49 Newtownards Road
028 9015 1030
ATOL No. 11029
After several years of unrest, Turkey is once again attracting foreign visitors in huge numbers. Turkish Airlines is one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, featuring modern aircraft, the new Istanbul Airport which opened in October 2018 will become the world’s most modern and potentially the largest, and Istanbul itself is a mecca for tourists and locals alike. We are delighted to be offering this tour in 2019.
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople, is the most populous city in Turkey and the country's economic, cultural, and historic centre, straddling the Bosporus Strait, which separates Europe and Asia
Founded under the name of Byzantion around 660 BCE, the city grew in size and influence, having become one of the most important cities in history. After its re-establishment as Constantinople in 330 AD, it served as an imperial capital for almost 16 centuries It was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times, before the Ottomans conquered the city and transformed it into an Islamic stronghold and the seat of the Ottoman Caliphate.
Istanbul's strategic position on the historic Silk Road, rail networks to Europe and the Middle East, and the only sea route between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean have produced a cosmopolitan populace.
Our holiday begins with a non-stop flight from Dublin to Istanbul, departing around 11.00am. We transfer by private coach / minibus from the airport to our four-star hotel, in the heart of the ancient city. Our accommodation includes a full breakfast daily. During our stay, we have included a number of excursions and four evening meals, which will be taken in local restaurants and the hotel. You can return home after five nights, of if you wish and you book early, stay on for a further two nights, totally FREE (on a B&B basis)
Our hotel is the 4* Best Western Antea Palace, which receives excellent reviews and it is located right in the heart of the old city, close to the sea and within walking distance of the Hagia Sophia Mosque, the Blue Mosque, The Grand Bazaar and the Topkapi Museum. The hotel offers a spa with indoor pool, sauna and massage and the restaurant serves wester, Turkish and Ottoman dishes.
Flights are with Turkish Airlines
Fri. 03rd May 2019 (Flight times are provisional)
Depart Dublin 10.55am Arrive Istanbul New Airport 5.15pm
Wed. 08th May 2019 (Or Fri. 10th May 2019, if you extend your stay)
Depart Istanbul New Airport 1.05pm Arrive Dublin 3.35pm
Flight time – Approx 4½ Hours +/-
Luggage allowance is 20kgs checked plus 10kgs cabin.
Meals are served onboard and special diets can usually be catered for, if notified in advance.
In-flight entertainment is also provided with seat-back screens offering video and music.
Included in the fare:
Return flights with Turkish Airlines from Dublin to Istanbul
20kgs checked luggage allowance plus 10kgs cabin luggage
Meal service on board flights
Transfers from Istanbul New Airport to City Centre
5 nights accommodation on B&B basis
4* BW Antea Hotel & Spa, Istanbul City Centre
4 Evening meals in local restaurants and hotel
Excursion Programme – See separate panel
Fully escorted by Alan Couser
Full financial protection under ATOL 11029
Not included in the fare.
Travel insurance, drinks, laundry, gratuities or items of personal expenditure.
Turkish E-Visa (approx. £10pp)
You require an electronic visa (E-Visa), which costs around £15 per person, to enter Turkey. We can help you with this or you can arrange it on-line at https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/
Walking Tour (Included)
The tour starts in front of the world-famous Hagia Sophia Church/Museum and draws a circle in the historic city, visiting en route globally renowned monuments such as the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Irene Church, the Basilica Cistern as well as fascinating Turkish baths, bazaars (including the Grand Bazaar) and must-see museums with special collections!
The above walking tour does not include entry to any of the museums, mosques, churches, etc. We will take you back there on our own tour, later in the holiday.
Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour (Included)
This will enable you to travel around Istanbul and get off at any or all of the sights. You can, of course, use it simply to take a relaxing tour of the city and stay on board for the entire journey, which is actually what we recommend. Beware, however, Istanbul’s traffic can be really scary and even annoying, but there’s no taxi meter running and you can sit back and take it all in.
Bosphorus Cruise Tour (Included)
A cruise on the Bosphorus is probably the most overlooked Istanbul tourist attraction. Understandable, with such an abundance of historical sightseeing spots in Istanbul and too little time to squeeze them all into your short holiday. But take our advice and set a few hours aside to take an unforgettable Bosphorus tour. You won’t regret it
The Full Bosphorus Tour offers a great Bosphorus experience and will take several hours in total. This cruise will take you from Eminönü all the way to the Black Sea, and back. Each way takes about 90 minutes since the ferry makes 5 short stops to let people on and off. You must get off the ferry in Anadolu Kavaı, the last harbour before the Black Sea. This gives you the opportunity to grab a (late) lunch in one of the town’s fish restaurants located on the shore and/or visit the fortress.
On board you can use digital guides explaining over 70 points of interest along the way, in 10 different languages, including English, of course!
WHIRLING DERVISHES TOUR (£20 per person)
This Culture Center is located at the centre of Historical peninsula of Istanbul and was converted from a 550 years old historical Turkish bath called Hocapaa Hamamı in 2008. It was originally built by Hoca Sinan Paa who was a teacher and later vizier to Fatih Sultan Mehmet during 1470's. It was a double bath for both men and women, with a high dome, made of cut stone and also corner walls designed like a peacock tail. This building served as a Turkish bath till 1988.
Hodjapasha Culture Center has two sections. First is an exhibition and foyer area. The other section is performance area which has a circular glass dance floor and a musicians stage. Spectators seats are located around the circular dance floor and has a capacity of 220. Perfect lighting and beautiful decoration turns this historical building to a very mystic and intimate place.
-The Mevlevi Sema Ceremony :
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. Programme starts with the classical Turkish music concert performed by a traditional orchestra for 15 minutes. Then the ceremony starts and lasts about 45 minutes under the amazing lighting and mystic atmosphere of Hodjapasha.
Show time is 19:00.You must be there at 18:00.
We have unlimited Free Coffee, Tea, Turkish Coffee and Cold Drinks Service before the Show.
Turkish Bath (About £20, payable locally)
Before you can decide whether you hate or love going to a Turkish bath or hamam, you need to experience it at least once. If it’s your first visit to a hamam, entering a Turkish bath can be a daunting experience.
First you need to decide whether you want to visit a historical hamam or a Turkish bath in a hotel. Next, upon entering the establishment, you have to select and pay for the service of your choice. Possible options are:
Self-Service — you bathe yourself and bring your own soap, shampoo and towel. This is obviously the cheapest option and will cost you around 60 TL. I wouldn’t recommend this for your first visit.
Traditional Style — pick this one if you want the real Turkish bath experience. An attendant will wash and massage you for about 15 minutes, and you don’t have to bring any of the equipment. This service will set you back for about 95 TL.
Other Styles — They have several other services such as aromatherapy oil massage, reflexology, Indian head massage, and facial clay mask, too. Please check their website if you are interested in those.
Regardless of the service you choose, you are allowed to use the facilities for as long as you wish.
We will give you guidance on how to get there, what to bring and what to expect. First, you’ll have to fight off your host, Alan, who will be first in the queue!
Galippoli and Troy - 2 Day / 1 Night tour (Extra cost £120)
This tour is only available if you have opted for the extra two nights.
Combine two of Turkey’s most visited historic sites on this 2-day tour to the Gallipoli Battlefields and the ancient city of Troy, including overnight accommodation. Walk the notorious WWI battlefields of Gallipoli, including Brighton Beach, ANZAC Cove and the Johnston's Jolly trenches, then discover the legends of UNESCO-listed Troy as you see the Trojan Horse, the Sacrificial Altars and the Houses of Troy. This tour includes pick-up from the hotel by minibus, morning travel to Eseabat, where we stop for lunch (Vegetarian meal option available). In the afternoon, we visit Brighton Beach, Beach Cemetery, ANZAC Cove, Ariburnu Cemetery, ANZAC Commemorative Site, Respect to Mehmetcik Statue, Lone Pine Australian Memorial, Johnston's Jolly, (Turkish and Allied trenches and tunnels), Turkish 57. Infantry Regiment Cemetery, The Nek, Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial. At the end of the afternoon, we travel by ferry to Canakkale, where we overnight at the Troia ANZAC Hotel. The hotel has a three-star rating but receives decent reviews and is close to the waterfront and a great selection of restaurants and nightlife.
Next morning, enjoy a buffet breakfast at the hotel and some free time before collection to travel to the ancient city of Troy. Visit The Trojan Horse, Sacrificial Altars, The 3700 year old city walls, Houses of Troy I, 3000 B.C. - 2500 B.C., The Bouleuterion (Senate Building), The Odeon (Concert Hall), Remains of the various cities from Troy I through to Troy IX. In the late afternoon, set off for the return trip to Istanbul and your hotel.
Dinner in Canakkale is included at a local restaurant where you will have a choice of menu.
Please note: This tour will definitely operate, even if there are only 2 or 3 people. If the group is larger, we will have our own minibus for the duration. You will only need to pack what you need for the one night, as your hotel room in Istanbul will still be held for you and your belongings can ermain there. We plan to offer this tour on Wednesday, 08th May 2019, returning Thursday 09th may. Also, please note, the journey time to Gallipoli and Troy is around 4-5 hours each way, as it's approximately 250km each way.