Turkish Treasures and the Turquoise Coast (aka the Turkish Riviera)
September 10-21, 2015
Join our WanderWoman® small group women-only tour to Turkey. Visit Istanbul, Ephesus, and cruise the Turkish Riviera on a luxury Gulet. Stay 2 nights at a boutique hotel in the old city of Istanbul, 2 nights in an ottoman-style hotel in a village near Ephesus, and seven nights aboard a luxury gulet cruising the turquoise waters of the Turkish Riviera and explore traditional villages, archaeological sites, and the natural beauty of Turkey.
Tour is limited to approximately 9 travelers. The gulet has 5 double-bedded rooms available for single occupancy and two twin-bedded rooms for double occupancy.
Early booking price $3599.00 plus flight to Istanbul. NEW PRICE!
Single Supplement: $899.00
For more information email go@ wanderwomantours.com
Day 1 Arrival at Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) and transfer to our hotel, a boutique property in the old town. This vibrant city, which straddles Europe and Asia, has been known as Byzantium and Constantinople and has been the key city of both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Our hotel is within walking distance to restaurants, shops ad points of interest. After a chance to rest, we will gather for a welcome dinner of local specialties. (D)
Day 2 Today you will explore Istanbul’s rich history and fascinating sights on a full day walking tour with our local guide visiting the famed Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sofia which was built as a church and then converted into a mosque and now is a UNESCO world heritage site. We’ll tour Topkapi Palace, built in between 1466 and 1478 by the sultan Mehmet II. The palace was the political center of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries. Today it houses magnificent treasures from the Ottoman period. (B, L, D)
Day 3 In the morning there will be time to meander about the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market, and if time permits we’ll peek into the quaint little Rüstem Paşa Mosque tucked away behind the market with our guide. Enjoy a different perspective of this historic city on a small boat cruise on the Bosphorus. Stop for lunch and in the afternoon we’ll fly to Izmir and transfer to our Ottoman-style hotel near the ancient site of Ephesus. Enjoy a group dinner at a local restaurant. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Today you will discover the spectacular monuments of the archaeological site of Ephesus. Perhaps best know in antiquity for it’s Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, first built in the 6th century BCE to venerate the virgin goddess. It was rebuilt in the 2nd century BCE. Unfortunately today only the foundation and a few fragmented columns remain. The library of Celsus, erected in 117 A.D., was and is one of the most beautiful architectural structures at Ephesus. It was a monumental tomb for Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the governor of the province of Asia, by his son. On top of the grave of Celsus stood a statue of Athena the goddess of wisdom. This spectacular library was third is richness of ancient times after the libraries of Alexandra and Pergamum. The Great Theater built in the Hellenistic period with a capacity of 25,000, where St Paul preached can still be seen as one enters the site from the south entrance. Farther down the street is are of ruins of a brothel and public lavatories as well as numerous temples and public buildings. (B, L)
Day 5 After breakfast we’ll have time to shop for local handcrafts, before boarding our minibus for the road trip to Marmaris (approx. 4 hours), the yachting center of Turkey, on the scenic coast of the Aegean Sea. En route we’ll stop in a village for a traditional Turkish lunch. Upon arrival in Marmaris, we’ll be welcomed to our gulet by our guide Anne, who lives in Turkey, but is originally from the UK. She will introduce us to the Captain and crew of a cook and sailor (all males). After settling into our cabins we will visit the local Hamam (Turkish Bath) for a massage. There will be some free time in Marmaris port before dinner onboard our gulet. (B, L, D)
Day 6 In the morning we’ll start with a lovely traditional Turkish breakfast of local cheese, eggs, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, jams, bread and lashings of hot Turkish tea, there’s coffee too. Once our port formalities are completed we shall take a short cruise to the aptly named Paradise Island where we’ll hike for a couple of hours to the impressive Nimara cave, a goddess worshipping site from 20,000 BC. When we return to the boat you’ll have your first opportunity to swim before our first delicious lunch onboard. We’ll then cruise from the calm Aegean Sea for a couple of hours before dropping anchor in a small tranquil bay, plenty of time for swimming and relaxation before afternoon tea and dinner. (B, L, AT, D)
Day 7 A wonderful day packed full of natural beauty, ancient sites and interesting people. We’ll take a riverboat and take a meandering cruise through the reed beds passing Lycian tombs carved high into the cliff face before stopping at the ancient city of Kaunos, which dates back to the 10th century B.C.E. A short hike of approximately 1 hour will take us through the ancient ruins and onto a small village where we will visit a nomad family and eat freshly prepared gozleme, a traditional pancake. We’ll find ourselves back on the riverboat after an hour’s walk back through Kaunos. (B, L, AT, D)
Day 8 Plenty of time for relaxation as we take a long early morning cruise into the Mediterranean Sea to the area famed for the Gocek Islands. There will be an opportunity to swim around the ruins of “Cleopatra’s Bath,” which legend says was built for the Egyptian queen by her lover Mark Anthony. Overnight on anchor in a bay. (B,L,AT,D)
Day 9 This morning we will cruise into Fethiye. We’ll be taken by a/c coach the short journey to Kayakoy which was abandoned in 1923 after the Greco-Turkish war. We will be able to wander around this interesting village with its ruined houses, churches and schools and take lunch in a delightful restaurant. We’ll return to Fethiye late afternoon where you’ll have free time to explore before dinner on board. (B ,L, AT, D)
Day 10 A leisurely morning for reading, swimming, conversation and contemplation. Today we will enjoy a fun hands-on cooking class/ demonstration with the guidance of a villager. Using the freshest of local produce and spices we’ll discover the secrets creating the wonderful flavors of Turkish food. (B, L, AT, D)
Day 11 After breakfast we’ll cruise back into the Aegean with plenty of time to swim before we return to Marmaris port at teatime. Enjoy a special farewell dinner on board with local wine. Overnight in port. (B, L, AT, D)
Day 12 After breakfast transfer to Dalaman Airport (DLM) for flight to Istanbul in time for international flight leaving at 1 pm or later from IST.
Optional Additional nights in Istanbul
If you would like to arrive a day or two early or stay extra nights in Istanbul, we can arrange additional nights at our hotel in Istanbul and transfers to and from the airport. Rates available upon request.
WHAT TO EXPECT Archaeology, Culture, History, Hiking, Swimming, and Relaxing. This small group tour for women is limited to approximately 9 participants allowing you to experience Turkey through local culture, small traditional-style family-owned hotels, and wonderful local restaurants. We will spend fours nights is smaller hotels with local character and seven nights on a traditional gulet. Gulets are similar to schooners with cabins that are larger than on a typical sailing yacht. As with all of our WanderWoman® tours, the pace of the itinerary is leisurely with ample time to relax or to explore the uniqueness of each destination. Our travel groups are NOT motorcoach tours and require walking to fully participate. The hiking tours are leisurely ranging from 2 to 6 hours on uneven terrain and climbing stairs. The hikes are easy to moderate in difficulty. This is an active trip, and thus is NOT suitable for those with limited mobility. A knowledgeable WanderWoman® group escort will accompany the tour group to attend to details to ensure you a stress-free vacation.
NOTE: Eurynome Journeys, LLC reserves the right to change the itinerary and make substitutions at anytime to ensure the safety and comfort of the group or as deemed necessary by the tour director and/or Captain. Although the tour has been carefully planned, local circumstances may require changes to the itinerary. All group meals and group activities are smoke-free