RE­WARD­ING AC­TIV­I­TIES

Business Traveler (USA) - - MEETING MATTERS - Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Rose Dykins

Ac­tiv­i­ties can be booked through lo­cal des­ti­na­tion man­age­ment com­pa­nies such as CNIDUS (cnidus.com), Dekon Group (dekon­group.com.tr), EA Or­gan­i­sa­tion (eaor­ga­ni­za­syon.com.tr), Scala Mice (scalam­ice.com) and Plaza In­cen­tive and Congress World­wide (plazatur.com).

HAM­MAM IN­DUL­GENCE Melt away ten­sion at one of the city’s Turk­ish ham­mams (such as the Ca­ga­loglu baths, Yere­batan Cad­desi 34). Soak, steam, soap and be mas­saged us­ing tra­di­tional meth­ods. In Ot­toman times the ham­mam also served as a place of en­ter­tain­ment, and belly danc­ing demos and classes can be ar­ranged.

TREA­SURE HUNT A great way to take in sites such as the Grand Bazaar and Sul­tanah­met Square. For added au­then­tic­ity, add a rally where par­tic­i­pants travel around the city in tra­di­tional dol­mus taxis – vin­tage Fords, Ply­mouths and Chevro­lets dat­ing from the 1950s and staged in the nar­row, wind­ing streets of the Cukur­cuma dis­trict, a good spot to bag an an­tique bar­gain.

OT­TOMAN COOK­ING LES­SON Find out how tra­di­tional fare meat balls) is cre­ated, and learn how to put to­gether in­gre­di­ents and make dishes com­bin­ing Asian, Per­sian, Ana­to­lian and Aegean culi­nary tech­niques.

CRAFT SHOP­PING TOUR Take a guided trip and learn how tra­di­tional ce­ram­ics and jewelry are made. Try your hand at glass­blow­ing and watch car­pet weavers at work – learn how to dis­tin­guish the age and ori­gin of kil­ims (hand- wo­ven rugs). End with a mes­meric whirling dervish per­for­mance – th­ese take place at the Galata Mevlevi House and Grand Bazaar, and can be booked through Les Arts Turcs (lesart­sturcs. com) or Ru­mim Evlevi (ru­mimevlevi.com).

BOSPHO­RUS CRUISE No trip to Is­tan­bul is com­plete with­out a Bospho­rus cruise by day or at sun­set. Dine mezzestyle while gaz­ing at iconic build­ings such as the Blue Mosque, Ha­gia Sophia, and Dolmabahce Palace.

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