Aegean Blue

Aegean Blue

Day 1: Join tour Dalyan Arrive Dalyan and check-in at hotel.

Day 2: Excursion to Caunus This morning we take a small boat through reed beds to the ruins of Caunus, an important city circa 400 BC. Here, we can clamber up to the higher points of the Citadel from where there are fine panoramic views across the reed beds to the distant Aegean. We continue by boat to Iztuzu Beach, perhaps the best beach in all Turkey, for an afternoon of relaxation before returning to Dalyan.

Day 3: Drive to Gulluk via Alinda On our way to Gulluk we stop at the ruins of Alinda, a place where time stopped at the close of antiquity and now seems to be part of a lost landscape. Olive trees have pushed through the ground invading the ancient theatre where cows graze freely in this surreal setting. Situated on a rocky acropolis close to the village of Karpuzlu, this was Ada’s capital and she built a wall around her city in circa 344BC. She welcomed Alexander the Great who in turn rewarded her with the governorship of the Carian region. We continue to Gulluk and check into our hotel.

Day 4: Drive via Didyma, Miletus and Priene to Selcuk Heading north we drive first to Didyma, whose Temple of Apollo held an oracle as important as the one at Delphi, in Greece. Today the massive scale of the fallen columns and the wealth of the intricate carvings bear testimony to the power of the ancient cult of Apollo. Then to Miletus, whose 15,000 seat theatre is evidence of the city’s importance in Greek and Roman times, before its harbour silted up and gradually the city was abandoned. Finally we come to the smaller and more picturesque site of Priene, perched on a hillside overlooking the Menderes (ancient ‘Meander’) valley. As this Ionian city was not built on by the Romans, archaeologists have been left with a vivid picture of the scale and layout of a typical city of the 4th century BC. We continue to Selcuk, with its prominent Byzantine fortress and remains of the huge Temple of Artemis, once considered to be one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World, but sadly now totally destroyed.

Day 5: Visit Ephesus This morning we have arranged a visit to the great Greco-Roman city of Ephesus, once visited by Mark Anthony and Cleopatra, and also by the evangelist St. Paul (which inspired the Epistle to the Ephesians). This famous old Asia Minor seaport reached its peak in the 2nd century AD and declined after the 7th century. One of the main cultural and economic centres of the Old World, it once boasted excellent gymnasia and a stadium seating 70,000 spectators. Other highlights include the Baths of Constantine (4th century), the Arcadian Way (where Cleopatra entered from the Harbour), the Marble Avenue (with the 2-storeyed Library of Celsus, one of the most famous reconstructions of a Greco-Roman building in the world), the brothel, the Temple of Hadrian with its beautiful facade, the theatre (a giant with 24,000 seats) and the odeon (a 2000-seat music and poetry centre).

Day 6: Drive via Aphrodisias to PamukkaleLeaving Selcuk we drive to ancient Aphrodisias, where the goddess of love once bestowed her sensual favours on willing devotees. We continue to one of Turkey’s most amazing natural wonders, the ‘frozen waterfall’ of Pamukkale. Situated on a high escarpment, Pamukkale has been an attraction since Roman times. Stalactites of a petrified waterfall cascade from basin to basin, a most spectacular sight. We visit the incredible travertine pools, where you can opt to swim and enjoy the views overlooking the Menderes Valley. Continuing to Hieropolis where the ruins date back to 190 BC and the time of Eumenes II. Earthquakes have rocked the area throughout history and the site was finally abandoned in 1334 following a particularly strong quake.

Day 7: Drive via Pinara to Fethiye Today we drive to Fethiye via the village of Minare, where we will stop to have lunch and walk to the attractive ancient ruins at Pinara, famous for its Roman and Lycian rock tombs with well preserved reliefs of the ancient settlements, set high up in the hills.

Day 8: Board gulet in Fethiye This morning we check out of our hotel and transfer to our SunMarine gulet. Once everyone is aboard we may sail to Paradise Bay to stay in a quieter cove rather than Fethiye Harbour.

Day 9: To Kalkan  We sail this morning to the harbour of Kalkan, a small fishing village built into the steep slopes of the seacliff. Kalkan offers a perfect chance to explore an old village and harbour front. From here there is the chance of an optional excursion to see the ancient cities of Xanthos and Patara. Xanthos was the capital of ancient Lycia, captured by Brutus in 43BC, but only after the menfolk had killed all their women and children to save them from falling into Roman hands. Saklikent Gorge, situated high in the mountains above Fethiye was created by icy cold water cutting through the mountains over thousands of years. A natural wonder, the resulting canyon is 300 metres deep and 18 km long. Saklikent in Turkish means “Hidden City”. The walls are so high they cut out most of the sunlight and the fresh spring waters that flow through are freezing cold! A great refuge on a hot summer day.

Day 10: To Kekova  Sailing eastwards, we reach the island of Kekova, and several ruined cities, including Simena. Picturesque, partly submerged streets and buildings are visible in the crystal clear waters. Lycian sarcophagi (tombs) lie on the harbour bottom at Simena. Further up the hillside is Simena castle set in beautiful surroundings. We can take a walk up to explore its tiny theatre, hollowed out of the rock, and the surrounding medieval walls and tombs.

Day 11: To Demre Cayagzi  Sailing eastwards, we reach Cayagzi harbour. We recommend a side trip to Arycanda, one of southern Turkey's most dramatic sites, with a magnificent setting on the slopes of the Taurus mountains. The ruins are extensive, with a city stadium, large and small theatres, aqueducts and public baths. On our return, we will moor in Camlica cove, another peaceful and blissful spot in the region.

Day 12: To Kas via Ucagiz Today we start sailing west to Ucagiz village. This morning we highly recommend doing a sea kayaking trip at Kekova. Here, submerged streets and buildings are visible in the crystal waters. Lycian sarcophagi (tombs) lie in the harbour bottom at Simena. This afternoon  we continue sailing west to the harbour of Kas. This picturesque coastal town is one of the most beautiful of the Turkish riviera, backed by steep cliffs covered with dense green forest. You'll have time to enjoy soaking up the atmosphere at one of the many lively cafes near the picturesque harbour.

Day 13: Kas to Sogusku Cove We sail from Kas to Soguksu Cove then Gemiler island. In the afternoon, we will have an opportunity to land on Gemiler Island where we visit the extensive ruins dedicated to Father Christmas. In the early ages of Christianity, the island was an important shelter for the pilgrims on the way to Jerusalem. The top of the island offers superb views over the lovely Mediterranean coast with SunMarine gulet.

Day 14: Sail to Tarzan Bay As we sail to Tarzan bay getting close to Fethiye, we will admire the wonderful views of turquoise seas. A last chance to relax and unwind before the tour ends.

Day 15: Sail to Fethiye where tour ends