EXPLORING ISTANBUL ~ FOOD, DESIGN + SHOPPING TOUR  | ISTANBUL, TURKEY | SEPTEMBER 8 - 15, 2016

image: Robin Robokow

Ace Camps is heading to the glittering Turquoise Coast and spending a week exploring Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul is one of the great cities of the world and the city is bustling these days. We will introduce you to some of the coolest things the city has to offer and have selected the best guides, restaurants and locations that make Istanbul amazing.

The historical tour of Istanbul includes a visit to the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, St. Sophia, the church of the Divine Wisdom, the Underground Cistern, the 16th Century palace of the Sultan’s Grand Vizier, Ibrahim Pasa, which today houses the Turkish and Islamic Art Museum. Its antique carpet exhibit is renowned; the carpets, kilims and prayer rugs form one of the richest and oldest collections in the world. 

We will visit Topkapi Palace, the Grand Bazaar and Cukurcuma - known for its antique shops and second-hand bookshops and bohemian residents. The history of handmade carpets will be discussed and we'll learn about the first tribal rugs used by nomadic tribes to the contemporary design pieces of today. 

Your culinary tour will include a visit to Egyptian Spice Bazaar - it is still the best place to buy Turkish delight, dried fruit, exotic spices and herbs - a ferry ride across the Bosphorus to go to Kadikoy, the Asian side of Istanbul. Once in Kadikoy we will visit some off-the-beaten path street food locations and continue to sample local delicacies. After lunch we'll learn about Turkish Coffee and have your fortune read with a coffee cup reading.

You'll also have some hands-on experience while you learn about paper marbling.

...as always there will be free time for you to explore on your own. We think that's important!

 
image:  LylyTreg

image:  LylyTreg

The ACE CAMP TOUR LEADER is a part of your group and will be there to look out for your safety, to help resolve issues, and to make sure you get what you want from your vacation. The Tour Leader will make sure that everyone who wants company has it, including dinners when no group meal is scheduled.

They also work with the local guides to insure the right combination of pace, information, and duration.

This Ace Camp includes:

  • 7 nights*  (based on shared occupancy)
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 4 lunches
  • 4 dinners
  • An Historical Tour (guided)
  • A Shopping Tour (guided)
  • A Culinary Adventure Tour (guided)
  • All admissions to sites during the tours
  • A Paper Marbling Workshop
  • Yacht Cruise
  • Coffee + Fortune Telling Workshop
  • A Curated Shopping Guide
  • Tips for guides + drivers
  • Airport transfer*

*Rooms are shared with one other person.  Unfortunately, there is no opportunity for single rooms.

*Airport transfer is from Istanbul's Atakurk International Airport (IST) + on the first day of the Ace Camp tour (September 8th only)


 

Ace Camp is limited to 10 people.

Fee:  $2195.00 USD - airfare is not included

Deposit: $1195.00 USD - due when place in workshop is confirmed 

Final Payment: $1000.00 USD due February 15, 2016 or May 15, 2016


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WHERE WE'RE STAYING:

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SuB Karakoy brings an industrial designer's eye to the hotel room. Polished concrete walls, beds wrapped in curvy steel frames and stone-tiled bathrooms create a brittle aesthetic, but the bath towels are supremely soft and the beds are dreamy. Located in the historical Karakoy district it is just a 5-minute walk from the ferry port. The hotel features a terrace, unique interiors and stylish furniture. Its rooms are equipped with modern amenities. Free Wifi.

The day will start with a rich Turkish breakfast including pastries, fresh eggs, olives, cheese and a variety of fruit jams among many other tastes accompanied with a cup of Turkish tea or coffee. 

Tophane Metro Stop is only 493 feet away, offering easy access to the historical Sultanahmet area. Ataturk Airport is within 12.4 miles.

Dhoku - a housewares store in Istanbul

Dhoku - a housewares store in Istanbul

 

WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO DO?

  • The traditional dancing " whirling Dervishes" perform Sunday evenings at 5pm at the Galata Mevlevi Museum
  • Have a Turkish Bath and visit a Hammam
  • Shop for antiques or a carpet!
  • Take a street art tour
  • Sail on the Bosphorous
  • Visit the Asian side and head to the Kadikoy Markets
  • Get lost amidst the cobble-stoned streets of Tünel, Galata, and Karaköy, which are local favourites
  • Visit the Museum of Innocence in Cihangir and the antique and second hand stores in the Cukurcuma neighbourhood

 

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TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

ACE CAMPS administration will email you when it is time to make your travel arrangements. This email will always be sent 60 days or more before your trip departs unless you book within 60 prior to the camp. 

Istanbul Ataturk Airport is the best airport for airport transfers for this trip.  Make your arrangements to fly into Ataturk for pickup to the hotel.

More information will be sent to you upon registration.

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WEATHER

September is the end of summer and start of autumn in Istanbul. At the start of the month, temperatures are still high, it’s likely to be hot and dry. But by the end, temperatures have fallen rapidly, rainfall averages have risen, and it will feel much cooler.  Temperatures range from 24C during the day to 15C in the evenings. One day can be hot and dry, while the next can be much cooler with short but intense rain showers.  It is best to dress in layers and bring an umbrella.

Most travelers think September is the best month to adventure in Istanbul.

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WHAT TO BUY IN ISTANBUL

Turkish Alabaster

Carpets + Kilims

Brass + Copper

Spices at the bazaars, dried fruits + nuts, Turkish delight

Turkish tea or coffee

Ceramics + Pottery

Handmade shoes

Maps + Prints


ITINERARY

Day One ~             
TRAVEL DAY
Airport pick-up and transfer to hotel    
Dinner - Meet and Greet on the rooftop terrace at SuB Karakoy

Day Two ~                   
HISTORICAL TOUR OF ISTANBUL          
Breakfast        
An introduction and guided tour of the historical sites in Istanbul including the Hippodrome, Blue Mosque & St. Sophia.

Lunch - Matbah Restaurant
Following lunch we visit the Underground Cistern and head to the Turkish and Islamic Art Museum    
Dinner - Neolokal

Neolokal is located inside the modern art venue SALT Galata, also a former Ottoman Bank. With sweeping views of the Golden Horn, Neolokal focuses their menu on the Slow Food's Ark of Taste guidelines, therefore bringing all key ingredients from the farm and field straight to the table. If we arrive early enough, we will have the opportunity to have a look round the gallery spaces and the Ottoman Bank museum, housed in the basement on the building 

Day Three ~                
PRIVATE GUIDED SHOPPING TOUR        
Breakfast        
Guided tour of Topkapi Palace, & the Grand Bazaar. This morning we will also  enjoy a private educational professional lecture on the art of carpet weaving.          
Lunch - Aslan
Following lunch a private van takes us to Cukurcuma Neighbour for backstreet antique shopping. 
Dinner - Yeni Lokanta  

Day Four ~                 
CULINARY ADVENTURES IN ISTANBUL
Breakfast
A guided visit to the Egyptian Spice Bazaar with food tastings along the way, a ferry ride across the Bosphorus to go to Kadikoy, the Asian side of Istanbul. Once in Kadikoy we will visit some off-the-beaten path street food locations and continue to sample local delicacies.  
Lunch - Ciya
Ferry back to European side    
This afternoon we'll learn about Turkish Coffee and have our fortune read with a coffee cup reading.
Dinner on own

Day Five ~                        
FREE DAY TO EXPLORE ON YOUR OWN        
Breakfast  
Free Day - Consider exploring other historical sights around the city, go on street art tour, totally relax at a beautiful Turkish bath, or take the day to explore the Grand Bazaar and backstreets on your own.  There are so many things to do, and we can help you organize, if you wish, to find the best activities of the day.   

Day Six ~                      
PAPER MARBLING WORKSHOP / YACHT CRUISE / FINAL GROUP DINNER
Breakfast        
Tram to Sulthamet      
Explore the traditional art of Erbu Paper Marbling with a hands-on Workshop at Les Arts Turcs            

Lunch -  Old Ottoman Cafe

Afternoon Visit to Jennifer's Hamam- one of the only shops in Istanbul still specializing in authentic hand woven turkish towels      
Tram back to hotel from Sulthamet       

Dinner - Tonight we have our final group dinner together. In the early evening we will board a private yacht and go for a cruise around the Bosphorus,  taking in all the wonderful waterfront buidlings, and historical residences. The yacht will drop us off at one of the great former Ottoman Palaces of Istanbul, Ciragan Palace. Here we will dine at Tugra Restaurant on the shores of the Bosphorous, with a menu comprised of traditional turkish dishes.

Day Seven ~                
MODERN ISTANBUL / FREE AFTERNOON
Breakfast        
Morning visit to the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art.

Lunch - Mitte
Free afternoon          
Dinner on own             

Day Eight ~
TRAVEL DAY
Breakfast

Check out of hotel.   

There will be no refunds for this trip - please know you can make it before your registration.

 

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Nota Bene: this is a prospective itinerary. It is subject to modest modifications, dependent on local weather, new opportunities and the desires of the group.