Project Description

Lycia is one of Turkey’s loveliest regions. Geographically it falls in the area between Fethiye and Antalya along the soutwestern coast of Anatolia. The massive chainsof the Taurus mountains dominate the harsh landscape. The ranges of the Beydağları, the ancient Solyma, in the east, and Akdağ, ancient Massicytus, in the west, with their 3.000 m high peaks, from the northern borders of the region, while to the south, in several points (around Finike, Kınık and Fethiye), it stretches into lowlands to the Mediterranean.

The vegetation is typical of the Mediterranean basin, with citrus trees and, in higher altitudes, pine, spruce, and even the nowrarely encountered cedar forests. Strabo furnishes us with a detailed report on the Lycian Federation. According to him, 23 cities with their votes were represented in the federation and held each year an assembly. The most important cities among them had three votes each. They were Xanthos, Patara, Pinara, Tlos, Myra and Olympos, and their economic power was further expressed by the large quantity of coins they minted.

Day 1 :Join tour Gocek
Arrive Gocek and board gulet. 7 nights share of 2-berth or double cabin. (included meals: Bx7, Lx6, Dx6).

Day 2 : Riverboat to Caunus; Gullet to Aga Limani
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 the dramatic Necropolis tombs of Caunus 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 of Aga Limani.

Day 3 : Batik Hammam – Tersane and Yassica Island – Gemiler Island
In the cooler morning temperatures we make a short hike across an isthmus from our overnight mooring to Batik Hamam (‘Sunken Baths’). Here we find a Roman bathhouse partly submerged in a bay fringed by pinecovered hills. We rejoin the gulet here (any non-walkers can of course opt to stay on board and sail round the headland to Batik Hamam) and then 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. We continue to Yassica Island where there is the opportunity to take an optional walk to the summit; the perfect spot for a 360 degree view. From here we continue to our night sop at Gemiler Island. Time permitting we will be able to see some minor Byzantine ruins overlooking spectacular coastal scenery. Exploring the ruins we find churches with frescoes and mosaic floors which are mostly unexcavated. A unique covered passage from the interior to the sea is said by locals to have been built for a queen who had delicate skin and wanted to avoid the sun, but who enjoyed swimming.

Day 4 : 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 cities of Xanthos and Saklikent gorge, 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, 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. Saklikent in Turkish means “Hidden City”. 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 5 : 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. There are various optional walks in the area, including the attractive route from Beyinder Bay to Kas, which reveals lovely coastal views around every corner.

Day 6 : Optional Sea-Kayaking – Sail to Kas
This morning there is the chance to try out sea-kayaking 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 7 : 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 8 : Home
This morning we sail back to Fethiye where the tourends. Those with group flights transfer to Dalaman airport.