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Turkey is home to many mouth-watering and unique cuisines that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The rich and subtle tones of flavours, the fresh produce, the famous Turkish breakfast and street food you cannot live without – all this makes Turkey a food nirvana.
The capital Istanbul is intoxicating and alive, a city brimming with cultural heritage and influences of the diverse empires that have ruled over it. The rich culinary scene of Istanbul showcases fresh ingredients and varied flavours like you’ve never tasted before. Turks migrate from all over the country to this magnificent city, bringing with them their culinary traditions and flavours to add to the blend of rich culture and tastes that Turkish food has to offer.
On this week-long tour, we will take you on a journey of discovery of Turkey’s cuisine and culture. We will entice you with tastes of red peppers from Gaziantep, tart green olives from Bodrum and spicy kebabs from Adana, along with visits to Istanbul’s iconic sights. From the delicious Turkish delights to the spectacular Blue Mosque, this tour is certain to impress even the most demanding of food travellers.
Arrival around noon
Upon arriving in Istanbul at noon, we will check into our hotel then kick off our exciting tour by exploring the city. We will visit Topkapi Palace, a famous landmark which is one of the largest museums in the country. We will also tour the Imperial Kitchens which once served the Ottoman royal family. For dinner, we will indulge in some traditional mezze and raki. Mezze is a platter of some of the finest Turkish appetizers. But raki is what steals the show; it is aniseed-flavoured alcohol that is supposed to heal the heart and soothe the mind.
The second day will begin with an exploration of the Sile Earth Market. Prepare to be dazzled by the abundance of freshly caught fish, and even watch as fishermen bring in their catch on the boats. Afterwards, we will move to a local farmhouse in Sile where we pick out fresh produce from the garden, eggs straight from the chicken coop and milk from the farm. We will then use this fresh and healthy produce to prepare an authentic farm to table meal.
In the afternoon, we visit the Underground Basilica Cistern and you get time to relax in the famous Turkish Hamam. We finish with a wine tasting and delicious dinner at renowned chef MaksutA kar’sNeolokal, one of the finest places to enjoy Anatolian cooking.
On day three, we will visit the Grand Bazar for a tasting session. Next, we will take a ferry over the serene Bosphorus Sea, travelling to the Asian side of Istanbul. There we will wander through the famous open-air street market of Kadikoy, exploring its street food. Experience real Turkish life in the market with fishmongers, butchers, grocers and bakers all singing out to you to come to their stalls.
Lunch will be at Ciya, Musa Da deviren’s restaurant – who’s one of the innovators in Turkish cuisine for the last 25 years. After lunch as we cross back to the European side to visit the iconic Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. And to end the perfect day, we will have a simple yet flavourful dinner at a traditional grill restaurant.
The last day of this amazing tour will have several options of activities for you to indulge in. You may choose from a luxurious Bosphorus Cruise in a private yacht, attending a fun Baklava cooking class, or trying out some delicious Turkish home cooking at Selin’s home kitchen. After the day’s activities, we will part ways as our Turkish culinary experience comes to an end