Istanbul is the world's only metropolis to be on more than one continent. The city of Istanbul is important to geography because it has a long history that spans the rise and fall of the world's most famous empires. Due to its participation in these empires, Istanbul has also undergone various name changes. Istanbul is Turkey's most populous city and its cultural and financial center. In addition Istanbul, which once served as the capital of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, is also one of the most important gastronomic cities in the world, owing to its unique cuisine.
Hatay is called the city of civilizations, peace, fraternity, and tolerance. There are people from different ethnicities who live in peace. They are very welcoming and friendly. They basically show respect to each other and their way of life. Hatay is called a city of civilisations because people from different ethnicities have been living in this city for thousands of years in peace, fraternity and tolerance. Jewish people have
been living in the city from the years of before Christ. Muslim Arabs have been living in the city from the 7th century. Muslim Turks have been living in the city from the 11th century. There are also many sects from these religions live in this city in peace. Hatay's background goes back to the Stone Age so it has a very rich history. The Archaeology and mosaic museum were designed chronologically so you can witness
the sections from the Palaeolithic era to this century. St Pierre came to the city and constructed the first cave church in the world after Jesus Christ's death. Because of its fertile plain, being a roundabout throughout the history, coming various spices from the Far East, people from different ethnicities.
Meet our guide at the arrival lounge of Istanbul Airport and then transfer to the hotel and ample time and stay overnight at hotel.
Tour of "Sultan Ahmet Center", the heart of the "Old City" from where the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires were ruled. Hagia Sophia, the Church of Divine Wisdom, one of the greatest marvels of architecture,constructed as a basilica in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian. Blue Mosque, facing Hagia Sophia, famous with its blue İznik tiles and unique with 6 minarets, built in the name of Sultan Ahmet.Hippodrome, center of sportive events (chariot races, athletics) and political activities of the old city. Serpentine Column, Obelisk of Theodosius and German Fountain of Wilhelm II are the monuments decorating the Hippodrome. Grand Covered Bazaar, most attractive shopping center and the biggest "souk" in the World with nearly 4000 shops selling antiques, jewellery, gold, carpets, leatherware and souvenir.
Art demonstration of handmade Turkish carpets upon request) Lunch at a Turkish Restaurant. Topkapı Palace, residence of Ottoman Sultans exhibiting imperial treasury, sacred Islamic relics of Prophet Mohammed, kitchen, Chinese porcelain, weapons, calligraphy section etc. Live guide commentary is not allowed in special sections. (Harem is not included in the program) Sultan Tombs, there are five tombs of Ottoman Sultans within the graveyard at Hagia Sophia. The ceramic panels are the most beautiful examples of the 16th century with purple, red, green and blue flower motives. Prince robes and a small piece from the Kaaba covers are displayed on the sarcophaguses.
Back to the hotel and rest.
Meet our guide at the looby and visit Golden Horn (from the bus), the arm of the Bosphorus and a natural harbour of the historical peninsulaseparating the old and the new parts of İstanbul where the first colonies settled during the Byzantines. The residential area for Byzantine Jews, Italian traders and other non-muslim minorities.Drive along the traces of history at Balat viewing Metal Church of St. Stephen the Bulgarian,Jewish Hospital (Or-Ahayim), Fener Orthodox Patriarchate and 22 kms. long Byzantine City Walls,strongest fortification of the middle age.Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar), mystical smells of different aromas of various spices. Shops selling fruits, vegetables, fish, flowers etc.
After the breakfast,check out from the hotel and transfer to the airport to take the scheduled flight to Hatay. Meet our guide at the airport. Visit the biggest Mosaic Archaelogy Museum that contains one of the world's finest collections of Roman and Byzantine mosaics, covering a period from the 1st century AD to the 5th century. Then visit the St. Pierre church that is known the first cave church in the world. The area where the church was constructed is the antique city of Antiokheia. As the Antiokheia got bigger between II. and IV. Centuries, church turned to be in the middle of the city, near the Agora. This means the building was important in the social life of people in that era.
Then visit Museum Hotel (Necmi Asfuroglu Museum) that is filled with ancient mosaics, this Turkish hotel turns the historical holiday on its head. After the visit, lunch break at one of the popular Turkish restaurants in the region. Then continue visiting Long Bazaar that is an important center, where people in Antakya come together even today. History of the bazaar, which can be thought of as an equivalent of Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, is as old as the city itself. All kinds of professions from traditional handicrafts of Antakya to food, from clothing to tinwork can be seen here. Back to the hotel and rest.
Meet our guide after the breakfast and visit Harbiye (Antique Daphne) that is the place where the first Olympic games were held in the Roman period. And the place where 'Daphne and Apollon' mythologic story is told. Then continue with Harbiye Waterfalls that today it is preferned mostly to have a picnic and to get cool at the hot summer days. At the Samandağ's Batıayaz plateow you can see very touristic villages called Hıdırbey and Vakıflı which is the only Armenian village in Turkey. Samandağ has also the second longest beach of the world. You can see it and taste the sea food of the Mediterraneon. Samandağ's Çevlik village has the antique city of Selecia Preria and Titus Tunnel which is accepted the first denn of antique period was built in the period of Roman Emperors Vespasionus and Titus. St. Simon Monastery is also crucral place for this area. He retreated for about forty years and become famous curing people.Back to hotel and stay overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast check out from the hotel and transfer to the airport to take a scheduled flight to Istanbul.