Dorak Exclusive | Istanbul Surroundings



The bridge between east and west, Istanbul is a vibrant city with magnificent architecture and a rich history as the former capital of the Ottoman empire.

Geographically, the city constitutes a natural bridge between Europe and Asia. Thanks to the historic wealth it contains, Istanbul is also a spectacular mixture of “the old and the new” “Byzantion” as it was named when the Greeks established it 2700 years ago, was initially a small trade town that is placed at the side of Bosphorus until Constantine the Great noticed its strategic importance. Named “Constantinopolis” after its founder, the city became the consecutive capital of Eastern Roman Empire, commonly known as Byzantine Empire. In 1453, Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror sieged Constantinopolis and declared it the capital of the Ottoman Empire.

As being the capital of three consecutive empires, the hub of civilizations and the most prominent city of Anatolian during the last 2000 years, Istanbul contains a unique heritage. A city trip turns into a journey through history, in any minute you may drive under the arches of Byzantine aqueduct, see a gravestone that is ornamented with Arabic handwriting, walk along the walls of a Roman church or a mosque built in the name of an Ottoman Statesman.

The city is alive 7/24 and provides the visitors numerous options of historic monuments, museums, art galleries, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, concert halls, theatres and stylish shopping centers.

Visit Amazing Hagia Sophia Mosque

Situated within the city of Istanbul, the Hagia Sophia Mosque is set in a former basilica. For more than 1,000 years, this was one of the largest enclosed spaces in Europe. It became a mosque when the Ottomans arrived in the 15th century.

Hagia Sophia is one of the most popular and iconic historical sites in Istanbul. It fascinates people with its breathtaking details. Considered an architectural marvel even today, its walls are adorned with Byzantine mosaics containing portraits of past emperors and representations of Christ.

Get mesmerized by the tiles inside the Blue Mosque

Also within Istanbul, the fabulous Blue Mosque is one of the Islamic world’s most illustrious structures and gets its name from the blue-tiled interior walls. Built between 1609 and 1616, the mosque once stood as the center of Islamic faith within the Ottoman Empire. Its founder’s tomb is also found inside, but the highlight is its beautiful high ceiling, adorned with 20,000 tiles of intricate styling.

Discover the Topkapı Palace

After the conquest of Istanbul by Mehmed the Conqueror at 1453, construction of the Topkapı Palace was started at the year 1460 and completed at 1478. Palace was built upon a 700.000 square meters area on an Eastern Roman Acropolis located at the Istanbul Peninsula between Sea of Marmara, Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.

Topkapı Palace was the administrative, educational and art center of the Empire for nearly four hundred years since Mehmed the Conqueror until Sultan Abdulmecid who was the thirty-first Sultan. Although Palace was abandoned by the Ottoman Dynasty by moving to the Dolmabahçe Palace at middle 19th century, Topkapı Palace was protected its importance every time.

The Grand Bazaar (Kapalıçarşı) in Istanbul is one of the largest covered markets in the world with 60 streets and 5,000 shops and attracts between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. It is well known for its jewellery, hand-painted ceramics, carpets, embroideries, spices, and antique shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by type of goods, with special areas for leather, gold jewellery and the like.

One of the best ways to get a feel for Istanbul is to take a cruise on the legendary Bosphorus. Aboard your ferry for a cruise along the Bosphorus, the majestic strait that runs through Istanbul, linking Europe and Asia. From your cruise boat, you can view the dramatic sights lining the Bosphorus' wooded shores: mosques, a bridge that for a time was the world's longest, the massive Rumelihisar fortress, the 19th century mansions of the Ottoman elite and the Sultan's fanciful gingerbread palaces and hunting lodges.

There is no better way to escape the bustle of Istanbul for a day than with a visit to the idyllic Princes’ Islands. Enjoy cool breezes and charming sights along the way to Büyükada, the largest Island in the chain. Famous for their mild climates, lush vegetation, and ornate Ottoman Houses. Tour the island and discover its beautiful scenery studded with elegant mansions draped with purple bougainvillea, reminiscent of a more leisured and graceful era. You will enjoy the lunch at the best of one of the many excellent fresh fish restaurants that line the waterfront, gazing across the Asian shore of Istanbul, so close - though it feels worlds away.

Deep cleanse your body and mind with a 2-hour traditional Turkish bath experience. As authentic as cultural experience gets, a Turkish bath experience remains much the same now as it was during the Ottoman era. Relax on a marble slab in a steamy bath chamber, have a vigorous and exfoliating scrub to strip away dead skin cells, and then relax in a cooler room.

Situated at the most famous street of Old City, Soğukçeşme Street, The Sarnıç, a historical Roman cistern fine-dining restaurant dated back to as early as Hagia Sofia. The restaurant offers Byzantine to Ottoman cuisines; while offering a wide range of traditional menus ranging from Turkish to Middle Eastern cuisine; at the same time, it also brings together the most distinguished flavors from nouvelle cuisine with creative and innovative approaches. The restaurant is adorned with romantic and mysterious lights which provides an enchanting night for diners. You will certainly be mesmerized by other activities with the unique concept of “a new generation fine dining experience”

Other Surroundings


Ağva, which is connected to the Şile district, is one of the points that the residents of Istanbul often turn towards. Winter holidays are also very popular lately in this small town, which takes all the burden of city life in Istanbul with its clean air and natural beauties.

Black Sea breezes caress your soul in this heavenly place where bird chirping accompanies you. Ağva, which literally means "two streams", takes its name from the fact that it is located between Göksu and Yeşilçay streams. Its 3-kilometer-long sandy beach colorizes your steps.

Other Surroundings


Şile is the northern window of Istanbul, which opens to the blue seas from the Black Sea coast, that is, through the green, in the northeast of the Marmara Region. Şile is a cute town on the Black Sea coast, which is preferred by holidaymakers from Istanbul.

It is approximately 60 kilometers from Istanbul. The name Şile means wild flower in Ancient Greek. Its long, fascinating beaches and lush nature make Şile an ideal place to escape from the city and relax a bit.

Other Surroundings


Bursa is one of the interesting cities thanks to its historical structures, natural beauties and ease of transportation from many centers

Famous for its plane trees, pigeons, silk, thermal springs, ski resorts, towels and soda, Bursa, located on the Silk Road route, is located in the Southern Marmara part of the Marmara Region and is one of the most crowded cities in Turkey with its developed industry. Established on the skirts of Uludağ, the city is one of the most preferred regions of Turkey in winter tourism. Uludag is a center of attraction with its 5-star hotels and convenient ski slopes.

Other Surroundings


Abant Lake is located 18 kilometers northeast of the Mudurnu district of Bolu. It is a landslide barrier lake with a height of 1350 meters and an area of ​​125 hectares.

The waters of Lake Abant are fresh, and its deepest point is 18 meters. The area of 1150 hectares around Abant Lake was taken under protection in 1988 as a Nature Park due to its rich vegetation. The road surrounding the lake is used for navigation. There are four daily picnic areas.

Other Surroundings


Sapanca, a charming district of Sakarya province, is located in the west of the city. Described as a quiet and hidden paradise and attracting attention as one of the most beautiful places to visit close to Istanbul, Sapanca is as important as its history.

Sapanca dates back to 1200 BC. According to the first written documents known at that time, the Phrygians came to the region. The transformation of this city into a settlement date back to the British Kingdom in 378 AD. Sapanca Marmara region, which transitions between Mediterranean and Black Sea climates, has become an important region for tourism.

Other Surroundings


Kartalkaya, located in the legendary Köroğlu mountains of Bolu, the most important winter tourism center of our country, is 45 km from the city center.

Kartalkaya, which is reached by a road surrounded by fir and pine forests, has an altitude of 2200 meters.

Other Surroundings


Kocaeli, which is the 3rd largest city in the Marmara Region after Istanbul and Bursa, stands out with its natural beauties as well as its developing industrial sector.

Kocaeli beaches and lush forests as well as historical monuments attract the attention of travel lovers.

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