GULET YACHTING & SMALL GROUP CULTURAL JOURNEY
August 30-September 9, 2014
Your journey starts in exotic, ancient Istanbul where you spend 3 days exploring the wonders of the city with your guide. You’ll walk through the sultan’s harem and drool over the the jewels in the museum at Topkapi Palace.
Once the largest church in christendom, Hagia Sophia, near the palace, was built between 532 and 537 AD by Justinian the emperor at the time. The dome was an architectural wonder when finished. I was designed by Greek scientists.
A few steps from the palace is the entrance of the Basilica Cistern, the water source for the palace. To get there you’ll walk down 52 stone steps. 453 ft by 212 ft or 105,000 square feet in area, the cistern was capable of holding 2,800,000 cu ft of water. The ceiling is supported by a forest of 336 marble columns, each 30 ft high, arranged in 12 rows of 28 columns each spaced 16 ft apart; somewhat erie but definitely captivating.
On day 4 you fly south to the turquoise coast where you will board the fully crewed gulet you’ll call home for 5 glorious days and nights. During the cruise you’ll visit the famous spot where the Blue Lagoon was filmed with Brook Shields, the bustling seaside town of Fethiye, marvel at Lycean tombs carved out of the rock several hundred feet from the ground and visit Cleopatra’s baths with underwater ruins. All the while, your guide will be there to tell explain more about the sites along the coast.
Other wise, your time will be spent cruising from bay to quiet bay with all meals prepared for you by the cook on board. The near perfect temperature of the crystal clear water is definitely inviting and the yacht has lots of water toys you are welcome to use. That said, the leisurely pace may invite you to nap or get lost in a good book.
After your gulet sail we disembark and climb into our van with our guide and drive north to visit the ancient, well-preserved city of Ephesus. Built by greeks in the 10th century BC, it eventually flourished when it was occupied by the Romans. It’s estimated that up to 200,000 people lived there. The theater below faces the sea so that the attendees would have a beautiful view. It’s demise was the silting of the harbor by a nearby river.
You will visit one of the best-preserved temples in Asia Minor and stay in the quaint town of Kusadasi for the remainder of this part of our trip. There is an add-on to Cappadocia after the tour above. Pricing for both trips is based on the number of travelers. Maximum number 12-14
For an itinerary including the information about Cappadocia click “Detailed Itinerary.”
September 9-11, 2014
If you choose to include the add-on to Cappadocia, you’ll see some of the most spectacular landscape ever. You’ll get up close to the other worldly rock formations by walking through one of the fascinating valleys with a guide. Your accommodations for 3 nights stay in a cave hotel and see a whirling dervish show. The show is held in a caravanserai. It literally means caravan palace. They were built for caravans to house traders & their camels that traveling the silk road.
You will have lunch with a village family and visit an underground city. If you would like to have a bird’s eye view of Cappadocia, try one of the early morning ballooning trips. This is not included in the itinerary but we’re happy to arrange this if it’s your heart’s desire.
The portion of the trip with the gulet cruise includes a domestic flight from Istanbul to Dalaman, all wine, beer and soft drinks on the gulet, 3 nights at the Rixos Pera Hotel in Istanbul, all entrance fees, transfers, a separate boat trip to Kaunos, van, driver and full-time guide.
The Cappadocia part includes 2 domestic flights, 2 nights in a cave hotel, all transportation, 1 lunch, 2 dinners, entrance fees, professional guide for 3 days and more.
(Hagia Sophia Istanbul – Once the largest church in Christendom)