Discover the highlights of Turkey and its spectacular Mediterranean coastline on this 11-day itinerary from Istanbul. Explore the legendary sights of Istanbul and the UNESCO-listed ruins of Ephesus before boarding a traditional wooden gulet yacht to cruise along the Turkish Riviera. Combining days spent swimming, hiking and soaking up the coastal scenery, this adventure is the perfect blend of leisure and active exploration. Meet the locals in authentic villages and wander through ancient Lycian towns before nights spent in tranquil anchorages beneath a starry night sky.
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Fly USA to Istanbul
If time allows, arrive a day early into Istanbul to explore this fascinating city. We’re happy to arrange an extra night’s hotel accommodation and private guided tours on request.
After flying into Istanbul, we’ll meet at our designated hotel in the Sultanahmet district for a welcome dinner and orientation meeting.
Once the metropolis of the Eastern Mediterranean, Istanbul is one of the world’s great cities and overflowing with cultural and historical sights. We’ll visit the 15th-century Topkapi Palace, which housed the Ottoman Sultans for nearly 400 years and overlooks the Sea of Marmara where the Golden Horn meets the Bosphorus. Gaze up at the immense dome of the Aya Sofya (Sancta Sophia), with this 6th-century architectural wonder reminiscent of St. Peter’s in Rome and St. Paul’s in London. Another highlight of Istanbul is visiting the Blue Mosque, which was built for Sultan Ahmet in 1619 and is superb both inside and out.
Istanbul to Izmir to Ephesus
After breakfast at our hotel, we’ll board a morning flight from Istanbul to Izmir where we’ll travel to the UNESCO-listed ruins of Ephesus. Embark on a guided tour through this beautifully preserved Biblical city while gaining an insight into the daily lives of those who lived here more than 2,000 years ago. Refuel over lunch before exploring the rich collection at the Ephesus Museum in the early afternoon.
Ephesus - Göcek
Begin the day by driving to the small harbor town of Göcek, stopping to visit the ancient Greek site of Priene along the way. In the late afternoon, we’ll board our yacht and cruise to a nearby cove for your first swim in the Mediterranean while your crew prepares a delicious dinner.
Göcek – Binlik Cove
After breakfast onboard your yacht, we’ll explore the coves of Göcek and go snorkeling amidst the sunken Roman bath ruins. Relax over lunch before embarking on a hike through the red pine forests that surround Lydae, a remote Lycian site that’s inaccessible by road. Continue hiking to meet our yacht along the coast while enjoying the magnificent views of Fethiye Bay.
Fethiye-Pinara-Kayakoy- Gemiler Island
Begin the day early with a drive to Pinara, which perches atop a mountain overlooking the Xanthus Valley. It’s believed the Lycians arrived from the island of Crete to this remote coastal region in the 15th century BC. Witness the ancient tombs that have been carved into the cliffs and the remains of a temple dedicated to Aphrodite, then continue driving to the old Greek city of Kayakoy. Deserted following the population exchange between Turkey and Greece in 1923, it’s now an eerie ghost town.
After lunch in Kayakoy, we’ll embark on another hike before meeting up with our yacht in a remote cove, with time to swim and refresh before dinner is served. If time allows, you can also enjoy another short hike to Gemiler Island to watch the sunset.
As you slowly wake, we’ll motor east past the “Seven Capes” to a lovely harbor just outside the village of Kalkan. Enjoy a swim and optional hike to an impressive Roman aqueduct, then visit the Lycian and Greek/Roman ruins of Xanthos. Serving as the ancient capital of Lycia, Xanthos rose to prominence while resisting attack by General Harpagus in the 6th century BC. Witness the Tomb of the Harpies whose reliefs were taken by the British in 1838 and the sculpted tombs that can be found in the necropolis.
Continue into the mountains to the village of Yayla where lunch will be served in a local house. We’ll then make the two-hour drive to Kas, a charming Mediterranean fishing village with narrow, cobbled streets, a Roman amphitheater and plenty of handicraft boutiques. There are great restaurants to select from, with dinner this evening at your own expense.
Begin the day with a snorkel in the crystal clear waters at Aperlae to explore its sunken ruins, then visit the beautiful area of Kekova. Walk through two of its small fishing villages and visit a crusader castle, which boasts spectacular views across the bay. We’ll then visit Tersane where you may opt to snorkel over its sunken city walls, which were submerged around 2,000 years ago.
Begin the day with a hearty breakfast before an optional sea kayak along the sunken island of Kekova. Spend the day swimming, walking or sunbathing, with plenty of time to soak up the spectacular surrounding scenery and its natural wonders.
Flight to Istanbul
We’ll say goodbye to our yacht in the morning and travel from Üçağız to the airport in Dalaman. From here, we’ll board a return flight to Istanbul, with time to explore the city during the late afternoon before we meet for a farewell dinner.
Return Home or Extend Your Trip in Istanbul Cappadocia
After breakfast at the hotel, it’s time to head to the airport for your flight home or you may opt for an extension to Cappadocia (see below).
*Cappadocia Extension: If you only have time to visit one other region of Turkey, Cappadocia should be high on your list. Home to fascinating rock formations, underground cities and fresco- filled monasteries, its evocative history and natural splendor linger long in the memories of all who visit.
Dates & Rates
|Dates||Adult (USD)||Child (USD)|
|Sep 19, 2023 to Sep 29, 2023||$5,750£0€0$0$0||$2,750£0€0$0$0|
6-8 People = $6250/person*
9-12 people = $5750/person*
*Prices based on double occupancy in hotels and on yacht.
Single Supplement Yacht: $975
Single Supplement Hotel: $375
Local Air: We will arrange and buy the domestic flights within Turkey from Istanbul to Izmir and from Dalaman to Istanbul. The cost is $170 (Subject to change) and will be billed with your trip invoice.
TRIP COST INCLUDES:
- Accommodations in hotels/shared yacht cabins
- All meals included except one dinner
- Expert leadership of a local Turkish guide.
- All entrance fees to historic sites and museums
- Sea kayaking excursion as described in Kekova
- A glass or two of wine or beer with dinner. You are welcome to bring your own liquor on board as well.
- Non-alcoholic beverages on board (water, juice, soda, etc.)
- Full yacht staff including captain, sailor, deckhand and cook
- Airport arrival transfers and departure transfers on Day 11 to/from Istanbul Ataturk Airport (airport code IST)
TRIP COST DOES NOT INCLUDE
- International airfare, internal flight
- Transfers for independent arrival or departure, or to/from any airport other than Istanbul Ataturk
- Airport departure taxes
- Additional hotel nights that may be necessary due to airline schedule changes or other factors
- Travel Protection Plan (Travel Insurance)
- Pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations (if any), passports, visas, etc.
- Other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).
- Optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff