The Most Intimate, Immersing Tour of Turkey Possible

Wildland Adventures’ Turquoise Coast Odyssey offered this season is a 13-day land and sea immersion in Turkey with an itinerary distinguished from the norm with details woven like puzzle pieces to help guests unravel the Gordian Knot that is this country’s complicated history and culture.

This is an active trip with hiking, kayaking and swimming splashed with antiquities that bring visitors close to earth and sea where Greeks, Romans, early Christians, Byzantine and Ottoman empires perched and clutched, each successive civilization leaving its mark on the culture, folklore and way of life of Turkish people today.

How Wildland Adventures’ guests come to perceive the diverse civilizations of this ancient land has everything to do with Kurt Kutay who founded Wildland Adventures in 1986 and who has strong family roots in Turkey. For him this trip is highly personal.

“The Turquoise Coast Odyssey is one of our flagship trips at Wildland Adventures. After a lifetime of traveling to Turkey visiting my own family, our travelers are received by the most exceptionally knowledgeable and fun-loving guides who treat you like family and friends,” he said. Thanks to having personally sourced off-the-beaten-path gems that relay the story of this country, guests explore beyond the borders of the usual tour. For example, they…

  • Lodge in unique historic accommodations including boutique cave hotels in Cappadocia, restored Ottoman-style properties and village homes.
  • Experience daily village life beyond the expected tour of historic sites.
  • Dine at Kutay’s favorite restaurants and cafes to experience local hospitality where a different Turkish dish is sampled every day. (Most tours have fixed menus and/or limited food budgets; these tours don’t.)
  • Rub elbows with Istanbul residents on a commuter ferry; they’re going home even as a Bosporus seaside restaurant anticipates the arrival of Wildland Adventures’ guests.
  • Enjoy sundowners at the top of an ancient monastery overlooking the Mediterranean.
  • Walk through and witness the active dig and restoration of the Terrace Houses at Ephesus; this is a whole hillside of homes where Ephesians lived; elaborate mosaics being unearthed and restored depicting the life of wealthy Romans in 1 BCE.
  • Be received as family by exceptionally knowledgeable guides by virtue of Kutay’s family Turkish heritage and a lifetime of visiting Turkey.

Wildland Adventures (http://www.wildland.com/) guests arrive and depart from Istanbul where over two days the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Market, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Hippodrome waft scents and legends from their own perches overlooking the Bosporus.

A short flight to Cappadocia and a stay at a cave hotel here introduce medieval churches carved into nearby caves and painted by Christian Orthodox monks. A women’s co-op restaurant brings guests into the intricacies and flavors of a regional cuisine.  Another flight transports travelers to the one-time merchant port of Ephesus where the skeleton of a library holds visitors in thrall above ground in contrast to the archaeological dig site that reveals the mosaics underground. Here on the sea guests lodge in an Ottoman-style bungalow in a small village.

Then come five nights aboard a 12-passenger gulet for an all-inclusive voyage along the Turquoise Coast. This journey in part is described in minute detail in The Lycian Shore, a book by British explorer Freya Stark. Persia and Greece traded their “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” here, imbuing the coastline with still-standing ruins accessed by hiking on ancient footpaths from hidden coves through herb-scented hills. The trip ends in Antalya after active days exploring Crusader castles, a Greek theater, 4th century BCE Lycian house-tombs carved out of rock amidst richly-decorated facades on high cliffs, a 3rd century Christian church and Roman ruins, to name a few.

Departure dates are May 26, Sept. 15 and Oct. 6. Per person rates (double occupancy) are from $4,895 depending on the number of people in a tour.  Local flights are assessed separately.  A tour will depart with a minimum of five guests, and private charters are available.   Airport transfers, accommodations (including private cabin on a Turkish gulet), guide services and entrance fees, some meals, private air-conditioned vehicles with driver, port fees and more are included.

For complete information please see: http://www.wildland.com/trips/mediterranean/turkey/Turquoise_Coast_Odyssey/overview.aspx

Wildland Adventure also offers a 15-day Heart of Turkey Family Adventure that includes stays in village homes; a 12-day Phoenician-style gulet cruise, Voyaging Among the Dodecanese of Greece and Turkey; and a 9-day Highlights of Turkey adventure. The company can arrange custom trips and private gullet charters on custom itineraries.

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