Welcome to Turkey. This adventure kicks off in the coastal city of Fethiye. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until a Welcome Meeting at 6pm today – see reception for more details. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand. If you arrive early, get out and explore the town – with Lycian rock tombs carved into cliffs, a beautiful coastline and a renowned market, Fethiye is a laidback, friendly town full of wonderful Turkish cuisine and culture. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability) should you wish to arrive early!
This morning after breakfast, drive for approximately 30 minutes to Saklikent Gorge. You’ll spend the whole morning here, and the gorge is a spectacular place where steep sculpted walls soar high above. The whole canyon is around 18 kilometres long, with 4 kilometres accessible, and the vertical walls can reach up to 300 metres in height. In the summer, its shaded areas and water pools are a great way to cool off from the heat. You can make your way along a suspended walkway though shaded cliffs, scramble over rocks as you explore the area, splash about in the water that’s rushed down in the valley after the snow from the Taurus Mountains has melted, and cool your feet near a waterfall. There are cafes and restaurants setup on pontoons over the water, and it’s a lovely place to enjoy. After lunch, head back to Fethiye in the afternoon to explore the town or relax by the pool. Perhaps race each other up the steps to the ancient Lycian stone temples, each carved directly from the rock.
Today you’ll discover another great way to cool off from the Turkish heat – head to a nearby water park for a day of family fun and frolics in nearby Oludeniz. The park has nine slides, a kid's pool, wave pool, the main swimming pool, and a ‘lazy river’ that can be floated down on a rubber ring. Spend a blissful day slipping down water slides and scampering between pools. There are restaurants and cafes with cold drinks, ice-creams as well as Turkish national food ‘gozleme’ and pancakes. There are also lockers and safety deposit boxes. Cash is not used in the water park to save you having to carry it about or take money in the pool or slides. To make things easy you can load your money to your Oludeniz Water World Aquapark card and then buy drinks and food via this card. Tonight, perhaps get stuck into some of the great seafood on offer in Fethiye.
Enjoy a free day to discover more of the charming town of Fethiye or, if you prefer, just soak up the sun by the pool or the beach. You can enjoy the laidback atmosphere and stroll the impressive harbour, filled with traditional gulet, fishing boats and cruise boats that day-trip the pretty harbour islands. Tuck into Turkish cuisine, or treat yourself to some delicious homemade Turkish lemonade – a speciality of the area. The town has shops to browse and the weekly market offers an interesting diversion. Wander around the stalls packed with textiles, clothing, heaps of fresh food, and pretty much anything else you can think of. You could take a break at one of the refreshment stalls serving pancakes or kebab and people watch as the locals go about their shopping. If you want to get more active then maybe head out on the water, with an optional sea kayaking adventure helping you discover the beautiful coast.
It's a full and exciting day today. After a hearty breakfast, depart early and drive for just over an hour to one of the greatest and most spectacular ancient spots in Lycian history – Xanthos (approximately 1 hour). The city dates back to 8th century BC and has a pretty horrible (but interesting) history of murder and suicide. The city was the centre of culture and commerce for the Lycians, but as it sat on the lines between Europe and the Eastern World it was regularly in the path of conquerors – the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great, and the Romans all took over the city. There's a great amphitheatre, as well as a necropolis, mosaic floors, and temples to explore. Afterwards, head the short distance to Patara Beach, rightly considered one of the best beaches in Turkey. This protected natural area is home to a long stretch of soft sand, shallow blue water and gentle waves ideal for a bit of body-surfing. After a swim and picnic lunch here, continue back towards Fethiye, stopping at Letoon – the sacred cult centre of Lycia – en route. Here there was a temple dedicated to the goddess Leto, and her children, Artemis and Apollo, and the inscriptions were key in deciphering of the Lycian language.
This morning you’ll climb aboard a gulet for two days of idyllic relaxation on the sea. There’s no firm plan – much depends on the tides and local conditions. Your days are usually spent cruising between the little coves and islands that dot this beautiful part of southwest Turkey. Naturally, there are plenty of opportunities to take a dip in the inviting waters of the Aegean. Parents can sit back, relax and watch the world go by while the kids can emulate their favourite sea-faring heroes. Leaving Fethiye, first visit Samanlik – where the green pine forests come down to meet the blue sea – before heading onto Butterfly Valley. The word ‘paradise’ is often thrown around a lot, but in this amazing place it’s the only one that fits. This hidden gem of the Turquoise Coast is only accessible by boat or via the Lycian Way walking trail. The Valley is one of the most beautiful places in Turkey. It’s only been visited in the last twenty or so years, so before that it was relatively untouched and unknown, and it remains intact and pure.
Wake up aboard your gulet and get into the rhythm of life along the Turkish seas. Continue your cruise around the stunning coast, and spend your time on the beautiful azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea swimming, relaxing, and exploring the natural and historical sites along the way. You’ll have the opportunity to go on land, hike and explore hidden coves, as well as go for plenty of swims in crystal clear waters. Watch a memorable Turkish sun set as you bob on the ocean, then, at night, indulge in unforgettable feasts before being lulled to sleep by sultry Mediterranean breezes.
As your cruise comes to an end, enjoy a final breakfast on-board before disembarking. To continue the relaxing theme of the day, head to a local Turkish bath where you can relax, experience some traditional treatments, and enjoy some fun family bonding in a leisurely environment. Have a scrub, a foam massage, visit the hamam (Turkish sauna), and enjoy a facial treatment. Your luggage will be stored here while you indulge, then later in the afternoon you will head to the airport (approximately 1 hour), where this Turkish adventure comes to an end.