Our clients come from all over the world

Mysterious Istanbul Private Weekend Break

Break Available: April - October
3 Night Break

Price per person:
From £895 (Yasmak Sultan)
From £1,425 (Ciragan Palace)

Istanbul is the only city in the world that spans two continents and blends together such a rich and historical past, as well as combining classic vintage style with modern buzziness.

Whether it is shopping in the Grand Bazaar, viewing the Blue Mosque with your local private guide, or soaking up the aura of the Bosphorus on a private cruise you will feel you have experienced something truly unique.

Highlights

  • Private Guided Tour of Istanbul including Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, St Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Spice Market and Grand Bazaar
  • Private Bosphorus cruise
  • Guided visit to the Spice Market
  • Private Airport Transfers
Make an Enquiry
Day by Day Itinerary
 
 
 

Day 1
Fly Istanbul. Private Transfer to Hotel.

Day 1
Fly Istanbul. Private Transfer to Hotel.

Your special weekend break in Istanbul starts with a private luxury transfer to your hotel. Evening at leisure.

Close

Day 2
Private Tour of Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar & Cistern.

Day 2
Private Tour of Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar & Cistern.

On your first full day of your romantic weekend away start by visiting the Byzantine Hippodrome where chariot races were held. In its heyday, it held 100,000 spectators and was decorated by obelisks and statues, some of which remain in place today. The Hippodrome was the centre of Byzantium’s life for a 1000 years and of Ottoman life for another 400 years, and was often the scene where Sultans took a barometer of their subjects content.

Continue on to see the Blue Mosque, called blue because of the stunning interior tiles, and one of the most beautiful mosques in the world. Built between 1609 and 1616 it is still an active Mosque. It is also unusual as it has 6 minarets whilst 2 or 4 are more usual. This is rumoured to have been a translation mistake between the Sultan and his architect!

Next up is Hagia Sophia considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is the only building in the world that served three religions at different times; Pagan, Christian Orthodox and Sunni Islam.

Hagia Sophia was built by the order of the Eastern Roman emperor Justinian at the 6th century AD on top of a pagan temple. and relics such as nails from the true cross and the shroud of Mary were some of the very important treasures until the crusaders attack. It is believed that the greatness of the building effected Russia in such a way as to choose Orthodox Christianity rather than Catholicism. Hagia Sophia was of course also a feature in Dan Brown’s Inferno book which has recently raised its prominence again.

You will also see the extraordinary Byzantine cistern, constructed using 336 columns, many of which were salvaged from ruined temples and feature fine carving. Designed to service the Great Palace  it was able to store up to 80,000 cubic metres of water delivered via 20km of aqueducts from a reservoir near the Black Sea, but was closed when the Byzantine emperors relocated from the Great Palace.

After lunch (not included) continue your Istanbul Weekend Break by visiting the highlights of the Topkapi Palace the former residence of the Ottoman Sultans built in the 15th century. The Palace contains a spectacular collection of jewellery and imperial treasures including the Spoonmakers diamond, the 4th largest diamond in the world.

Finally enter the oldest and biggest Bazaar in the world with over 4000 shops and 60 alleyways -a shoppers paradise, but be prepared to haggle hard !!

Close

Day 3
Bosphorus Private Cruise. Spice Market Visit.

Day 3
Bosphorus Private Cruise. Spice Market Visit.

Your Istanbul city break continues with a private 1 1/2 hr boat cruise up the Bosphorus Strait for a chance to relax and admire the shoreline with beautiful mosques, lavish palaces, decadent villas and summer mansions as well as the Bosphorus Bridge – one of the world’s largest suspension bridges. A super way to see many of the cities highlights and you will truly feel like a VIP on this day.

You will disembark on the European side of the Straits for a stroll through the colourful and aromatic Spice market before returning to your hotel for your afternoon at leisure.

A la Carte Optional Extras

  • Take a Turkish Bath at the Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam
  • Private Half Day Visiting Beylerbeyi Palace & Stunning Viewpoint
Read More
Close

A la Carte Optional Extras

Take a Turkish Bath at the Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam

The Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam in Istanbul was designed and built by the chief Ottoman architect, at the request of Hurrem Sultan, the wife of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century (1556-1557 AD). It was built where the ancient public baths of Zeuxippus (100-200 AD) used to stand, between the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. The area is also particularly significant as it is the site where the Temple of Zeus once stood.

The hamam was operational until 1910 when it closed for many years until it was restored in 1957. It is considered one of the most beautiful monuments in Istanbul and a Turkish Bath here is a great experience.

There are various packages, but we have chosen the “Extravagant Pleasures” lasting 80 mins as our recommendation for you to truly experience a Turkish Bath.

This package includes:-

A gold-plated ottoman bath bowl, a traditional bath wrap (pestamal) and slippers for use in the hamam

A toiletries set with comb, bath glove, olive oil soap, Judas tree essential oil shampoo, hair conditioner and body lotion

Traditional body scrub and relaxing bubble wash

Judas tree essential oil skin refining peel

Judas tree essential oil moisturizing body clay mask

Judas tree essential oil aromatherapy massage within the Sultan’s section

Turkish delight, sherbet ( Ottoman Drink ) tea and Turkish coffee

Price Per Person: From £155 (If added after Bosphorus Cruise)
Price Per Person: From £195 (If on free morning as need assistant)

Ayaysofya turkish bath in Istanbul
Hurrem Sultan Turkish bath house, Istanbul - Turkey
Hurrem Sultan Turkish bath house, Istanbul

Private Half Day Visiting Beylerbeyi Palace & Stunning Viewpoint

This afternoon visit Beylerbeyi Palace; the summer residence of Ottoman Imperials, built in the 1860s to entertain visiting heads of states. It’s history of guests includes the Empress Eugenie of France who stayed on the way to the opening of the Suez Canal, who had her face slapped by the sultan’s mother for daring to enter on his arm! Other visitors includes the Duke (Edward VIII) and the Duchess of Windsor.

Later on continue to Camlica Hill, the highest point of Istanbul to take a look at this amazing city from its highest point with a view of the moth of the Golden Horn.

Please note this tour combines with the Bosphorus Cruise.

Price Per Person: From £50 per person

Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey

Day 4
Morning at leisure prior to private transfer to the airport.

Day 4
Morning at leisure prior to private transfer to the airport.

Morning at leisure prior to your private transfer to the airport at the end of your Istanbul weekend break

A la Carte Optional Extras

  • Private Tour of the Bosphorus & Istanbul on the Asian Side
  • Private Scenic Black Sea Tour on the European Side
Read More
Close

A la Carte Optional Extras

Private Tour of the Bosphorus & Istanbul on the Asian Side

For those of you looking to extend and see another side of Turkey and to explore some of the countryside we have a super full day exploring along the Bosphorus on the Asian Side

Our day starts with a scenic drive to the other end of the Bosphorus on the Asian side to a lovely little village known as Anadolu Feneri. During the Crimean War it was necessary to have lighthouses on both sides of the Black Sea entrance of Bosporus to provide safe navigation for the French and British war ships. One Lighthouse was already in existence and the French constructed another one on the opposite side of the strait.

After looking at this historic lighthouse we will drive you to the Byzantine Yoros Castle at the meeting of the Bosphorus and the Black Sea which has one of the most beautiful views of the Bosphorus and the third suspension bridge. It is also commonly referred to as the Genoese Castle, due to Genoa’s possession of it in the mid-15th century.

Continue to another tiny little village to taste some real Turkish sweets and traditional Kaymak made from water buffalo milk. Next up is Polonezkoy, a village inspired and funded by Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski  in 1842 and settled by a small group of Polish emigrės, after the failed November uprising.

Then we will stop for a late lunch in the famous Doner Kebab restaurant for another traditional food experience. This is Doner Kebab like you have never had before! This is always a busy spot with locals.

Finally we take you to Kuzguncuk, which is centered on a valley opening to the Bosphorus and is somewhat isolated from the main part of Istanbul as it is surrounded by nature preserves, cemeteries, and a military installation. It is a quiet neighborhood with streets lined with antique wooden houses, and is one of the few spots in the city where you see churchs, synagogues and mosques next to each other. A neighbourhood where once the Greeks, Armenians, Jews and Turks lived side by side, and therefore a historic melting pot in Istanbul. After some Turkish Tea we will take you back to your hotel in Istanbul. (Lunch and beverages not included and payable locally).

Price Per Person:

From £250 staying at Yasmak Sultan (Assuming no change in international flight cost)
From £370 staying at Ciragan Palace (Assuming no change in international flight cost)

Panoramic view of Bosphorus and Bosphorus Bridge
Historical wooden residential buildings in Kuzguncuk,Istanbul
Anatolian lighthouse (Turkish Anadolu Feneri) outside Istanbul
Old Genoese castle in Riva, Beykoz, Istanbul
Turkish Sweet - Kazandibi
Bosphorus towards the Black Sea outside Istanbul

Private Scenic Black Sea Tour on the European Side

This scenic drive takes you through villages on the European side all the way up to the Black Sea coast.

After a lovely drive through some of the most popular neighbourhoods on the European side of the Bosphorus like Ortakoy, Arnavutkoy, Bebek and Rumeli, our first break will be at the famous Sutis Cafe in Emirgan. Here you will enjoy traditional Turkish Borek, (pastry with cheese/minced meat). We will continue to Garipce Village with its old castle overlooking the mouth of Bosphorus by the Black Sea, built up by Sultan Mustafa III in 1774. Afterwards we will drive to a special spot with a breathtaking view from a bird-watching wooden tower.

Afterwards we will stop at a simple & cosy cafe with a unique view of the Bosphorus for some fresh Turkish tea or coffee. Next we will drive to Gumusdere village to enjoy one of the Best Black Sea views, and we will also have a chance to explore some other villages on our way.

Late lunch will be at a typical Eastern Black Sea reastaurant with a lovely selection of Turkish dishes, followed by a drive through the famous Belgrade forest where we will see some old Roman and Ottoman aqueducts. After all these sights and destinations your final stop will be in a country club for some tea or coffee. Definitely a real ‘off the beaten path experience’ that will give you a very unique taste of Istanbul city.

Price Per Person: From £250 staying at Yasmak Sultan (Assuming no change in international flight cost)
From £370 staying at Ciragan Palace (Assuming no change in international flight cost)

House in Tarabya, Turkey
Ortakoy mosque and Bosphorus bridge, Istanbul, Turkey
Turkish Sweet - Ekmek Kadayıfı
Rumelifener Village, Sariyer, Istanbul, Turkey
Turkish coffee, water and sweets
The ruins of the ancient aqueduct at Phaselis, Turkey
Accommodation

Where You'll Stay

Yasmak Sultan Hotel

Yasmuk Sultan Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey
Yasmuk Sultan Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey
Yasmuk Sultan Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey
Yasmuk Sultan Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey

Yasmak Sultan Hotel

The Hotel Yasmak Sultan is a contemporary 4 Star hotel influenced by classical Ottoman design, located In Istanbul's Old Town, 200 metres from Topkapi Palace.

The hotel has 84 air-conditioned guestrooms. Guests can enjoy a drink against the backdrop of the Hagia Sophia in the Terrace Bar.

The hotel's Rooftop Restaurant features panoramic views of Topkapi Palace, Galata Tower and the Bosporus. The menu offers a range of Turkish and international dishes.

You can work out in the gym, unwind in the sauna or indulge in a Turkish bath.

Click for More Details

The Ciragan Palace

istanbul-ciragan-palace-hotel
istanbul-ciragan-palace-hotel
istanbul-ciragan-palace-hotel
istanbul-ciragan-palace-hotel

The Ciragan Palace

The Ciragan Palace, home of the last Ottoman Sultan, is located in the most exhilarating position directly on the Bosphorus shores. Restaurants include the Russian Caviar Bar and an award-winning Tugra Restaurant.

The manicured gardens and outdoor heated swimming pool, one of the most dramatic in the world, allow you to relax and soak up the unique atmosphere of the Bosporus.

Other facilities include an indoor and outdoor pool, Turkish bath, Hamman, sauna, solarium, massage and gym.

Click for More Details
Close
Optional Extras
Take a Turkish Bath at the Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam
Ayaysofya turkish bath in Istanbul

The Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam in Istanbul was designed and built by the chief Ottoman architect, at the request of Hurrem Sultan, the wife of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century (1556-1557 AD). It was built where the ancient public baths of Zeuxippus (100-200 AD) used to stand, between the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. The area is also particularly significant as it is the site where the Temple of Zeus once stood.

The hamam was operational until 1910 when it closed for many years until it was restored in 1957. It is considered one of the most beautiful monuments in Istanbul and a Turkish Bath here is a great experience.

There are various packages, but we have chosen the “Extravagant Pleasures” lasting 80 mins as our recommendation for you to truly experience a Turkish Bath.

This package includes:-

A gold-plated ottoman bath bowl, a traditional bath wrap (pestamal) and slippers for use in the hamam

A toiletries set with comb, bath glove, olive oil soap, Judas tree essential oil shampoo, hair conditioner and body lotion

Traditional body scrub and relaxing bubble wash

Judas tree essential oil skin refining peel

Judas tree essential oil moisturizing body clay mask

Judas tree essential oil aromatherapy massage within the Sultan’s section

Turkish delight, sherbet ( Ottoman Drink ) tea and Turkish coffee

Price Per Person: From £155 (If added after Bosphorus Cruise)
Price Per Person: From £195 (If on free morning as need assistant)

Private Half Day Visiting Beylerbeyi Palace & Stunning Viewpoint
Istanbul, Turkey

This afternoon visit Beylerbeyi Palace; the summer residence of Ottoman Imperials, built in the 1860s to entertain visiting heads of states. It’s history of guests includes the Empress Eugenie of France who stayed on the way to the opening of the Suez Canal, who had her face slapped by the sultan’s mother for daring to enter on his arm! Other visitors includes the Duke (Edward VIII) and the Duchess of Windsor.

Later on continue to Camlica Hill, the highest point of Istanbul to take a look at this amazing city from its highest point with a view of the moth of the Golden Horn.

Please note this tour combines with the Bosphorus Cruise.

Price Per Person: From £50 per person

Private Tour of the Bosphorus & Istanbul on the Asian Side
Panoramic view of Bosphorus and Bosphorus Bridge

For those of you looking to extend and see another side of Turkey and to explore some of the countryside we have a super full day exploring along the Bosphorus on the Asian Side

Our day starts with a scenic drive to the other end of the Bosphorus on the Asian side to a lovely little village known as Anadolu Feneri. During the Crimean War it was necessary to have lighthouses on both sides of the Black Sea entrance of Bosporus to provide safe navigation for the French and British war ships. One Lighthouse was already in existence and the French constructed another one on the opposite side of the strait.

After looking at this historic lighthouse we will drive you to the Byzantine Yoros Castle at the meeting of the Bosphorus and the Black Sea which has one of the most beautiful views of the Bosphorus and the third suspension bridge. It is also commonly referred to as the Genoese Castle, due to Genoa’s possession of it in the mid-15th century.

Continue to another tiny little village to taste some real Turkish sweets and traditional Kaymak made from water buffalo milk. Next up is Polonezkoy, a village inspired and funded by Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski  in 1842 and settled by a small group of Polish emigrės, after the failed November uprising.

Then we will stop for a late lunch in the famous Doner Kebab restaurant for another traditional food experience. This is Doner Kebab like you have never had before! This is always a busy spot with locals.

Finally we take you to Kuzguncuk, which is centered on a valley opening to the Bosphorus and is somewhat isolated from the main part of Istanbul as it is surrounded by nature preserves, cemeteries, and a military installation. It is a quiet neighborhood with streets lined with antique wooden houses, and is one of the few spots in the city where you see churchs, synagogues and mosques next to each other. A neighbourhood where once the Greeks, Armenians, Jews and Turks lived side by side, and therefore a historic melting pot in Istanbul. After some Turkish Tea we will take you back to your hotel in Istanbul. (Lunch and beverages not included and payable locally).

Price Per Person:

From £250 staying at Yasmak Sultan (Assuming no change in international flight cost)
From £370 staying at Ciragan Palace (Assuming no change in international flight cost)

Private Scenic Black Sea Tour on the European Side
House in Tarabya, Turkey

This scenic drive takes you through villages on the European side all the way up to the Black Sea coast.

After a lovely drive through some of the most popular neighbourhoods on the European side of the Bosphorus like Ortakoy, Arnavutkoy, Bebek and Rumeli, our first break will be at the famous Sutis Cafe in Emirgan. Here you will enjoy traditional Turkish Borek, (pastry with cheese/minced meat). We will continue to Garipce Village with its old castle overlooking the mouth of Bosphorus by the Black Sea, built up by Sultan Mustafa III in 1774. Afterwards we will drive to a special spot with a breathtaking view from a bird-watching wooden tower.

Afterwards we will stop at a simple & cosy cafe with a unique view of the Bosphorus for some fresh Turkish tea or coffee. Next we will drive to Gumusdere village to enjoy one of the Best Black Sea views, and we will also have a chance to explore some other villages on our way.

Late lunch will be at a typical Eastern Black Sea reastaurant with a lovely selection of Turkish dishes, followed by a drive through the famous Belgrade forest where we will see some old Roman and Ottoman aqueducts. After all these sights and destinations your final stop will be in a country club for some tea or coffee. Definitely a real ‘off the beaten path experience’ that will give you a very unique taste of Istanbul city.

Price Per Person: From £250 staying at Yasmak Sultan (Assuming no change in international flight cost)
From £370 staying at Ciragan Palace (Assuming no change in international flight cost)

Close
Price per person:
From £895 (Yasmak Sultan)
From £1,425 (Ciragan Palace)
What's included & departure airports

What's Included?

  • Flights with one hold bag per person from the UK
  • 3 nights accommodation with breakfast (Yasmak Sultan Hotel OR Ciragan Palace Hotel)
  • Private guided city tour of the Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, St Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar
  • Private guided visit of the Spice Market
  • Private Transfers

Departure Airport

  • Heathrow
  • Stansted
  • Manchester
  • Edinburgh
  • Dublin
  • Gatwick
  • Birmingham
  • Luton (All days but schedule not year round)

Our international clients are welcome to book their own flights

Share this trip!

Close
Click Here to Download a Free PDF Version of this Break

Send an Enquiry

Call 01722 744695

or Fill in the Form Below

You have Signed up to receive newsletters with ideas and tips for special occasion trips from our travel websites. This e-newsletter comes out twice a month and we guarantee your information will not be shared with others. If at any stage you would like to cancel this then please e-mail info@weekendalacarte.co.uk informing us and we will remove your details from our database.

We guarantee your information will not be shared
with others. If at any stage you would like to cancel this then please e-mail info@weekendalacarte.co.uk informing us and we will remove your details from our database.

Reviews & Feedback

Testimonials

In Istanbul we enjoyed the company of our tour guide who had a vast knowledge of her countries history, culture and religion and we saw so much during our time with her. We particularly enjoyed the luxury boat trip along the Bosphorus in what could only be described as a millionaires boat."

What an exciting city! I loved the energy and buzzy feel of the place. And we felt like a VIP on the boat !!. Once again many thanks for the effort you put into organising the Weekend a la Carte experiences and the choices of places, hotels and people that you use."

Close

Make an Enquiry

Call 01722 744695 to plan your next special occasion trip.

or Fill in the Form Below

You have Signed up to receive newsletters with ideas and tips for special occasion trips from our travel websites. This e-newsletter comes out twice a month and we guarantee your information will not be shared with others. If at any stage you would like to cancel this then please e-mail info@weekendalacarte.co.uk informing us and we will remove your details from our database.

We guarantee your information will not be shared
with others. If at any stage you would like to cancel this then please e-mail info@weekendalacarte.co.uk informing us and we will remove your details from our database.