The Prince's Islands
Imagine a place untouched by the last 100 years. A place without cars and buses, where the wooden Ottoman houses are freshly painted, the locals all know each other and get around their pine-forest-covered island by bicycle or horse-drawn carriage. Once the playground of the Ottoman Princes, these quaint, idyllic islands are now the perfect getaway for those who need a break from the chaos of Istanbul. The restaurants serve up fresh seafood. The water is clean and warm enough to swim in.
Relax as you pass by perfectly restored houses - each with their own stories to tell, and you guide who knows how to tell them, in a horse drawn carriage. Only the clip clop of your cantering horse and the locals cheerfully greeting each other breaks the silence
Green is the color of Islam and the color of Bursa, and the two go hand in hand. A relaxed city, that feels like a town, Bursa is located south of Istanbul across the Marmara Sea. Famous for its green mountains, Unrivaled Green Mosque and Green Tomb, Bursa is a popular day-trip destination. It's also a place for natural hot springs and spas, and in the winter - skiing!
Walk through the ancient silk market of Bursa, where men once sold their wares they brought from China along the Silk Road. The colors will dazzle your eyes, the sounds will fill your ears and the scent of spices will surround you as you run your hands over the exotic smooth fabrics.
The fighting that took place on the battlefields of Gallipoli and the straights of Anzac cove is still remembered each year by Aussies, Kiwis, and Turks alike. Much more than a war memorial, Gallipoli stands to serve as a lesson and a legacy to future generations in the way it brings old enemies together in peace. Gallipoli has become a modern day pilgrimage site for those from down under, especially on ANZAC Day, April 26, the day the troops landed at Gallipoli. (*NOTE: If you're interested in visiting the ancient site of Troy, you can stay one night in Canakkale, see the site in the morning and head back to Istanbul in the afternoon. )
The events of ANZAC cove and the battlefields of Gallipoli will come alive through the respectful, animated, story telling skills of your guide. At the end of the day, you will fully understand the immense sacrifice made in this place, and how those events have influenced the way we live today.
Just two hours away from Istanbul near the junction of the Bulgarian, Greek and Turkish borders, this former Ottoman Empire is often overlooked by the casual tourist, but for those looking to get away from the crowns and tour buses of Istanbul - Edirne is your destination! Edirne boasts a collection of a few of the most unique and beautiful mosques in Turkey, all within easy walking distance of each other! For those who like to walk, pick a direction and in 10 minutes you can be walking along rivers spanned by Ottoman bridges and expansive fields of corn and sunflowers.
Edirne's lovely city center features 3 massive, yet strikingly different mosques. Eski Camii, with it's dramatic Arabic script on the walls inside and out will delight photographers. ( Uc Serefeli Camii, with its 3 differently patterned soaring minarets, and Selimiye Mosque. Selimiye is Edirne's crowning glory, built by Master Architect Sinan who was the chief architect of the Ottoman Empire.
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