“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.