Turkey isn’t short on bewitching culture and glittering stretches of coastline. We’ll pair both in one twin-centre trip by planting you among the rich heritage of Istanbul before basking in Bodrum on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast.

Straddling the Bosphorus and with a skyline pierced by minarets and ancient domes, an Istanbul itinerary is a fine place to start. It’s a city that’s more akin to an open-air museum with its palaces, mosques and spice markets, all of which are an end product of the many dynasties that have ruled this great metropolis, from the Byzantines to the Ottomans.

During your three days we’ll not only make sure you see the key sights like the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, cobbled Balat’s colourful houses and the Hagia Sophia but add our own SevenTravel twist to your time there. Explore the Grand Bazaar from its rooftops, enjoy a private cruise along the Bosphorus and peel back Istanbul’s Roman past with an expert historian.

After the buzz of your luxury holiday in Istanbul, you’ll swap it for the serene cerulean glow of the Aegean Sea in Bodrum. Located along the Turquoise Coast, Bodrum’s sun-soaked glamour has led to comparisons to the French Riviera. We’ll give you plenty of time to lap up the shimmering waters from your base at Macakizi, a resort that has become one of Turkey’s premiere hangouts for a Turquoise Coast holiday. It’s also a great base for exploring the sleepy whitewashed villages and towns that are scattered along the coast.

But Bodrum and the Aegean fringes around it have, in a sense, experienced tourism for longer than anywhere else in Turkey, with ancient Greeks, Hellenists and Romans all drawn to its dreamy fringes. As a result, there is a treasure trove of heritage readymade for a Turquoise Coast itinerary that will tempt you away from the sunbed. Visit the quirky Museum of Underwater Archaeology and pore over the limestone ruins of Halicarnassus, whose legendary Mausoleum was one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. We’ll leave the balance of chill and exploration in Bodrum to you, but if you fancied seeing more of it on this tailor-made holiday to Turkey we have plenty ideas to share: sail the Turquoise Coast aboard a wooden gulet, try wine at Karnas Vineyards or wander the UNESCO-listed Temple of Ephesus. An Istanbul and beach holiday really is a Turkish delight.


Experience highlights

  • Avoid the crowds with a private tour of the Istanbul Archaeology Museum after hours. Wander the Byzantine and Ottoman artefacts with your expert, with the sarcophagi from the Royal Necropolis of Sidon among the museum’s many highlights.
  • Spend a day gorging on Istanbul’s most iconic sights, including the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque. After you’ve been wowed by that triumvirate, go underground to explore one of the city’s Roman cisterns – a true triumph of engineering.
  • See the Grand Bazaar from an alternative angle, meeting some of its hidden artisans well off the tourist track, before ascending the rooftops for your own James Bond moment – they were featured in a thrilling chase scene in the film Skyfall.
  • Enjoy a private cruise along the Bosphorus on your own yacht. With Istanbul divided by this mighty waterway, there’s no better way to see the city. Spy some of the striking architecture that lines its banks, including the Dolmabahce, Ciragan and Beylerbeyi palaces.
  • Understand Istanbul’s rich Roman period with a man that really knows his stuff, historian Dr Feridun Özgümüş. He’ll take you to its subterranean network of cellars, cisterns and tunnels, as well as unravelling the mysteries behind many of the city’s ruins and Roman remains.
  • Feel like a local celebrity at Macakizi in Bodrum, a resort that has a prime position on the Turquoise Coast and has drawn doe-eyed A-list glitterati like Donna Karan and Mick Jagger.
  • Visit the site of one of the seven ancient wonders of the world at Halicarnassus. The famed Temple of Mausolos (which gave rise to the term ‘mausoleum’) may no longer be there but the stairways, tombs and ruins that remain are no less atmospheric.
  • Explore the remarkable Greco-Roman archaeological ruins of Ephesus with your own guide. It’s one of the best places in the Mediterranean to really understand what ancient life was like here.
Plan your trip to Turkey

Experience highlights

In Istanbul, stay at the Four Seasons Istanbul at Sultanahmet
With its glitzy chandeliers and expertly woven carpets, it's a far cry from its former life as a prison
Begin your time in Istanbul with an after-hours tour of its Archaeology Museum
The museum's sarcophagi from the Royal Necropolis of Sidon is a must-see
Enjoy a guided tour of the city's top sights, including the Topkapi Palace
You'll also see the iconic Hagia Sofia
...and the jaw-dropping Blue Mosque
Then it's time to head underground to spy one of the city's Roman cisterns like Serefiye or Yerebatan Sarayi
Meet local artisans on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Grand Bazaar
Take a walk along Istanbul's rooftops to see the Grand Bazaar from a bird's-eye view
Wander the bohemian Balat district with its colourful houses
Embark on a private yacht cruise along the Bosphorus
Spy some of Istanbul's finest architecture like the Beylerbeyi Palace
Fly to Bodrum and stay in one of Macakizi's whitewashed suites
Its large wooden sundeck is the ideal place to relax beside the Aegean
Visit the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, housed in the fifteenth-century St Peter's Castle
Peruse the ruins of Halicarnassus with your local guide
Enjoy a sunset cocktail in the seaside village of Gümüşlük
If you want to explore Bodrum further, you could sail the Aegean on a traditional wooden gulet...
...or soak up the history of ancient Ephesus

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    Where you’ll stay


    Four Seasons Istanbul at Sultanahmet, Istanbul

    Converted from an Ottoman-era prison, these days the neoclassical Four Seasons Istanbul at Sultanahmet is somewhere you wouldn’t actually mind being locked up in. The mustard-yellow façade hides a no-expenses-spared approach inside, where glittering Murano chandeliers, hand-woven carpets, tiled designs and marble floors have transformed this building from prison-like to palatial. Once an exercise yard for inmates, the courtyard is now a tranquil garden, while Istanbul’s big hitters like the Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque are a short stroll away.


    Macakizi, Bodrum

    Prepare to feel indulged like a sun-kissed goddess at Macakizi. Away from the buzz of Bodrum and hugging a prime slice of the Turquoise Coast, Macakizi really lets you live your best life in this dreamy Turkish corner, from its oleander-perfumed stone gardens to the expansive wooden sundeck loitering over the Aegean, where you can laze languidly with the celebrity elite. Macakizi knows it has a five-star location so chooses to embrace it, with its restaurant and breakfast pavilion both open-air. Dining with a view has never looked so good.

    Why book with us?

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