Istanbul – capital of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires – has accumulated an astounding wealth of history, art and architecture. This 13-day study tour explores this metropolis in depth, from the archaeology of the early city through the successive civilisations that have ruled there, and on to its modern incarnation as a multicultural metropolis spanning Europe and Asia. The tour also includes two nights in Ҫanakkale, to spend a full day exploring Gallipoli with excursions to Troy and Iznik. A series of background lectures, guided visits and historical walking tours are balanced with time for independent exploration.
Classical Constantinople: the capital of Constantine and the Roman Empire in the East
Medieval Byzantium, from Justinian’s Hagia Sophia to medieval frescoes, the Genoese on the Golden Horn and the Fourth Crusade
Ottoman Istanbul, the great mosques and palaces of Suleiman the Magnificent
The birth of modern Turkey and the legacy of World War I
The neighborhoods of Istanbul: ancient and modern, straddling Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus
While study tours are full of group activities, a reasonable degree of independence is also required. You will need to make trips to the neighbourhood laundromat, and there is a nearby supermarket and grocery stores for any “hotel picnics”. We also use local public transport and there is a significant amount of walking. However, your tour leader will of course show you around the neighbourhood and will provide full assistance if you encounter any difficulties.
Constantinople, including the Hippodrome, Underground Cistern and National Archaeological Museum
Spectacular Byzantine and Ottoman sites, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi and Dolmabahḉe palaces
The superb collections of the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art and the Ottoman Military Museum
Excursion to the little-known, car-free Princes’ Island of Heybeliada, and a Bosphorus cruise
A full day exploring Gallipoli and an excursion to Troy
Days 1–2: Orientation walk of Sultanahmet. Cruise the Bosphorus. Walk through Ortakoy and climb Galata Tower.
Days 3–4: Hagia Sophia, cisterns, Chora Church and Sinan’s magnificent Ottoman mosques.
Days 5–6: Admire the apotheosis of Ottoman culture at the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Military Museum and Topkapi Palace.
Day 7: Dine at a waterside restaurant on the Princes’ Island of Heybeliada.
Days 8–10: Travel to Canakkale and Troy, with a full day exploring the Gallipoli Peninsula.
Days 11–13: Experience cosmopolitan Kadikoy on the Asian side and Dolmabahḉe palace.
A detailed itinerary for this tour is available. Click on the link above to view or download.
Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways have daily flights to Istanbul from most Australian cities. Contact us for quotes and bookings.
A detailed itinerary for this tour will be available in the coming months. Bookings are open for this tour, however if you would like to receive the detailed itinerary booklet once available, please register your interest below and we will send you a copy.
Dr Jennifer Lawless
Has led tours to Turkey, Greece and Iran. Jenny has been awarded a Churchill Fellowship and a NSW Premier’s History Prize for her research and writing.
Jennifer has led tours to Turkey, Greece, Crete and Iran. Her main interest in travel is history, both ancient and more recent history such as the experiences of Australians at Gallipoli. Other cultures – and in particular their food and wine – also rate!
Jennifer has co-authored over ten books on ancient History that are widely used in senior History classes and has been awarded a number of scholarships and awards for writing and research, including a Churchill Fellowship, an Endeavor Research Fellowship for Turkey, and a NSW Premiers Award for History. Jennifer has lectured in History teaching method at Sydney, Macquarie and Western Sydney universities and was the Board of Studies History Inspector for 13 years. Her PhD concerned the experiences of the Australians captured as POWs during the Gallipoli campaign. This involved almost ten years of research and travelling over 8,000 kilometres through Turkey, locating the main POW camp sites. Ottoman documents that had never been translated into English before formed a solid basis for the research.
For the duration of the tour, we stay in centrally located 4-star hotels with easy access to local amenities. As well as the programmed sightseeing, there is free time for individual exploration of the city, relaxation, and optional visits with the tour leader.
What is included in the tour price? Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:
Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate public transport is also used for short distance travel on some tours
All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
Services of tour leader throughout tour
All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
Local guides at some sites
Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.
What is not included in the tour price? Open-age tours do not include the following:
Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required
Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity
You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.
A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.
If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:
More than 60 days before departure: $500*
60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due
*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.
Unused Portions of the tour
We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.
Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.
Passport and Visa
A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.
Will the tour price change?
If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.
Will the itinerary change?
Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.
Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.
Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller.