Explore the best of Turkey by land and by sea through the eyes of MTS’ local history specialists!
Experience the best of Turkey both by land and by sea on this fabulous journey through the past! As the cultural and historical crossroads between Europe and Asia, Turkey’s ancient ruins offer an in-depth glimpse of history. Our MTS guides have degrees in art history and archaeology and are the ideal travel companions to guide you! Our adventure kicks off with a two-day exploration of Istanbul’s greatest attractions, including visits to Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the spice market. We’ll have the opportunity to live aboard a traditional Turkish gulet that will cruise us down the coastline to visit the ancient cities of Ephesus, Myra, and Xanthos. See all that Turkey has to offer in style!
6 days sailing, easy touring, optional hiking and kayaking
- The most comprehensive Turkey itinerary including a six-day cruise aboard a luxury gulet along the celebrated Turquoise Coast
- A true journey through the history of time--Ephesus, Myra, Xanthos, Cappadocia, Istanbul and the Mediterranean itself
- The epitome of East meets West--a nexus of culture, cuisine, color, history, textiles, markets and mosaics
Duration: 14 days Start Location: Istanbul End Location: IstanbulDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive in Istanbul
Arrive in Istanbul, Turkey. You’ll have time to explore the Old City before you meet your guide for a traditional welcome dinner.
Day 2 : Istanbul – Bosphorus
A ferry ride on the Bosphorus brings us past ornate Ottoman palaces to the Old City, where we’ll visit the famous spice market and mosque of Rustem Pasha.
Day 3 : Istanbul – Old Town
We’ll visit the ancient monuments of Istanbul today, including Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, and the Blue Mosque.
Day 4 : Cappadocia
Morning flight, then a transfer to beautiful and unusual Cappadocia. Later, we’ll hike up to Uchisar Castle.
Day 5 : Cappadocia
This morning, we’ll visit the Göreme Valley and its reconstructed Dark Church. After lunch, a visit to a pottery workshop.
Day 6 : Konya
Morning transfer to historical Konya, where we’ll enjoy a private performance of whirling dervishes.
Day 7 : Gulet Cruise
We’ll drive to the coastal city of Antalya, visit the Aspendos Theatre, and continue to Demre to board our Turkish gulet.
Day 8 : Demre – Simena – Kash
We’ll go ashore to visit the ruins of Myra. We’ll then sail to ancient Simena, then on to Kash for a walk around town.
Day 9 : Xanthos
A short cruise to the village of Kalkan, then a drive to Xanthos, where we’ll explore its many ruins.
Day 10 : Levissi Ghost Town
We’ll anchor and hike through a forest to visit the Levissi ghost town and later take a small hike on Ship Island.
Day 11 : Goçek Bay
This morning, the gulet takes us to Lydae, where we’ll hike to the Bay of Goçek, a special spot to Antony and Cleopatra.
Day 12 : Goçek – Kusadasi
We’ll disembark our gulet in Goçek and transfer to Kusadasi, with a stop at the Temple of Artemis.
Day 13 : Ephesus – Istanbul
We’ll spend the morning exploring Ephesus. This afternoon, we’ll fly back to Istanbul.
Day 14 : "Gule Gule" (Go happily)
"Gule Gule" (Go happily) as you leave for the airport for your flights home.
DATES: Best time to go: May, September - October Departures: May 12 - 25, 2015 Sep 8 - 21, 2015 Oct 1 - 14, 2015
Hagia Sophia Hotel Istanbul – Old CityIstanbul
This luxurious hotel is centrally in Sultanahmet district, surrounded by major cultural landmarks of the old city. The hotel offers stylish rooms with free Wi-Fi, next to Basilica Cistern and 85 yards from Hagia Sophia.
The elegant rooms of Hagia Sophia Hotel Istanbul – Old City are air-conditioned and equipped with modern amenities. The rooms offer views of the surrounding area and some rooms have stunning views of Hagia Sophia.
There is a restaurant at Hagia Sophia Hotel Istanbul – Old City, serving Turkish and international cuisine. Guests can choose to have their meals indoors at the chic restaurant or outdoors at the terrace with Hagia Sophia views.
The hotel provides free private parking on site. Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace are only a quarter mile from the hotel. Sultanahmet Bus Stop and Tram Stop are both 265 yards away, offering easy access to other sites of the city.
THE M/S A. CANDANTurkey
The M/S A. Candan is a gulet. Gulets are wooden hulled boats, traditionally built along the Mediterranean coastlines, which have evolved into motor/sail yachts. Averaging between 70 to 80 feet in length, they typically have a broad beam and two masts.
The M/S A. Candan is 118-feet long, and can accommodate up to 16 people, though we limit our groups to just 14 people.
The spacious deck has a very large shaded dining area for all guests to dine together family-style. The sun deck has 16 individual sun beds so that all guests can bask under the sun at any time.
The saloon is finished with warm tones, has wide windows for light, and is equipped with audio-visual equipment (music, TV/DVD).
All cabins have en suite bathroom and shower facilities, and are well lit and ventilated.
Fully equipped with recreational equipment, everyone can have fun snorkeling, canoeing, fishing and swimming
- 1 Master Double cabin (front) with WC and hot water shower (L. 14' 8'' x W. 8' 9'' x H. 7' 9''), and with 1 double king bed (L. 6' 5'' x W. 5' 8''). This bed is 7” shorter than a North American “California king” sized bed, and 4” narrower. However, the bed is also larger than a North American queen-sized bed. Extra fee for master cabin upgrade (see detailed itinerary).
- 1 Master Double cabin (stern) with WC and hot water shower (L. 18’ x W. 11' 9'' x H. 6' 5''), and with 1 double king bed (L. 6' 9'' x W. 5' 6''). This bed is 3” shorter than a North American “California king” sized bed, and 6” narrower. However, the bed is also larger than a North American queen-sized bed. Extra fee for master cabin upgrade (see detailed itinerary).
- 2 Standard Double cabins with WC and hot water shower (L. 11' 5'' x W. 9' 2'' x H. 7' 2''), and with 1 double queen bed in each (L. 6' 5'' x W. 5' 9''). This bed is 3” shorter than a North American queen-sized bed, but 9” wider; and larger overall than a North American double-sized bed.
- 4 Twin cabins with WC and hot water shower (L. 10’ x W. 8' 9'' x H. 7' 2''), and with 2 twin sized beds (L. 6' 4'' x W. 3' 2''). These beds are 1” longer than North American twin-sized beds, but are also 1” narrower.
- Note – One cabin is reserved for our guides, which means we will only take up to 14 guests per departure.
Life aboard a gulet is casual. Meals are enjoyed family-style, and are usually served outdoors on the deck under the sun shade. Each day you can choose to participate in the planned land excursions, or you can opt to stay on board the gulet and sunbath, read, or take a nap. There is a fully stocked bar, and a tab will be kept open for you for the duration of the trip (some wine is included with your dinner meals). The pace of life on your floating hotel is delightfully relaxed. This is your vacation, after all!
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.
Ozlem "Ozzy" Ozgoren
Ozzy studied for two years in the United States (the first time in Missouri as a high school foreign exchange student and more recently at the University of Miami’s department of Art History). She enjoys contact with Americans and likes to share her knowledge and interest in the history and culture of her native Turkey. She has guided tour groups in all areas of her country. In her spare time, Ozlem pursues her interest in wildlife and sings in a chorus.
Serra is a native of Turkey, and is a graduate of Ege (Aegean) University, Department of Classical Archaeology, and a Certified Graduate of the Turkish government Ministry of Tourism guide program, licensed for all regions of Turkey. Her post-graduate studies have included six months of study in her profession at the Lecce University in Italy, and courses at the Middle Eastern Technical University to becoming a qualified diver. During her studies, she worked at the excavation site of the ancient city of Antandros, located in the ancient Troas region in each summer of these years.
Mesut, who has lived his whole life in his native Turkey, is a graduate of Balikesir University's Department of Tourism for Tourist Guides, and speaks fluent English. He has worked for Mountain Travel Sobek for many years, and are among our favorites in Europe. Mesut also guides MTS' Coruh River trips, and is a licensed guide for all regions in Turkey.
Filiz was born and raised in Turkey, attended the Aegean University of Classic Archeology, and is a Certified Graduate of the Turkish Government Ministry of Tourism Guide Certification, licensed for all regions of Turkey. In her personal time, she participates in excavations of archeological sites, studies the history of the Middle East and Asia Minor, as well as foreign languages and ethic cultures, and is especially fond of film and music. Filiz has been a professional guide since 2007.
Zehra graduated from the prestigious Kocaeli University's Department of Tourism for Tourist Guides, and speaks fluent English. She studies were focused on history, art and architecture, archaeology, and mythology. Zehra is very enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge, and has been guiding for us since 2008.