Greek Islands and the Turquoise Coast Private Journey

An Idyllic Aegean Journey

Trip Level

This trip is rated Level 2+, Easy to Moderate. It is a relaxed cruising adventure, with hikes that should be “easy-to-moderate” for the average active traveler. The hikes are a focus of the trip, often bringing you to small villages or off-the-beaten-path ruins accessible only on foot, although all hikes are optional, should you prefer to relax on board the yacht. There are several hikes during the trip, 2-4 hours each, many with some uphill and downhill walking. Some hikes are of moderate difficulty, 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. Having at least one hiking pole is helpful on the hikes as well.

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. While there is some snorkeling equipment available on board, we cannot guarantee the quality and the fit of the equipment. We highly recommend bringing your own snorkel and mask to assure a proper fit. 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. 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.

LIFE ON THE YACHT
The yacht we use for this program is a traditional wooden motor-sailer called a gulet (pronounced “GOO-let”). 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. For trips with less than seven group members, we use the Cavurali, a classic 65-foot, single-masted yacht with beautiful handmade teak hull and decks that is ideal for this type of journey. The Cavurali features four comfortable cabins with beautiful mahogany paneling and private bathrooms (two cabins have single beds and two have double beds). All cabins have en suite facilities, including a shower stall, and there are marine windows that open. Linens and towels are provided, including beach towels for swimming. We suggest you pack light because bunk and luggage space aboard is limited. 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. For trips with seven members or more, a larger 6-cabin yacht is used. They are generally about 90 feet in length with a 21 foot beam and are similar to the Cavurali in that they feature teak hulls and decks and mahogany interiors. All cabins have private toilet and shower. Cabins are assigned by a random lottery system, so specific cabins cannot be assigned ahead of time.

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.

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.

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.

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, coffee, and tea are provided.

Weather

The climate along the coasts of southern Turkey and Greece is predominantly Mediterranean. Summers are hot and usually dry as the rainy season along the coast is November to March. It is generally quite warm even during rain showers. Normally there is not much wind, and the afternoon breezes arrive regularly to cool off the coastline. May and October departures may be cooler and we suggest bringing warmer clothing for these dates.

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.