Duration: 11 Days/10 Nights
Departures 2013: May 29 (this departure is filling up, don’t miss out!), & Oct 2. Private departures also available.
Departing from: Istanbul, independent arrival at hotel, Day 1
Finishes in: Dalaman airport, morning Day 11
Price 2013: €3,500 based on double occupancy. Single supplement: €450. or, for 1 week boat segment €2,950 based on double occupancy. Single supplement: €380 Pick up from Dalaman airport. Click on the Currency Converter to see the price in your local currency.
Turkey is a must for those who love to travel and discover new lands and cultures. This trip features three days in amazing Istanbul before a short flight to the Mediterranean coast to board our 90-foot all-wood yacht. The yacht serves as our hotel and our transport to access wonderful walks along the coast. We walk and cruise the Turkish coast for a week, and anchor in secluded bays at night. The sea is a gorgeous turquoise, backed by a majestic landscape of soaring mountains and Mediterranean pine forests. Our walking paths are often only accessible by sea, so there is a real sense of exploration as we follow ancient paths to deserted Greek, Roman, and Byzantine ruins. This really is a unique trip, a wonderful combination of stimulating discovery and indulgent relaxation.
(€3,500 Euro for 3 nights Istanbul, 7 nights aboard private yacht. Trip ends at Dalaman International airport.) or (€2,950 for boat segment only, 7 nights aboard private yacht. Trip ends at Dalaman International airport.)
Istanbul – One of the world’s most fascinating cities, Istanbul boasts the Blue Mosque, Santa Sophia, Topkapi Palace, the Grand Bazaar and the Bosphorus. There is so much to see and do here that two full days is only enough to scratch the surface. We have a guided visit of the city to optimize our time and to better understand its rich 2,000-year-old history. We also leave you some free time so you can do some exploring on your own!
Day 1: Arrive in Istanbul, independent check-in at the hotel. We will be staying in the Sultanahmet district, one of Istanbul’s oldest and most fascinating areas. Our first night’s dinner is on a rooftop terrace with spectacular views onto the Blue Mosque and the Santa Sophia church/mosque. Hotel and dinner included.
Day 2: Guided visit of Topkapi Palace, imperial residence of the Ottoman Sultans. We have lunch overlooking the Bosphorus and then walk to the Egyptian Spice Market and Grand Bazaar. Free time in the afternoon to explore on your own or enjoy tea and baklava in a leafy garden. Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
Day 3: This morning we have a guided visit of the spectacular Santa Sophia church, erected 1,500 years ago by Emperor Justinian and once the largest church in the world. Then we descend beneath Istanbul to the vast cisterns that enabled Constantinople to withstand numerous sieges. After lunch we visit the “Little Ayasofia,” precursor to the great Saint Sophia and the oldest church in Istanbul. Then head over to a 400 year old Turkish bath to wash your cares away! Hotel, breakfast and dinner included.
Day 4 – 9:30 Morning transfer to the airport for our 11:50 flight to Dalaman, on the Mediterranean coast. We are met at the airport and have a 20 minute van transfer to Göcek village where we board our yacht. We then cruise out to a secluded bay for a light lunch and a swim. After lunch we drop off at a small bay and hike along the Lydae peninsula. Our destination is Hammam Bay, the Roman baths where Cleopatra once met her beloved Marc Antony en route to battle. We are picked up by the boat and spend the night anchored in a protected bay. Walk: 1.5 hours with shorter options available. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Day 5 – Enjoy a refreshing plunge into the warm waters of the Mediterranean before breakfast on the aft deck. Around 9:30 we start our 2 hour walk to Aliman Bay. We follow an ancient trail that leads from semi-submerged Roman ruins up to a hidden valley, home now to a solitary farmer and his family, but formerly the site of the Roman town of Lydae, whose ruins remain 2,000 years later. We descend along an ancient road to a gorgeous bay where the boat will be waiting for us. Time for a swim, then we have lunch on board and relax as we cruise across the Gulf of Fethiye. We anchor in the lee of Gemiler island, whose Byzantine ruins we explore in the soft glow of the evening light. Formerly a stopping off point along the pilgrimage route to Jerusalem, the island is covered in chapels and tombs dating from the 5th – 8th centuries as well as a mysterious covered walkway. Lunch and dinner on board. Morning Walk: 2.5 hours. Afternoon walk: 1 – 1.5 hours. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Day 6 – Enjoy a morning swim, then we motor to Olü Deniz, one of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful bays. From here we take a van up to the village of Kirme and begin our walk high above the coast. We stop on the way for tea in Faralya village, with great views over dramatic Butterfly Bay, then continue along terraced olive groves and through a pine forest to reach Kabak Bay. Here we have lunch at a small restaurant overlooking the sea and our yacht in the bay below. The afternoon is free for swimming and relaxing. Dinner on board. The Walk: 3 hours, with shorter options available. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Day 7 – Today we go inland to get a glimpse of rural life and to explore the ruins of ancient Lycia while our boat cruises along an exposed bit of coast. Our one-hour transfer along a beautiful back road takes us to Pinara, a Lycian city whose acropolis is perched high on a rocky promontory. The surrounding rock walls are honey-combed with carved rock tombs. We explore the acropolis of this once important Lycian city and marvel at the ruins that date back to the 6th century B.C., including a deserted Greek theater. Lunch is prepared for us by a farming family and served up beneath the shade of their olive trees. After lunch we continue on to the coastal village of Kalkan, where the boat will be waiting for us. Cruise to a lovely calm bay, swim, aperitif, and then dinner. Dinner on board. The Walk: about 2 hours. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Day 8 – After a leisurely morning we cruise out to Aperlae, where you can swim above the sunken remains of the ancient Greek port. We will have time to explore the ruins and then have lunch. Our afternoon walk takes us past Lycian sarcophagi to the extraordinary village of Simena, which is surmounted by a Medieval castle that contains a small Roman theater within its walls. The town spills down the hillside in a jumble of ancient rock tombs, sarcophagi, and white-washed houses. Lunch and dinner on board. Morning Walk: 1 hour. Afternoon walk: 1.5 hours. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Day 9 – We have another relaxing morning of swimming and breakfast on the back deck before a scenic 2 hour cruise to the charming village of Kas. We have two hours to peruse the shops, cafes, and carpet shops of this colorful fishing village. Lunch is back on the boat, anchored amongst a cluster of low rock islands. We then have a two hour cruise to Finaz Liman bay where we tender to the beach for a walk up to an imposing and fascinating Roman aqueduct. We moor for the night in Finaz Liman bay. Lunch and dinner on board. Afternoon Walk: 1.5 hours. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Day 10 – This morning the boat has an early start while we stay nestled in our cabins. We arrive in a calm bay in time for our now ritual swim and breakfast. We get picked up at the beach for a transfer by van to the beginning of our walk which begins along a 2,400 year old Greek road. Our destination is the ghost village of Kayaköy. We explore the eerie remains of the village deserted in 1923 when the entire population left for Greece in an exchange of ethnic populations between Greece and Turkey. We have lunch beneath the shade of enormous plane trees at Sarnic restaurant, which produces delicious and refined Turkish cuisine. Our optional afternoon walk affords dramatic views of the coast as we descend down to the coast and our boat. Dinner on board. Morning Walk: 2.5 hours. Afternoon walk: 1.5 hours, with shorter options available. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Day 11 – A short cruise takes us back to Göçek village, where we disembark around 10:00 am. We transfer you to the airport for your connecting flights to Istanbul, other destinations in Turkey, or international flights to mostly European hubs. Early flights can be accommodated. Breakfast and transfer to the airport is included.
The Boat – There is no better way to travel along this beautiful coast than on a luxurious “gulet.” A gulet is an all-wood, two-masted sailing ketch. These yachts are very broad beamed for extra stability and deck space, and the boats we use range from 26 to 34 meters in length, or 84 to 105 feet. All cabins have an en suite bathroom and shower.The boat allows us to get to parts of the coast that are only accessible by sea. Using a boat means we can unpack for a week and yet our floating hotel has a different view every day! Furthermore, it means that some members of the group can choose to relax on the yacht, enjoy a swim, try sea kayaking, or just lie around on one of the sun beds or in the shade of an awning while the others walk. The crew of four are very friendly and available to serve you drinks and snacks. The crew cleans your cabin daily, and sheets and towels are changed every three days. All of the sea travel is done during the day, so nights are generally serene (no seasickness!).
The Walking: we take paths that are cleared from frequent use by shepherds and local farmers. The terrain is often rocky (hiking shoes are a must), and we do some climbs. We walk anywhere from 2-5 hours a day, with options to extend or shorten the walk. Of course, the boat allows us the option of really relaxing and watching the beautiful coastline unfold as you lie on deck with a good book. The choice is yours.
Food on board: The food is a highlight, with an emphasis on fresh, vegetables and fruit, fish, chicken, beef, and lamb, with a few pastas thrown in for good measure. Turkish “Efes” beer is excellent, especially nice and cold on a sunny deck. Turkish wine is also surprisingly good!
|Qualifications: This trip is rated moderate to easy. We walk on mountain trails with some steep climbs through the countryside. We walk between 10-14 km a day (6-8 miles), or about 3-4 hours a day, more or less equally divided between morning and afternoon.
Trip Cost Includes:ten nights accommodations (3 nights in Istanbul, 7 nights on private yacht); 10 breakfasts and dinners, 9 lunches; 2 days guided visit of Istanbul, including entrance to Topkapi palace and Aya Sophia; at least one Customwalks guide; passage aboard a luxury yacht (all cabins with en suite toilets, showers, and air-conditioning, crew of four); van transfer from Istanbul to Istanbul airport, pick up at Dalaman airport and transfer to Gocek; transfer to Dalaman airport for the flight back to Istanbul; and one way airfare from Istanbul to Dalaman in economy class.
Getting there(this will redirect you to our “Getting to the Trip” page)
Booking: e-mail us to receive a booking contract (or use the “Reservation” page).
Insurance: We highly recommend the purchase of Trip Insurance. We recommend “Travel Guard” to our North American clients, just click on the logo below. Australian, New Zealander, and British travelers, please consult your insurance brokers.
We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime!