Upon arriving in the coastal city of Bodrum, spend your afternoon and evening perusing the seaside shops, familiarizing yourself with Turkish culture and traditions, and dining along the water’s edge at one of dozens of outstanding restaurants. Bodrum is one of the Aegean Coast’s jewels, featuring natural beauty, ancient ruins, and a thriving nightlife.
Bodrum has a history that goes back to the 12th century B.C. The city that was once called ‘Halicarnassus,’ was the birthplace of Herodotus: the ‘Father of History’ who lived in the 5th century B.C. The ‘Mausoleum’ of King Mausolus (350 B.C.), one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is in this city.
We will leave early morning for Knidos arriving in time for breakfast and morning swim. Mythic Knidos is an ancient Carian city rich with history and artifacts, where one can discover the preserved remnants of an outdoor amphitheater and an Acropolis and ancient temple built in honor of Aphrodite, the Greek God of Love. Here stands the famed statue of Aphrodite. It is said that in ancient times, pilgrims would travel thousands of miles to pay homage to Aphrodite in her temple.
After spending most of the day enjoying the sunshine and the sea, we will cruise over to the cute Turkish village of Datca. This fascinating Mediterranean village consists of a small square and its surrounding streets. All the houses in the village are made of amber colored masonry. White garden walls are crawling with vines, shrubs, almond and olive trees. Kind-hearted people, who mostly moved here from larger cities, own the local art galleries and restaurants. We recommend you take an early evening stroll through the bazaar and visit the local shops. You can find various stores selling honey, fish and almonds (the most famous products of the region). If you take a break at a coffeehouse in the village of Old Datca, don’t be surprised if the owner asks you, “would you like thyme, lavender flower, or watermelon tea?”
We will anchor near Datca overnight.
After breakfast and a morning swim, we will sail over to the island of Rhodes. This is the largest of the Dodecanese Islands. The island is a very popular holiday place as it has one of the best protected and the largest European Medieval city and has warm weather almost 300 days of the year. Rhodes has been a home for many civilizations, starting with the knights of St. John in the Middle Ages, then Ottomans and Italians – the island therefore has a unique historical harmony of each culture that occupied this beautiful island. The main port is in the Rhodes town while the other popular areas are Lyndos and Kamiros. The city, which is still surrounded by 12-meter thick city-walls, gives you the feeling of travelling back in time to a medieval era, especially when you walk around its narrow, stone paved roads. After dinner, our guests are recommended to enjoy a night out in Rhodes.
Ekincik is an unspoiled natural wonder, blessed with breathtaking beauty. We will wake up here in time for breakfast and a swim. We will anchor here and a small boat will come to pick you up for an adventure and sightseeing filled day to nearby Dalyan and Kaunos. Firstly you will arrive in Iztuzu Beach where famous sea turtles called Caretta Carettas lay their eggs on this long white sand beach. You may feed the sea turtles and taste the delicious blue crabs yourself as your small boat starts cruising up the canal towards the remnants of the ancient Carian city of Kaunos which dates back to 10th century B.C. You can go on a hike to discover the agora, the city walls, the tombs carved into the rocky hills. Afterwards, you may want to take advantage of the thermal springs and enjoy the mud baths believed to remedy both the body and the soul.
After your excursion through the canals of Dalyan and visit to the ancient port city of Kaunos, you will come back to your boat and spend the rest of your day at your own leisure. We will anchor in Ekincik overnight.
After breakfast, we will sail over to Oludeniz, described often as paradise of the Turkish Coast. The beautiful blue lagoon covered with white sand, the lush pine forests extending to the coast, Oludeniz is a breathtaking sight to take in, both from on the water and above: paragliding from atop the 1,975 meter high Babadag is a popular activity here, for the adrenaline and extreme sports enthusiasts.
After lunch, we will cruise over to the Gemiler Island. According to archaeologists, it is believed to be the place of St. Nicholas’ tomb – when later his remains were taken to the ancient town of Myra. Travelers will see ruins from the Byzantine period of five churches, which were built around 4th – 5th A.D. In addition, there are approximately fifty Christian tombs and 40 other religious buildings. The bay offers clean and clear waters and it is a very quiet place for swimming and snorkeling. We will anchor here overnight.
After our morning cruise, we will arrive in the town of Kas in Antalya province. It is a tourist destination, yet unspoiled and well preserved by natural surroundings and beautiful Mediterranean waters. The town sits on a slope which leads to the sea offering stunning panoramic views of the whole region. The hillsides produce local pine honey and almonds – a great fresh treat to take with you to try during your delicious Turkish breakfasts. Kas, known also as the Teke peninsula, was discovered by the Lycians. Once an important site, the region offers the richest Lycian necropolis. Occupied since the stone age, Kas region has seen many other civilizations in its time. From the Romans and Byzantines, to the Ottomans and Greeks. Nowadays the Greek architecture is seen from when the Greeks had left Kas.
Before breakfast, we will cruise over to Kekova – “the home of the sun” for some, “the island of the partridges” for others: an island, as well as the name of a whole ensemble of picturesque islands, numerous bays and ancient cities. These bays provide natural harbors in all seasons, and yachtsmen particularly enjoy exploring the unspoiled landscapes. Along the northern shore of Kekova Island, earthquakes have disturbed the land causing some of the ancient houses to sink under the clear water, creating a sunken city. Kalekoy Castle (ancient Simena) offers a bird’s-eye view of the bays, inlets, islands and colorful yachts, sailing peacefully on the glassy water. Kekova provides an incredible setting with blue skies, orange sunsets, starry nights, playful dolphins, mythological mysteries, and the sparkling sea, all set in peace and tranquility.
The largest bay in the Kekova region is the Gokkaya Bay. It is a quiet and popular place of relaxation during a luxury gulet cruise holiday with three entrances into the bay. Gokkaya Bay is beautiful place for swimming and snorkeling and known to be a convenient shelter harbor during rough seas.
fter breakfast, it is time to set sail to the town of Kalkan. Kalkan is truly an exquisite town boasting with impressive scenery and atmosphere. The influence of Greek Ottoman architecture is seen in the whitewashed houses decorated with bougainvillea. There are shops and lovely restaurants and cafes to enjoy the local cuisine. Kalkan’s place in Lycian history was considered as a hiding place during times when pirates anticipated attacks on merchant ships passing by. It was and still is, a great sheltered harbor for boats during times of rough seas. Nearby Kalkan an inland excursion to the ancient site of Arycanda is a must: a very unique Lycian city and known to be the oldest. Feature sites to see while there is the largest bath complex, the agora, amphitheater, the Odeon, the Stadium, Necropolises with monumental and temple tombs and sarcophagi; and Bouleuterion – the meeting place of the council.
In the afternoon, we will set sail to Gocek Island for overnight anchorage.