Greek Islands and the Turquoise Coast Private Journey

An Idyllic Aegean Journey

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $6995  
Length: 14 days
Arrive: Istanbul, Turkey
Depart: Istanbul, Turkey
Lodging: 6 nights aboard yacht, 7 nights first-class hotels, single cabins available
Meals: all meals except 1 dinner
Activity: Small Boat & Yacht Cruising, Cultural Adventures, Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level: Small Boat & Yacht Cruising, Walking, Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
2p

Highlights

  • Hike through sun-splashed olive groves to ancient sites along the Greek and Turkish coasts
  • Savor the good life of the Aegean aboard a beautiful yacht
  • Explore small villages and lesser-visited ruins, swim in hidden coves
  • Magnificent Ephesus, capital of Roman Asia, and the monumental treasures of Istanbul

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

A less-traveled route, the sybaritic pleasures of the sunny Aegean Coast and Greek Isles, a beautiful Turkish motor-yacht—what more could you ask for? Share the hidden delights of this idyllic region and a deep knowledge of the treasures of the Greek, Byzantine, and Roman worlds. Step aboard to enjoy the delights of yacht life, swim or kayak in crystal-clear waters, hike to remote ruins, visit quaint seaside towns, and be spoiled by our gulet crew with gourmet meals served on the deck of our traditional yacht. Even if you’ve already taken our popular Turquoise Coast journey, you’ll enjoy this one as we explore all new places on the cruise. Add to this the epic monuments of Istanbul and Ephesus, and you’ve got the perfect getaway!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Istanbul

Explore Istanbul’s many wonders, from the Topkapi Palace, home of the Ottoman sultans for 400 years, to the ethereal 17th century Blue Mosque. One evening we enjoy a sunset cruise along the Bosphorus Strait, admiring Istanbul’s famous silhouette of domes and minarets.

Days 3-4
Ephesus / Priene / Miletus / Didyma

We spend a wonderful day at majestic Ephesus, a remarkably well-preserved Roman city, declared the capital of Roman Asia by Emperor Augustus, and another day hiking to fabulous Greco-Roman sites in the peaceful Meander Valley.

Days 5-6
Neolithic Caves / Yedilir / Bodrum

A hike through olive groves brings us to hidden gems including a Neolithic cavern with fascinating pictographs and a ruined Byzantine monastery, with a picnic lunch en route.  In Bodrum, we explore the towering Castle of St. Peter, an open-air museum with fantastic views from its ramparts and the fascinating artifacts of the Museum of Underwater Archaeology within it.

Days 7-9
Kos Island, Greece / Nisyros / Tilos

Embarking on our beautiful 90-foot wooden yacht, we set a course for Greece, exploring Kos Island, out-of-the-way Nisyros Island, with a hike into its volcanic crater, and Tilos Island, where we explore an ancient monastery overlooking the Aegean and walk in the picturesque abandoned village of Mikro Horio.

Days 10-12
Symi / Datca, Turkey / Loryma

With our yacht at anchor in a peaceful cove, we enjoy a delightful morning swim at a tranquil Nanou, then visit picture-perfect Symi, a town with a fascinating heritage in sponge diving that dates back to the time of the sultans. We cruise back to Turkey to arrive at Datca, set on a horseshoe-shaped bay, and visit its outdoor market, piled high with colorful fruits and vegetables. These last days along the Turkish coast are in an area full of delightful inlets and lagoons—a paradise for yacht cruising. Our hike to the ruined seaside fortress of Loryma will be a highlight

Days 13-14
Cruising / Mamaris / Istanbul

After a last morning of cruising and exploring, we bid farewell to our crew, head to Marmaris and fly to Istanbul for our Farewell Dinner. Depart on Day 14.

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

This trip is rated Level 2+, Easy to Moderate. It is a relaxed cultural and cruising adventure, with hikes that should be “easy-to-moderate” for the average active traveler. The hikes often bring us to small villages or off-the-beaten-path ruins accessible only on foot. All hikes are optional, should you prefer to relax on board the yacht. Several hikes are of moderate difficultly, following coastal paths that can be steep and rocky. Even if you choose not to participate in the optional hikes, most visits to archaeological sites require walking or hiking on sometimes rocky, uneven paths. For your enjoyment of the trip, you should be a fit walker and bring lightweight hiking boots. Being able to swim is important on any boating trip, and the warm waters make this an ideal trip for those who like to swim and snorkel. To ensure an enjoyable adventure in Turkey and Greece, you should make a special effort to be in good physical condition by engaging in a regular exercise regimen before the trip.

We have mentioned several restaurants we plan to visit. However, the final choice of restaurant may change by the time of the trip. Cruise and hiking times are estimates but may vary depending on weather conditions and the group.

LIFE ON THE YACHT
The yachts we use for this program are traditional wooden motor-sailers called gulets (pronounced “GOO-lets”). They are typically 90 feet in length with a 21-foot beam, which makes them wonderfully stable and comfortable for cruising. They are twin masted, with teak hulls and decks and mahogany interiors. There are six two-person cabins, each with private toilet and shower. To maximize time for exploration, we normally proceed under motor power. When conditions permit, and at the captain’s discretion, sails will be raised. Air conditioning is generally not used all night, even though the boats are equipped with it should conditions become extreme. Many trip members enjoy sleeping out on the deck under the stars for fresh air.

Life on board is easy to get used to—the food is delicious and fresh, and the crew is attentive. This is not a luxury cruise ship, but rather a delightful small chartered boat. We think you’ll find this to be one of the most pleasant and relaxing journeys imaginable.

On board, you’ll probably spend most of your time on deck, as the deck is quite spacious and comfortable. There is a sun awning covering the outdoor dining area. Another awning can be put up over the foredeck to shade the sun mattresses. To get on and off the boat, there is a gradual 45-degree incline on the suspended sea ladder that allows easy access. The dinghy can take up to five guests at a time and has an outboard engine. For recreation, a sea kayak and some snorkeling and fishing gear are on board.

Cabins are assigned by a random lottery system, so specific cabins cannot be assigned ahead of time.

Each gulet varies a bit in design, but a typical cabin size is 8 by 12 feet. Two of the cabins have double beds and four have twin beds. All cabins have en suite facilities, including a shower stall, and there are marine windows that open. Sheets and a small towel are provided, but please bring your own personal towel for swimming, and a washcloth if you use one. The bedding is changed once during the cruise.

There are 220-volt electrical outlets in the bedroom and bathroom (you will need a plug adaptor with two round prongs), plus an outlet in the salon that supplies power around the clock for charging batteries; it’s a useful source when the generators are not on. A laundry tub, warm water, and soap are provided for hand-washing laundry on board. It’s a good idea to bring lightweight clothing, such as synthetic “travel” fabrics that dry quickly.

MEALS ON BOARD
Turkey’s cuisine is bountiful in high quality fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, and fresh-caught fish and we enjoy delightful cuisine aboard our yacht. In fact, for some trip members, meals on board become as much of a trip highlight as hiking and discovering ancient ruins! Breakfasts include fresh yogurt, local honey, fresh-baked breads, eggs, and breakfast items such as feta cheese, olives, and sun-ripened tomatoes and cucumbers. Lunches and dinners offer an array of appetizers, a variety of salads and vegetable dishes (eggplant in olive oil is a favorite), plus a main entree of lamb, beef, chicken, or fish, grilled, baked, or prepared in other styles. Main dishes are often served with side dishes such as rice pilaf seasoned with currents or pine nuts. Some days, our crew fishes and serves us their “catch of the day.” Desserts include fresh fruits or assorted local pastries such as baklava (nuts and honey in puff pastry). Thanks to the balmy Mediterranean climate, we enjoy our meals in the open air of the yacht’s deck, sitting around a large table under a shade awning, with the fragrant breezes blowing. We also occasionally have lunch or dinner at a local town. Wine, beer, and sodas are available for purchase on board. You can run a tab for your drinks and pay at the end of the cruise in local currency or US Dollars (credit cards are not accepted on the gulet). Complimentary drinking water, coffer, and tea are provided.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

When to go

For our Private Journey trips, you choose your own group and your preferred dates—there are no set departure dates. Private Journeys are available to groups as few as two people or as large as you like. Contact us for availability, questions, or to book your adventure!

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015
$6995 (7 members)
$7495 (6 members)
$8195 (5 members)
$9195 (4 members)
$10995 (3 members)
$13495 (2 members)
Single supplement: $725 (hotels only)
Internal airfare: $480 (subject to change) subject to change

Prices are not guaranteed until services are confirmed.
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Cappadocia Extension
   from: $1395

Deck Plan

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader
  • Accommodations as noted
  • all meals except 1 dinner
  • Entrance fees for museums and sites as part of the itinerary
  • Land transportation and airport transfers

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, any meals not specified after each itinerary day, optional gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors; pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas; and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: $500
150 days prior to departure: 50%
90 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $500 per person
61-120 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
60 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Hotel Levni

Hotel Levni

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights),
Day 13 (1 night), Istanbul, Turkey

This hotel’s location could not be better—it’s within close walking distance to all the major sights (you can see the outer walls ...
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Charisma Hotel

Charisma Hotel

Days 3 to 4 (2 nights), Kusadasi, Turkey

The Charisma is set right on the beach, with ocean-swimming access from a private dock as well as a huge swimming pool and open-air restaurant ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Antik Tiyatro Hotel

Antik Tiyatro Hotel

Days 5 to 6 (2 nights), Bodrum, Turkey

The 20 guest rooms of this hotel are arranged around a swimming pool and bar that offer views of Bodrum castle and the clear waters of the Aegean ...
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Traditional Gulet

Traditional Gulet

Days 7 to 12 (6 nights)

The yachts we charter are traditional wooden motor-sailers called gulets, especially designed for cruising this beautiful coastline. They ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

Turkey

Cappadocia Extension

Explore a Surreal Fairytale Landscape

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
5 days  -  Level 2

Inside Istanbul Extension

Explore the Fabled Capital of Byzantium

Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 1