This memorable nine-day Turkish adventure starts in vibrant Istanbul and ends along the sparkling Turquoise Coast. Enjoy an action-packed day visiting Istanbul's UNESCO World Heritage sites and bazaars, then fly to the picturesque port city of Fethiye on the Mediterranean coast. Here you'll set off on a four-day cruise by traditional wooden yacht, visiting untouched islands, serene beaches, and ancient ruins. End your trip back on dry land in Antalya, exploring the Greco-Roman wonders of Perge and Aspendos.


  • Follow your guide through Istanbul's winding streets and main landmarks
  • Stroll through the charming historic center of Mediterranean Fethiye 
  • Embark on a four-day cruise aboard a Turkish yacht called a gulet
  • Visit Antalya and the surrounding ancient cities of Perge and Aspendos 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in İstanbul, Guided Tour of Sultanahmet & Grand Bazaar İstanbul
Day 2 Fly to Fethiye, Explore Paspatur, Optional Paragliding Excursion  Fethiye
Day 3 Self-Guided Tour of Fethiye Fethiye
Day 4 Cruise to Butterfly Valley, Ölüdeniz & St. Nicholas Island St. Nicholas Island
Day 5 Cruise to Kalkan Bay & Kaş, Optional Scuba Diving Kas
Day 6 Cruise to Kekova, Admire Dolchiste & Explore Kaleköy Kekova Island
Day 7 Disembark & Transfer to Antalya Antalya
Day 8 Visit the Ancient Cities of Perge & Aspendos Antalya
Day 9 Depart Antalya  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in İstanbul, Guided Tour of Sultanahmet & Grand Bazaar

Twilight over İstanbul's 17th-century Blue Mosque

Welcome to Turkey! 'A driver is waiting for you outside İstanbul International Airport to transfer to your hotel in İstanbul. Known as the bridge between Europe and Asia," this sprawling metropolis is aptly named, as it's the only city in the world located on two continents. Settle into your hotel before joining your guide to start exploring the streets of Sultanahmet, the historic district. Navigate the labyrinthine streets and alleys, and admire the many buildings dating back to the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, such as Hagia Sophia and Topkapı Palace, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

One of these heritage sites is the Blue Mosque, built in the 17th century and named after the stunning blue tiles lining the building's interior. You can enter the mosque to admire this interior as long as it's not during the call to prayer. Explore the Grand Bazaar in the afternoon, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. A whirlwind of colors, sounds, and scents will envelop you as you explore the many shops selling spices, textiles, and other treasures. With over 4,000 stalls across 61 streets, this is a great place to pick up souvenirs. 

Day 2: Fly to Fethiye, Explore Paspatur, Optional Paragliding Excursion

If you're feeling adventurous, see the Turquoise Coast from above with a paragliding tour

It's time to say goodbye to İstanbul already as you catch a domestic flight to Dalaman Airport. Upon arrival, your driver will take you to your hotel in Fethiye, a port city on Turkey's southwestern Turquoise Coast known for its pristine beaches, archaeological wonders, and towering mountains. Once you're settled in, head out to explore Paspatur, the town's historic center. 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.

If you're feeling adventurous, you have the option of paragliding over Ölüdeniz Beach this afternoon. Take off from Babadag Mountain, 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 most beautiful beaches in Turkey. Get a bird's-eye view of the turquoise water, feel the rush of wind against your face, and embrace a sense of awe for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Once the pilot helps you land safely, transfer back to your hotel.

Day 3: Self-Guided Tour of Fethiye

Opt for a relaxing day on the sands of İztuzu Beach
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Today you have some free time to relax and explore Fethiye at your own pace. If you want a chill day, you can visit İztuzu Beach, better known as Turtle Beach, since it's a nesting area for the endangered loggerhead turtles. This 45 million-year-old species lays its eggs on the beach between May and October, so try to avoid the nesting sites, typically indicated by a line of wooden stakes to protect the turtles. Enjoy the golden sand, crystal-clear water, and the surrounding mountains for a relaxing day out. 

If you're looking for a more adventurous activity, you can take a short hike up the southern hills of Fethiye to the Tomb of Amyntas. This rock tomb is one of many carved into the hills by the Lycians in the fourth century BCE. Once you've worked up an appetite, 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 4: Cruise to Butterfly Valley, Ölüdeniz & St. Nicholas Island

Board a traditional wooden yacht for four days of sailing along Turkey's Turquoise Coast

Trade land for sea this morning 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, 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.

Sail to St. Nicholas Island (known locally as Gemiler Island) next and disembark for the night. 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 5: Cruise to Kalkan Bay & Kaş, Optional Scuba Diving

Dive underwater to explore the World War II wreck off the coast of Kaş

Eat a delicious breakfast aboard the gulet as you sail to Kalkan Bay. Hop 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 known for selling 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.

Those looking for an underwater adventure can choose to go scuba diving this afternoon off the south coast of Kaş. 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, Turkish pizza.

Day 6: Cruise to Kekova, Admire Dolchiste & Explore Kaleköy

The sunken city of Kekova
View the sunken ruins of Dolchiste from the gulet

Sail to Kekova today, a region of small islands and bays. On Kekova Island's northern shores, you'll find the sunken 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 anchors 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 of Kaleköy village, Kekova Island, and Dolchiste. 

Day 7: Disembark & Transfer to Antalya

Explore Antalya on your own

Start your morning with a final swim, then enjoy breakfast on the boat while you cruise to the Üçağız harbor. Say goodbye to the crew as you disembark and transfer to Antalya, the largest Turkish city on the Mediterranean coast. You can relax at the hotel or explore the city on your own. Start at the historic old town of Kaleiçi, wandering the narrow cobblestone streets full of charming restaurants and shops. To learn more about the city's history, view the many archaeological artifacts at the Antalya Museum

Those who just want a lazy day can relax on Konyaaltı Beach, west of the town center. Rent sun loungers and an umbrella to enjoy picturesque views of the coastline and nearby mountains. End your night with dinner at the old harbor, surrounded by towering cliffs, boats bobbing on the turquoise waters, and the historic city walls. If you're not ready to return to the hotel just yet, visit one of Antalya's many rooftop bars, like Asmani Bar & Terrace, to enjoy a drink with views of the lush coastline you left this morning. 

Day 8: Visit the Ancient Cities of Perge & Aspendos

Walk through the ancient ruins of Perge, founded around 1500 BCE

Your penultimate day in Turkey takes you 30 minutes outside of Antalya to 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. 

Day 9: Depart Antalya

Visit the Antalya Aquarium before your departing flight

Depending on your flight time, you may be able to explore more of Antalya on your own this morning. Head to Lara Beach, just south of the city center, if you want to soak up some last-minute sun. Walk along the soft white sand, swim in the pristine water, or rent a Jet Ski if you're feeling adventurous. Visiting the Antalya Aquarium is also a great option. It has the world's largest tunnel aquarium and 40 spaces covering different aquatic themes, so you won't be bored here. Keep an eye on the clock, as a driver will be picking you up outside your hotel to take you to Antalya International Airport. Safe travels!

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Map of Explore Turkey's Turquoise Coast By Land & Water - 9 Days
Map of Explore Turkey's Turquoise Coast By Land & Water - 9 Days