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Sofos, an Üsküdar-based travel company with good connections in academe, are offering a season of delightful cultural tours of Istanbul. They are really for Turcophones, though guides can speak English (however, English-only tours can be arranged for small groups of 8 or 9). Prices include tickets, entrance fees to museums, headphones and hygiene kit, but not refreshments. There is no better way to get out and about far from the madding crowd. And if you are not free until the end of the month, the Belgrade Forest is wonderful at this time of year.
Here are the October tours.
October 4, 14.00–17.00
Bosphorus tour, with Sedat Bornovalı (₺250)`
A beautiful boat has been lined for this eye-opening trip up the Bosphorus with the art historian Sedat Bornovalı. And the weather looks gorgeous for it.
October 10, 8.30–16.00
Shores of the Golden Horn, with Mois Gabay (₺290)
October 18, 11.00–16.00, and October 31, 10.30–16.00
Three places, three people: Esoteric traditions in Galata, with Kürşad Demirci (₺120)
October 20 11.00–16.00
October 31 10.30–1600
Nature and history tour: The Belgrade Forest Bentler (Reservoirs) and the Atatürk Arboretum, with Mehmet Esendal
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