A large number of our guests over the years have enjoyed doing a tour of Istanbul before or after one of our gulet cruises. We are often asked to recommend hotels, restaurants, sites to see and local guides in this amazing city, Peter’s favourite metropolis in the world. So we thought we should use our extensive knowledge and contacts to create the definitive Istanbul tour, the very finest historical adventure and exploration of this vibrant and exotic city.
“Richard’s ability to describe was really magnificent - his detailed expertise really added to our experience.” David Blank, Ohio, USA
Your expert guide, Dr. Richard Bayliss, is a Byzantine specialist and passionate enthusiast. The many years he has spent leading archaeological projects in and around Istanbul have given him an intimate knowledge of the city throughout its history: from its roots as a small Greek town on the Bosphorus, via its reincarnation as Constantinople, opulent centre of the Byzantine Empire, to the teeming capital of the Ottoman Empire.
It’s hard not to speak in superlatives when describing this epic cradle of civilisation. No other city in the world has been besieged so many times, so greatly was it coveted by peoples outside of its walls. Not only is Istanbul ancient, unlike any other city on earth it sits astride two continents. During its time as capital of the Ottoman Empire it was the most multicultural city in Europe, on whose streets more than a dozen languages were spoken, from Italian to Persian, Greek to Arabic, Armenian to Turkish. This city utilised its mercantile dominance over the narrow waterway that connects the Mediterranean and Black Sea to grow wealthy and enhance its political strength. These succeeding cultures have liberally endowed the city with beautiful symbols of imperial power, from its imposing fortifications to its serene places of worship.
“My trip with Peter Sommer Travels was one of the best holidays of my life - a high-quality experience worth the price tag. This was a mind-blowing in-depth historical/architectural (and gastronomic!) exploration of the city of Istanbul in the company of two warm and engaging expert guides and interesting, well-travelled fellow guests.” Judith Brown, Cumbria, UK
On this escorted Istanbul tour you will see such world-famous sites as Topkapı Palace, Haghia Sofia and the Blue Mosque through expert eyes, and compare them with some seldom-visited wonders that only the true connoisseurs of the city ever visit. We sample some of the best food that Istanbul has to offer, from the long-established cornerstones of Istanbul-cuisine to traditional local eateries that have raised the simplest of local dishes to a culinary art form. Our Istanbul tours allow you to immerse yourself in a city that has been shaped and moulded by some of the key cultures of the western and eastern worlds for over 3,000 years.
If you’d like to know more about our expert-led tour of Istanbul, please get in touch. One of our specialists, even Peter himself, will be only too pleased to give you a call and answer any questions you might have.