This is an amazing opportunity to visit one of the great cities of the world and two of the most iconic battlefields. In addition to having the editor’s expertise at Troy, we have employed Çiçek, an experienced guide, to give us a real insider’s tour of Istanbul and its bazaars for three full days (including her choice of top restaurants) and the renowned Kenan Çelik to show us around the key sites of the calamitous Dardanelles campaign.
For the first four nights in Istanbul, we will be staying at the unbelievably smart Pera Palace Hotel (www.perapalace.com), which opened in 1895 to host passengers of the Orient Express. Agatha Christie wrote that murder mystery there. We then transfer to Çannakale, our base for Gallipoli and Troy, where we are staying at the Set Ozer hotel (www.setozerhotel.com) for our last three days.
Logistically, it would be a difficult to organise this trip for an independent traveller. So this is a really great opportunity to have a stress-free holiday. Did we mention the sunset cruise on the Bosphorus? Or the shopping?
Thursday 12th September – Arrive in Istanbul
Depart Heathrow at 10.10am on flight BA676; arrive at the main Istanbul airport at 4.10pm (two hours ahead). Transfer to Pera Palace Hotel; introductory talk on Constantinople by Harry Mount and James Pembroke.
Friday 13th September – Tokapi Palace and Hagia Sophia
Morning tour of Topkapi Palace with its jewel-filled treasury and harem, followed by lunch at Matbah. Then, continue to Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. Sunset cruise on the Bosphorus.
Saturday 14th September – Süleymaniye Mosque
Depart for Süleymaniye Mosque and see the traditional art of carpet-weaving at Caravanserail. Lunch at Galeyan, home to Yunus Emre Akkor. Visit the 500-year-old Grand Bazaar in the old city, with 4,000 shops.
Sunday 15th September – Dolmabahçe Palace and Spice Bazaar
Visit Dolmabahçe Palace; then the Spice Bazaar. Lunch in Hamdi restaurant. Afternoon visit to Fener and Balat districts with their beautiful coloured houses and the Greek Orthodox Church of St George.
Monday 16th September – Çannakale
Drive to Çannakale via the seaside town of Tekirdag where we’ll have lunch. Check in at Set Ozer Hotel. 7pm talk on the Dardanelles campaign by Kenan Çelik.
Tuesday 17th September – the Dardanelles
Full-day tour with Kenan including Cape Helles, Lone Pine, Anzac Cove and Suvla Bay. Screening of Gallipoli followed by dinner at Cafe du Port. Dinner at Muhitt.
Wednesday 18th September – Troy
First, we will visit the rightly acclaimed Museum of Troy, which opened in 2018. Lunch at the site followed by a visit to the lofty towers of Priam’s city, with Harry Mount providing the commentary. Dinner at Yalova.
Thursday 19th September – departure
Leisurely morning to explore Çannakale, including the Dardanelles Straits Naval Command Museum, or a stroll to the wooden horse used in the 2004 film Troy. After 12pm lunch, depart from nearby Edremit airport at 15.20 on Turkish Airlines flight TK2265; arrive Istanbul Airport at 16.35. Transfer for Turkish Airlines flight TK1983 departing 18.45; arrive Heathrow at 20.50.
HOW TO BOOK: Call 01225 427311 or please email Katherine at email@example.com. Price per person: £2,595 which includes all meals, wine with meals, transport and entrances. You need to book and pay for your own flights. Single supplement: £400. A non-refundable deposit of £750 will be required, with the full balance due on June 1st, 2024.