Exploring the Rich History and Beauty of Istanbul and Bodrum, Türkiye

Are you ready for a mesmerizing journey through the enchanting lands of Istanbul and Bodrum in Türkiye? Get ready to immerse yourself in a captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From the bustling streets of Istanbul to the serene shores of Bodrum, this trip promises to be an unforgettable experience.

As a member of the Travel + Leisure magazine Travel Advisory Board, I was fortunate to spend a week in Türkiye with my fellow board members, T+L editors and the Türkiye tourism board. We traveled in mid April 2023 and had the most incredible weather. Here is my recommendation for a trip recreating what I experienced.

Fly to Istanbul in Style

Your adventure begins with a luxurious overnight flight in business class on Turkish Airlines. Prepare to be pampered and enjoy the comfort of premium travel as you make your way to the captivating city of Istanbul.

Welcome to Istanbul

As you arrive at Istanbul International Airport, you’ll be greeted by a Turkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA) host. They will ensure a smooth transfer to the prestigious Mandarin Oriental Istanbul, where your Turkish journey truly begins.

After settling into your accommodations, take a moment to indulge in a light lunch or snacks. Once refreshed, get ready for an evening briefing, followed by a warm welcome reception and dinner at the hotel. The atmosphere will be filled with excitement as you connect with fellow travelers and start building unforgettable memories.

Exploring Istanbul’s Treasures

Start your day with a leisurely breakfast as you prepare for an exploration-filled day. At 8:45 am, gather in the hotel lobby and embark on a tour of the Galata area. Marvel at the Galata Tower, an iconic structure that dates back to 1384 and offers breathtaking panoramic views of Istanbul’s skyline.

Next, indulge in a site inspection, presentation, and Trends Lunch at The Pera Palace Hotel. This historical landmark, built in 1892, has hosted renowned figures throughout history, including Agatha Christie and Jacqueline Kennedy.

Afterward, return to Mandarin Oriental Istanbul and enjoy some leisure time before meeting in the hotel lobby for a Bosphorus Cruise Tour. Don’t forget to bring a jacket to protect yourself from the wind. As the evening approaches, disembark at The Peninsula for a delightful dinner hosted by the hotel’s management team.

Immersion in Istanbul’s Rich Heritage

Savor a leisurely breakfast to prepare for a day filled with cultural immersion. At 8:45 am, meet in the hotel lobby and set off for the Sultanahmet Area. Discover the wonders of the Hippodrome, Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia), Istanbul Archaeological Museums, and the mystical Basilica Cistern.

Indulge in a delectable lunch at the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul Sultanahmet before exploring the Grand Bazaar and meeting with local producers. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as you wander through the labyrinthine alleys filled with exotic scents and treasures.

After a fulfilling day, return to Mandarin Oriental Istanbul for some well-deserved leisure time. In the evening, depart for a memorable dinner on board a private yacht.

From Istanbul to Bodrum’s Tranquil Charms

Bid farewell to Istanbul as you transfer to Istanbul International Airport for an early morning flight to Izmir. From there, embark on a picturesque drive to Selçuk, where you’ll enjoy a light brunch at Agora Restaurant.

Continue your journey with a visit to the Ephesus Ancient City, a fascinating site steeped in history and home to the legendary Temple of Artemis. Explore the ruins and embrace the captivating aura of this ancient civilization. Later, enjoy a delightful lunch and wine tasting at Yedibilgeler Vineyard.

As the day progresses, embark on a scenic drive to Bodrum, where the mesmerizing Mandarin Oriental Bodrum awaits. The evening concludes with a sumptuous dinner at Sofra restaurant, leaving you with a taste of Bodrum’s culinary delights.

Uncovering Ancient Mysteries

Embark on a fascinating tour of Stratonikeia Ancient City, one of the most significant ancient towns in Caria. Explore its well-preserved ruins, including the acropolis, city gate, agora, bouleuterion, and tombs. Immerse yourself in the history and imagine the lives of those who once walked these streets.

Return to Mandarin Oriental Bodrum and savor some leisure time, indulging in the luxurious amenities the resort offers. Later, experience a memorable transfer to Maçakızı Hotel by boat, where you’ll enjoy a delightful dinner and embrace the coastal beauty of Bodrum.

Delights of Bodrum

Begin the day with a leisurely breakfast and prepare for a unique Zai Bodrum experience. Engage in a traditional “Turkish Meze” cooking workshop and relish a delicious lunch. Immerse yourself in the artistic and cultural ambiance that Zai Bodrum offers.

In the afternoon, explore Bodrum City Center at your own pace, discovering the vibrant local scene and absorbing the town’s captivating charm. Return to Mandarin Oriental Bodrum and prepare for a visit to the historic Bodrum Castle. Explore the Archaeological Museum and savor cocktails at sunset, enveloped by the breathtaking views.

Conclude this incredible journey with a farewell dinner at Bodrum Castle, where you’ll relish a culinary feast amidst a remarkable setting.

Departure, but Memories Remain

As your journey comes to an end, say goodbye to Bodrum as you depart on a flight from Bodrum to Istanbul. From there, connect directly with your international flights back to the USA in business class on Turkish Airlines. Relish the memories of this extraordinary adventure through the beautiful lands of Türkiye.

#GoTürkiye #İstanbulisthenewcool #Goistanbul #Goİzmir #GoMugla


  • #Goistanbul
  • #Goİzmir
  • #GoMugla
  • #GoTürkiye
  • #İstanbulisthenewcool
  • Bodrum
  • Istanbul
  • Turkey
  • Türkiye