Cruising the Carian Coast
“One of the best educational cruises” - The Sunday Times
This gulet trip interweaves the magic of the Turkish coast with three awe inspiring Greek islands. We cruise on our beautiful 8-cabin boat west from Göcek, to Bodrum, ancient Halicarnassus, site of the Mausoleum, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
On this escorted tour we visit some of the greatest archaeological gems on Turkey’s southwest coast: Kaunos with its exquisite rock-cut temple tombs, and beautifully preserved Knidos, a monumental marbled city arranged around a double harbour. As well as these celebrated sites where excavations have been going on for decades, we visit ancient towns like Phoenix and Lydae, set in remote and beautiful locations, that remain completely untouched.
We’ll also travel to visit one of the best preserved medieval cities in the world, Rhodes, (a powerhouse in antiquity too) and the neighbouring Greek islands of Symi, decked out in the finest neo-classical style and Halki, with its pretty harbour and great medieval castle.
This archaeological tour weaves together a cornucopia of simple pleasures: magnificent sites, quiet coves, wondrous walks, breathtaking vistas and glorious swims. As with all our gulet cruises in Turkey, delicious Turkish food is a key component.
Taking a tour on a traditional Turkish gulet, our ever changing horizon is a wild, remote and mountainous landscape cut into long peninsulas, deep inlets, secluded coves and pine-fringed fjords. Exploring this unspoilt coast, we rediscover the ancient realm of Mausolus, ruler of Caria, 2400 years ago (whose tomb, the Mausoleum was considered one of the seven ancient wonders of the world). With such rich and strategically vital cities, the area was a crossroads of civilisations. Alexander the Great liberated it from Persia, Rhodes sought to carve it into an empire, and the legacy of Crusader castles still speaks of the epic battle between Christianity and Islam.
A tour in Turkey and Greece designed to inspire and relax in equal measure.
Day 1: Our gulet is about 30 minutes from Dalaman airport at Göcek, a pretty harbour beneath mountains on the Bay of Fethiye, on Turkey’s Mediterranean shore. Welcome drink and dinner on board.
Day 2: We sail to the beautiful inlet of Ağlımanı and walk up an ancient track to the city of Lydae, set in a forgotten valley filled with the tinkle of goat bells.
Day 3: Heading west we take a boat through a lagoon into the reed lined Dalyan River to see the city of Kaunos. Its monumental public buildings, surrounding a silted up harbour, speak of its once great wealth and fame.
Day 4: South to the Greek island of Rhodes. We step back in time to visit the acropolis of this once powerful and dynamic ancient city. We’ll explore its small theatre, stadium, and the temple of Apollo.
Day 5: The medieval city of Rhodes, built by the Knights Hospitaller, is now a living breathing world heritage site. We’ll wander through the moat beneath mighty fortifications, to the Palace of the Grandmaster with its splendid archaeological museum. Time to shop and explore the streets of the old town.
Day 6: On to the little island of Halki where we’ll stroll around its picturesque little harbour town, decked out with fine neo-classical architecture, and then discover its great medieval castle.
Day 7: We sail on to the Greek island of Symi, to savour the magnificent architecture and local cuisine.
Day 8: Back in Turkish waters, we head to Loryma, a magnificent Rhodian fortress guarding a strategic bay.
Day 9: We head inland to explore Phoenix, a wild and remote citadel city, with beautiful landscapes and grand vistas all around.
Day 10: West to spectacular Knidos, where decades of digging, still ongoing, have revealed a beautiful and well planned ancient city, one of the most beautiful in Turkey. Set at the very tip of a sinuous peninsula, this was a city built for maritime trade, and famed for its fabled first statue of a nude goddess: Praxiteles’ Aphrodite.
Day 11: A day of leisure as we sail along a beautiful pine clad coast. Plenty of time to swim and relax in an area known as the Seven Islands.
Day 12: Languidly on to the head of the Ceramic gulf, to wander through the ruins of old Cedreae situated on Cleopatra’s Island. The site is strewn with the remains of Byzantine churches together with an ancient theatre almost hidden by olive trees.
Day 13: Inland on a long excursion to two of the most evocative of sites. First Stratonikeia, with its stunning gymnasium, then Lagina, where we picnic in the sanctuary of the underworld goddess Hekate.
Day 14: A last chance to swim as we set sail west, to explore Halicarnassus, Mausolus’s great capital city, on the south west tip of Turkey. A final opportunity to shop, and a fitting end to this inspirational archaeological tour of southwest Turkey.
Day 15: Transfer from our gulet to Bodrum airport, about 40 minutes away.
This is a previous tour itinerary. However, we can offer it as a private tour. Please see our Gulet Charters page for more information.