Istanbul - breakfast. Officially founded by Emperor Constantine in AD326, Istanbul, formally known as Constantinople, remained capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires up until 1923. Its illustrious past leaves a rich legacy of churches, mosques, palaces and museums, complemented by the behemoth Grand Bazaar and colourful street life. Sultanahmet, the compact old city of Istanbul, is full of parks, gardens and stunning sights.
Today we enjoy a guided tour of the old city, with highlights including the Blue Mosque, famed for its stunning blue Iznik tiles and unique six minarets; the nearby ruinous Hippodrome which was once the scene of chariot races and political activities in Byzantine and later Ottoman times, and Hagia Sofia, constructed as a grand basilica in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian, reigned as the grandest and biggest church in Christendom until the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 We also visit Topkapi Palace - residence of the sultans for almost four centuries and have time to shop in the Grand Bazaar.
Overnight: Istanbul | Breakfast