Journey along Turkey's Turquoise Coast by land and water—the latter of which you'll experience during a four-day cruise on a traditional wooden yacht. First, fly into Istanbul for a night before setting off to the Aegean Sea, stopping at the ruins of Troy and Pergamon. Along the coast, enjoy a historic tour of Bodrum, soak in hot springs on Black Island, and relax on beaches. Last but not least is Antalya, where you'll see a Roman theater and waterfall cascading into the Mediterranean to finish the trip.


  • Visit World War I memorials and cemeteries along the Gallipoli Peninsula
  • Enjoy a handmade pizza paired with local wine at Urlice Vineyards
  • Explore the ancient ruins of Troy, Pergamon, Ephesus, and Aspendos
  • Spend four days sailing to beaches and coastal towns with optional activities

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in İstanbul, Explore at Your Own Pace İstanbul
Day 2 Transfer to Çanakkale via World War I Sites Çanakkale
Day 3 Transfer to Bergama via Troy & Pergamon Bergama
Day 4 Transfer to Alaçati via Urlice Vineyards Alaçatı
Day 5 Transfer to Kusadası via Selçuk & Ephesus  Kusadası 
Day 6 Transfer to Bodrum via Lake Bafa Nature Park Bodrum
Day 7 Historical Tour of Bodrum, Dinner at Selia Artisanal Farm Bodrum
Day 8 Boat Tour of Black Island Bodrum
Day 9 Transfer to the Port City of Fethiye, Explore at Your Own Pace Fethiye
Day 10 Start Your Four-Day Gulet Cruise, Optional Paragliding Excursion  St. Nicholas Island
Day 11 Cruise to Aquarium Bay & Kaş, Optional Scuba Diving Excursion  Kaş 
Day 12 Cruise to Kekova, Admire the Sunken Ruins of Dolchiste & Visit Kaleköy  Kekova Island
Day 13 Disembark the Gulet, Transfer to the Hidden Paradise of Çıralı Çıralı
Day 14 Free Day in Çıralı, Join a Jeep Safari or Climb Yanartaş (Optional) Çıralı
Day 15 Transfer to Antalya, Visit Perge & Aspendos, Picnic at Manavgat Falls Antalya
Day 16 Depart Antalya  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in İstanbul, Explore at Your Own Pace

Admire the exterior of the Blue Mosque before heading inside to see the blue tiles lining the walls

Welcome to Turkey's bustling capital, İstanbul, known as "the bridge between Europe and Asia," as it's the only city in the world that straddles two continents. Meet your driver at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Once you're settled in, head out to explore on your own. You can stroll the streets of the historic district, Sultanahmet, as this is where many of the city's landmarks are located. Walk past buildings dating back to the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, such as the Blue Mosque, named after the intricate blue tiles lining its interior. 

Another good way to see the city is by boat. Hop on a private boat or public ferry down the Bosphorus Strait to see both the Asian and European sides of the city. Watch as historic palaces, mosques, and mansions pass you by, then disembark and head to the Grand Bazaar when you've worked up an appetite. Walk among the alleyways of one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world. Look for souvenirs or try an array of Turkish street food, such as kebabs or pide, a Turkish pizza. End the night with a drink from a meyhane, a traditional Turkish tavern. 

Day 2: Transfer to Çanakkale via World War I Sites

Visit the World War I memorials and cemeteries across the Gallipoli Peninsula

After just one night in İstanbul, set off on a four-hour transfer along the coast toward the Gallipoli Peninsula to visit the charming city of Çanakkale, nestled on the Dardanelles Strait. Many battles occurred across the peninsula during the Gallipoli Campaign of World War I, so you'll stop at some notable sites along the way to learn about the region's history, starting with the Lone Pine Memorial. Enter the serene and hallowed grounds overlooking the tranquil Aegean Sea to pay your respects to the Australian and New Zealand troops, known as ANZAC soldiers, who sacrificed their lives here.

Continue to the Chunuk Bair Memorial and Johnston's Jolly Cemetery next, two more monuments dedicated to the ANZAC soldiers. Although they were part of the Allied forces fighting against Turkish soldiers, the war brought Turkey, Australia, and New Zealand closer. Hence, the memorials serve as a reminder of the war but also as symbols of reconciliation. After paying your respects, head to Anzac Cove, the old landing site for the ANZAC troops. As you stand on the shores of this peaceful bay, try to imagine the intense battles that unfolded here over a century ago.
To deepen your understanding of the Gallipoli Campaign, visit the Gallipoli Museum next. Browse the extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents to understand the sacrifices and heroism of all the soldiers who fought here. Make one final stop at the Nek, a narrow stretch of land where the Battle of Nek occurred, to see the preserved trenches and poignant memorials. Enjoy the tranquil view over Suvla Bay before ending your road trip at your hotel in Çanakkale. Stay in to relax after the long drive, or head out for dinner and a drink along the strait. 

Day 3: Transfer to Bergama via Troy & Pergamon

Walk along the colonnade-lined cobblestone streets of Pergamon

After breakfast, continue your journey down the coast to Bergama, renowned for its historical and archaeological sites, one of which you'll visit today. Break up the three-hour transfer with a stop at the Archaeological Site of Troy just half an hour outside Çanakkale. This ancient city, built in 3000 BCE, was once considered the stuff of myths and legends until archaeologists discovered the ruins in 1870. Enter the crumbling city walls to explore the grounds and take pictures of the Trojan Horse replica.

Visit the museum to browse the collection of artifacts excavated from the site and learn more about the city's history before continuing to another iconic ancient city, Pergamon, founded in the third century BCE. Walk among the ruins of majestic temples, grand theaters, and the awe-inspiring Library of Pergamon. Admire the most famous landmark in the city, the Pergamon Acropolis, for a great vantage point of the ruins. When you're done exploring, jump back in the car for a quick, 10-minute drive to your hotel in Bergama. 

Day 4: Transfer to Alaçati via Urlice Vineyards

Enjoy a delicious homemade pizza paired with local wine at Urlice Vineyards

This morning, venture another 2.5 hours south down the coast to reach Alaçatı, your gateway to Turkey's Turquoise Coast. But before you get there, stop in Urla to visit Urlice Vineyards, a family-owned and operated boutique winery. Take a tour of the winery to learn about the ancient, chemical-free viticultural techniques they use to produce cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and shiraz. Sample the different wines paired with a homemade pizza for lunch, then continue to your hotel in Alaçatı.

Stay in to relax, or head out to explore the historic town on your own. Walk down the cobblestone streets, admire the quaint stone houses, and pop into the boutique shops or cozy cafés. If you're visiting on a Saturday, stop by the Alaçatı Market to shop for handmade souvenirs. In the evening, head to Ilıca Beach or Alaçatı Beach to watch the sunset over the turquoise waters, then enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the many beachfront restaurants for some fresh seafood before returning to your hotel for the night. 

Day 5: Transfer to Kusadası via Selçuk & Ephesus 

Meander around the ruins of Ephesus and admire the facade of Celsus Library

Today's journey takes you down the Aegean coast, starting with a 1.5-hour transfer to Selçuk to visit Isabey Mosque, a simple but beautiful landmark built by Selçuk Turks overlooking the Basilica of St. John. Learn about Islam and how it compares to Christianity at this exceptional point where artifacts from both religions remain, then continue to the Temple of Artemis, built in 550 BCE to honor the Greek goddess. Once one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, today, all that remains are the remnants of the temple's soaring columns.

Head to the village of Çamlık next for a stop at Can Carpet, a small atelier where they still use the traditional dye extraction method from plants to create intricate carpets. Share a traditional lunch with the workers, then learn about the dyeing process with a hands-on demonstration. Then, watch the women use the dyed fabrics and threads to weave a traditional, one-of-a-kind carpet, which would make the perfect souvenir.

In the afternoon, discover the great ruins of Ephesus, an ancient city established by the Greeks in the 11th century BCE before it fell under Roman rule in 129 BCE. You can see the influences of both civilizations in the architecture that's left as you explore landmarks like the Trajan Fountain, Celsus Library, and the Great Theater, which could previously hold 24,000 spectators. Visit the Ephesus Archaeological Museum to learn more about the city and view the excavated items. At the end of the day, your driver will take you to the nearby beach town of Kuşadası to settle in for the night.

Day 6: Transfer to Bodrum via Lake Bafa Nature Park

Walk around the glittering Lake Bafa, looking out for the Dalmatian pelican

Continue another 2.5 hours down the Aegean coast to the seaside town of Bodrum this morning. Along the way, stop at Lake Bafa Natural Park. This pristine natural reserve offers a mesmerizing combination of ancient ruins, diverse wildlife, and clear lake waters that used to be connected to the Aegean Sea. The tranquil lake, surrounded by the Latmos mountains, is the perfect spot to stop and stretch your legs with a short walk. You may see birds like the fish eagle, Dalmatian pelican, or pygmy cormorant, so keep your eyes peeled.

After your nature escape, stop in Kapıkırı to visit the ruins of Herakleia scattered across the village. Once a thriving Greek center of culture and commerce, today, this archaeological site is full of well-preserved columns, temples, and rock-cut tombs that stand as a testament to the city's former glory. Now that you've worked up an appetite, stop at Agora Pension, a local restaurant that serves up homemade favorites—primarily olive oil dishes with regional herbs. After lunch, continue to your hotel in Bodrum. Stay in and relax for the night, or head out and enjoy the town's vibrant nightlife.

Day 7: Historical Tour of Bodrum, Dinner at Selia Artisanal Farm

Discover the Museum of Underwater Archaeology inside Bodrum Castle

Start your day off with a historical tour along the peninsula to see more of Bodrum. As you drive to your first stop, listen while your guide tells stories of mythological heroes, wars, and monarchs that used to reside here. Stop at one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Built between 353 and 351 BCE, it's now the tomb of Mausolous, ruler of the ancient district of Caria. Visit Bodrum Castle next, built by the Knights Hospitaller in the 15th century in a mix of Gothic and Renaissance styles.

Enter the castle to explore the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, the largest museum of its kind in the world. View a remarkable collection of artifacts retrieved from shipwrecks in the Aegean and Mediterranean. Following the tour, enjoy some leisurely free time exploring the town. Check out the covered Bodrum Bazaar to do a little shopping. It's much smaller than the Grand Bazaar in İstanbul, but you can find great clothing and souvenirs, such as a Turkish carpet or jewelry.

If you're tired of walking, just relax on Yahşi Beach and order a cocktail from one of the many bars along the shore. In the evening, return to the hotel to get ready for dinner at Selia Artisanal Farm. Tour the farm and learn how they make wine, goat cheese, olives, jams, and bread using traditional, chemical-free methods. Sample some of these delicious ingredients over dinner and a drink with the owners before returning to your hotel for the night.

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Day 8: Boat Tour of Black Island

Jump in a boat and cruise to the nearby Black Island

One of the best ways to explore Bodrum is from the water, so leave the town behind this morning as you sail to the nearby Black Island. After a quick, 10-minute cruise, disembark and head to a hot spring on the island, where you can relax in the thermal waters, believed to have healing properties. After unwinding in the warm waters, jump back in the boat and cruise to the Meteor Hole next, the site of an old meteor crash turned swimming spot.

Head to another idyllic bay, Aquarius Bay, where you can enjoy a delicious lunch onboard then dive into the crystal-clear waters for a refreshing swim. After lunch, cruise to the beautiful Red Bay, known for the richly colored sand lining its shores. Relax on land before indulging in complimentary fresh fruit served on the boat. End your island tour with a final refreshing swim at Rabbit Bay. If you've had enough of the water, unwind on the boat and enjoy some tea and biscuits while soaking up the scenery.

Day 9: Transfer to the Port City of Fethiye, Explore at Your Own Pace

Hike up to the Tomb of Amyntas, built by the Lycians in the fourth century BCE

Say goodbye to Bodrum this morning as you transfer three hours south to the port city of Fethiye, known for its pristine beaches, archaeological wonders, and towering mountains. Once you're settled in at the hotel, head out to explore Paspatur, the city's historic center, on your own. Walk down the narrow, winding streets, enter charming shops, or dine at one of the many cafés and restaurants. Keep an eye out for the Eski Cami (Old Mosque), which showcases the Ottoman-style architecture that's popular in this region.

Once you've explored Paspatur, take a short hike up to the Tomb of Amyntas, one of the numerous rock tombs carved into the steep southern hills of Fethiye by the Lycians in the fourth century BCE. When you're ready for dinner, head back down the hill to the Fethiye Fish Market. Sample seafood fresh from the Mediterranean at one of the many restaurants in the market. You can even choose from the day's fresh catch yourself. Once you've had your fill of seafood, head to ECE Marina to watch the fishing boats coming in or catch a cruise of Fethiye Bay to end the night.

Day 10: Start Your Four-Day Gulet Cruise, Optional Paragliding Excursion 

Adventure seekers can paraglide over the famous Ölüdeniz Beach

This morning, you'll finally trade land for the sea as you embark on your four-day boat cruise at Fethiye Harbor, where a Turkish-style wooden yacht called a gulet will be waiting for you. Sail to Butterfly Valley first, home to over 136 different butterflies and moths. Here, you can swim, have lunch, and hike to a waterfall if you're up for the adventure. Your next stop is Ölüdeniz, the famous blue lagoon, home to one of the most popular beaches in Turkey, where you'll have plenty of time to relax. Ölüdeniz Beach is in a crescent-shaped bay with shallow waters, making it a great place to swim.

If you're feeling adventurous, you have the option of paragliding over the turquoise waters this afternoon. Take off from Babadağ, Fethiye's tallest mountain and one of the highest commercial launch sites in the world at 6,561 feet (2,000 m). Strap on to your guide and run off a gentle slope to start your flight over one of the glittering water and golden sand. Get a bird's-eye view of the surrounding landscape, feel the rush of wind against your face, and embrace a sense of awe for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Those who didn't opt for paragliding can continue to St. Nicholas Island (known locally as Gemiler Island) next and disembark for the night. The island was named after St. Nicholas, better known as Santa Claus, as it's thought to be his resting place. Although it's a tiny island, there's plenty to do here. Explore the ruins scattered across the landscape or one of the five Greek churches dating back to the fourth and sixth centuries CE. End your day with a view of the sunset over the glittering Mediterranean Sea.

Day 11: Cruise to Aquarium Bay & Kaş, Optional Scuba Diving Excursion

If you're up for it, scuba dive to the World War II Dakota aircraft

Enjoy a delicious breakfast as you sail to Kalkan Bay this morning. Jump off the yacht for a swim in the crystal-clear waters before cruising onto Kaş, a small fishing village turned popular beach town. Leave the yacht to explore the town and visit one of the many local shops that sell handmade silver jewelry, Turkish carpets, local clothing, and glass artwork. If you haven't tried Turkish coffee yet, step into one of the many cafés for a taste of the strong drink. Then, return to the harbor dotted with colorful boats to visit one of the many waterfront restaurants serving the freshest seafood.

Those looking for an underwater adventure can choose to go scuba diving this afternoon off the island's south coast. Discover what the Mediterranean Sea looks like from below, exploring either a cave or the wreck of a World War II military aircraft. If you're not afraid of tight spaces, you can even swim through the Dakota aircraft—the cockpit is intact still, so you can see where the pilot sat over 70 years ago. Return to Kaş for the night and eat at one of the many Turkish restaurants, such as Smiley's for seafood or Cinarlar Pizza Garden for pide.

Day 12: Cruise to Kekova, Admire the Sunken Ruins of Dolchiste & Visit Kaleköy

Cruise to the underwater ruins of Dolchiste and admire them from the gulet

Today's cruise takes you to Kekova, a region of small islands and bays just off the coast. On Kekova Island's northern shores, you'll find the underwater ruins of Dolchiste, an ancient Lycian settlement that was destroyed by an earthquake in the second century. The ruins are protected, so swimming is forbidden here, but you can enjoy views of the underwater city from the boat since the water is so clear here.

You can also enjoy the beauty of Kekova's land as your captain will anchor at the ancient city of Simena, now known as Kaleköy. This small village has a rich history, which you can picture from the impressive ruins of the island's castle and fortress, dating back to the fourth century BCE. Walk to the top of the ruins along a winding, cobbled path for a panoramic view over the village, island, and Dolchiste. 

Day 13: Disembark the Gulet, Transfer to the Hidden Paradise of Çıralı

Relax on the golden sands of Çıralı Beach
Spend your last morning on the boat enjoying a delicious breakfast and a refreshing swim before cruising to Üçağız, where you'll disembark. Thank the crew, then set off two hours down the coast to Çıralı, a village nestled in lush greenery surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. Check into your treehouse hotel, a sustainable retreat in the heart of nature, and spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the tranquil atmosphere on your balcony. If you want to explore, take a stroll to Çıralı Beach to soak up some sun and swim in the sea.

Day 14: Free Day in Çıralı, Join a Jeep Safari or Climb Yanartaş 

Watch your step as you hike over eternal flames on Yanartaş

Enjoy a free day in Çıralı to spend however you like. You can return to the beach or join one of the many available tours, such as a Jeep safari to Olympos National Park. An experienced driver will take you off-road, starting at the iconic Olympos Chimera Statue, an impressive sculpture symbolizing three ancient gods. Continue to the Ulupinar Rock-Cut Tombs, ancient burial chambers with intricate carvings, before taking a detour to the Kemar Canyon to admire its unique geological formations. End your safari at Gelidonya Lighthouse for panoramic views of the Mediterranean.

Another popular activity is hiking up Mount Chimaera, now known as Yanartaş, to see the natural flames emerging from the rocky mountainside. It's a moderate trek, entirely uphill, so ensure you wear your best hiking shoes. As you ascend, look out for small pockets of flame peaking out, fueled by methane gas seeping from the earth. It typically takes 45 minutes to an hour to reach the summit, where you can enjoy more eternal flames, which have been burning for centuries. Head back down the mountain and return to your treehouse hotel for the night.

Day 15: Transfer to Antalya, Visit Perge & Aspendos, Picnic at Manavgat Falls

Explore Aspendos Theater, one of the best-preserved Roman theaters in the world

Set off on a 1.5-hour transfer to your final destination this morning, Antalya, the largest city on the Turquoise Coast. On the way, stop at Perge, an ancient city that was once the capital of Pamphylia. The city was originally founded by the Hittites around 1500 BCE, but it was later controlled by the ancient Greeks and then the Romans, who had the greatest architectural and cultural influence. The Roman influence is obvious as you walk along the cobblestone roads lined with colonnades, admire the stadium where gladiators used to fight and explore the remnants of Roman baths.

Visit the nearby Greco-Roman city of Aspendos next to see one of the best-preserved Roman theaters in the world. Although it was built in the second century CE, the amphitheater has stood the test of time, so you can still enter and surround yourself with stone tiers that once accommodated thousands of spectators viewing gladiatorial contests and dramatic performances. End the day at Manavgat Falls to enjoy the idyllic scenery of the region and dine on the riverbank. Return to your hotel in Antalya for the night.

Day 16: Depart Antalya

Stroll through Düden Park to watch Düden Waterfall cascade into the Mediterranean Sea
It's time to say goodbye to Turkey! If time allows, spend your last few hours visiting Düden Park to see a waterfall cascading into the Mediterranean Sea, or visit one of the many charming shops in Kaleiç, the city's historic district, for some souvenirs as a reminder of this trip. If you want to soak up some last-minute sun, head to Lara Beach for a final swim in the turquoise waters. When it's time, return to your hotel to meet your driver and transfer to the airport. Safe travels home!

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Map of Explore Turkey's Turquoise Coast by Land & Water - 16 Days
Map of Explore Turkey's Turquoise Coast by Land & Water - 16 Days