Istanbul is a sensual marketplace and a rich melting pot of the finest influences from around the globe. Indulge in its culinary brilliance and discover the sultans' favorites with this week long gourmet cuisine tour. Cooking classes, iconic dining, spice bazaars, street food; you explore a dazzling myriad of flavors and the focus on food interweaves with Istanbul's architecture brilliance and endearing charm.
Istanbul – Arrival in Istanbul and Welcome Dinner at Ciya
With seven nights in Istanbul there's no need to immediately start rushing around the attractions. You'll be met at the airport and transferred to the four-star Midtown Hotel, indelibly situated along streets of cultural harmony and intrigue. Rest and relax. Soak up the soft sounds that emanate from all over the city. Take a short wander and marvel at the architectural riches. Feel at home as the city immediately pulls you under her spell. Despite its size, the city is laid-back and effortlessly combines exploration with relaxation.
Tonight's welcome dinner introduces the rich influences of Turkish cuisine. Ciya is perhaps the city's most famous restaurant, a onetime street cafe that's blossomed into a charming restaurant showcasing the complete range of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food. Mezes, salds, soups, desserts, dolma, truffle kebabs, chicken on a bed of saffron rice; the ever-changing menu provides a gastronomical feast and an opportunity to sample a variety of food in a classically Turkish atmosphere. Like all tours and activities on this itinerary, you're transferred to the restaurant by a private driver.
Istanbul – First Cooking Class and Exploring the Grand Bazaar
Istanbul – Mezes and Mosques in Istanbul
Istanbul – A Full Day Culinary Flavored Tour of Istanbul
Istanbul – Creating Turkish Desserts and Indulging in a Therapeutic Hammam
Istanbul – Final Cooking Class and Relaxing in Istanbul
Istanbul – Street Food and Final Wanderings in the City
Istanbul – Departure
- Discover the varied brilliance of Turkish cuisine with four half-day cooking classes taught by Istanbul's finest chefs
- Learn the secrets of all the Turkish culinary classics: mezes, pilavs, desserts, dolma, and also be inspired by the unique tastes of the Sultans' favorites
- Experience the complete range of Istanbul's sensual treats with spice markets, street food tours, and dinner tables at the city's finest gourmet restaurants
- Spend seven nights in Istanbul and fully immerse yourself in its rich and evocative culture
- Explore the world-renowned history and wonders of Istanbul, your journey heading back almost 2,000 years as you visit mosques, bazaars, Roman relics, and Sultans' palaces
- Take a river cruise along the Bosphorus, the divide between Europe and Asia, and marvel at the architecture that gazes across the continents
- Indulge in the therapeutic splendor of a traditional Turkish hammam, the experience combining history, architecture, and the healing powers of a modern spa
- Enjoy free time to experience Istanbul at your own pace; eight days is an excellent amount of time to develop a real impression of the many sides to the city
Turkey's cuisine is a sensual pot of juxtaposed influences. From the East and from the West, the country has absorbed treats and flavors to forge its own unique style. Sultans have spearheaded the exotic ingenuity while local classics have turned street food into worldwide gourmet classics. This 8-day tour is all about exploring and being inspired by the cuisine and tastes of Turkey. Take four cooking classes with renowned local chefs, go on food orientated tours into hidden parts of Istanbul, and enjoy the finest of Istanbul's gourmet restaurants. The culinary focus mingles with cultural inimitability as you soak up Istanbul. Eight days fully immerses you in the city's diversity and enables you to explore at a relaxed pace. You're not merely glimpsing highlights. This itinerary is about the heart and soul of Istanbul.
The scene is set for culinary indulgence with a welcome dinner at Ciya. Throughout this itinerary you have dinner tables booked at the city's finest restaurants, each with its own atmosphere and style. Tours also have an indulgent flavored focus, like an evening exploring the street food of the city and a themed visit to the Spice Bazaar. The chief highlight of this cuisine-focused vacation is four half-days of cooking lessons with renowned local chefs. You'll learn all the staple classics of Turkish cuisine, but this is no simplistic menu. Be inspired by the concoctions and fusions that epitomize the crossover between Eastern and Western culture. Explore the dynamic and delicate tastes of Middle Eastern cuisine. Create rich desserts and colorful mezes as you explore both the food of the Sultans and the generations old recipes of local mothers.
While food is a focus, there is far more to experience over these eight days. Start with visits to the classic and iconic sites, like the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, or an elegant cruise on the Bosphorus. Exotic atmosphere radiates from the Grand Bazaar and the cobbled streets that weave through Sultanahmet. Therapeutic indulgence is delivered by an afternoon in a traditional Istanbul hammam. Old-world opulence bursts out of palace rooms and there's lots of free time for discovering your own piece of the city. Istanbul is full of sublime surprises and only by staying for a week can you fully appreciate the magic and history on offer.
For more tour options, see the other Turkey vacation packages on Zicasso.
$2,075 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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