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The Hidden Heritage of Turkey's Ottoman Empire

11 days from £3850 per person

Although known throughout the world for its many ancient remains, Turkey's Ottoman heritage is just as rich. Istanbul was at the centre of the Ottoman Empire for centuries with the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar testament to this creative period of rule. From Istanbul continue to picturesque Amasya, an ancient city dramatically located in the Yesilirmak Valley home to fine mosques and wonderful Ottoman half-timbered houses before ending your journey in Safranbolu, a UNESCO protected town of magnificent 18th and 19th century Ottoman architecture.

Route: Istanbul – Amasya – Kastamonu – Safranbolu – Istanbul

Itinerary Highlights

Savour the sumptuous culinary delights in Istanbul, where the food is as diverse as its heritage. Soak up the local experiences and marvel at the city’s ancient architecture.

Amasya is set along a river valley in the mountains above the Black Sea coast. Traditional Ottoman houses lean out over the river and are now hotels, cafes and restaurants.

Safranbolu is one of the most picturesque towns in Turkey due to the hundreds of well-preserved Ottoman houses. The streets and squares are full of artisanal shops.

Itinerary: The Hidden Heritage of Turkey's Ottoman Empire

Today fly from London to Istanbul with British Airways and on your arrival you will be met and transferred to your accommodation. (N)
Accommodation in Istanbul: Ottoman Imperial Hotel (or similar)
Over the next two days you are at leisure to relax and explore this remarkable city. During your stay you will receive a one day private tour of the old city in the company of an English speaking local guide. Places of interest include Topkapi Palace where for 400 years the Ottomans Empire was ruled, the vast underground basilica water cistern with its 336 columns and masterful Byzantine engineering and the Hagia Sophia – the ‘Church of the Holy Wisdom’. Once Christendom’s greatest church, the Hagia Sofia is over 1,400 years old and today is considered one of the world’s finest architectural and religious monuments. Also visit the Blue Mosque, so called for its sparkling Iznik blue tiles which adorn the interior walls as well as the labyrinthine medieval Grand Bazaar where your senses will be assailed by over 4,000 shops. (B)
Accommodation in Istanbul: Ottoman Imperial Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet (or similar)
This morning fly to Ankara where you will be met by your driver-guide and proceed to Amasya. On the way you will have the opportunity to stop at the ancient Hittite ruins of Hattusa and Yazsilikata which are both designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In the late afternoon arrive in Amasya. (B)
Accommodation in Amasya: Grand Pasha Hotel (or similar)
Today you are at leisure to explore attractive Amasya which lies in a gorge of the Yesilirmak River hemmed in by limestone cliffs. The left bank of the river forms a narrow ledge on which a row of timber Ottoman houses stand with their upper balconies jutting out over the river whilst in the cliffs above hang the rock cut tombs of Pontic Kings. (B)
Accommodation in Amasya: Grand Pasha Hotel (or similar)
Leave Amasya and drive to the city of Kastamonu – a treasure trove of bazaars, old hammans, fountains and many historic buildings. In the nearby village of Kasaba is one Turkey’s finest wooden mosques where, for a small donation, the Imam will open the mosque which is beautifully decorated with a wooden gallery and painted wooden columns. (B)
Accommodation in Kastamonu: Osmanli Sarayi (or similar)
This morning continue onto the beautifully preserved Ottoman town of Safranbolu – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This remarkable old town boasts a glorious collection of around 800 half-timbered Ottoman houses dating from the 19th Century. (B)
Accommodation in Safranbolu: Havuzlu Asmazlar Konagi (or similar)
In Ottoman times the town of Safranbolu was located on a major trade route, the riches of which can still be seen today with the many three storey stone and timber mansions that were built by wealthy merchants and craftsmen. Today enjoy exploring the cobbled streets of Safranbolu. Places of interest include Market Street, with its old houses, Shoemakers Street and the 350 year old Cinci Han which was a resting house for travelling merchants. (B)
Accommodation in Safranbolu: Havuzlu Asmazlar Konagi (or similar)
Today drive out to Amasra, 90km north of Safranbolu, and considered to be one of the most picturesque towns on the Black Sea coast. Visit the ruins of the citadel, wander through the cobbled streets and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the town. (B)
Accommodation in Safranbolu: Havuzlu Asmazlar Konagi (or similar)
This morning, after breakfast, drive back to Istanbul and stay overnight at your Hotel. (B)
Accommodation in Istanbul: Ottoman Imperial Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet (or similar)
Transfer to Istanbul airport in good time to catch your British Airways flight back to London. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Domestic flights
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

Please call us for more information or complete the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

01892 515 966 Request a Quote

Head Office: 8-9 Orchard Business Centre, North Farm Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells Kent. TN2 3XF

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