Family tours: Adventure family holidays
Our family tours in Turkey, Greece, and Italy are designed to be relaxing and stimulating, fascinating and fun. Like our other escorted tours they are cultural gulet cruises and led by an expert guide. Visits to ancient sites will take you and your children deep into the past. You’ll explore the world of the Greeks and Romans in colourful detail: from what they ate to how they built temples, from what their loos were like to how they were treated at the doctors. All this and more in places boasting some of their finest artistic and architectural glories.
Alongside our archaeological adventures, there is the cruise itself aboard a beautiful traditional Turkish gulet. Our gulet holidays offer plenty of opportunities for families with children to swim, kayak or snorkel in azure seas, to lie back and read as the world goes by, and to enjoy delicious home-cooked food. When we hike off into the hills, we’re almost certain to see goats, tortoises, and creepy crawlies, and while at sea there is always the chance we’ll see some dolphins!
“I went on my first family gulet cruise with Peter in June 2006 when I was 13. Six years on and two other cruises later (meaning that I had covered almost all of southern Turkey on a boat with Peter, his family and the gulet’s crew), I have just heard that in October I will head off to study archaeology at Cambridge University. Peter’s enthusiasm and wonderful way of explaining the sites we visited sparked an interest that continues (obviously) to the present day. Thanks Peter for getting me hooked on archaeology - any chance of a job when I finish?!”
Kate Wilson, Cambridge, UK
We started organising expert-led cultural gulet cruises for families after clients asked us to create tours where they could bring their children and grandchildren. We’ve loved putting them on and when Peter himself has led family tours, his family including wife, Elin, and children have come too.
When are our adventure family holidays?
We usually offer scheduled family tours to coincide with the May and October half term holidays in the UK as well as one in the summer months. Visit our Escorted tours page to see the dates of all our trips. We also create family tours and private gulet yacht charters to order, so if you would like us to create an adventure family holiday for you in Turkey, Greece, or Italy please get in touch. We’ll be delighted to help.
What the adults have to say
“After 2 wonderful family gulet cruises in Turkey with Peter Sommer Travels we thought it might be hard to repeat the magic - we needn’t have worried. Sailing to Ephesus was the best of them all. The 5 kids with us loved it and still talk about it as one big adventure. Hats off again to Peter who manages effortlessly to hold adults and children entranced with his evocative narratives.”
Andy Wilson, London, UK – travelled with us on adventure family holidays in Turkey in 2006, 2007 and 2009.
“For us the most enjoyable aspect of the holiday was that it was a mix of sailing, swimming, relaxing conversation and eating and enjoying Turkish food along with the cultural and historical experience with Peter. The balance ensured that there was no boredom or for the holiday to go stale. It is one of those holidays that will stay in our memory forever. Thank you again for a wonderful travel experience - we thoroughly enjoyed the trip and we will unhesitatingly recommend it to others.”
Alan, Wendy and Hugo Smith, Surrey, UK - travelled with us on a Ceramic Gulf Private Charter in Turkey, 2007
“we had the most fantastic time on board the gulet in Turkey and thoroughly enjoyed the company, your expertise and the entire archaeological tour on the Lycian coast. It was unanimous that it was one of our top holidays we have ever taken as a family and that is saying a lot because these last few years we have been doing a lot of traveling! Many thanks for the amazing adventure.”
Suzy Lautze, Oregon, USA - travelled with us on a family tour in Turkey in 2008, and then on a family holiday in Greece in 2009.
“Mixing one family with young twins, with another with four children, with another with two teenagers, on a boat for a week does not sound like a recipe for a happy relaxing holiday - but it was. We swam and played in beautifully warm water, ate wonderful Turkish food and saw the most amazing sights. Michael, our tour leader, managed to keep us all in line and organised with great style. He was a most informed and interesting guide. Thank you everyone for a great holiday in Turkey, we would love to come back one day.”
Sally Jones, Wiltshire, UK - travelled with us on our Ceramic Gulf family tour in Turkey, 2009.
“Our family had been looking forward to travelling with Peter Sommer Travels for years. Finally the kids were old enough, and we went....and it was everything we dreamed it would be and more. Relaxing, educational, a gorgeous boat, the most delicious food, beautiful scenery, and we made such good friends. Now my two boys want to be archaeologists when they grow up! To say they got a lot out of the trip would be a massive understatement – it was THE educational experience of a lifetime! We can’t wait to come back for another trip!”
Rochelle Benning, California, USA - travelled with us on our Halicarnassus to Didyma gulet cruise and family tour in Turkey, 2011.
Our two are seldom in such agreement about vacations whether it is destinations, climate or type of adventure. The gulet cruise though was number one with them both. To create such an environment about which two teenagers raved and which their parents were just as enthusiastic is quiet an accomplishment.
Donna Rohling, Georgia, USA - travelled on our July Family Tour - Cruising the Carian Coast, 2011
“I can’t think of anything to improve. This was a wonderful trip for our family, especially for our children. The Turkish people LOVE children, so having them with us allowed us to connect with Turks in a way we never could have as an adult couple.”
Jill Horwitz, California, USA - travelled with us on a Cruising Western Lycia Private Charter, June 2013
What the kids have to say
“This trip was my favorite trip I have ever taken, my favorite part was swimming in the ocean and just hanging out and relaxing also the food was amazing like having stuff I had never had and then it was just melt in your mouth, it felt like I was in heaven or an amazing dream”.
Matt Lautze - aged 11
“That trip was amazing. The food, the sights, and my favorite part was the swimming! Jumping off the boat into the crystal clear water. I also loved dropping the anchor and swimming in a cove all day. Then, after each day of sailing, swimming, sightseeing, and hiking, you get to lay down on your comfy bed and get a good night’s sleep”.
Grant Lautze - aged 8
“The scenery we saw on our travels was stunning. The food and the sailing; the adventure and many swimming opportunities were all utterly brilliant. The sea was warm and really clear. I loved the snorkelling and kayaking. Learning about the rich history of the Carian coast was also really fascinating and was explained so well by our excellent guide. This is the best travel of its kind without a doubt and I hope to do it again! Soon, please. :-)”
Alex Chapman - aged 10
“I loved the French toast and all the food. I loved the ancient cities, especially the creepy parts. I loved the rocking of the boat, I SUPER LOVED the underwater museum. I liked driving the gulet, our guide became my best friend in Turkey, and the crew was really nice to me everyday. The best part was climbing through the hatches to get in and out of the boat—it was my secret way to get in and out. The kayak and beaches were really cool. When I grow up I’m going to be an underwater archaeologist and carry my own spear gun to protect all the ruins.”
Ben Roesler - aged 6
“Driving the gulet was amazing, and the kayaking was really fun. Heinrich and the crew were really nice and the boat was the most beautiful boat I’ve ever seen. The food was good and I met a really wonderful friend my age on the trip. I really really want to go on another gullet cruise. It was the best time of my life, and I even learned a few things.”
William Roesler - aged 9
“It was absolutely my favorite vacation of all times. It was like a cruise ship without all the people. Heinrich and Cem related to us one on one and made the history come alive and be interesting when we went to different sites each day. The water was beautiful and the snorkeling was the best. The meals were served like clock work and the chef cooked wonderful food we liked. Hopefully, we will be taking another gulet cruise this summer around Greece.”
Genny Rohling - aged 14
“My experience on the gulet equals one of the best family vacations we ever took. The water for swimming everyday was always perfect. There was plenty of time to be ashore and learn really interesting things from Heinrich, who was like a walking encyclopaedia, and yet have plenty of time to Kayak and swim and still get in a nap. The crew served great food and were great guys. Both my sister and I agree, we want to go again this summer!”
Trip Rohling - aged 16
“The ship was good and I liked having my own cabin. The breakfast was really awesome and I enjoyed eating sitting on the gulet in the open warm air. The crew was always there and helpful and really good and playful with kids. The sites were so much bigger than I expected and I liked rummaging round for artefacts amongst the stones. I never saw quite so many lizards by the way!”
Max Bryan - aged 13
Picture Gallery: Take a look at our Family Tours Photo Gallery
Why choose one of our family vacations?: here’s 10 reasons - find out.
Family tours: To see dates and itineraries of our family tours please see our full schedule of escorted tours.