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Join Turkish Flavours in a lifetime culinary holiday in Turkey! During this vacation, you will have a chance to taste delicious Turkish cuisine in Istanbul,Gaziantep and Urfa. While tasting the food, there will be also some exciting tours guided by a professional English-speaking guide to some of the most famous and stunning landmarks of Turkey including a unique archaeological site Göbeklitepe. Moreover, you can learn on how to make authentic Turkish cuisine in a Turkish Home. Embark on this unforgettable culinary experience!
During the tour, you will be staying for three nights at 10 Karaköy Hotel, another three nights at Hişvahan or Divan Hotel, and the last night at El Ruha Hotel.
10 Karaköy Istanbul, A Morgans Original, showcases the fascinating charm of the past as it embraces modern, sophisticated style. , this luxury boutique hotel redefines chic elegance with its distinct design and unequalled service excellence. The hotel is a historic property built in neo-classical style but reimagined and designed in collaboration with award-winning architect Sinan Kafadar to bring a fresh, stylish vibe to the dynamic energy of Karaköy. 10 Karaköy offers 71 unique guestrooms, including spacious loft and loft terrace suites. A penthouse on the top floor with a magnificent private terrace is a perfect location for special events, dining, and entertaining.
Turkish cuisine represents a combination of easy and elaborated recipes, flavored with oriental condiments and delicious sweets. The Istanbul cuisine is also a feature which proves the dual nature of the city because ingredients combine elements from the Asian and Oriental culture with the traditional European food, all packed in what Turkish Flavours believes is an extraordinary and unique culinary experience.
You will also visit Gaziantep during the tour. The cuisine of Gaziantep is acknowledged to be the richest in Turkey and visitors will savor its fusion of Anatolian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern tastes. The strength of Gaziantep’s cooking tradition comes from the land. Local crops, ripened under a strong sun, are further infused with flavor as they cook over the fire’s embers, adding delicious depth to the taste. Whether slow-cooked on the range or flame-grilled, Gaziantep’s food keeps the taste of the sun and the fire. Cooking is an art in Gaziantep, where each dish is crafted to perfection. Gaziantep has at least unique dishes to its name and invites to its bounteous table those who wish to share in the secrets of this delicious cuisine.
Arrive at Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST), where you will be met by Turkish Flavours' representative and taken to your hotel. Welcome dinner at one of Istanbul’s renowned restaurants. Overnight in 10 Karaköy Hotel Istanbul or similar (dinner).
Today, Turkish Flavours will take you on a tour of Istanbul’s Byzantine iconic monuments. Hagia Sophia, the church of the Divine Wisdom, which was a church (circa 548 AD), then a mosque and now a museum. The Underground Cistern built by Emperor Justinian to provide water for the city of Constantinople. It is difficult to describe the beauty and uniqueness of this experience. Lunch at Asitane restaurant - Ottoman Cuisine at its best.
After lunch, you will visit the St. Savior in Chora Museum, known for its magnificent mosaics and frescoes dating from the 11th to the 14th centuries. Lastly, you will explore the famous Grand Bazaar. Dinner will be at one of Istanbul’s popular kebab restaurant. Overnight in 10 Karaköy Hotel Istanbul (breakfast, lunch, dinner).
Today you will visit the Blue Mosque, a famous 17th-century mosque that dominates the Istanbul skyline, Topkapı Palace the residence of the sultans for almost three centuries. You will visit The Palace Kitchens, Helvahane and Quarters and learn about Turkey's culinary culture of 400 years.
For lunch, you will taste delicious kofte -meatballs- at a specialized restaurant operating since 1920. Then, the group will drive to the pier for a cruise on the Bosphorus. Upon disembarkation, you will proceed to Selin’s home to enjoy a hands-on cooking class learning to cook home-style, family recipes and taste what you have cooked. It is a truly unique opportunity to experience Turkish hospitality and Istanbul home life. Overnight in 10 Karaköy Hotel in Istanbul (breakfast, lunch, dinner).
After breakfast, you will walk through the Spice Bazaar, an extensive market which was built in the 17th century to finance the upkeep of the nearby mosque - Yeni Cami. The bazaar is often referred to as the “Egyptian Market” due to the fact that spices used to come to the market from India and Southeast Asia via Egypt. You will stop for a spice tasting session in a Spice shop that has been there for five generations.
Take a ferry ride to the other side of the river that separates the European and Asian parts of Istanbul to explore the famous open-air street market of Kadıkoy. Notice the big difference in atmosphere between the Spice Market and the Kadıkoy which is more in tune with the way most people in Istanbul cook and eat.
Indulge yourself in the huge variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, with plenty to discover for the “foodie.” Feel the real bazaar shopping experience with the fishmongers, bakers, butchers and grocers singing out to attract you to their stall. Take your time and explore the many pastry shops, Turkish delight and deli stores and the aromatic spice stands. There is plenty to see and buy, with information and recommendations available.
Lunch will be at renowned Ciya Restaurant where you will taste the best samples of Anatolian Cuisine. After lunch, you will head to the airport for your flight to Gaziantep. Overnight at Hisvahan or Divan Hotel.
You will visit Koçak, a traditional baklava producer and learn more about Baklava. You will then stop at Historical Tahmis Coffee shop to taste Menengiç (wild pistachio) coffee. Lunch at Metanet Restaurant where you will also taste a Gaziantep classic “Beyran” soup and lahmacun. At the end of the day, you will visit the Emine Gogus Cuisine Museum, a historical stone house built in 1904, and has been restored into a museum. Dinner at Bayazhan. Overnight Divan Hotel, Hışvahan or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner).
Breakfast at a pastry shop, tasting and observing a production of “katmer”, a local desert with clotted cream and pistachio. You will visit the Archaeology Museum with its artifacts from Neolithic Hittite and Roman times. There are the most important mosaics from the ancient site Zeugma (Belkis). Lunch at Küşlemeci Halil. After lunch, you will walk through the local bazaar to explore artisan workshops such as coppersmiths, spice shops and other tradesmen making furniture with inlaid mother of pearl. Rest of the day at leisure. Dinner will be served at the famous Imam Cagdas Restaurant. Overnight at Hisvahan or Divan Hotel or a similar accommodation (breakfast, lunch, dinner).
After breakfast, you will drive to Sanliurfa to visit the archaeological site, known as Gobeklitepe. It is currently the oldest known archaeological site with evidence of significant and prolonged construction activity by humans. Evidence suggests that it was some sort of religious/gathering place for people. The site was built about 12,000 years ago, was active for over 3,000 years and then methodically covered up in the 8th millennia BC. Gobeklitepe is a series of mainly circular and oval-shaped structures set on the top of a hill and has been interpreted as the oldest human-made place of worship yet discovered.
After visiting Gobeklitepe, the group drives to the city center of Sanlıurfa. Home to the world’s earliest civilizations, Sanliurfa’s cuisine also features fantastic origin tales. Cig kofte (raw meatballs, according to legend was invented by Abraham himself from what he had available in the cave where he hid from Nemrut. The dish is also said by some to have been created for Hittite royalty.
Sanliurfa is also known throughout Turkey for its spice and in particular Urfa biber or Isot pepper, a dried dark red pepper with a smoky, raisin-like taste. In addition to being used in Sanliurfa’s diverse range of kebabs and lahmacun, the pepper features in sac kavurma, a dish that consists of ground lamb and vegetables fried on a thin iron skillet.
Overnight El Ruha Hotel or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
After breakfast, you will visit Abraham’s Cave and the Pools of Holy Carp surrounding it. Then walk around the oriental covered bazaar and Gümrükhan. After lunch, you will drive to Harran a village of Mud-Brick “beehive” houses mentioned in the book of Genesis where Abraham spent the last years of his life. The group will then drive to the airport to take a flight to Istanbul.
Seline is a self-taught home chef and a gastronomically inquisitive person. She has organized many hands-on Turkish cooking classes and food tours for visitors from 30 different countries. Seline is a member of Slow Food, Chaine des Rotisseurs, Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Degustateurs, World Food Travel Association, and Mutfak Dostlari Dernegi (Turkish Kitchen Friends Ass). She fluently speaks English, Turkish, French, and some Spanish, Italian, Greek, and German. She has coordinated many tours and events for Abercrombie and Kent, API, Virtuoso, YPO, CEO, and WPO travelers in Turkey.
Istanbul is a spectacular city, filled with layer upon layer of history, culture, and incredible food. Istanbul is one of the most ancient cities in the world, packed with history and a food culture that is deliciously exciting.
Gaziantep has been home to some of the oldest civilizations in the world. Owing to this heritage and the wide variety of foodstuffs available due to its geographical position, the region has developed a unique cuisine with its own distinctive flavors.
Göbeklitepe is a unique archaeological site which has been preserving its existence with an untouched natural environment for 12,000 years while displaying unique archaeological findings. These features make this oldest place of worship Göbeklitepe incomparable and preferential.
Human beings realized the transition from the hunter-gatherer lifestyle to agriculture for the first time in world history in the Upper Mesopotamia, around 10th and 9th millennia B.C. Unique temples’ mountain Göbeklitepe can be defined as the meeting center of last hunters.
Göbeklitepe is a unique sacred space and sacred meeting center of Neolithic Period in terms of its location, dimensions, dating, and monumentality of architectural ruins and sculptural pieces.
Istanbul Atatürk Airport
Please book your flight to arrive at Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Turkish Flavours will pick you up from the airport.
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