Walking and Cruising the Carian Coast
Tour Guide: Serdar Akerdem
8 DAYS £2,225 / Single Supplement: £615
“One of the 100 best holidays for 2015”
- The Sunday Times
“One of the 10 best new active trips for 2015 / One of the 50 best new trips for 2015”
- Wanderlust magazine
A brand new tour that combines a cruise along this beautiful and undeveloped coast with walks along the recently opened Carian Trail, one of Turkey’s most spectacular footpaths. With its herb-lined paths, traditional villages and hills swathed in pine, Turkey’s newest long-distance walking route, some 500 miles long, will give you a real sense of remote, undiscovered Turkey. You’ll follow some of its very best stretches, averaging about 5-6 miles walking a day with a traditional gulet ever present offshore, providing elegant transport, dining and accommodation.
Aboard our traditional and stylish Turkish gulet, our ever changing horizon is a wild, remote and mountainous landscape cut into long peninsulas, deep inlets, and secluded coves, perfect places for swimming, snorkelling or kayaking.
On foot we will be able to discover many remote archaeological sites and wonders, like Hydas an ancient town perched on a hill top; the ghost village of Karamaka, abandoned by its Greek inhabitants during the exchange of populations in 1923; and Sogut, one of the most romantic and picturesque areas on the Turkish coast. From shepherds’ trails to forest tracks, goat paths to ancient roads, we’ll be walking back through time with beautiful views at every turn.
You’ll come across seemingly lost Byzantine churches in dramatic settings, Ottoman cisterns in forgotten valleys, and a myriad of ancient tombs. This stretch of coast has been a vital and strategic thoroughfare throughout history and the wealth of archaeological sites is testament to its importance. You’ll explore beautifully preserved Knidos, a monumental marbled city arranged around a double harbour, one of the greatest archaeological gems on Turkey’s southwest coast. You’ll also encounter a great many sites like Theangela and Phoenix that have yet to be properly studied, yet to receive any excavation or detailed survey. More often than not we’ll be the only people exploring the historic ruins on our journey.
This tour weaves together a cornucopia of simple pleasures: magnificent sites, quiet coves, wondrous walks and glorious swims. As with all our gulet cruises in Turkey, delicious Turkish food is a key component. We’ll enjoy beautiful lunches and dinners freshly prepared on-board by the gulet’s cook, delicious picnics amongst ancient ruins and sumptuous meals at traditional local restaurants.
From rocky coastal paths and wooded paths cushioned with pine needles to stepped roads cut into the bedrock by ancient hands, this is a trip packed full of fascinating antiquities, superb swim stops and breath-taking panoramas.
Day 1: Our boat is about 2 hours away from Dalaman airport, in Marmaris. Welcome drink and dinner.
Day 2: A chance to relax, unwind and swim as we cruise south. In the afternoon we walk through pine clad hills and discover the ruins of a Byzantine church, an isolated standing stone and the ancient city of Amos perched on a rocky headland. Beautiful views abound.
Day 3: We continue south and swim in a turquoise bay. We head inland and walk to the pretty hamlet of Söğüt enjoying wide panoramas across peninsulas and to the Greek Island of Symi. After a splendid lunch at a local restaurant we walk to the ancient hill top town of Phoenix along roads cut into the bedrock over 2,000 years ago to re-join our gulet in an idyllic cove.
Day 4: From the ancient harbour of Loryma we walk to the seemingly lost village of Karamaka, occupied by Greeks until the population swap of 1923. On a hill gazing out to sea stands the ruins of their windmill, churches and houses, among which we picnic. In the afternoon we cruise north and swim in a gorgeous bay.
Day 5: Heading inland we climb to a magnificent monumental tomb then hike up into the hills to explore the ancient city of Hydas. Amid trees on rocky outcrops stand its great fortifications, with vast vistas in all directions and towers, cisterns and a church perched on high. Later we swim and cruise west.
Day 6: We explore Knidos, where decades of digging, still ongoing, have revealed a beautiful and well planned city. Set at the very tip of a peninsula, 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 sea born trade. We continue on foot through splendid landscapes and ancient ruins to a beautiful bay where we re-join our gulet to swim and cruise north.
Day 7: A delightful walk via picturesque villages to the little known ancient hill top city of Theangela. From its magnificent defences, housing a giant cistern, there are spectacular views in all directions. A final chance to swim before cruising west to Bodrum.
Day 8: Transfer to Bodrum airport, about 40 minutes away.
Further information about the Walking
Unlike our standard gulet cruises, there is a significant amount of walking on our Walking and Cruising the Carian Coast tour in Turkey. We believe that’s a key part of its appeal. The walks we do are for the most part sections of The Carian Trail, one of Turkey’s most recent national footpaths, and widely regarded as one of the best hiking trails in the world for its combination of stunning vistas, scenery, and the archaeological sites that litter the way.
Please be aware that the terrain is often uneven, rocky, and rugged, and a number of the paths are carpeted with loose stones underfoot. You do need to be fit with a good sense of balance. There are some long stretches of uphill and downhill walking. It’s certainly not a walk in the park, but ropes and crampons aren’t required! You do need to be used to hiking off the beaten track and in places the path may pass through some prickly undergrowth.
Across the week, the average distance is about 5-6 miles a day (an average of about 2/3 hours in addition to any site visits), but it’s not really the distance that you need to bear in mind, but the terrain. We take all the walks at a leisurely pace, with some wonderful sites and great swims thrown in for good measure. Some of the walks are shorter than the average and others longer and some involve a significant amount of uphill walking. We will enjoy some meals off the boat including picnics amidst the ruins at ancient sites. Of course the beauty of being on the gulet, means that it’s perfectly possible for guests to skip a day’s walk if they so wish, and simply relax on the boat. If you fancy putting your feet up and resting for a day, that is perfectly possible. So if you wish to lie back and read a book or have an extra swim, you can.
Arrival and Departure Information
Arrival Airport - Dalaman
Departure Airport - Bodrum
We recommend you arrive at the gulet in Marmaris (approx. 2 hours from Dalaman airport) in the late afternoon/evening on Oct 8th. Disembarkation in Bodrum (approx. 40 minutes from Bodrum airport) is around 09:00 on Oct 15th. We will arrange local transfers from Dalaman airport at the start of the tour, and to Bodrum airport at the end of the trip.
Guests can board the gulet after 17:00 on the first day. 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 until late afternoon making everything ready for your group.
If you are staying in or connecting via Istanbul then the easiest way to get to and from the gulet is to fly. There are a number of airlines that offer domestic flights in Turkey such as Turkish Airlines. Turkish Airlines has a wide selection of flights on these days and there are alternative flights to and from Istanbul with some of Turkey’s low cost airlines such as Atlas Jet, and Onur Air. The cheapest way to book flights is directly with the airline online.
Please note: Flights are subject to change. Please contact the airline for exact details.
If you prefer to book with a travel agent, we are happy to recommend specialists in a number of countries around the world, please contact our office for more details.
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 are easily obtained online at eVisa and must be purchased before you travel.
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.
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.