This Private Journey is an inspired Mediterranean sojourn that brings you sunny skies, a warm, translucent sea, pine-forested coasts scented by wild herbs, tiny seaside villages, and a dream world of astounding treasures: rock-cut Lycian tombs, ruined Byzantine monasteries, ancient Roman baths, and towering Greek amphitheaters. Sailing along the exquisite Turquoise Coast by private gulet (sailing yacht), you’ll head ashore for hikes, visits to archaeological sites, lunch with a farm family in a beautiful pastoral valley, a soak in thermal mud baths, and a chance to witness life in coastal villages. The pace is a relaxed one, with time each day for swimming, snorkeling, and pampering by your chefs, who serve mouth-watering feasts al fresco on deck. You will have a private guide with you in Istanbul, a private guide on the Turquoise Coast cruise, and a private guide in Cappadocia.
We have extremely fond memories of Turkey, its people, the food, and its culture. We learned so much on this trip and we are so glad you put together this itinerary. We loved every region of the country and your wonderful guides made that experience so much more meaningful.
— Vivian K., Pasadena, CA
Please note: This is a suggested itinerary. Cappadocia may be included before or after your cruise.
Day 1 (Eastbound)
Treasures of Istanbul
A guided walking tour includes the renowned Topkapi Palace, a marvelous labyrinth of harem quarters and displays of bejeweled sultans’ treasures, the monumental Haghia Sophia, and the ethereal Blue Mosque, with its slender minarets visible for miles around. Cap the day with a sunset ferry ride on the Bosphorus.
With its dreamlike landscape of tufa towers, Cappadocia is simply breathtaking. Explore lovely villages and Byzantine cave churches adorned with stunning frescoes, head underground to visit an ancient troglodyte city, and hike in the Goreme Valley, with its moonscape of fanciful “fairy chimneys” and rock outcrops. Enjoy a whirling dervish “Sema” ceremony at the original 12th century Seljuk caravanserai of Saruhan. This dance of the whirling dervishes is inspired by Rumi, the mystic poet, and is part of Turkish culture.
Ancient capital of Roman Asia, magnificent Ephesus is one of the best preserved cities in the world. Walk down Marble Street, where the ruts of chariot wheels can still be seen, visit the striking Library of Celsus, with its elegant two-story facade, and feel transported back to the glory days of Rome.
Aphrodisias / Turquoise Coast
Explore mountain-ringed Aphrodisias, then board your luxurious gulet (private yacht) for a cruise along the exquisite Turquoise Coast. With your guide, explore such sites as the haunting theater ruins of Xanthos and the Crusader castle at Simena, have lunch with a local family, and wander the kilim markets of Kas. Life on board is sheer delight with swimming, snorkeling, and daily culinary feasts.
Myra and Antalya
Visit Myra, where the tomb of St. Nicholas lies in a ruined Byzantine church, and the Antalya Museum, then return to Istanbul and depart.