Day 1 Bursa and Cumalikizik
Start your day with a pickup from your European-side Istanbul hotel, and travel to the port where your ferry awaits. Cruise south across the Sea of Marmara to Yalova, and then continue your journey by air-conditioned minivan. After just over two hours of traveling, arrive into Bursa, the first capital city of the Ottoman Empire.
Make your way through the city, and hear how the ancient capital evolved into the flourishing modern metropolis that it is today. While contemporary sights are common, the city has retained its original opulence with an abundance of historical monuments strewn around its streets. Your first stop is the Green Mosque. Follow your guide inside and marvel at its elegant marble archway and turquoise-tinged tiles that embellish the walls of the domed central hall. Learn about Sultan Mehmet I for whom the mosque was built, and then continue by foot to neighboring Koza Han, an intriguing building in the heart of the old Bursa Silk Market. For centuries, Silk Market symbolized the center of Bursa’s thriving silk trade and, although it now exists as a tea house, the building has retained its historical allure. Hear how Bursa marked the end of the ancient Silk Road, and how the city was once home to countless skilled artisans who produced caftans (long garments of clothing) and soft furnishings for the Turkish sultans.
Stop for lunch at a local cafe to enjoy a traditional Turkish kebab or other similar specialty, and then travel to the city’s cable car. Ride up the slope of Mt Olympus and enjoy free time to soak up the panoramas from the summit. On rare occasions when the cable car is closed, follow your guide to another vantage point, located by an ancient plane tree, instead. Finally, it’s an easy detour to the UNESCO-listed village of Cumalikizik, just 20 minutes from Bursa, where the rough cobblestone alleys, adobe brick and half-timbered houses and traditional village life appear caught in a time-warp and local ladies sell homemade gozleme (savory pancakes filled with meat or cheese) from their own kitchens. Overnight Bursa or Uludag. (L, D)
Day 2 Uludag and Golyazi
Free time. Skiing!! Explore Uludag Mountain range. The dramatic, often cloud-cloaked massif of 2543m-high Uludag presides over Bursa, its northern reaches dropping precipitously into the city. In ancient times it was known as the Mount Olympos of Mysia, one of nearly twenty peaks around the Aegean so named (Olympos was possibly a generic Phoenician or Doric word for “mountain”). Locals insist this was the seat from which the gods watched the battle of Troy. Early in the Christian era the range became a refuge for monks and hermits, replaced after the Ottoman conquest by Muslim dervishes.
Return to your minivan in the afternoon and travel back to Istanbul by coach and ferry, stopping en-route to visit Golyazi – it sits on a tiny island joined to the mainland by a causeway and doesn’t even show up on many maps. The lake itself is exquisitely beautiful its shores surprisingly unspoilt, its waters still and quiet, making this a perfect place to come if you want to throw off the stresses of city life. Continue on to Istanbul for the opportunity to finish up your sightseeing or get in some shopping at Grand Bazaar for exotic souvenirs. Your tour then finishes with a drop-off at your Istanbul hotel in the evening. We are able to organise extra post-trip accommodation and day tours/activities if you wish to extend your stay. Happy travels! (B, L)
(B – Breakfast, L –Lunch, D –Dinner)
>>Tour Package Includes:
0 Pick-up and drop-off to your accommodaton in Istanbul
0 Transportation in a fully air-conditioned, non-smoking minivan
0 Transportation by ferries between Istanbul and Yalova
0 Professional English-speaking local tour guides
0 Guided sightseeing at Bursa, Uludag, Cumalikizik, Golyazi
0 Entrance fees for all included sightseeing
0 VIP entry to many sights
0 Tips except driver and guide
0 Local taxes and service charges
0 24-hour emergency hotline
0 4 meals: 1 breakfast, 2 lunch, 1 dinner
(This tour provides a variety of dining experiences, including buffets, à-la-carte dining and set menus. Whenever possible, we will try to honor special dietary requests)
0 1 night – 4 star accommodation in total.
– 1 night in Bursa http://www.tiaratermal.com or Uludag http://www.kervansarayhotels.com.tr
>>Tour Package Excludes:
0 Entry visas where applicable
0 Meals unless otherwise stated
0 Personal expenses
0 Transport to and from Turkey
375 Euro twin share
355 Euro triple share
55 Euro single supplement
If you are travelling with children you may be eligible for a discount, please advise childrens ages.
>>Please make note of the following:
0 We’ll be happy to work with you in creating and fine tuning an itinerary for your holiday. Our itineraries are flexible and you can certainly make changes to hotels and other aspects of the tour program. You can travel by air, land or sea with public transport or private arrangements. Whatever you want to include in your personal itinerary we can arrange it and maybe suggest a few things you hadn’t thought of. True Blue Tour means trouble free, pleasant and positive experience throughout Turkey…
0 We can arrange any type of accommodation you prefer, whether it be budget or five star luxury or anything in between. Our suggested hotels are based on True Blue Tour’s experience in accommodating our guests and also based on feedback from our guests. Each suggested hotel is located superbly and provides excellent service and accommodation quality. Those hotels can be upgraded or downgraded as per your preference.
0 We’ll be happy to make alternate suggestions if you’ll let us know your general preferences.