The back streets of the old city are scattered with history, secret gardens, breath-taking views, winding streets, spectacular mosques and so much more...
We will visit a couple of small museums, intimate and charming in character with some curious surprises. Then we slip down a back street to find a hidden-away wild garden, sharing a wall with an ancient over-grown hamam, for a stunning view of Aya Sofia from a rooftop. Photo opportunities abound….
We will pause for a tea break in a glamorous newly-built 5-star hotel with another, but very different, spectacular view of the sea and the surrounding area. As we eat our Ottoman pastries and sorbets, we take a luxurious break from climbing the hills and recharge for the re-entering the city chaos.
We have the chance to visit “Jennifer’s Hamam”, as featured in Lale magazine, where we can learn about the art of hand spun Turkish towel making, using organic cotton and silks, and the important work that is being done to preserve these techniques and retain the livelihoods of traditional craftsmen.
Next up, we visit the atmospheric ancient Sergius and Bacchus church, (now known as Kuçuk Aya Sofia). Our last stop will be the minor masterpiece of Mimar Sinan, Sokullu Mehmet Paşa Mosque and madrassa - still untouched and authentic, this mosque is a SultanAhmet gem.
Please don’t forget to bring a scarf, wear comfy shoes, and bring a camera or phone to capture memories of the special places on our tour.
© International Women of Istanbul 2017