A fantastic walking and hiking tour that combines a cruise along this beautiful and undeveloped coast with walks along the Carian Trail, one of Turkey’s most spectacular footpaths. With its herb-lined paths, atmospheric ruins and hills swathed in pine and olive, this epic hiking 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 Amos an ancient town perched on a splendid headland; the ghost village of Karamaka, abandoned by its Greek inhabitants during the exchange of populations in 1923; and Loryma, 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 Lydae 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 hikes 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.
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Day 1: Your gulet awaits you in the harbour of historic Bodrum, about 40 minutes from Bodrum airport. Home to an impressive Crusader castle and the site of the ancient Mausoleum of Halicarnassus it is a truly appropriate place to begin.
Day 2: Our first voyage takes us to a beautiful bay to the south of Bodrum, where we head ashore and hike through splendid landscapes, ancient ruins and magnificent seascapes aplenty, to the spectacular Greek and Roman city of Knidos. Set at the tip of a long and sinewy peninsula, 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. 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. We re-join our gulet, anchored in the Knidos’s eastern harbour, like many a classical predecessor, with the ancient city all around us.
Day 3: We head east through the necropolis of Knidos, one of the most extensive of antiquity, stretching some 7km beyond the city gates. Hiking along the hills, with gorgeous views out towards several of Greece’s Dodecanese islands, we reach the famed Lion tomb of Knidos, perched atop a small headland jutting out to sea. Excavated by Sir Charles Newton in 1858, the colossal marble lion that once graced the apex of the tomb is now one of the highlights of the British Museum. In the afternoon we cruise east for splendid swimming opportunities.
Day 4: We go ashore in a remote bay and walk up to the seemingly lost village of Karamaka, occupied by Greeks until the extraordinary population swap of Christians and Moslems between Greece and Turkey following the First World War. On a hill gazing out to sea and the island of Symi, stand the ruins of windmill, churches and houses. We then hike through wild and beautiful terrain to the ancient harbour of Loryma, a very strategic bay in ancient times, ringed with ruins, where we overnight.
Day 5: This morning we head a short way inland to Phoenix, from an idyllic narrow cove whose waters once covered the shipwreck of a Byzantine vessel filled with glass, revealed in a ground-breaking American excavation. More vessels remain in the sea’s grip beneath. Phoenix itself is a wild and remote citadel city, with beautiful landscapes and grand vistas all around, almost untouched by archaeologists. We hike from Phoenix along roads cut into the bedrock over 2,000 years ago, discovering remarkable pyramidal stones and all manner of ancient ruins as well as abandoned modern houses that utilised ancient inscriptions, statue bases and doorways within their walls. In the afternoon, we cruise north to relax and swim in a delightful bay.
Day 6: In the morning we hike through pine clad hills and past an ancient standing stone to the ancient city of Amos perched on a rocky headland, with wondrous views all around. Ongoing archaeological excavations are revealing Amos, with it lovely little theatre and impressive fortifications, to have been considerably larger than originally thought. In the afternoon we cruise east to the beautiful inlet of Ağlımanı, a perfect place to unwind and swim.
Day 7: We hike up an ancient track, with part of the original road surfacing visible in places, to crest a ridge crowned with monumental tombs. These majestic mausolea, look out towards the Mediterranean Sea and also look over 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. Two thousand years ago, a city flourished here, now it lies beautifully desolate at the hand of earthquakes, leaving mounds of sculpted rubble, a scatter of ancient buildings and, strewn between, a profusion of ancient sculptures and inscriptions, columns and capitals, lying as if they’d never before been found. We hike past olive presses and a profusion of tombs, down a splendid track to a picturesque bay, popularly referred to as Cleopatra’s, which lies on one side of a narrow isthmus that was completely walled off probably some 1,500 years ago. Here we re-join our gulet and enjoy a final swim before heading to our final port of call, the lovely little town of Göcek.
Day 8: Transfer from your gulet to Dalaman airport, about 30 minutes away.
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Arrival and Departure Information
Arrival Airport – Bodrum (Milas)
Departure Airport – Dalaman
Arrival Location – Bodrum Harbour (approx. 40 mins from airport)
Departure Location – Gocek Marina (approx. 30 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.
Further information about the Walking
Unlike our standard gulet cruises, there is a significant amount of hiking on our Walking and Cruising the Carian Coast tour. We believe that’s a key part of its appeal. The walks we do are for the most part sections of the Carian Trail, 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 and there are occasions when the landscape we are passing through can have some prickly vegetation. You do need to be fit with a good sense of balance. There are some long stretches of uphill and downhill hiking. 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.
The trip is designed to ease you in gently. Across the week, the average distance is about 5-6 miles a day (approx 3 hours), but it’s not really the distance that you need to bear in mind, but the terrain. We take all the hikes at a leisurely pace, with some wonderful sites and great swims thrown in for good measure. 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.
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.