Departing from the pier, your tour first visits the Rustem Pasa Mosque, famous for its exquisite tile work. Designed by architect Mimar Sinan, the mosque was built between 1561-1563. One of the distinguishing features is the abundance of red-colored Iznik tiles. While blue, green, yellow and white tiles were considered easy to produce, red was quite difficult at the time. The interior of the Mosque also boasts some intricately carved doors and gilded trimwork. What Rustem Pasa Mosque may lack in size and grandeur, it makes up for with its artistic beauty.
From here, it's on to the Church of St. Savior in Chora, which is located close to the old city walls of Istanbul. The existence of Chora Museum dates back to the 8th century A.D. and is world famous for its mosaics and frescoes that depict theological themes from the Bible. Another fascinating attraction from the Byzantine period that you will visit is the massive Underground Cistern, the imperial water storage tank. More than 300 beautiful columns of various designs support the cistern's vaulted brick roof.
Your final visit is to the wonderfully aromatic Spice Market, an "L"- shaped market originally built in 1664. Besides its seemingly endless supply of spices and dried fruits, you will find locally made merchandise such as jewelry and pottery.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 hours of walking. While the tour is available to wheelchair guests who are able to make their way on and off the coach, it is not recommended. Wheelchairs are not permitted in the Rustem Pasa Mosque and wheelchair guests would have to wait outside in the garden. There are some steps to negotiate at the entrance to the Mosque and numerous steps at the Cistern to negotiate as well as cobblestone surfaces around the Chora museum. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Conservative dress is required for visiting the mosques. All female guests will be required to cover their heads, shoulders and arms and shorts above knee-length are not allowed for both male and female visitors. Comfortable, flat walking shoes are strongly recommended. The order of the sites visited may change to avoid the crowds. Please expect dense traffic conditions in Istanbul. Chora museum is closed on Wednesdays and replaced by St. Sophia church.