Peter Sommer Travels - vacations and travel

Cruising Western Lycia

Turkey, Europe, Middle East

from £1,995* per person 8 Days September
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 3
Operator: Peter Sommer Travels 14 people max
  • Dalaman airport, dalaman, turkey
  • Boats, Barges & Small Ship Cruises trips
This cultural tour and gulet cruise in Turkey explores a quite beautiful stretch of coastline behind which an extraordinary culture and a fiercely independent people developed.

Once a day we visit one of the antique cities that adorn this timeless coast. We step back in time, to see how these cities evolved from Greek, Roman and Byzantine times to the present day. Their location, history, and state of preservation make for some of the most fascinating archaeological sites in the world. From mighty theatres to churches floored with mosaics, each site is an archaeological adventure, part of a historical puzzle that reveals a remarkable story of human civilisation.

Travelling aboard a beautiful Turkish gulet every day there are plenty of opportunities to swim in the crystal waters of the Turquoise coast, to windsurf, or to kayak. Mooring in secluded bays we set out on foot for a hike along ancient roads lined with wild herbs, or stroll through olive groves strewn with rock cut tombs.

Highlights include Xanthus, the great capital of ancient Lycia, whose magnificent treasures caused an extraordinary stir when they were brought to the British Museum and Gemiler Island, a small town that shone only in Byzantine times, resplendent with an avenue of churches. We also have the opportunity to see Patara: a massive and monumental site, birthplace of St Nicholas (Santa Claus), besieged by Brutus (the murderer of Julius Caesar) and visited by St. Paul. Archaeologists at Patara are uncovering an amazingly well preserved site, complete with paved colonnaded streets, a vast granary built by Hadrian, a beautiful lighthouse and the celebrated council house of the Lycian League, a political federation which influenced the drafting of the US constitution.

Locations visited/nearby

Turkey, Europe, Middle East

0 testimonials about this trip.

3 testimonials about the provider, Peter Sommer Travels:

  • Reviewer: located in Winchester, UK
    “We so enjoyed the cruise. As a tour guide myself, I am, I suppose, the most critical sort of audience, but I was simply knocked over by the whole experience: we loved Almira, the wonderful gulet with its delightful and efficient crew, and those beautiful sites explained with such passion and sensitivity. Well done indeed.”
  • Reviewer: located in Roseville, NSW Australia
    “The combination of sailing, walking through fascinating archaeological sites, meeting friendly Turkish villagers, swimming in warm clear waters and being fed delicious healthy Turkish food in good company - is just a winner. It is the best holiday we have ever had. Many thanks for your meticulous attention to our comfort.”
  • Reviewer: located in London UK
    “After 2 wonderful cruises with Peter we thought it might be hard to repeat the magic - we needn’t have worried. Sailing to Ephesus was the best of them all. The 5 kids with us loved it and still talk about it as one big adventure. Hats off again to Peter who manages effortlessly to hold adults and children entranced with his evocative narratives.”

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Day 1: Our gulet is about 30 minutes from Dalaman airport at Göcek, a pretty harbour beneath mountains at the head of the Bay of Fethiye, on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Welcome dinner on board.

Day 2: We head east to the island of Gemiler, with its superb Byzantine churches, a pilgrimage centre for St Nicholas. The area is perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

Day 3: We cruise on to Ka?, a beautiful village of white-washed houses covered with purple bougainvillea. Ancient Antiphellos lies littered in amongst the modern town: stunning sarcophagi and a theatre with a magnificent sea view.

Day 4: East to the spectacular village of Üçagiz, old Teimiussa, one of the most evocative of all Lycian burial sites. On to fascinating Kale, site of ancient Simena, perched among a jumble of Lycian sarcophagi and an Ottoman castle. One of the most romantic settings of the holiday.

Day 5: We set off west for pretty Kalkan. Inland to Xanthus, the great capital of ancient Lycia, where excavations are uncovering a vast monumental city.

Day 6: We head to Patara, birth place of St. Nicholas (Father Christmas) and a major naval and trading port of ancient Lycia. Much of Patara still remains undiscovered, but excavations have revealed many structures previously hidden by sand dunes. Among them, the parliament building of the Lycian League (a formative influence in the creation of the US Constitution).

Day 7: A last dip before cruising into Fethiye. A visit to Telmessus’ massive cliff face tombs and a final chance to shop. A fitting end to this inspirational holiday in Turkey.

Day 8: Transfer from our gulet back to Dalaman airport.

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