Today, we wake up in Istanbul! With a day here, there’s plenty of time to get a real feel for this cultural melting pot.
Begin with an optional tour of Istanbul and get an insider’s angle on the city with our Local Guide, who’ll show off the city’s core sites. Cross the Galata Bridge for stunning views, check out Emperor Constantine’s Hagia Sophia and then eat at the magnificent Topkapi Palace, former home of the sultans.
Our Rep shows you one of the city’s major draw cards, the stunning Blue Mosque. It’s an amazing building with a series of domes and minarets dominating the skyline, complete with a breathtaking interior of tens of thousands of blue tiles.
After that, we head right into the heart of the city and plunge into several kilometres of shops at the Grand Baazar. It’s an unforgettable shopping experience, where tacky trinkets and authentic treasures are sold side by side. With carpets, jewellery, spices, music, electronics and more, the place is buzzing, so make sure you’ve got your haggling hat on.
Otherwise, live a bit of Istanbul’s daily life. Try your hand at backgammon in a sidewalk café and watch the crowds go by as you sip on Turkish coffee. Chill out in a tea garden, or take to the time-honoured tradition of the hammam (steam bath house) and get scrubbed down on heated marble stones.
Tonight, head to Greece’s stunning islands as you sail between two continents - Europe and Asia - on the world’s narrowest navigated straight.