Turkey is known for its history, culture, hospitality, and natural beauty and there is no better way to explore its beaches and bays than aboard a gulet, a traditional wooden sailing yacht. After spending time in the vibrant city of Istanbul and the fascinating city of Ephesus, we'll be glad to get off the traditional tourist path as we head to the Turquoise Coast. We'll hike on trails accessible only from the sea, explore ancient ruins, visit small villages, feast on fresh food prepared by our on-board chef, and relax at night to the sound of the sea gently lapping against the boat. Traveling on a small boat allows us to moor in quiet bays, hike from one point to another, choose to stay on board and relax on any day, swim and snorkel in azure seas, and unpack only once. Along the way we'll see ruins that reflect Turkey's long history, from Lycia to Roman domination to the Turkish empire. Maximum group size: 12
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What's not included: International travel to and from Istanbul, domestic flights within Turkey, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities, and trip insurance.
This trip is designed for active women in good physical condition who want to combine hiking with immersion in the sights, smells, culture, and cuisine of Turkey. The pace on this trip is relaxed, giving you ample downtime. It also allows you to decide how active you want to be: if you hike every day, the rating of 3 is appropriate. If you spend some days relaxing and swimming off the boat, it is more of a 2. Some paths are rocky with loose rocks; all paths have ups and downs that are sometimes steep. Once on the boat there is down time and if you prefer to be constantly on the go, this trip might not be a good choice for you. Rating: 1 2 4 5
During our adventure in Turkey we'll sight-see traditional tourist sites in Istanbul and Ephesus; hike on remote paths; visit ancient Roman and Lycian sites; swim and kayak in the azure waters; and savor fresh and delicious foods - truly an adventure vacation in every sense of the word.
We'll spend the first two nights in a tourist class Istanbul hotel and two nights in Selcuk (Kirinca Hotel or similar). We'll then spend seven nights on board the gulet. There are 8 cabins with twin or double beds and each with its own private bathroom, with a bedside reading light, porthole window, wardrobe, under-bed storage, and hairdryer. As is typical on a gulet, the rooms are small; however, most of our time is spent above deck where comfortable chairs and cushions are plentiful. While there are always lights on board, power sockets and hot water are not always available. For example, there is hot water in the evening but not in the morning. Women who use a CPAP machine will need to bring a portable battery.
Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.
The Gulet was a terrific experience.The variety of activities including historical sites, natural sites, and regional artisans made the trip interesting and thought provoking.
Being on the Gullet and the daily hikes along the way
Highlights included the time on the gulet, meeting my fellow travelers and Marian and the spectacular views on the hikes!
The week on the gullet exceeded all of my expectations - from the graciousness and good humor of Anne, to the food, to swimming in the ocean, an amazingly relaxing week getting to know the other women on the trip.