks excluded)

  • Day 10 28 JUN 2019 - Antalya/Konya

    After breakfast at the hotel we head off to Konya. En-route we’ll pay a visit to the Esrefoglu Mosque in Beyşehir. This is
    the only wooden mosque where several decorative techniques of stone, brick, ceramics and painting were used together.
    Upon arrival to Konya visit the Selimiye mosque which is right next to the Mevlana museum. And then it is on to the most
    famous and striking monument in Konya, Mevlana Tekke with its conical turquoise-tile fluted dome. This is the tomb of
    Celaleddin Rumi, also known as Mevlana, founder of the Whirling Dervishes sect. The tomb is now a museum crammed full
    of precious works of art and opulent furnishings.
    We then continue to Karatay Madrasah which was built in Konya in 1251. Karatay Madrasah can be considered as the
    apex of Seljuk small space design, greatly improving the enclosed plan theme which had been experimented with in earlier
    buildings. In this new configuration the traditional open court was covered with a great dome while keeping the same
    functionality of the area. The second major feature of this wonderful madrassa is the incorporation of a well advanced
    decoration scheme, essentially from mosaics of glazed tiles, with Sufi mysticism and symbolism.
    Hotel: Dedeman or similar
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner at the hotel (drinks excluded)

  • Day 11 29 JUN 2019 - Konya/Cappadocia

    After breakfast at the hotel our second tour of Konya will begin. We will visit the Alaeddin Mosque, this great masterpiece
    of Seljuk Period is the oldest and biggest mosque in Konya. It is located on the Aladdin Hill which has a meteoric
    landscape. We continue to the Ince Minaret Madrassa & Museum of Stone and Wood art.
    The Ince Minare Madrasa is one of the most impressive structures introduced by the Seljuks to endorse the central plan
    scheme that was to dominate much of their late architecture and that of their Ottoman successors. The grand entryway to
    this madrassa-turned-museum is exceptional and probably the most beautiful example of the Seljuk’s love for finely carved
    doorways in all of Konya.
    After this visit we leave Konya for Cappadocia. On the way to Cappadocia we’ll visit the 13th century Selcuk
    caravanserai “Sultanhan”. In Cappadocia we visit the underground city of Saratli that symbolizes the deep history. This
    mystic city is also famous for miraculous architectural structure. The last visit of the day will be to The Natural Rock Citadel
    of Uchisar. Located in the Cappadocia area this is the highest peak in the region, and quite unexpectedly it is completely
    honeycombed with ancient dwellings. Many of these spaces were used as cave monasteries, though today they mostly
    inspire photographers and artists. Its honeycombed architecture is revealed by erosion and suggests intense fortifications
    and infrastructure.
    Hotel: Ramada or similar
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner at the hotel (drinks excluded)

  • Day 12 30 JUN 2019 - Cappadocia

    After our breakfast at the hotel we’ll enjoy a full day of touring in this unique corner of the world. Today will be spent in the
    Goreme Valley – known in Roman times as Cappadocia. This is one of those rare regions in the world where the works of
    man blend unobtrusively into the landscape. Dwellings are known to have been hewn from the rock as-far back as 4000
    During Byzantine times chapels and monasteries were hollowed out of rock and their ochre toned frescoes reflect the
    hues of the surrounding landscape. Even today, troglodyte dwellings in rock cones and villages houses of volcanic tuff
    (rock made of volcanic ash) merge harmoniously into the landscape. We will visit the Goreme Open Air museum, one of
    the most interesting sights of the region including the rock Churches of Goreme, the mosque of Goreme, the Red Valley
    which is one of the most beautiful trekking valleys in Cappadocia, the Pigeon valley and the picturesque Valley of Pasabag
    (Monks Valley).
    We will continue onwards to the village of Avanos, which is famous for pottery production for many centuries. Visit one of
    the Handmade Pottery Art Center to watch the demonstration of how to make a pottery by the kick wheel technique. Our
    guests can also try to make a pot in this place. We’ll end the day at the underground city of Derinkuyu.
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner at the hotel (drinks excluded)

  • Day 13 01 JUL 2019 - Cappadocia/Ankara/Safranbolu

    After breakfast at the hotel we say goodbye to Cappadocia as we make our way to Safranbolu via Ankara. Upon
    arrival to Ankara, the capital of Turkey, sightseeing begins. Visit Ankara Castle and the historical old quarters. It is not
    known exactly when the Castle was built, but it is thought that the great structure was established by Hittites to have a
    military garrison around the city. Ankara Castle has hosted many different civilizations such as the Hittite, Phrygia, Persian,
    Byzantine, Arab and Ottoman. Every tribe left a trace upon this charming construction in order to reflect their own tradition,
    culture and architectural style.
    The Mausoleum of Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, is up next. Continue to Haci Bayram mosque, named after the
    Turkish Sufi and poet. Originally built in 831, the mosque as it stands today shows the characteristics of the late 17th
    century and the 18th century mosques. Before lunch at local restaurant we’ll take a stroll through Hamamönü. Hamamönü
    displays the structure of a neighbourhood of the late Ottoman era and early days of the Republic, the houses incorporate
    the features of Ottoman civic architecture. As a whole it presents a sample of old Ankara to its visitors. Depart Ankara for
    Hotel: Garden Inn or similar
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch

  • Day 14 02 JUL 2019 - Safranbolu/Istanbul

    We’re nearing the end of our trip and this is the second last day.
    We’ll breakfast at the hotel and then take in Safranbolu, one of Turkey’s finest examples of Ottoman domestic architecture
    and mostly known with Old Turkish Houses. In Safranbolu there are numerous cultural pieces of art of which 1200 had
    been taken under protection. It is known as Capital City of Preservation at the point reached today. The delightful houses of
    old Safranbolu have earned a ‘World Heritage Site’. Here we visit the old town, history museum and clock tower, Koprulu
    Mehmet Pacha Mosque and Izzet Mehmet Pascha Mosque, Kaymakamlar Evi and Kileciler Evi museums, Demirciler
    Arastası traditional metalworkers’ market, Yemeniciler Arastası (traditional leather and felt workshops), Cinci Han (Former
    caravanserai) and Hıdırlık Hills for the panoramic view of the city. After the tour in the afternoon we leave Safranbolu and
    begin the return journey to Istanbul.
    Hotel: Ramada Plaza city center or similar
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant in Istanbul (includes 2 soft drinks).

  • Day 15 03 JUL 2019 - Depart Istanbul

    We bid Istanbul and our newfound friends a fond farewell. Departure transfer to the airport.
    Meal(s): Breakfast

  • Day 16 04 JUL 2019 - Arrive Johannesburg

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