Cruising the Carian Coast: from Mediterranean to Aegean offers a marvellous 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 in Göcek, a quiet resort town in a lovely setting on the Gulf of Fethiye 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 the lively harbour of Bodrum, ancient Halicarnassus and the birthplace of Herodotus.
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.
Day 1: Our boat is about 30 minutes from Dalaman airport at Göcek, a pretty harbour on the Bay of Fethiye, on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Welcome drink and dinner on board.
Day 2: We head south 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 3: Cruising west we 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 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 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 6: West 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 7: A last chance to swim as we cruise north to Bodrum itself. In the late afternoon we visit the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and Bodrum’s magnificent Crusader castle, (due to re-open Spring 2019), which now houses one of the finest museums of underwater archaeology in the world. A final opportunity to shop.
Day 8: Transfer to Bodrum airport, about 40 minutes away.
Arrival and Departure Information
Arrival Airport – Dalaman
Departure Airport – Bodrum (Milas)
We recommend you arrive at the gulet in Göcek (approx. 30 minutes from Dalaman airport) in the late afternoon/evening. Embarkation is from 17:00. 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 so you may not be able to settle in to your cabin. Departure time can be subject to change depending on weather, harbour or other conditions.
Disembarkation in Bodrum (approx. 40 minutes from Bodrum airport) is around 09:00. We will arrange local transfers from Dalaman Airport and to Bodrum Airport on the first and last day of the tour.
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.
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.