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To capture the photos you see here, AFAR tapped Karen Fedorko Sefer, whose company, Sea Song, builds customized itineraries to help travelers go deeper in Istanbul and other parts of Turkey. Here are a few of many potential highlights.

Check in at the House Hotel Bosporus, a 19th-century mansion that was once the residence of Simon Balian, architect of Dolmabahce and Ciragan Palaces. See Istanbul from a private yacht cruise on the Bosporus, with views of shoreline villages and Ottoman summer palaces. Visit the Macar Feyzullah Pasa Kosku mansion, for a lunch and tour at the home of an Ottoman art expert, interior designer Serdar Gulgan. Spend a private evening in the Hagia Sophia, the former Greek Orthodox cathedral and imperial mosque. Join modern art expert Isabella Icoz on an art walk through Istanbul’s galleries and meet the city’s up-and- coming artists.

Book your next Istanbul trip through AFAR Travel Advisory Council member Betty Jo Currie at Currie & Co. Travels Unlimited, bettyjo.currie@afar.com, 404-254-5677