Mediterranean & Aegean Coast Highlights

Tour Code : CUL 04

Highlights
–    Ancient sites Phaselis, Myra; Patara; Aphrodisias & Priene
–    Kayakoy (Karmilassos) & Oludeniz beach 
–    Ucagiz/Kekova tour by boat; Simena castle & sunken city
–    Didim (Didyma) & the Temple of Apollo 
–    Selcuk & ancient Ephesus 
–    Pamukkale & World heritage Hierapolis

CUL 04 - PRIN

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

 

Duration of the Trip
8 Days / 7 Nights

 

Difficulty Level
= A (Easy) 

 

Accommodation
Hotel    :    7 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 : Phaselis & ancient Myra – Ucagiz/Kekova tour by boat; Simena castle & sunken city – Kas

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.
Ucagiz/Kekova tour by Boat; in the early afternoon we arrive in Ucagiz/Kekova area, a great place for the coastal scenery as well as for the archaeological sites well preserved because they are not easily accessible. A pleasant excursion by boat is the best way to see the ruins on the northern coast of Kekova island, some of the old houses were completely submerged due to earthquakes during the Byzantine period. By boat, we go round the island, where you can see remains down to 2 meters deep, in the bluish light on the seabed. We walk up to the Simena castle rewarding us with a view all around, and on numerous rock tombs. You will fully appreciate this day with a stroll on the Tersane Island. In the late afternoon we reach 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 : Ancient Patara to Fethiye; 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 : Fethiye to Pamukkale; Cotton Castle & World Heritage Hierapolis via ancient ruins of Aphrodisias

After breakfast we drive to Pamukkale; on the way we take time to visit ancient ruins of Aphrodisias; named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. The city was built near a marble quarry that was extensively exploited in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The cities school of sculpture was very productive; much of their work can be seen around the site. The Temple of Aphrodite was a focal point of the town, but the character of the building was altered when it became a Christian basilica. A monumental gateway, or Tetrapylon; monument of cubic shape, leads from the main North/South Street of the town into a large forecourt in front of the Temple or Sanctuary of Aphrodite. The Bouleuterion (Council House) is centred on the north side of the North Agora. After visiting Aphrodisias we continue to Pamukkale, has the meaning “cotton castle” and is one of the most remarkable natural sites with its cotton white plateaus, pale blue waters topping of the shallow pools and gently cascading down the drape-like stalagmites onto the lower levels for over 300 feet. The city contains hot springs and travertine, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. Hierapolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the hot springs have been used as a spa since the 2nd century BC; people came to soothe their ailments, with many of them retiring or dying here. The large necropolis is filled with sarcophagi, including the Sarcophagus of Marcus Aurelius. Parts of the archaeological site of Hierapolis are the great bathes, which were constructed with huge stone blocks without the use of cement, and consisted of various closed or open sections linked together. We spend the Night in Pamukkale at the Hotel.
Transfer time: 4 h; transfer distance: 340 km (Fethiye – Pamukkale via Aphrodisias)
ON: in Pamukkale at the Hotel  
Meals: B / L / D

Day 5 : Pamukkale to Selcuk; ancient Ephesus & house of virgin Mary

After breakfast we leave Pamukkale and drive to Selcuk; where 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.
Transfer time: 3 h; transfer distance: 190 km (Pamukkale – Selcuk)
ON: in Selcuk at the Hotel  
Meals: B / L / D

Day 6 : Selcuk to Bodrum via ancient Priene; Didim (Didyma) & the temple of Apollo

We leave Selcuk in the morning and drive to Bodrum. On our way we first visit ancient Priene; 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. Via Priene we continue towards 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. In the late afternoon we arrive in Bodrum where we spend the Night at the Hotel.                                                         
Transfer time: 3 h; transfer distance: 220 km; (Selcuk – Bodrum via Priene & Didyma)
ON: in Bodrum at the Hotel  
Meals: B / L / D

Day 7 : Bodrum; the Mausoleum Halicarnassus & Bodrum Castle

After breakfast we take time to explore Bodrum; called Halicarnassus of Caria in ancient times and was part of the Persian Empire until captured by Alexander the Great. 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.
ON: in Bodrum at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 8 : Bodrum – Home

Transfer to Bodrum Milas airport where the Trip concludes.
Transfer Time: 1 h; Transfer Distance: 45 km; (Hotel – Bodrum Milas 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 8: One (one way) departure transfer from/to Hotel in Bodrum/Bodrum Milas airport
–    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
–    7 x Breakfast, 6 x Lunch, 7 x Dinner
–    Day 2: Ucagiz/Kekova Tour by Boat Simena Castle & Sunken (approximately 3 h / with Lunch on Board)

 

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