Oct 29 to Nov 11, 2024
$ 6,325 (based on double occupancy) Includes all breakfasts, 9 lunches and 7 dinners Accomodations in 4* hotels and Boat All guided excursions, entrance fees, all ground transport and transfers, Meet and greet at the airport in Istanbul and porterage in and out of the hotels
NEW : NO FEE FOR CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS !
Depart the USA on Tuesday Oct 29 and arrive Istanbul on Wednesday October 30, our representative will meet you at the airport, transfer to your 4 Star hotel Bank or similar Free evening.
Thu Oct 31 : Meet with your guide at the hotel reception desk for a tour of Istanbul's historic district. The tour will include the Chora Church, Spice Bazaar, The Suleymanie Mosque, Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern and Topkapi Palace with its harem and treasury
Fri Nov 1 : This morning you will visit the Beylerbeyi Palace as well as the Sabanci Museum before visiting the European and Asian side of the Bosphorus.
Meals B, L
Morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Izmir. Enjoy a wonderful guided tour of the World famous Ephesus Archeological site. Transfer to Bodrum where you will board your luxurious private yacht. Set sail across the gulf of Gokova to the site of Knidos in Greece, famous in antiquity for the cult of Aphrodite, this Dorian city was built on terraces rising to the acropolis and was known as one of the most beautiful cities of ancient Greece. Overnight onboard.
Overnight : M/S Fortuna
Sail into the Gulf of Hisaronu with a mountainous coastline that offers numerous anchorages within. Stretching for 30 nautical miles into the Aegean Sea between the Greek Islands of Kos and Rhodes, this gulf provides a sailing paradise with late morning winds and deep blue seas with secluded coves, rugged mountains as a backdrop, and small tranquil villages.
Aktur Bay is the narrowest part of the peninsula basically two spheres of water held at bay by a slim slice of land. The Persian army back in 550BC (Xerxes and the 300) built a tunnel so he could connect directly to the Gulf of Gokova to speed up his fleets attacking capabilities. Today Aktur Bay is a vision of beauty and one of the most beloved bays of the Turkish Coast.
Bencik Bay resembles a miniature fjord. The inlet extends inland about 1.5 nautical miles and has steep wooded slopes on either side. Bencik is located at the one of the narrowest part of the peninsula that divides the Hisaronu Gulf from the Gokova Gulf.
Bozburun is a picturesque fishing village with some amazing boutique hotels, cafes, bars and restaurants all serving local cuisine using the freshest sea food and locally farmed produce. It also has small shops and boutiques. It is used to be the center of sponge diving along the Turkish coast, but nowadays locals here earn their living in a much less dangerous way by building the typical broad-beamed wooden gulets.
Depart for the Bay of Bozukkale, which means ‘broken castle’ as one side of the castle is missing. The entrance to the bay is guarded by an ancient citadel 350 meters long and 30 meters wide. In ancient times it was known as the city of Loryma and throughout history this port was used by the Greek navy forces during Peloponnese Sea. The Colossus, at nearby Rhodes, was built to celebrate the defeat of Antigonus’ invasion force in 305 B.C. It was in Bozukkale Bay that the invasion fleet was assembled. Hike up to the ruins for some spectacular views of the Greek Islands of Simi and Rhodes.
Gerbekse Bay, otherwise known as the “Pregnant Church” in English, finds its name from the remnants of a Byzantine church that looks over this beautiful small bay.
In the Bay of Kadirga there is an absence of any structures, buildings or much signs of life at all, except for the boats and yachts that come into the bay to anchor and relax. A great place to swim and the water here is clean the bay is surrounded by small cliff like rock formations giving the bay shelter and a feel of seclusion. The history of the bay is sketchy but we know it was a small fishing port and also a snug hideaway for Barbary pirate ships in the 17th century as were many of the bays and coves along the southern coast of turkey.
Cruise to the remote Bay of Ekincik to visit Dalyan, a fishing village located on the Calbis River. The sandy Istuzu Beach is now the last breeding ground for the pre- historic Loggerhead turtle.
A trip by fishing boat takes you past the remarkable river scenery, once the backdrop for the film ‘The African Queen’, to the awe-inspiring cliff tombs and ancient city of the Caunians. One of the most beautiful features of the site is the rock tombs sculpted in the form of the porticoes of small Ionic temples. These are among the most splendid examples of Lycian type funerary architecture in Turkey, although the builders were Carians. The original occupants of the tombs are obscure but are assumed to have been Caunian noblemen and rulers; in most cases they were vacated and reused in Roman times. The largest one is unfinished, providing a curious glimpse of the method of construction. The prosperity of Caunos was threatened by the silting of the harbor after which the city was eventually abandoned. The Mediterranean, which once surrounded the hill on which archaeological site stands, has now retreated 5 km. to the south, pushed back by silt from the Dalyan River. The marsh which formed appears to have already been a problem for the harbor activities in Strabon times.
The border between the sea and the internal marsh is a long narrow beach called ‘Turtle’s Beach’. This beach is one of the few remaining locations in the Mediterranean Sea that has the right conditions for the Giant Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta Caretta) to reproduce. The Giant Loggerhead Turtles have used this beach as a laying ground since time immemorial, especially in June. The females lay their eggs by night in the soft sand, in clutches of about 100. Since the early 90’s the beach is closed to the public from 8 pm to 8 am to protect them. The beach is open during the day but swimmers and sunbathers are asked to exercise special care.
The port town of Marmaris, also known as Paradise Bay, is proud of its four-kilometer waterfront, filled with shops, cafes and restaurants. It is a world renowned Turkish holiday resort and coastal town. The name means “Turquoise Coast” and it’s aptly named. Pine - clad mountains serve as the towns back drop and the harbor is filled with palm trees, greenery, flowers and multi-colored hotels as a backdrop. Marmaris is a natural harbor and is rich in history and steeped in ancient culture.
Serce Limani has an amazing sheltered harbor and pristine clear waters. The area is steeped in ancient history and many of the local finds are now housed in Bodrum’s underwater archelogy museum. The bay cuts deeply in to the land offers perfect places for anchorage and is very popular among sailors because of its wild, romantic charm. This is a stunning, get-away-from-it-all bay with just the noise of the goats climbing the steep slopes surrounding the bay. No road, no cars no electricity just nature.
Early morning set sail to picturesque resort of Datça. Enjoy a stroll through town, which offers some lovely shopping and cafés. Renowned for its natural beauty and climate, this town provides a window into the life of rural Turkey of 50 to 100 years ago. Village life is still based on agriculture, fishing, and the building of the gulet (the traditional 2-masted Turkish wooden sailing vessel). Pine, oak, and myrtle filled mountains plunge down to a serene beach and two natural harbors. Datca’s Kumluk Yolu (Sandy Way) isn’t sandy at all. It’s a pedestrianized cobbled way that lines the coast and the Datça beaches. Along the main stretch, it is lined with restaurants, many of which make their presence felt by filling the route with vibrantly colored flowerpots.
Eski Datca is home of the late Turkish poet, Can Yücel, one Turkey’s most famous poets. Eski Datça is all about stone houses, narrow alleyways, pretty gardens and bougainvillea-clad walls. It is a village with a sense of age, depicting the traditional Turkish lifestyle hundreds of years ago and its unique charm. Nearby is the Resadiye Mosque, inherited from the Seljuks period. It has been beautifully restored and is well worth seeing.
Mersincik Bay is a stunning bay where the sea bed is shallow making the waters here seem extra turquoise. Located at the far end of the Datca Peninsula in the Gulf of Gokova, this bay has been protected from all forms of tourism, the perfect bay in which to relax surround by fragrant pine-forested hillsides and soft breezes.
Year round balmy temperatures, international marinas, elegant boutiques, chic cafés and night clubs and a variety of delightful dining experiences attract many to the lively Bodrum harbor. The 15th century Crusader castle, the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, and the Mausoleum of Halikarnassos, one of Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, add an historical dimension to this resort.
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Nevsehir
Arrive Nevsehir in the late afternoon. Overnight and Dinner at the Yunak House Hotel. Optional evening entertainment : Wherling Dervishes
The Yunak Evleri is a luxurious hotel carved into a mountain cliff, and includes six cave houses, 30 rooms dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries and a 19th century Greek Mansion, with a peaceful balance between modern comfort and tradition. The rooms have been decorated with care and in their own distinct style, strictly respecting the local character. The decor is elegant and personalized with beautiful hand-crafted furnishings and antiques
OPTIONAL BALLOON RIDE OVER THE CAPPADOCIAN VALLEYS (supplement)
Start the morning at dawn with a hot air balloon ride. There are over 30 take-off sites in the area... once airborne the balloon will travel free with the wind... The flight lasts one hour and includes both low contour flying and also going high enough to view the whole landscape from above. At the end enjoy a celebration with breakfast and champagne served right at the landing spot!. Return to the hotel for a nap.
Later on this morning, visit the underground city of Kaymakli, a troglodyte cave-city excavated as early as Hittite times that consists of 8 floors below ground, only 4 of them are open to the public today, in which the spaces are organized around ventilation shafts.
Afterwards head to Sinassos, a small town inhabited by Greek Orthodox families until the beginning of the 20th century where you will enjoy a lovely lunch at the old Greek House, a fine old building that has not been restored, one that looks much like it did during the last days of residency of its original Ottoman Greek family. This is such a place. Your private meal will be served in the upper rooms, Turkish-style (sitting on the floor around a circular table).
This afternoon, visit the Pasabag valley which contains some of the most striking fairy chimneys (remarkable earth pillars) in Cappadocia with twin and even triple rock caps. This style is unique even for Cappadocia and these fairy chimneys are named mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys. A chapel dedicated to St. Simeon, and a hermit’s shelter is built into one of the fairy chimneys.. You will then head to the small town of Avanos, set on the banks of the Red River, which provides the clay for pottery the town is famous for. Enjoy a kick-wheel demonstration by a local potter. End the day at Seten restaurant with outstanding food. The atmosphere is created by a very sophisticated collection of local objects and antiques. They prepare the meals at their brick oven and the scent of wood and roasted meat coming from it, awakens your appetite. It is a unique Anatolian dining experience.
Depart after breakfast for the airport for your return flight or transfer to your next destination.