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Cruising the Carian Coast - from Aegean to Mediterranean

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Cruising the Carian Coast: from Aegean to Mediterranean offers a marvelous combination of superb archaeological sites and a remarkably beautiful maritime landscape – a stretch of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast that so far remains mostly untouched by mass tourism and other modern developments.

Starting from the lively harbour of Bodrum, ancient Halicarnassus, the birthplace of Herodotus, this cruise follows the convoluted shoreline of Caria, made up of deep inlets and long peninsulas forming a complex and diverse geography where land and sea constantly embrace one another. It ends at Göcek, a quiet resort town in a lovely setting on the Gulf of Fethiye.

Along the way, we visit a series of fascinating archaeological sites, each of them with its own story to tell about the past of Caria, a region that often found itself at the intersection of different cultural and political realms, adopting and adapting features from all of them. They include famous ancient cities like Knidos, in a stunningly beautiful peninsular location overlooking twin harbours, and spectacular Kaunos, overlooked by uniquely elaborate rock-cut tombs. But we also get to explore more remote spots, such as the mighty Rhodian fortification at Loryma, one of the best examples of defensive architecture to survive from antiquity, the virtually unknown town, surrounded by evocative grave monuments, and long-forgotten Lydae, hidden away on a wild promontory far away from roads, towns and modern life. 

Along with this engrossing narrative about the fate and deeds of humankind throughout time, the cruise also offers many opportunities to just sit back and enjoy the magnificent scenery, dip into the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean, or stroll through landscapes of unforgettable beauty – a perfect combination of cultural experience and quality time.

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Day 1: Our boat is about 40 minutes from Bodrum airport, in the city’s grand harbour, overlooked by the enormous crusader castle. Welcome drink and dinner aboard. 

Day 2: South to spectacular Knidos, where decades of digging, still ongoing, have revealed a beautiful and well-planned city. Set at the very tip of a long peninsula jutting into the Aegean, her superb double harbour could be accessed from both east and west, providing protection for generations of ships and making her rich from the lucrative seaborne trade.

Day 3: We continue to Loryma where the island state of Rhodes erected a magnificent fortress guarding a strategic bay, to protect itself and its possessions from attack. The site, accessible only by boat, is one of the best-preserved examples of its kind. 

Day 4: We head inland from Serçe Bay, famous for its proliferation of shipwrecks, to explore Phoenix, a wild and remote citadel city, offering great views of the surrounding land- and seascapes. Still barely explored by scholars, Phoenix is a puzzle waiting to be solved.

Day 5: We head eastwards to take a boat through a lagoon and up the reed-lined Dalyan River to the extraordinary ancient city of Kaunos. Its monumental public buildings, surrounding a silted-up harbour, speak of its once great wealth and fame, as do its uniquely elaborate rock-carved Temple Tombs.

Day 6: A leisurely morning cruise to the beautiful inlet of Ağlımanı, from where we will walk up an ancient track to ancient Lydae, shrouded in mystery. Monumental tombs stand on the crest of a hill overlooking a forgotten valley filled with the tinkle of goat bells.

Day 7: A day of pure relaxation as we make our way to the peaceful resort town of Göcek, at the head of the beautiful island-studded Gulf of Fethiye.

Day 8: Transfer from our gulet to Dalaman airport, approximately 30 minutes away. 

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Arrival and Departure Information

Arrival Airport - Bodrum (Milas)
Departure Airport - Dalaman

We plan for the gulet to depart Bodrum harbour around 17:00 on Sep 19th. Embarkation is from 15:30 onwards. You are more than welcome to arrive earlier to drop off your bags, but please be aware that the crew will be busy cleaning and tidying making everything ready for your group. If you arrive to the gulet after 17:00, we will do our best to enable you to join the tour at a convenient time and place. Departure time can be subject to change depending on weather, harbour or other conditions.

Disembarkation in Göcek (approx 30 minutes from Dalaman airport) is around 09:00 on Sep 26th. We will arrange local transfers from Bodrum airport at the start of the tour, and to Dalaman airport at the end of the trip.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is a requirement of our booking conditions and we recommend you investigate the options thoroughly to make sure that your trip is properly covered. Please be advised some insurers may require you to take out a policy within 15-20 days of booking your holiday to receive all of their insurance benefits. If you would prefer not to take out travel insurance please let us know. We would require you to complete and return to us a travel insurance waiver form.

Visas
Visas are easily obtained online at eVisa and must be purchased before you travel.

Istanbul
If you are planning to stay in Istanbul before or after your gulet tour we have included below links to more information and things to see and do.

Istanbul Destination Guide
Istanbul Travel Article

Custom Tours
If you are thinking of extending your trip to Turkey to include visits to Cappadocia, Ephesus, Istanbul or further afield, please contact our office for further information.

This is a previous tour itinerary. However, we can offer it as a private tour. Please see our Gulet Charters page for more information.