ECHO River Trips - vacations and travel

Yachting in Turkey

Turkey, Europe

from $4,695* per person 14 Days September
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 3
Operator: ECHO River Trips 12 people max
  • Istanbul airport, turkey
  • Boats, Barges & Small Ship Cruises trips
Immerse yourself in the very best of Turkey: yachting on the Turquoise Coast and touring Istanbul, Ephesus, the Anatolian highlands and Cappadocia.

Americans are finally realizing what Europeans have known for some time: Turkey is an incredible place to visit. It is where East meets West; where Europe meets Asia. It is a Moslem country and yet it is democratic and secular, and the Turks love their beer and wine. They especially love their raki, the anise-flavored national liquor similar to Greece’s ouzo. Turkey is both ancient and traditional on the one hand, and amazingly modern at the same time. On the streets of Istanbul one sees women totally covered in burkhas walking alongside others wearing modern clothes.

Turkey is one huge outdoor museum, with more 'Greek' ruins than Greece and more Roman ruins than Italy. Istanbul is one of the world’s oldest and most fascinating cities. The Bosphorus not only bisects the city; it is the border between Europe and Asia.

Locations visited/nearby

Turkey, Europe

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Special information

  • This is a custom departure, meaning this trip is offered on dates that you arrange privately with the provider. Additionally, you need to form your own private group for this trip. The itinerary and price here is just a sample. Contact the provider for detailed pricing, minimum group size, and scheduling information. For most providers, the larger the group you are traveling with, the lower the per-person cost will be.


Day 1 - Leave United States

Fly from the United States and arrive in Istanbul the morning of the second day. Once you arrive you'll need to get a visa and go straight to the hotel.

Day 2 - Arrive in Istanbul, Welcome Dinner

We will meet at the hotel around 2 PM and after a brief orientation we will leave the hotel for sightseeing to visit the museum of Hagia Sophia, built by the Roman Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD and the largest building in the world for at least a thousand years. Welcome dinner. Night at the hotel. D

Day 3 - Tour Istanbul

We tour the main sites in Istanbul, including The Blue Mosque, built in the 17th century and still one of the largest and most beautiful mosques in the world; the Hippodrome, where Romans raced chariots and Topkapi Palace, the fabulous home of the Sultans and their harems. Night at the hotel. BLD

Day 4 - Fly to Izmir, Drive to Kusadasi, Tour Ephesus

We take a morning flight to the coastal city of Izmir, and drive to Ephesus, one of the most famous and extensive archeological sites in the Mediterranean. After Istanbul, Ephesus is the most visited place in Turkey. The site was continuously inhabited since around 3000 BC, when it was the center for the worship of the goddess Cybele, later called Artemis. It then became Ionian, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine as each succeeding civilization enjoyed its fine harbor. Its Library of Celsus is one of the most photographed buildings in the world. Ephesus slowly faded as the Little Meander River silted in the harbor in the 5th century AD. St. Paul and St. John preached here, and we still have Paul’s “Letter to the Ephesians.” Mary is said to have followed John here, and we might visit a house many feel was the site of her home. After visiting Ephesus we drive to the town of Selcuk to visit the Basilica of St. John, where the Saint is buried, and the Ephesus Museum, with its wonderful statues of Artemis. Then we return to our hotel to relax before dinner. Night at the hotel. BLD

Day 5 - Drive to Marmaris, Board Yacht (Gulet)

We drive southeast to Didyma. Didyma was home to an oracle similar to that found at Delphi. The huge temple to Apollo, commissioned by Alexander, was a work-in-progress for over five centuries but was never completed, probably because it became so huge that it surpassed the engineering of the day. Even today it is an amazing ruin, because of both its huge size and the intricacy of the stonework. Then we continue driving to Marmaris, where we board our yacht. We may spend the evening berthed in Marmaris and walk about this busy resort city, or we may leave and anchor in a remote cove. Night on the yacht. BLD

Day 6 - Ekincik Bay, Dalyan River, Caunos

We sail to sheltered Ekincik Bay, where we board a smaller boat and ride up the meandering Dalyan River to the ruins of Caunos, another Lycean city with wonderful rock tombs and an incredibly high acropolis. After lunch in the town of Dalyan we head back to our yacht, and spend the night in Ekincik cove. Night on the yacht. BLD

Day 7 - Agalimani, Kayakoy, Gemiler Island

In the morning we sail to the beautiful cove of Agalimani, which means “harbor of the respected elders.” We will anchor here for breakfast. Those who wish may enjoy swimming, kayaking, wind surfing and relaxing before we head to the beautiful beach at Oludeniz, one of the prettiest and most photographed in Turkey. Those who wish can hire local boats for water skiing or parasailing. We will anchor here for lunch and in the afternoon we drive to the ghost town of Kayakoy. Once a thriving Greek village, the town has been deserted since 1924 when the villagers, along with more than a million other Greeks, were expelled to Greece. The town has sat empty since then. Only in the past few years have Turks, mainly artists, begun to move in. From Kayakoy we have a choice of walking (1-2 hours downhill) or driving to Soguk Bay to meet the yacht. Night on the yacht. BLD

Day 8 - Kalkan, Lunch with Villagers, Xanthos, Kas

In the morning we sail to Kalkan, then drive high into the mountains to visit the village of Yayla, where we have lunch in the home of some villagers. Then we drive to Xanthos, ancient capital of Lycia whose citizens were legendary for their fierce independence. Twice in history they committed mass suicide rather than surrender: first in 540 BC, to avoid capture by the Persian general Harpagus, and again in 42 BC when under siege by the Romans under Brutus. Appropriately, the site still has a large necropolis, with many sarcophagi. Much of Xanthos was carried off to the British Museum in the 1840’s, but there is plenty to give us a feel for the place and time. Then we drive to Kas to meet our yacht. Kas was a Greek fishing village named Andifli until the population exchange of 1924, when its inhabitants were expelled to Greece. It is now a bustling resort town, but much of the Greek architecture remains. We will spend the evening in the Kas harbor, and according to the choice of our group we may spend the night at a more silent bay or at the Kas marina to have time to sample its nightlife. Night on the yacht. BLD

Day 9 - Kas, Aperlae, Kekova

This morning we will finish our exploration of Kas and sail to Aperlae, where we can swim over sunken ruins and old sarcophagi, and perhaps walk across a peninsula to meet the yacht. We will sail on to Kekova Island, here we can again swim and float over sunken ruins. Night on the yacht. BLD

Day 10 - Depart Yacht, Drive to Antalya, Archeology Museum

We say goodbye to the crew and leave the boat this morning. We will drive first to Demre, where St. Nicholas (yes, Santa Claus) was Bishop in the 4th century. While the church there is not the original one, it is perhaps the oldest church in Asia Minor. Our drive then takes us to Myra, to visit its rock tombs and Roman theater. Later we will drive to Antalya, where we will visit the excellent Antalya Archeology Museum. Night at the hotel. BLD

DAY 11 - Konya, Selcuk Caravanseral, Cappadocia

We begin with a long day of driving as we leave the coast and drive through the Taurus Mountains and across the Anatolian Plains. Our first stop is Konya, a very religious city and birthplace of both Sufism, a mystical branch of Islam, and the Whirling Dervishes. From Konya we continue to the Sultanhani Caravanserai. Caravanseries were public way stations built along the trade routes for the protection and comfort of traders. This huge, fortress-like structure was built in the 13th century by the Selcuk Sultan Aladdin Keykubad. All merchants, including foreigners, were allowed to stay here for up to 3 days at no charge. We continue to our hotel in Cappadocia. Night at hotel. (B,L,D)

DAY 12 - Cappadocia

Here we find a truly exotic landscape. The earth is a soft volcanic rock called “tuff” that has been carved by wind and water into bizarre and fantastic shapes. Since the Stone Age, people have been creating shelter in the rock, and the area is now a virtual museum of rock-carved homes, churches, and even underground cities. Some of these cities are up to eight stories deep and housed up to 20,000 people. Once a Hittite stronghold (Cappadocia means "land of well-bred horses" in Hittite) the area was ignored by many of the subsequent conquerors. For many centuries it was the center of Christianity for the eastern Mediterranean, and there are over 1,000 churches, dating form the 9th to the 12th centuries, in the area. Most are cut from the soft tuff; yet many interiors contain the features of traditional Byzantine churches such as domes, barrel vaulted ceilings, and pillars that are strictly decorative. In some places the rock houses and "fairy chimneys" are still inhabited. Night at hotel. (B,L,D)

DAY 13 - Cappadocia, Flight to Istanbul

After exploring more of Cappadocia we drive to Kayseri to catch an afternoon flight to Istanbul, where you may catch a connecting flight home or extend your stay in Istanbul. Upon arrival to Istanbul airport the tour ends. (B,L)

DAY 14 - Fly Home or Continue Vacation

Head back home or continue to another destination.

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