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Exploring Istanbul: ‘City of the World’s Desire’ 2021

Status: open

26 Sep – 6 Oct 2021

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Overview

Exploring Istanbul: ‘City of the World’s Desire’ 2021
Tour Highlights

  • A regular visitor to Turkey since the early 1980s, our tour lecturer is Dr Susan Scollay,
  • an art historian with a special interest in the art and architecture of the Islamic world – especially that of the Ottoman empire – and the intersections and shared culture between Islam and Christianity, East and West.
  • Trace the evolution of the great city of Byzantium–Constantinople–Istanbul through its Byzantine and Ottoman palace architecture, religious monuments, material culture and mercantile links with Venice and the Italian Renaissance.
  • Visits to imperial and other, little-known, sites of the third Ottoman capital, Istanbul (1453–1923) and a side trip to the first capital, Bursa (1300–1360).
  • Explore the Byzantine forerunners of the Ottoman palaces, especially through the mosaics of the Great Byzantine Palace and their counterparts in Haghia Sophia (Aya Sofya), the great 6th-century patriarchal basilica of eastern Christianity.
  • Privileged access and private visits to collections of historical costume, textiles, tiles and other decorative arts that were a vital component of the luxury of the great city’s way of life and its trade and influence in Europe.
  • View highlights and enjoy curatorial introductions to modern art, design and innovative architectural venues of the 17th Istanbul Art Biennal.
  • Savour Istanbul’s famed cuisine and hospitality in historic hotels, acclaimed restaurants and atmospheric teahouses.

Overview

Travel with Dr Susan Scollay an art historian and curator specialising in the arts and culture of the Islamic world and in historic textiles.Surrounded by water on three sides, the city of Istanbul straddles Europe and Asia and is one of the largest urban centres in the world. It is a global city whose layers of archaeology and architecture have evolved over centuries in the historic political and religious centre of the eastern Mediterranean. The enviable site was first settled in the seventh-century BCE by Greek fishermen.  In 330 CE, the Emperor Constantine chose the trading centre, then known as Byzantium, as his new capital of the eastern Roman Empire. Renamed Constantinople, the holiest and most magnificent city in eastern Christendom was graced with the great domed basilica of Aya Sofya, the ‘Church of Holy Wisdom’. Completed in 537 CE, it was the world’s largest cathedral and an architectural inspiration for nearly a thousand years. The coveted city, surrounded by water on three sides, was all but destitute in 1453 when the Ottoman sultan Mehmet II, ‘the Conqueror’ (r. 1451- 1481), stormed its ancient defence walls. After taking control from the final Byzantine emperor, he began the process of transforming the stricken city into the third and last Ottoman capital, Istanbul, with one of the most distinctive skylines in the world. Modern Istanbul is a booming metropolis, with fascinating street life, beguiling bazaars, lively restaurants and internationally-recognised and fast-evolving architecture, design and contemporary art. This eleven-day tour highlights the unique, and sometimes hidden, character of Istanbul through its different eras – with visits to significant sites and collections, both ancient and modern, public and private – with sufficient time to savour its hidden delights, layered history and sheer diversity.

11-day Cultural Tour of Istanbul

Overnight Hagia Sophia Mansions, Istanbul (7 nights) • Çelik Palace Hotel, Bursa (1 night) • Pera Palace Hotel, Istanbul (2 nights)

Itinerary

Itinerary

The following itinerary describes a range of museums and sites which we plan to visit. Many are accessible to the public, but others require special permission which may only be confirmed closer to the tour’s departure. In addition, a number sites indicated in the itinerary with  an asterisk* are currently under renovation, however they are expected to be reopened by 2021. Participants should note that the daily activities described in this itinerary may be rotated and/or modified in order to accommodate changes in museum opening hours, flight schedules etc. Meals included in the tour price are indicated in the detailed itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=lunch and D= evening meal.

Istanbul: Hagia Sophia Mansions – 7 nights

Day 1: Sunday 26 September, Arrive Istanbul
  • Airport Transfer for participants arriving on the ASA ‘designated’ flight – Our tour commences in Istanbul. Participants taking ASA’s ‘designated’ flight are scheduled to arrive in Istanbul in the afternoon and will join a private transfer to the recently-restored Hagia Sophia Mansions hotel. Participants who have made alternative flight arrangements should meet the group at the hotel.
  • Optional afternoon orientation walk – For those who have arrived earlier in the day there will be an orientation walk to the Hippodrome, the site of the old Byzantine Palace and the 16th-century ‘palace’ of Ibrahim Pasha, a walk around Aya Sofya and along picturesque Sogukçesme Street (‘The Street of the Cold Fountain’) with its restored wooden houses, past the main gate of the Topkapi Palace and back to the hotel.
  • Evening orientation talk & pre-dinner drinks, Welcome Dinner – There will be a short orientation talk for all participants before drinks and dinner.

(Overnight Istanbul Hagia Sophia Mansions) D

Day 2: Monday 27 September, Istanbul: The Byzantine City (on foot)
  • Hippodrome & Divan Yolu – the site of the ceremonial, social and sporting centre of the Byzantine city, with fragments of the original structures still visible.
  • The Basilica Cistern (Yerebetan Sarnic)* – a large, multi-columned, underground cistern built by Emperor Justinian I (527–565)
  • Haghia Sophia (Aya Sofya) – Emperor Justinian’s ‘Church of Holy Wisdom’, built in 531-37 CE as the Byzantine city’s great domed cathedral, converted to a mosque by Sultan Mehmet II in 1453 after he conquered the city, and then to a museum after the formation of the modern Republic of Turkey in the wake of the First World War.
  • Arasta Bazaar – after lunch we stroll through the gently-paced Arasta Bazaar shopping precinct, originally built in the early-17th century for craftsmen supporting the so-called ‘Blue’ Mosque of Ahmet I (r. 1603-17). The mosque precinct is built over the remains of the Great Palace of Constantinople, the principal residence of the Byzantine Emperors, from 330 CE until it was abandoned in the 11th-century in favour of a new palace at the northern end of the Golden Horn near the city walls.
  • Great Palace Mosaic Museum – a small, but outstanding collection of beautifully preserved, late-Roman mosaics, mostly 6th-century, depicting scenes from daily life and mythology.
  • Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus (Küçük Aya Sofya) – a Greek Orthodox church built for the Emperor Justinian and his wife, Theodora, and completed in 536 CE, the domed structure appears to be a prototype for the Aya Sofya. Converted into a mosque by the Ottomans and restored in 2007, it remains a place of worship for local Muslims.
  • Reception and private viewing at a leading gallery for textile arts, costume and jewellery.

(Overnight Istanbul Hagia Sophia Mansions) BL

Day 3: Tuesday 28 September, Istanbul: The Byzantine City (by coach)
  • Byzantine City Walls – built in the 5th-century by Emperor Theodosius II, the defensive stone structure originally stretched for almost 7 kms and were up to 12 metres high. The impressive remains are now listed as a UNESCO heritage site.
  • Palace of the Porphyrogenitus (Tekfür Saray) – the last of the Byzantine imperial palaces still standing. The ruined complex was built in the late-13th century and served a variety of purposes after the Ottoman conquest.
  • Church of St. Saviour in Chora (Kariye Cami) – dates from the 11th-century, although remodelled in the 12th-century and again in the early-14th century. The church’s mosaics and frescoes are considered some of the best in the world.
  • Lunch at Asitane Restaurant
  • Coach tour of the Golden Horn – including the Eyüp Mosque, Istanbul’s holiest site; the Greek Patriarchate & the atmospheric Fener/Balat district.

(Overnight Istanbul Hagia Sophia Mansions) BL

Day 4: Wednesday 29 September, Istanbul: The Ottoman City (on foot)
  • Topkapi Palace Museum and Harem – built in 1459 by Sultan Mehmet II, the ‘Conqueror’, on the spectacular site of the old acropolis of Byzantium, seemingly surrounded by the waters of the Bosphorus Strait.
  • Lunch at leisure in the palace grounds
  • Carpet Museum – housed in the old kitchens of the Haghia Sophia (Aya Sofya) complex, three atmospheric galleries display a tightly curated range of spectacular carpets ranging from the pre-Ottoman Seljuk era to magnificent examples of those once used in the imperial palaces and mosques.
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts – a magnificent collection of fine calligraphy, tiles, woodwork, and selections from one of the world’s most impressive antique carpet collections –all displayed in a well-preserved mansion/palace built in 1524 for Ibrahim Pasha who, until his untimely death, served Süleyman the ‘Magnificent’ as Grand Vizier.
  • The Mosque of Ahmet I & precinct – completed in 1616, the so-called ‘Blue Mosque’ punctuates the city skyline with its vast dome and six elegant minarets. Still used for daily prayer, its light-filled interior is lined with blue-toned tiles from the later period of Iznik production.
  • Dinner at Balikçi Sabahattin Restaurant

(Overnight Istanbul Haghia Sophia Mansions) BD

Day 5: Thursday 30 September, Istanbul: The Ottoman City (by coach)
  • Dolmabahçe Palace – the opulent, European style palace on the European shore of the Bosphorus Strait, completed in 1856 by Sultan Abdül Mecit I (r. 1839–1861), to which the Ottoman sultans moved in the dying days of the empire. It is the largest of the Ottoman palaces with 285 rooms and 46 halls, decorated with extensive use of gold leaf and crystal chandeliers.
  • Yildiz Park & Şale Kiosk (Chalet Pavilion) – the extensive park was once part of the imperial grounds of the Yildiz (‘Star’) Palace of Sultan Abdül Hamid II (r. 1876–1909) who abandoned the Dolmabahçe Palace because he feared attack from the Bosphorus waterfront. The 60-room Chalet Pavilion, built to house a visit from Kaiser Wilhelm II, is the largest wooden chalet in the world and an impressive showcase for decorative arts of the period.
  • Lunch in the grounds of Yildiz Park
  • Yildiz Hamidiye Mosque – built in the late-19th century at the entrance to the park, its interior is a beautiful mix of East and West, with Orientalist and Gothic decoration.
  • Spice Bazaar (Mısır Çarşısı) & surrounds – one of the most colourful covered bazaars in the city, built in 1664 as part of the complex of the nearby New Mosque (Yeni Cami) commissioned by Turhan Hatice, the mother of Sultan Mehmet IV (r. 1642–1693).
  • Rüstem Pasha Mosque – accessed from a narrow street in the bustling Spice Bazaar precinct, the mosque was designed and built in 1561 by the great architect Sinan, for Süleyman’s Grand Vizier, Rüstem Pasha. Its exquisite tilework marks the high point of Iznik production in the 16th century.

(Overnight Istanbul Hagia Sophia Mansions) BL

Day 6: Friday 1 October, Istanbul
  • Süleymaniye Mosque
  • Imperial Tombs of Süleyman & his wife Haseki Hürrem Sultan (Roxelana)
  • Grand Bazaar
  • Afternoon at leisure (optional visit to the Archaeological Museum* and/or Cinili Kiosk

(Overnight Istanbul) BLD

Day 7: Saturday 2 October, Istanbul
  • Sadberk Hanim Museum
  • Bosphorus Cruise with Mezze Lunch & Wine Tasting

(Overnight Istanbul) BL

Day 1: Sunday 26 September, Arrive Istanbul
  • Airport Transfer for participants arriving on the ASA ‘designated’ flight – Our tour commences in Istanbul. Participants taking ASA’s ‘designated’ flight are scheduled to arrive in Istanbul in the afternoon and will join a private transfer to the recently-restored Hagia Sophia Mansions hotel. Participants who have made alternative flight arrangements should meet the group at the hotel.
  • Optional afternoon orientation walk – For those who have arrived earlier in the day there will be an orientation walk to the Hippodrome, the site of the old Byzantine Palace and the 16th-century ‘palace’ of Ibrahim Pasha, a walk around Aya Sofya and along picturesque Sogukçesme Street (‘The Street of the Cold Fountain’) with its restored wooden houses, past the main gate of the Topkapi Palace and back to the hotel.
  • Evening orientation talk & pre-dinner drinks, Welcome Dinner – There will be a short orientation talk for all participants before drinks and dinner.

(Overnight Istanbul Hagia Sophia Mansions) D

Day 2: Monday 27 September, Istanbul: The Byzantine City (on foot)
  • Hippodrome & Divan Yolu – the site of the ceremonial, social and sporting centre of the Byzantine city, with fragments of the original structures still visible.
  • The Basilica Cistern (Yerebetan Sarnic)* – a large, multi-columned, underground cistern built by Emperor Justinian I (527–565)
  • Haghia Sophia (Aya Sofya) – Emperor Justinian’s ‘Church of Holy Wisdom’, built in 531-37 CE as the Byzantine city’s great domed cathedral, converted to a mosque by Sultan Mehmet II in 1453 after he conquered the city, and then to a museum after the formation of the modern Republic of Turkey in the wake of the First World War.
  • Arasta Bazaar – after lunch we stroll through the gently-paced Arasta Bazaar shopping precinct, originally built in the early-17th century for craftsmen supporting the so-called ‘Blue’ Mosque of Ahmet I (r. 1603-17). The mosque precinct is built over the remains of the Great Palace of Constantinople, the principal residence of the Byzantine Emperors, from 330 CE until it was abandoned in the 11th-century in favour of a new palace at the northern end of the Golden Horn near the city walls.
  • Great Palace Mosaic Museum – a small, but outstanding collection of beautifully preserved, late-Roman mosaics, mostly 6th-century, depicting scenes from daily life and mythology.
  • Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus (Küçük Aya Sofya) – a Greek Orthodox church built for the Emperor Justinian and his wife, Theodora, and completed in 536 CE, the domed structure appears to be a prototype for the Aya Sofya. Converted into a mosque by the Ottomans and restored in 2007, it remains a place of worship for local Muslims.
  • Reception and private viewing at a leading gallery for textile arts, costume and jewellery.

(Overnight Istanbul Hagia Sophia Mansions) BL

Day 3: Tuesday 28 September, Istanbul: The Byzantine City (by coach)
  • Byzantine City Walls – built in the 5th-century by Emperor Theodosius II, the defensive stone structure originally stretched for almost 7 kms and were up to 12 metres high. The impressive remains are now listed as a UNESCO heritage site.
  • Palace of the Porphyrogenitus (Tekfür Saray) – the last of the Byzantine imperial palaces still standing. The ruined complex was built in the late-13th century and served a variety of purposes after the Ottoman conquest.
  • Church of St. Saviour in Chora (Kariye Cami) – dates from the 11th-century, although remodelled in the 12th-century and again in the early-14th century. The church’s mosaics and frescoes are considered some of the best in the world.
  • Lunch at Asitane Restaurant
  • Coach tour of the Golden Horn – including the Eyüp Mosque, Istanbul’s holiest site; the Greek Patriarchate & the atmospheric Fener/Balat district.

(Overnight Istanbul Hagia Sophia Mansions) BL

Day 4: Wednesday 29 September, Istanbul: The Ottoman City (on foot)
  • Topkapi Palace Museum and Harem – built in 1459 by Sultan Mehmet II, the ‘Conqueror’, on the spectacular site of the old acropolis of Byzantium, seemingly surrounded by the waters of the Bosphorus Strait.
  • Lunch at leisure in the palace grounds
  • Carpet Museum – housed in the old kitchens of the Haghia Sophia (Aya Sofya) complex, three atmospheric galleries display a tightly curated range of spectacular carpets ranging from the pre-Ottoman Seljuk era to magnificent examples of those once used in the imperial palaces and mosques.
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts – a magnificent collection of fine calligraphy, tiles, woodwork, and selections from one of the world’s most impressive antique carpet collections –all displayed in a well-preserved mansion/palace built in 1524 for Ibrahim Pasha who, until his untimely death, served Süleyman the ‘Magnificent’ as Grand Vizier.
  • The Mosque of Ahmet I & precinct – completed in 1616, the so-called ‘Blue Mosque’ punctuates the city skyline with its vast dome and six elegant minarets. Still used for daily prayer, its light-filled interior is lined with blue-toned tiles from the later period of Iznik production.
  • Dinner at Balikçi Sabahattin Restaurant

(Overnight Istanbul Haghia Sophia Mansions) BD

Day 5: Thursday 30 September, Istanbul: The Ottoman City (by coach)
  • Dolmabahçe Palace – the opulent, European style palace on the European shore of the Bosphorus Strait, completed in 1856 by Sultan Abdül Mecit I (r. 1839–1861), to which the Ottoman sultans moved in the dying days of the empire. It is the largest of the Ottoman palaces with 285 rooms and 46 halls, decorated with extensive use of gold leaf and crystal chandeliers.
  • Yildiz Park & Şale Kiosk (Chalet Pavilion) – the extensive park was once part of the imperial grounds of the Yildiz (‘Star’) Palace of Sultan Abdül Hamid II (r. 1876–1909) who abandoned the Dolmabahçe Palace because he feared attack from the Bosphorus waterfront. The 60-room Chalet Pavilion, built to house a visit from Kaiser Wilhelm II, is the largest wooden chalet in the world and an impressive showcase for decorative arts of the period.
  • Lunch in the grounds of Yildiz Park
  • Yildiz Hamidiye Mosque – built in the late-19th century at the entrance to the park, its interior is a beautiful mix of East and West, with Orientalist and Gothic decoration.
  • Spice Bazaar (Mısır Çarşısı) & surrounds – one of the most colourful covered bazaars in the city, built in 1664 as part of the complex of the nearby New Mosque (Yeni Cami) commissioned by Turhan Hatice, the mother of Sultan Mehmet IV (r. 1642–1693).
  • Rüstem Pasha Mosque – accessed from a narrow street in the bustling Spice Bazaar precinct, the mosque was designed and built in 1561 by the great architect Sinan, for Süleyman’s Grand Vizier, Rüstem Pasha. Its exquisite tilework marks the high point of Iznik production in the 16th century.

(Overnight Istanbul Hagia Sophia Mansions) BL

Day 6: Friday 1 October, Istanbul
  • Süleymaniye Mosque
  • Imperial Tombs of Süleyman & his wife Haseki Hürrem Sultan (Roxelana)
  • Grand Bazaar
  • Afternoon at leisure (optional visit to the Archaeological Museum* and/or Cinili Kiosk

(Overnight Istanbul Hagia Sophia) BLD

Day 7: Saturday 2 October, Istanbul
  • Sadberk Hanim Museum
  • Bosphorus Cruise with Mezze Lunch & Wine Tasting

(Overnight Istanbul) BL

Bursa: Çelik Palace Hotel – 1 night

Day 8: Sunday 2 October, Istanbul – Bursa
  • Ulu Cami
  • Yesil Cami and Yesil Türbe (‘Green’ Mosque of Mehmet I and his ‘Green’ Tomb)
  • Yildirim Beyazit Cami & tombs
  • Upper Town district of the citadel, Alaeddin Mosque (Sultan Aladdin Camii) & Murad II Mosque
  • Time at leisure to enjoy facilities of our hotel

(Overnight Bursa) BLD

Day 8: Sunday 2 October, Istanbul – Bursa
  • Ulu Cami
  • Yesil Cami and Yesil Türbe (‘Green’ Mosque of Mehmet I and his ‘Green’ Tomb)
  • Yildirim Beyazit Cami & tombs
  • Upper Town district of the citadel, Alaeddin Mosque (Sultan Aladdin Camii) & Murad II Mosque
  • Time at leisure to enjoy facilities of our hotel

(Overnight Bursa) BLD

Istanbul: Pera Palace Hotel – 2 nights

Day 9: Monday 4 October, Bursa – Iznik – Istanbul
  • Koza Han & Emir Han (Silk Markets)
  • Ancient Nicea

(Overnight Istanbul) BL

Day 10: Tuesday 5 October, Istanbul:
  • Beyoglu and Istiklal Caddesi: Contemporary Art Galleries
  • Guided tour of Arter: the new, monumental contemporary gallery space designed by London-based Grimshaw Architects
  • Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence
  • Farewell Dinner at the Pera Palace Hotel

(Overnight Istanbul) BD

Day 11: Wednesday 6 October, Depart Istanbul
  • At leisure/Check out
  • Airport transfer for participants travelling on the ASA ‘designated’ flight

B

Day 9: Monday 4 October, Bursa – Iznik – Istanbul
  • Koza Han & Emir Han (Silk Markets)
  • Ancient Nicea

(Overnight Istanbul) BL

Day 10: Tuesday 5 October, Istanbul:
  • Beyoglu and Istiklal Caddesi: Contemporary Art Galleries
  • Guided tour of Arter: the new, monumental contemporary gallery space designed by London-based Grimshaw Architects
  • Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence
  • Farewell Dinner at the Pera Palace Hotel

(Overnight Istanbul) BD

Day 11: Wednesday 6 October, Depart Istanbul
  • At leisure/Check out
  • Airport transfer for participants travelling on the ASA ‘designated’ flight

B

Accommodation

Accommodation

11 days in Turkey

All hotels are rated 4- and 5-star locally and are comfortable and conveniently situated. All rooms have shower or bath and w.c. Several hotels have swimming pools. Single rooms may be requested – and are subject to availability and payment of the single supplement. Further information on hotels will be provided in the ‘Tour Hotel List’ given to tour members prior to their departure.

  • Istanbul (7 nights): 4-star Hagia Sofia Mansions Istanbul, Curio Collection by Hilton – located in the heart of Istanbul, this 19th-century hotel comprising of individual mansions, is a 2-minute walk from the Aya Sofya and the Sultanahmet Mosque. www.curiocollection3.hilton.com
  • Bursa (1 night): 5-star BB Çelik Palace Hotel – an historic hotel founded in 1935 by Atatürk, featuring a magnificent domed marble thermal pool. www.bluebayresorts.com
  • Istanbul (2 nights): 5-star Pera Palace Hotel – Established in 1892 by the French-Ottoman architect Alexander Vallaury, the Pera Palace is a special category museum hotel designed in neoclassical, art nouveau and oriental styles. Built for the purpose of hosting the passengers of the Orient Express, detective writer Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express was allegedly written in the hotel. The hotel offers spectacular views of the Golden Horn, an indoor pool, and luxurious rooms with city views in the historical Pera district of Istanbul. www.perapalace.com

NoteHotels are subject to change. In this instance a hotel of similar standard will be provided.

How to book

How to Book

Making a Tentative Reservation before the tour price has been published

ASA INTENTION TO TRAVEL APPLICATION FORM

Some ASA tours fill almost immediately. Don’t miss out! You can register your ‘Intention to Travel’ by completing this application and returning this to ASA with a AUD $100.00 per person deposit. Once the tour price has been published, the itinerary and ASA Reservation Application Form will be sent to you. From the time you receive the itinerary you will have two weeks to either:

  • Send us a completed ASA Reservation Application Form together with an additional deposit of AUD $400.00 per person. On receipt of this Reservation Application and deposit, ASA will process your booking and if approved, send you a tour confirmation. At this time your deposit of AUD $500.00 is subject to the tour’s Booking Conditions.

Or

  • CANCEL your Intention to Travel in writing. ASA will refund your AUD $100.00 per person deposit, less a $33.00 service fee (including GST).

Participation Criteria

To participate in an ASA tour, you must be reasonably fit, in good health and able to participate in all activities without assistance from Tour Leaders or other tour members. If you require assistance, a fit and able travel companion must undertake to accompany and assist you with all tasks for the duration of the whole tour. ASA’s ability to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate your specific needs, your health and safety and the health and safety of other tour members, is of paramount importance to us. For this reason the ASA Reservation Application includes a Medical Information section. As a general guideline, you must be able to accomplish each of these activities without assistance or support:-

  • walk and stand unassisted for at least 2-3 hours a day in hot, humid conditions
  • walk confidently on and over uneven surfaces
  • climb at least 3 flights of stairs
  • embark and disembark from ferries, buses and trains
  • walk up and down steep slopes
  • walk at a steady pace and no less than 1km every 15-20 minutes
  • organise, manage and carry your own luggage
  • follow and remember tour instructions
  • meet punctually at designated times and places
  • administer your own medication

Single Supplement

Payment of this supplement will ensure accommodation is for sole occupancy throughout the tour. The number of spaces available for single occupancy is extremely limited. People wishing to take this supplement are therefore advised to book well in advance.

Practical Information

Practical Information

The number of flags is a guide to the degree of difficulty of ASA tours relative to each other (not to those of other tour companies). It is neither absolute nor literal. One flag is given to the least taxing tours, seven to the most. Flags are allocated, above all, according to the amount of walking and standing each tour involves. Nevertheless, all ASA tours require that participants have a good degree of fitness enabling 2-3 hours walking or 1-1.5 hours standing still on any given site visit or excursion. Many sites are accessed by climbing slopes or steps and have uneven terrain.

This 11-day tour of Turkey involves:
  • Exploring Istanbul on foot and by coach; Excursion to Bursa & Iznik by private coach.
  • Extensive walking (up to 5km per day) and standing during museum and other site visits.
  • 4 to 5-star hotels with two hotel changes.
  • The use of audio headsets which amplify the voice of your guide (despite noisy surroundings). This technology also allows you to move freely during site visits without missing any information.
  • You must be able to carry your own hand-luggage. Hotel porterage includes 1 piece of luggage per person.

It is important to remember that ASA programs are group tours, and slow walkers affect everyone in the group. As the group must move at the speed of the slowest member, the amount of time spent at a site may be reduced if group members cannot maintain a moderate walking pace. ASA tours should not present any problem for active people who can manage day-to-day walking and stair-climbing. However, if you have any doubts about your ability to manage on a program, please ask your ASA travel consultant whether this is a suitable tour for you.

Please note: it is a condition of travel that all participants agree to accept ASA’s directions in relation to their suitability to participate in activities undertaken on the tour, and that ASA retains the sole discretion to direct a tour participant to refrain from a particular activity on part of the tour. For further information please refer to the ASA Reservation Application Form.

Practical Information

Prior to departure, tour members will receive practical notes which include information on visa requirements, health, photography, weather, clothing and what to pack, custom regulations, bank hours, currency regulations, electrical appliances and food. The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade website has advice for travellers: www.smartraveller.gov.au

Tour Price & Inclusions

Tour Price & Inclusions

AUD $TBA Land Content Only – Early-Bird Special: book before 30 September 2020

AUD $TBA Land Content Only

AUD $TBA Single Supplement

For competitive Economy, Business or First Class airfares and/or group airfares please contact ASA for further information.

Tour Price (Land Content Only) includes:
  • Accommodation in twin-share rooms with private facilities in 4-5-star hotels.
  • Meals indicated in the tour itinerary, where: B=breakfast, L=lunch & D=evening meal
  • Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
  • Bottled water during excursions
  • Transportation by air-conditioned coach as indicated in the tour itinerary
  • Airport-hotel transfers if travelling on the ASA ‘designated’ flights
  • Porterage at hotels and airports
  • Lecture and site-visit program
  • Tour Notes
  • Entrance fees to museums and monuments
  • National guide in Turkey
  • Use of audio headsets during site visits
  • Tips for the coach driver, local guides and restaurants for included meals.
Tour Price (Land Content Only) does not include:
  • Airfare: Australia – Istanbul, Istanbul – Australia
  • Personal spending money
  • Airport-hotel transfers if not travelling on ASA ‘designated’ flights
  • Luggage in excess of 20 kg (44 lbs)
  • Travel insurance
  • Turkish Visa
Tour Map

Tour Map

Gallery
Terms & Conditions
Deposits

A deposit of $500.00 AUD per person is required to reserve a place on an ASA tour.

Cancellation Fees

If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:

  • More than 120 days before departure: $500.00**
  • 120-46 days prior 30% of total amount due
  • 45-0 days prior 100% of total amount due

**This amount may be credited to another ASA tour departing within 12 months of the original tour you booked. We regret, in this case early-bird discounts will not apply.

We take the day on which you cancel as being that on which we receive written confirmation of cancellation.

Unused Portions of the Tour

We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.

Will the Tour Price or Itinerary Change?

If the number of participants on a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates ASA reserves the right to amend the advertised price. We shall, however, do all in our power to maintain the published price. If an ASA tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all tour monies paid. Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of ASA make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes in due course.

Travel Insurance

ASA requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. A copy of your travel insurance certificate and the reverse charge emergency contact phone number must be received by ASA no later than 120 days prior to the commencement of the tour.

Final Payment

The balance of the tour price will be due 120 days prior to the tour commencement date.

Limitation of Liability

ASA is not a carrier, event or tourist attraction host, accommodation or dining service provider. All bookings made and tickets or coupons issued by ASA for transport, event, accommodation, dining and the like are issued as an agent for various service providers and are subject to the terms and conditions and limitations of liability imposed by each service provider. ASA is not responsible for their products or services. If a service provider does not deliver the product or service for which you have contracted, your remedy lies with the service provider, not ASA.

ASA will not be liable for any claim (eg. sickness, injury, death, damage or loss) arising from any change, delay, detention, breakdown, cancellation, failure, accident, act, omission or negligence of any such service provider however caused (contingencies). You must take out adequate travel insurance against such contingencies.

ASA’s liability in respect of any tour will be limited to the refund of amounts received from you less all non-refundable costs and charges and the costs of any substituted event or alternate services provided. The terms and conditions of the relevant service provider from time to time comprise the sole agreement between you and that service provider.

ASA reserves the sole discretion to cancel any tour or to modify itineraries in any way it considers appropriate. Tour costs may be revised, subject to unexpected price increases or exchange rate fluctuations.

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