Aegean & Mediterranean Coast Explorer

Tour Code : CUL 07

–    Ancient sites Phaselis, Myra; Patara; Priene; Troy 
–    Gulf of Fethiye boat tour – Caunos & Iztuzu Beach 
–    Datca Peninsula & ancient Knidos 
–    Didim (Didyma) & the Temple of Apollo
–    Ancient Ephesus; Pergamon (Acropolis) & Cunda Island 
–    Istanbul; Hagia Sophia, Blue mosque & Topkapi palace


Best Season   
Jan / Feb / Mar / Apr / May / Jun / Jul / Aug / Sep / Oct / Nov / Dec


Duration of the Trip
14 Days / 13 Nights


Difficulty Level
= A (Easy) 


Hotel    :    13 Nights

Day 1 : Antalya

Meet at the Antalya airport with Demavend Travels representative and drive to the Hotel located in the old city centre. It is uncertain when the site of the current city was first inhabited. Attalos II, king of Pergamon, was believed to have founded the city around 150 BC, naming it Attalia and selecting it as a naval base for his powerful fleet. However, excavations in 2008 have uncovered remains dating to the 3rd century BC, suggesting that the city was founded earlier than previously supposed. Antalya became part of the Roman Republic in 133 BC when King Attalos III of Pergamum willed his kingdom to Rome at his death. The city grew and prospered during the Ancient Roman period; today the city includes sites with traces of Lycian, Pamphylian, and Hellenistic -but mainly Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman- architecture and cultures.
Transfer time: 20 min.; transfer distance: 15 km (Antalya airport – Antalya Kaleici)
ON: in Antalya at the Hotel
Meals: – / – / D

Day 2 : Antalya to Kas via Phaselis & ancient Myra

Today we leave Antalya and drive to Kas; on the way we first take time to visit Phaselis, an ancient Greek and Roman city with three harbours. Through the middle of the city runs a 24m wide ancient street. The ‘Hadrian Waterway Gate’ is on the southern part of the street with ruins of shops and stores on the sides and near these are ruins of public places such as Roman baths, agora and theatres. After visiting Phaselis we drive to Myra; according to Strabo one of the largest towns of the Lycian alliance; the ancient city consist an impressive necropolis including tombs of rulers and family members and a large Roman amphitheatre. In the late afternoon we will arrive in Kas, a small fishing, yachting and tourist town. Kas was founded by the Lycians and its name was Habesos or Habesa. It was a member of the Lycian League and its importance during this time is confirmed by the presence of one of the richest Lycian necropolis. Kas itself is a quiet pleasant town with its blue sea and narrow streets scented with jasmine flowers. There are plenty of little quiet cafes to relax.
Transfer time: 3 h; transfer distance: 190 km (Antalya – Kas via Myra & Phaselis)
ON: in Kas at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 3 : Kas to Fethiye via ancient Patara; Kayakoy (Karmilassos) & Oludeniz beach

We leave Kas in the morning and drive to Fethiye; on the way we take time to visit ancient city of Patara, Lycia’s primary seaport and a leading city of the Lycian League. Patara was a flourishing maritime and commercial city on the south west coast of Lycia and is the birth place of St. Nicholas, who lived most of his life in the nearby town of Myra (Demre). Ancient writers mentioned Patara as one of the principal cities of Lycia. After visiting Patara we continue to Kayakoy, originally named “Karmilassos”; an old Greek village given up at the End of the World War I, in accordance with the treaty of Lausanne which envisaged an exchange of population between Greece and Turkey. Two admirable churches are still drawn up among the ruined stone-built houses.
For those who want: it is possible to go on a trek following a forest path which offers a splendid panorama on the limpid turquoise water splits and leads directly down to the Oludeniz lagoon)
Walking time: 2/3 h; walking distance: 6 km; ascent: 200m; descent: 300m
Oludeniz lagoon; is one of the most photographed beaches on the Mediterranean. It has a secluded sandy bay at the mouth of Oludeniz, on a blue lagoon. The lagoon is a national nature reserve and building is strictly prohibited. Oludeniz is famous for its shades of turquoise and aquamarine and is an official blue flag beach and is frequently rated among the top 5 beaches in the world by travellers and tourism journals alike. In the late afternoon we arrive in Fethiye, located on the site of the ancient city of Telmessos, where we spend the Night at the Hotel.
Transfer time: 2 h; transfer distance: 110 km; (Kas – Fethiye)
ON: in Fethiye at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 4 : Gulf of Fethiye boat tour; Kızilada (Red Island) & Yassica Islands

In the morning we leave the Harbour of Fethiye and visit the Kizil Ada (Red Island). Kizil Ada is a well-known and popular destination for sailing boats. You can take time to swim and to relax next to the Kizil Ada and its turquoise waters or make yourself comfortable with a cool drink on the yacht. Afterwards we continue to the bays of Gocek; better known as Yassica Islands, where it is possible to explore the area with its turquoise blue bays and sandy beaches; the Yassica Islands are a magnificent place to rest and to enjoy the panoramic view along the Mediterranean Area. Afterwards we return to Fethiye Harbour, where it is possible to explore the Marina area with its charming cafés and the old town with its beautiful shops with a variety of unique Turkish goods and souvenirs.
Gulf of Fethiye boat tour: approximately 4 h
ON: in Fethiye at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 5 : Fethiye to Akyaka via Caunos & Iztuzu Beach

After breakfast we leave Fethiye and drive to Akyaka, on our way we take time to visit the ancient city of Caunos and Iztuzu Beach. TheLycian/Carian city of Caunos (Kaunos); was a separate state; then it became a part of Caria and later still of Lycia. According to mythology Caunos was founded by King Caunos, son of the Carian King Miletus and Kyane, and grandson of Apollo. Caunos is a site which is both interesting for its archaeological and ecological importance. The main sights are the Acropolis (Persikon), the theatre, the palaestra with its Roman baths, the port agora, two Hellenistic and four of Roman Temples. Iztuzu beach is a narrow spit of land, which forms a natural barrier between the fresh water delta of the Dalyan River and the Mediterranean. It is one of the main breeding grounds for loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Mediterranean and is therefore often referred to as “Turtle Beach”. The loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) is on the IUCN Red list of endangered animals. In the late afternoon we arrive in Akyaka; a coastal township; situated at the far end of the Gulf of Gökova. Akyaka is a rising centre for tourism due to its advantageous location and natural beauties. Gökova town, inland from Akyaka was the location of the historic city of Idyma, some of whose remains reaching back at least to the 4th century BC, when it was founded as a Carian city, are still visible.  We spend the Night in Akyaka at the Hotel.
Transfer time: 2/3 h; transfer distance: 180 km; (Fethiye – Akyaka via Caunos & Iztuzu Beach)
ON: in Akyaka at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 6 : Via Datca peninsula & ancient Knidos to Bodrum; the mausoleum Halicarnassus & Bodrum castle

After breakfast we drive to Datca Peninsula where we take time to visit ancient Knidos. The Datca Peninsula; is a landscape you may never want to leave; covered with of olive trees, pine forests in sheltered hollows and stunning blue water. With thousands of years of history, a wonderful climate and friendly locals, abundant flora, fauna and carefully preserved nature, Datca Peninsula is a secret paradise. Knidos (or Cnidus); was an ancient Greek city of Caria, part of the Dorian Hexapolis. Knidos was the centre of Dorian civilisation and one of the most important cities in the region. Knidos features several temples, sacred altars, theatres, splendid buildings and numerous works of art; a temple of Dionysus, a temple of the Muses and a great number of minor buildings. After visiting Knidos we leave Datca Peninsula and head towards Bodrum; called Halicarnassus of Caria in ancient times and was part of the Persian Empire until captured by Alexander the Great. In Bodrum we take time to visit the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus built between 353 and 350 BC; today the site retains much of its great wall, remnants of the gymnasium, a late colonnade, a temple platform and rock-cut tombs. We also visit Bodrum Castle with Underwater Archaeology Museum; the construction of the castle began in 1404 under the German knight & architect Heinrich Schlegelholt. The first walls were completed in 1437; the chapel was among the first completed inner structures. The Museum of Underwater Archaeology includes a collection of amphora’s, ancient glass, bronze, clay and iron items. It is the biggest of its kind devoted to underwater archaeology and the collection of ancient glass objects is one of the four biggest collections in the world. We spend the Night in Bodrum at the Hotel.
Transfer time: 3 h; transfer distance: 220 km; (Datca Peninsula – Bodrum)
Important: Depending on season (between March & October) it is possible to use the Seaway (Ferry) from Datca to Bodrum (approximately 105 minutes)
ON: in Bodrum at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 7 : Bodrum to Selcuk via Didim (Didyma) & the temple of Apollo and ancient Priene

We leave Bodrum in the morning and drive to Selcuk. On our way we first visit Didim; home of the antique city of Didyma with its ruined Temple of Apollo and its columns pointing up into the sky, a popular sanctuary and one of the most famous oracles in the world. The original temple and home of an oracle was destroyed during the Persian Wars and the one we see today was rebuilt following the victory over the Persians of Alexander the Great. Via Didim we continue towards ancient Priene; as an ancient Greek city of Ionia and member of the Ionian League. Priene possessed a great deal of famous Hellenistic art and architecture. The city was arranged into four districts, firstly the political district which consisted of the bouleuterion and the prytaneion, the cultural district containing the theatre, the commercial where the agora was located and finally the religious district which contained sanctuaries dedicated to Zeus and Demeter and most importantly the Temple of Athena. In the late afternoon we arrive in Selcuk where we spend the Night at the Hotel.
Transfer time: 3 h; transfer distance: 220 km; (Bodrum – Selcuk via Didyma & Priene)
ON: in Selcuk at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 8 : Selcuk; ancient Ephesus & house of virgin Mary

After breakfast we visit Ephesus; one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era. In the Roman period, it was for many years the second largest city of the Roman Empire; ranking behind Rome. Ephesus contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean. Only an estimated 15 % has been excavated. The ruins that are visible give some idea of the city’s original splendour and the names associated with the ruins are evocative of its former life. Close to Ephesus, we also take time to visit the house of Virgin Mary; discovered in the 19th century. The Roman Catholic Church has never pronounced on the authenticity of the house, for lack of acceptable evidence but nevertheless maintains a steady flow of pilgrimage since its discovery.  Catholic pilgrims visit the house based on the belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was taken to this stone house by Saint John and lived there until her Assumption. In the late afternoon there will be time to explore the city centre of Selcuk, with its traditional Turkish culture and lifestyle. Known as Ayasoluk under the Ottoman Empire, Selcuk is one of the most visited touristic destinations within Turkey. The 6th century Basilica of St. John the Apostle, which, some claim, is built on the site of the Apostle’s tomb, is also inside the town. The old quarter of Selcuk retains much traditional Turkish culture. Ayasoluk Hill dominates the surrounding area, with several historical buildings on its slopes, including the Isa Bey Mosque and the Grand Fortress. We spend the Night in Selcuk at the Hotel.
ON: in Selcuk at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D    

Day 9 : Selcuk to ancient Pergamon (Acropolis) and Cunda Island & Ayvalik

Today we leave Selcuk and drive to Bergama; an ancient Greek city; became the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon during the Hellenistic period. Notable structures still in existence on the upper part of the Acropolis (a remodelled version of the Acropolis in Athens) include a Hellenistic Theatre with a seating capacity of 10.000 (steepest seating of any known theatres in the ancient world), the Library (the ancient Library of Pergamum; the second best in the ancient Greek civilization), Royal palaces, the Temple of Dionysus, the Upper Agora and the Roman baths complex. In the afternoon we arrive at Cunda Island & Ayvalik, a seaside oasis; once predominantly Greek and some Greek is still spoken here. The Taksiyarhis Church is one of the most important ancient buildings; it is the largest church on Cunda Island and is treasured for its interior marble design, portraits of Saints and ancient reliefs picturing the life of Jesus Christ. The main part of the church consists of four marble pillars tied to each other with bows. Its Basilica Dome was built in 1873. In the late afternoon we will walk through Cunda Islands picturesque alleys and streets, take time to taste a cup of traditional tea, known as cay, whilst sitting close to the centre, with its masterwork of Greek architecture on one side, and the fascinating coast to the other side.
Transfer time: 3/4 h; transfer distance: 240 km; (Selcuk – Ayvalik & Cunda Island via Pergamon)
ON: in Ayvalik (Cunda Island) at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 10 : Ayvalik to Canakkale via Adatepe Olive Oil Museum; Behramkale ancient Assos & Troy

We leave Ayvalik/Cunda Island and drive towards Canakkale; on the way visit Adatepe Olive Oil Museum, ruins of Behramkale (Assos) and ancient Troy. Adatepe Olive Oil Museum; displays impressive objects such as: huge granite stone mills, antique olive presses belonging to different periods of history, numerous tools for pruning, olive picking as well as carrying baskets and earthenware jars for olive oil storage, amphora’s from sunken ships of early trade throughout the Mediterranean, the huge oven and the bowl for soap making, knives and stamps for handmade pure olive oil soaps, olive oil lambs and various labels of the local producers. Text, maps and pictures in the museum display the adventure of olive oil, the spread of olives from the Middle East to Europe throughout history. Behramkale/Assos; the city was founded from 1000 to 900 BC by Aeolian colonists from Lesbos. The settlers built a Doric Temple to Athena on top of the crag. After leaving the Platonic Academy in Athens, Aristotle went to Assos, where he was welcomed by King Hermias and opened an Academy in this city. When the Persians attacked Assos Aristotle fled to Macedonia, which was ruled by his friend King Philip II of Macedon, where he tutored Philip’s son, Alexander the Great. St. Paul also visited the city during his third missionary journey through Asia Minor on his way to Lesbos. Ancient Troy; is best known for being the focus of the Trojan War described in the Greek Epic Cycle and especially in the Iliad, one of the two epic poems attributed to Homer. In 1865, English archaeologist Frank Calvert excavated trial trenches in a field he had bought from a local farmer at Hisarlik, in 1868 Heinrich Schliemann, wealthy German businessman and archaeologist, also began excavating in the area. Alexander the Great visited the site in 334 BC and made sacrifices at tombs there associated with the Homeric heroes Achilles and Patroclus. Troy was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1998. In the late afternoon we arrive in Canakkale, where we spend the Night at the Hotel.
Transfer time: 3 h; transfer distance: 210 km; (Ayvalik & Cunda Island – Canakkale via Assos & Troy)
ON: in Canakkale at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 11 : Canakkale to Istanbul via Kilitbahir and Gallipoli peninsula; north cemeteries & memorials

We leave Canakkale and cross over to Gallipoli peninsula where we take time to walk through North Cemeteries & Memorials; the strait has always played a strategic role in history; the Dardanelles is unique in many respects. The Persian army of Xerxes I of Persia and later the Macedonian army of Alexander the Great crossed the Dardanelles in opposite directions to invade each other’s lands. In 1915, the western Allies sent a massive invasion force of British, Indian, Australian, and New Zealand troops to attempt to open up the strait. We first visit Kabatepe (Gallipoli) Museum located within the Gallipoli Historic National Park and commemorates the Gallipoli Campaign, now considered a defining moment in the modern history of not only Turkey, but of Australia and New Zealand as well. The museum hosts numerous relics from the campaign, including weapons, sniper shields, ammunition, uniforms, photographs, letters written by the soldiers to their families, and private belongings such as shaving tools, cocoa cases, leather flasks, dress buttons, belt buckles are on display in the museum. Afterwards we take time to walk through the national park housing many relics of the naval and land battles that took place in 1915 during World War One and to visit the Landing points of the western Allies, known as ANZAC Cove, became the main base for the Australian and New Zealand troops for the eight months of the Battle of Gallipoli. We visit Beach Cemetery; Shrapnel Valley Cemetery; Plugge’s Plateau Cemetery; Shell Green Cemetery & Lone Pine Cemetery, the largest graveyard-cum-memorial to those buried unmarked or at sea. Afterwards we continue to Istanbul where we spend the Night.
Transfer time: 4 h; transfer distance: 320 km (Canakkale – Istanbul via Kilitbahir & Gallipoli)
ON: in Istanbul at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / –

Day 12 : Istanbul sightseeing; Hagia Sophia, Blue mosque & Topkapi palace

Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople, was the hub of the Ottoman Empire, and many of the grand buildings of this period are present today. You could easily spend a week in this city and still not have seen all the sites. Today we will explore the old Sultanahmet Area. We visit the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. The Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) was built between 1609 and 1616. The design of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque is the culmination of two centuries of both Ottoman mosque and Byzantine church development. It incorporates some Byzantine elements of the neighbouring Hagia Sophia with traditional Islamic architecture and is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period. The Hagia Sophia is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum. From the date of its dedication in 360 until 1453, it served as the cathedral of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral. The building was a mosque from 1453 until 1931, when it was secularized. It was opened as a museum on February 1935. The Topkapi Palace was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years of their 624 year reign. As well as a royal residence, the palace was a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments. It is now a major tourist attraction and contains important holy relics of the Muslim world, including Muhammad’s cloak and sword. The Topkapi Palace is among the monuments contained within the “Historic Areas of Istanbul”, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
ON: in Istanbul at the Hotel
Meals: B / – / –

Day 13 : Istanbul Bosphorus tour by boat & sightseeing Hippodrome square; Basilica cistern & Grand Bazaar

After breakfast we continue our fascinating Tour through Istanbul, we take time to explore the city with a Boat Tour on the Bosphorus, explore Hippodrome square; visit the Basilica Cistern and the Grand (Covered) Bazaar.
Bosphorus tour by Boat (Public Tour / approximately 3 h): Exploring Istanbul by boat, known as Bosphorus tour and right through the heart of Istanbul. The Bosphorus is a 32 km (20-mile) long strait which joins the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea in Istanbul and separates the continents of Europe and Asia. The Bosphorus, also known as the Istanbul Strait, as part of the only passage between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, has always been of great commercial and strategic importance. The most impressive sights along the shores of the Bosphorus are the Topkapi Palace, the Bosphorus Maiden’s Tower (Kız Kulesi) and Dolmabahce Palace, several Ottoman palaces, fortresses, forested hills and shore villages with Ottoman architecture.
The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a circus that was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. Today it is a square named Sultanahmet Meydani (Sultan Ahmet Square) and largely follows the ground plan and dimensions of the now vanished Hippodrome. The surviving monuments of the Spina (the middle barrier of the racecourse), the two obelisks (Obelisk of Thutmose III & Walled Obelisk) and the Serpentine Column, now sit in holes in a landscaped garden. The Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul. Ancient texts indicated that the basilica contained gardens, surrounded by a colonnade and facing the Hagia Sophia, Historical texts claim that 7,000 slaves were involved in the construction of the cistern. The Grand Bazaar (Covered Bazaar/Kapali Carsi) in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.    
ON: in Istanbul at the Hotel
Meals: B / – / –

Day 14 : Istanbul – Home

Transfer to Istanbul Ataturk Int. airport where the Trip concludes. 
Transfer time: 30 min.; transfer distance: 18 km; (Hotel – Istanbul Ataturk Int. Airport)
Meals: B / – / –

ON = Overnight accommodation / B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner

Price Includes
–    All transfers and transportations with private vehicles to the places mentioned in the Itinerary
      Day 1: One (one way) arrival transfer from/to Antalya airport/Hotel in Antalya
      Day 14: One (one way) departure transfer from/to Hotel in Sultanahmet/Istanbul Ataturk Int. airport
      Transfers in Istanbul valid for Istanbul Ataturk Int. airport only/Extra transfer cost will be charged for each transfer
–    Demavend Travel English speaking Tour Leader
–    Hotel accommodations, rooms on double/twin share base;
      Bed & Breakfast (BB) and Half Board (HB) service; Important: HB Dinner Service available until 20:30/21:00 h
–    13 x Breakfast, 10 x Lunch, 10 x Dinner
–    Day 4: Boat Cruise Gulf of Fethiye (approximately 4 h / with Lunch on Board)
–    Days 5 & 6: Boats & Ferries in Kaunos/Iztuzu Beach and from/to Datca/Bodrum
–    Day 13: Bosphorus tour by Boat (Public Tour/approximately 3 h)


Price Excludes
–    All International and Domestic Flights
–    Travel insurance
–    Extra Transports and transfers other than stated in the Itinerary
–    All kind of Soft and Alcoholic drinks, Bottled Water, Tea & Coffee
–    Meals other than stated in the Itinerary
–    All kind of personal expenses
–    All kind of Entrance fees for historical and natural sites
–    All kind of optional activities
–    Extra Nights
–    Single supplements
–    Personal Equipment
–    Tips