Beginning and ending in Bodrum, ancient Halicarnassus, birthplace of Herodotus, this archaeological gulet cruise and cultural escorted tour in Turkey visits some of the country’s prettiest and most interesting sites.
The highlights are plentiful: from the small harbour of Myndos, where Cassius moored after murdering Caesar, to Iasos, a wealthy port, famed for its fish market and red marble. Iasos’ past vitality is revealed by the splendid ruins that litter the site – from the colonnaded agora to the Roman villa decked with mosaics.
Travelling inland we see two impressive temples, the elegant shrine to Zeus at Euromus, and the gargantuan temple of Apollo at Didyma, one of the very biggest in ancient Greece.
A holiday aboard a traditional Turkish gulet is simply the best way to explore this historic coast studded with beautifully preserved ruins. While at sea there are plenty of coves for swimming, snorkelling and relaxing. Like all our gulet cruises in Turkey, scrumptious Turkish food is an integral part of the vacation.
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Day 1: Our boat is about 40 minutes from Bodrum airport, in the city’s amphitheatre style harbour. Welcome drink and dinner aboard.
Day 2: A chance to relax as we cruise west around the Bodrum Peninsula past the Greek island of Kos, to a quiet bay opposite Yalikavak.
Day 3: We cruise north east to moor in the pretty harbour of ancient Iasos, where archaeological excavations are revealing a vital and beautiful classical city.
Day 4: We head inland to the temple of Zeus at Euromus, one of the best preserved in Asia Minor, and located amidst a beautiful olive grove. Then on into the mountains to Labraunda, Caria’s most sacred sanctuary, site of the great oracular shrine to Zeus Labraundus.
Day 5: A morning to relax and cruise. In the late afternoon we head inland from Altinkum’s golden beach to visit Miletus, one of the most significant Ionian sites, with its vast theatre, baths, and brooding atmosphere, and its most important sanctuary, the colossal and awe-inspiring oracular temple of Apollo at Didyma.
Day 6: A gentle cruise to the pretty coastal village of Gümüslük, ancient Myndos; where excavations have recently started. The scant ruins offer a glimpse of this once bustling fortified harbour.
Day 7: A last chance to swim as we cruise south east to explore Halicarnassus, site of the Mausoleum, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and the castle of St Peter, now one of the most important museums of underwater archaeology. A chance for some last minute shopping.
Day 8: Transfer from our gulet to Bodrum airport, some 40 minutes away.