‘This cruise reminded me why I travel in the first place.’
– The Globe and Mail
‘One of the top 10 food and drink holidays in Turkey.’
– The Telegraph (UK)
Rated One of ‘The World’s Tastiest Cruises’
– The Sunday Times (UK)
So many of our guests have raved about the food served on our gulet cruises in Turkey and asked for recipes, that we decided to create a trip with an even more gastronomic flavour.
Not only will you enjoy all the usual dishes served up by the on-board cook, on this trip you will see demonstrations in small traditional restaurants and get involved in the cooking, conjuring up some of the excellent Turkish dishes you’ll eat. You’ll cook with local Turkish people and prepare regional delicacies.
This is a journey to treat your taste buds, a voyage of discovery through Turkish Mediterranean cuisine. But you won’t miss out on the wider culture. Your specialist guide is steeped in the archaeology, history and culture of Turkey as well as being a foodie with a great passion for Turkish cuisine. He will lead you on a culinary and cultural adventure through one of the least developed and most stunning areas of natural beauty in Turkey.
You’ll explore some of Turkey’s most impressive ancient sites, including monumental wonders like Kaunos with its exquisite rock-cut temple tombs, and beautifully preserved Knidos, a stunning marbled city arranged around a double harbour. You’ll also enjoy some wonderful walks in magnificent scenery and visit ancient towns like Lydae, set in remote and beautiful locations, which remain as yet completely unexcavated.
Our tours receive an average rating of 5 out of 5 from 754 reviews, according to AITO reviews.
Day 1: Our boat is about 30 minutes from Dalaman airport at Göçek, a pretty harbour on the Bay of Fethiye. Welcome dinner on board.
Day 2: We cruise and drop anchor in the beautiful inlet of Ağlımanı and make our ascent by an ancient track. A slow and steady pace is all that is needed to crest the ridge and see monumental tombs standing nearly complete overlooking the Mediterranean Sea below. We’ve arrived at the isolated ancient settlement of Lydae, its ruins a diffusion of sculpture and inscriptions in the bowl of a valley silent but for the occasional tinkle of goat bells. We break bread and have wild sage tea with a local goatherd and see the traditional olive press where he and his family produce the most delicious olive oil. Day 3: We take to a flat-bottomed river boat and make our way up the reed-walled Dalyan River to a small hamlet where we cook and eat with one of the village ladies who prepares food each summer for the archaeological team that works here. We then continue to the ancient city of Kaunos, spread between two great rocky outcrops, some set with tombs cut into the rock. A theatre and opulent public buildings, a late antique church and a castle high above them all strain to gaze ever more steeply over an ancient harbour doomed by silting to pass from busy activity to sit green and silent in testimony to the city’s passing. Day 4: We skirt the Greek island of Symi, travelling south-east preparing some classic local dishes as we go. We drop anchor below the magnificent walls of the fortress at Loryma. Rhodes, the great island sometimes visible off to the south-east, made sustained efforts to control this whole coast, and the catapults once positioned in Loryma’s squat towers provided a powerful means to dominate the fine bay below, then noted for its strategic value, now peaceful enough to provide a glorious spot for a swim. A short walk allows us to explore the spectacular site before dinner when we have the chance to try delicious bread freshly baked in a traditional oven.
Day 5: Along the Datça peninsula to the main county town, Datça. We head inland to visit a small local winery producing a range of lovely wines from vines which thrive in the region. Wine production has been at the heart of the local economy for well over 2,000 years. Knidos, the ancient city we visit tomorrow, produced huge quantities of wine from vineyards stretching throughout the peninsula, transported in locally made amphorae all over the Mediterranean. We’ll savour a variety of wines in a delightful setting and then head into town to have lunch at a traditional lokanta, where you’ll sample a number of classic Turkish dishes. You then have some free time to wander in town before we cruise on for another wonderful swimming opportunity.
Day 6: We head north trying some Turkish recipes which we’ll later have the chance to savour. In the afternoon we reach the spectacular Greek and Roman city of Knidos, on the tip of a long and sinewy peninsula to the south of Bodrum. With a double harbour offering shelter to ships plying north and south, Knidos made its mark on Greek history and grew rich from its stunning natural position, and we’ll see the results in the grand and ordered city rising in tier upon opulent tier. Like many a classical predecessor, we’ll anchor in the eastern harbour, the heart of the ancient city rising above us. Decades of excavation have freed a beautifully planned city from the soil, allowing us to wander through its streets and along terraces festooned with temples to be met with a magnificent view across the Aegean.
Day 7: We cruise along the Carian coast, with stops to swim and relax, before a demonstration of a special local dish in a small family run restaurant. A last chance to swim then on to Bodrum, ancient Halicarnassus, for our final farewell dinner.
Day 8: Transfer to Bodrum airport about 40 minutes away.
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Arrival and Departure Information
Arrival Airport – Dalaman
Departure Airport – Bodrum (Milas)
Arrival Location – Göçek Marina (approx. 30 mins from airport)
Departure Location – Bodrum Harbour (approx. 40 mins from airport)
Embarkation and departure is planned for approx.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 will not be able to settle into your cabin.
If your travel plans or flights do not allow you to arrive before 17:00 we recommend arriving the day before the tour starts. This would also allow time to relax, recover from any jet lag and arrive at the boat on time for embarkation and departure.
If you arrive at the gulet after 17:00, we will do our best to enable you to join the tour at a later time and place.
Please Note: Departure time is subject to change depending on weather, harbour, or other conditions.
Disembarkation is around 09:00. We will arrange local transfers on the first and last day of the tour.
Booking Flights: 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. 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: We consider adequate travel insurance to be essential. You should ensure that you take out a suitable policy, 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: You must check to see if you require a visa to enter Turkey. 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 would be happy to help with suggestions and information and things to see and do. Please get in touch.
Custom Tours: If you are thinking of extending your trip to Turkey to include visits to Cappadocia, Istanbul or further afield, please contact our office for further information.