Family Turkey Coastal Active Adventure and Cruise

Resort:Family Turkey Coastal Active Adventure and Cruise
Operator: Explore
Destination: Middle East, Turkey
Price From: £1299.00

Over View

Spend two weeks amongst the beautiful landscapes of ancient Lycia. Canoe to the ancient city of Xanthos, discover hidden beaches along the coastline, sea kayak over sunken ruins and explore ancient villages in the Taurus Mountains. The first week is based in the harbour town of Kas with its cobbled streets and street cafe culture followed by a week sailing along the coast on a traditional gullet.

Snorkelling – Look for fish as we snorkel in sandy bays and swimming in the warm waters of the Med from the boat or beach

Canoeing – along the Xanthos River, ending up at a secluded beach

Stargazing – Sleeping on the deck of our boat Sailing – seven nights on a traditional style wooden gulet, being as active as you want


Day 1 Join trip in Kas

Arrive in Kas, a laid back fishing town on the Turkish Lycian coast with a host of adventurous activities on offer.

For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 6pm for the welcome meeting and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Kas at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you’ll need to arrive into Dalaman International Airport (airport code DLM), which is 150km, around 3 hours from the airport. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.

If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to take a dip in the hotel pool or head into Kas to sample the wide choice of restaurants. Be sure to sample the hearty Turkish food on offer such as slow cooked lamb, a barbecued meat selection or pide – it’s similar to a pizza.

Day 2 Full day boat trip from Kas, swimming and snorkelling from the boat

Our first day here is spent on the sea, as we take a boat trip from Kas across the surrounding calm and clear waters. From the sea we can appreciate fully this dramatic and beautiful coastline. There will be ample opportunity for swimming and snorkeling from our boat, and we plan to enjoy a barbecue lunch before returning to Kas later in the afternoon. Kas is a great place to relax, with cafes and restaurants spilling out onto cobbled streets and a network of tiny backalleys to explore.

Day 3 Walks in the foothills of the Taurus Mountains, stopping for a traditional Turkish lunch

Today we head for the hills to explore where we find cedar forests, streams, shady glades and tiny charming villages where the pattern of life has remained almost untouched for centuries. We plan to walk between these mountain villages and take lunch with a local family in a typical village house, before returning to Kas via the silver sand beach of Kapitas. Located just west of Kas, Kapitas is an idyllic spot for a swim at the end of our day in the mountains. Finally we make our way back to Kas.

Day 4 Free day; optional boat trip to the Greek island of Kastellorizo

Today is left free for you to do some exploring of your own. For those with a hankering for culture, Kas is built around the remains of a number of ancient sites including; Kas Theatre which was built during the third century BC and is now used for theatrical performances and music concerts, the monumental Lion Tomb and a number of hillside rock tombs. Alternatively you may like to visit the isolated and ruggedly beautiful Greek island of Meis (optional), to give its Turkish name, Kastellorizo. The island is just one mile from the Turkish coast and yet more than 100km from Rhodes, its nearest Greek neighbour.

Day 5 Visit the ancient Lycian site of Xanthos; canoe trip down Xanthos River to a beach at Patara

We visit Xanthos this morning which was the capital of ancient Lycia and at one time was the largest centre of commerce and religion in the region. The town has had a turbulent past, falling to both the Persians and the Romans.

During the Roman civil wars of the 1st century BC, the Lycians sided with Caesar against Pompeius but after Caesar’s assassination in Rome, Brutus attacked Xanthos and demolished the acropolis. Marc Antony rebuilt their city and today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We travel by canoe down the Xanthos River in the afternoon to Patara beach. Passing through tranquil and unspoilt rural backwaters along the way, we stop for a picnic lunch before eventually emerging at Patara Beach which is a protected nesting area for giant loggerhead turtles. We have the opportunity to swim on the return to Kas.

Day 6 In Kas; optional trip to Myra, the home of Father Christmas

There is an opportunity this morning to visit the Church of St Nicholas at Demre (Myra) which is where the 4th century Bishop Nicholas is said to have anonymously given money to the poor thus spawning the legend of Father Christmas. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of two countries; Greece and Russia, and is also the protector of children, merchants, scholars and sailors – a busy man! The origin of Saint Nicholas’s gift giving is believed to have arisen from a legend in which a shopkeeper was too poor to supply his daughters with dowries. When Saint Nicholas heard of their plight, he threw three bags of coins into the shopkeeper’s yard, saving the daughters from a life of hardship.

The Church of Saint Nicholas was built after his death and Noel Baba’s remains were placed in a rock sarcophagus. A modern statue of Saint Nicholas, complete with beard, bag of toys, and children has been placed outside the church. But Myra isn’t just the home of Santa. A mile north of the church is the impressive ruins of the ancient town, where dozens of Lycian tombs are carved out of the cliff above a Roman amphitheatre. We plan to make an early start today (to beat the crowds and heat) but on returning to Kas there is a free afternoon either to relax or perhaps try snorkelling.

Day 7 Sea-kayaking over sunken ruins to Kekova Island, visit Simena Castle.

We depart in the early morning to try our hand at sea kayaking in the calm, protected waters of the bay of Kekova. We’ll enjoy a packed sandwich breakfast with coffee en route and enjoy paddling in the tranquil waters before any other boats or kayakers take to the water. It’s one of the most scenic areas in Lycia with picturesque islands, bays and small ancient cities surrounding the famous sunken city of Kekova. The results of various earthquakes, there are partly submerged streets and buildings visible in the crystal clear waters and even steps leading down into the depths of the bay.

Later we paddle to the picturesque whitewashed village of Simena, whose harbour is dotted with ancient sarcophagi (tombs), Roman baths, houses that cling to a hillside and a castle where we find an ancient theatre. Carved from the solid rock, it is a wonderful place to sit and soak up the beautiful surroundings. Taking to the waters again, we head back to Ucagiz from where we transfer back to Kas.

Day 8 Drive to Fethiye and board Gulet

Today the Legends of Lycia trip ends and we transfer to Fethiye to join the gulet for our Blue Cruise. This trip starts at Fethiye harbour where we board our gulet and meet the crew. Fethiye is a market town that can trace its history back to the ancient Lycian city of Telmessos built around the harbour in the 5th or 6th Century B.C. Reminders of the town’s past include Lycian rock tombs on the hillside and a Hellenistic theatre. We spend our first night on board our boat in the harbour.

Day 9 Riverboat to Caunus; gulet to Yassica Island

After a short transfer to the sleepy village of Dalyan we board our riverboat. We first head upriver to the therapeutic mudbaths of Ilica – a chance to unwind fully in preparation for the week ahead! – and then meander downstream, weaving through reed beds rich in bird life. We pass cliffs carved with dramatic Necropolis tombs before coming to the ruins of the ancient seaport of Caunus. Much of the site is overgrown, but the fine Hellenistic theatre is well preserved and the views from the fortified acropolis are breathtaking. Looking south to the Aegean 5 kms away it is hard to imagine that Caunus was once a thriving port, but fell into decline when the harbour silted up. Continuing by riverboat we reach Iztuzu Beach, a wide spit of white sand lapped on one side by the Aegean and on the other side by the fresh waters of the Koycegiz River. This is one of the few remaining nesting places of Caretta caretta, the loggerhead turtle. Development at Iztuzu has been banned and an overnight curfew is placed on the beach, as this is when the female turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. Having paused to swim we transfer back to Gocek and board our gulet. We enjoy lunch aboard whilst sailing south to our first overnight mooring at the tranquil cove at Yassica Island.

Day 10 Sail to Gemiler Island via Tersane and Batik Hammam

After a optional walk on Yassica Island we make the short crossing to Tersane Island. Formerly the site of a prosperous Greek village, Tersane is now deserted. Among the remains are a watchtower and some tombs, all of which are now ruined but well preserved. From here we continue to Batik Hammam where we will have the opportunity to swim in the beautiful clear waters. We finish our day heading towards our next night stop at Gemiler Island.

Day 11 Cruise to Kalkan; optional visit to Xanthos and Saklikent Gorge

We make an early start to sail to Kalkan, an attractive village built into the steep seacliff. Kalkan is an ideal base from which to visit the ancient city of Xanthos as well as Saklikent Gorge which is a short drive away. Xanthos was the capital of ancient Lycia, captured by Brutus in 43BC, but only after the menfolk had killed all their women and children to save them from falling into Roman hands. Saklikent Gorge, which means Hidden Place, is situated high in the mountains above Fethiye was created by icy cold water cutting through the mountains over thousands of years. A natural wonder, the resulting canyon is 300 metres deep and 18 km long. The walls are so high they cut out most of the sunlight and the fresh spring waters that flow through are freezing cold! A great refuge on a hot summer day.

Day 12 Sail to Kekova

After sailing one of the loveliest stretches of coastline from Kalkan eastwards to the sheltered bay of Kekova, we drop anchor and once again have the chance to venture onshore to discover the ancient heritage of the Lycian Coast.

Day 13 Optional Sea-Kayaking; sail to Kas

This morning there is the chance to sea-kayaking again in the calm, protected waters of the bay of Kekova. Here we find the so called Sunken City of Kekova: partly submerged streets and buildings are visible in the crystal clear waters. Later we paddle to the picturesque whitewashed village of Simena, whose harbour is dotted with ancient sarcophagi (tombs) and whose houses cling to a hillside beneath a medieval castle. Hiking up to the castle we find within its walls a tiny ancient theatre, carved from the solid rock, a wonderful place to sit and soak up the beautiful surroundings and layers of history all about. In the afternoon we make our final gulet journey, sailing west to the pleasant little harbour town of Kas. This attractive port is one of the most beautiful of the Turkish Riviera, backed by steep cliffs covered with dense green forest. You’ll have time to enjoy the atmosphere at one of the many lively cafes near the harbour.

Day 14 Westward sail towards Fethiye

Today we take a leisurely pace, returning westwards towards Fethiye. Stopping en route for swimming opportunities, we eventually moor up around 1 hour from Fethiye in a quiet bay.

Day 15 Trip ends Fethiye

The trip ends after breakfast in Fethiye harbour.

There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Fethiye harbour at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day it will be possible to leave your baggage either on board the boat or at the boat office in Fethiye. Please speak to your Tour Leader or the boat captain to make the necessary arrangements.

If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Dalaman International Airport (airport code DLM), which is 50km, around 90 minutes from the port.