Walking & Cruising the Lycian Shore: Walking, Sailing & Archaeology in Turkey
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Over the years, many guests travelling on our "Cruising the Lycian Shore" trip found themselves fascinated and enchanted by the occasional strolls we took on the Lycian Way, Turkey’s very first long-distance walking hiking trail. Their frequent inquiries inspired us to create a tour that combines more walking with archaeological adventures and the pleasure of a gulet cruise. Thanks to your inspiration, back in 2006, Walking and Cruising the Lycian Shore became the first of our walking holidays.
Rated by The Sunday Times (UK) as one of the ten best walks in the world, the Lycian Way follows over 540km (335 miles) of ancient roadways, mule tracks and shepherds’ paths along one of Turkey’s most remote and untouched coastlines. On this cruise, we follow some of its very best stretches, chosen for their beauty and interest, averaging about 9km (5-6 miles) of walking per day. Our travelling offshore base is a beautiful traditional Turkish gulet, offering us elegant transport, delicious dining, comfortable accommodation and welcome leisure throughout the voyage.
An ideal tour for walkers and for lovers of the sea alike, the cruise also provides the cultural and archaeological experience that is the trademark of Peter Sommer Travels. Escorted by Peter Sommer himself, you will visit a whole series of ancient sites, stroll along Roman roads, trace the routes of 2,000 year-old aqueducts and follow in the footsteps of characters from the mysterious Lycians of antiquity via Alexander the Great to the nomadic herders of recent centuries.
Exploring on foot offers a uniquely profound and enjoyable engagement with the landscape and its history, including the opportunity to discover truly remote archaeological sites that cannot be easily reached otherwise. You will be able to admire Phellos, the “stony place”, an ancient citadel perched precariously on a pinnacle high above the Mediterranean Sea, wild and ancient Apollonia, with its grand necropolis and romantic theatre, or the extensive ruins of mountain-top Kyaneai, one of the most important cities of ancient Lycia.
Of course, we also visit Lycia’s famous archaeological highlights, such as the regional Lycian capital at Pinara with its “royal” tombs, the monumental Roman port city of Patara and the Ottoman castle of Kale, ancient Simena, surrounded by age-old Lycian sarcophagus graves.
The combination of walks through a succession of beautiful landscapes, expert-led visits to fascinating archaeological sites, cruising in pristine waters and delicious meals on board or in selected local restaurants, in addition to plenty of time to swim and relax, make this tour a perfect choice for the active and curious traveller. From footpaths by the coast to goat tracks high up in the hills, from age-old cemeteries to monumental ruined cities, this tour offers you stimulation and relaxation for mind, body and soul.
ADDITION RATE INFORMATION
Single supplement: £995
Day 1: ArrivalGocek, Mediterranean, Turkey
Our Gulet is about 30 minutes from Dalaman Airport at Göcek, a pretty harbor beneath mountains at the head of the Bay of Fethiye, on Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast. Welcome dinner aboard.
Day 2: The Bay Of FethiyeFethiye, Aegean, Turkey
An easy first day spent in the Bay of Fethiye, with plenty of time for swimming, relaxing and admiring the scenery of sea and mountains.
Day 3: Explore KayaKayakoy, Aegean, Turkey
We cruise east to explore the ghost town of Levissi/Kaya, abandoned by the Greeks in 1923. Walk back to the gulet near Gemiler Island, an area perfect for swimming.
Day 4: Visit SidymaGocek, Mediterranean, Turkey
We drive inland to Sidyma, hidden away on a mountain plateau, where a traditional farming village is surrounded by the extensive 2,500 year-old cemeteries of an ancient city. After admiring its elaborate tombs and sarcophagi we stroll down a hillside to the neighboring village of Bogazici before returning to the boat for a well-deserved swim.
Day 5: Visit PinaraPinara, Aegean, Turkey
Up the Xanthus Valley to Pinara, where a mighty cliff riddled with tombs stands guard over one of the most striking and spectacularly situated archaeological sites in Turkey. Highlights include the great theatre and the “royal tomb”, its fine reliefs depicting Lycian cities.
Day 6: Investigate ApolloniaApollonia, Aegean, Turkey
East to investigate remote Apollonia, where an ancient Greek theater stands amid the remains of a Byzantine fortress and basilica church, in turn surrounded by a vast and elaborate necropolis. We walk back through a wild landscape of karstic limestone and stubborn maquis to return back to the sea at ancient Aperlai, Apollonia’s harbour.
Day 7: Explore Byzantine RemainsKekova, Mediterranean, Turkey
We cruise by Kekova Island to gaze at the Late Roman/Early Byzantine “sunken city” of Dolichiste. Later, we disembark at Ucagiz, ancient Teimioussa, to explore its ancient cemetery, looking like so many sarcophagi scattered along the seashore by a passing giant. From here, we walk to Kale, ancient Simena, where another row of sarcophagi crowns the ridge leading up to an Ottoman castle built upon Byzantine and Hellenistic predecessors. One of the most romantic stops of the holiday.
Day 8: Trek To IstladaIstlada, Aegean, Turkey
We visit Sura, site of a famous fish oracle dedicated to Apollo in a lush coastal valley, its main temple substantially preserved, then trek along a beautiful stretch of coast to the ancient city of Istlada, with various public buildings and more Lycian tombs, to reach our waiting boat.
Day 9: Visit Kyaenai & KasKyaenai, Mediterranean, Turkey
Inland to one of the most remarkable and significant city-states of ancient Lycia, mountain-top Kyaenai. Its theater, market, baths and vast cemeteries (with over 300 sarcophagi!) stand witness to great affluence that has given way to a wild and inspiring nature. We overnight in Kas, ancient Antiphellos, where a picturesque seaside town incorporates many ancient remains.
Day 10: Hike To PhellosPhellos, Mediterranean, Turkey
The longest hike of the tour, but well worth the effort, leads us up to the lost citadel city of Phellos, teetering on a tall pinnacle overlooking the Mediterranean from a great height. Its theater is one of the most stunningly located in Turkey. We continue along a high ridge offering unforgettable views all around.
Day 11: Walk To PataraPatara, Aegean, Turkey
Starting at Delikkemer, the ingenious inverted-syphon bridge of a Roman aqueduct, we enjoy a long but easy walk to the city it served, ancient Patara, where archaeologists are revealing the remains of a vast and monumental Roman city, one-time capital of the Lycian Confederation. A sunset dip offers a refreshing finale and we overnight in the pretty harbor at Kalkan.
Day 12: Hike To FaraylaFarayla, Aegean, Turkey
We hike from Faralya, overlooking the stupendous “Butterfly Valley”, to Kabak through a peaceful and remote landscape of cyclamen-filled woods and busy beehives.
Day 13: Trek To OvacikOvacik, Black Sea, Turkey
The second major hike on our tours is the glorious final trek across the shoulder of Babadag (Father Mountain) to Ovacik, taking us from the coastal slopes high into the foothills of a wild mountainous landscape and back to the shore through extraordinarily idyllic terrain. Breathtaking views all day long.
Day 14: Leisure Day On The Gulet & Visit FethiyeFethiye, Aegean, Turkey
A day of total leisure aboard our elegant gulet, sailing and swimming. We moor in Fethiye, ancient Telmessos, for a final chance to shop.
Day 15: DepartureDalaman, Aegean, Turkey
Transfer back to Dalaman airport, on Turkey’s south coast.
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