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Family Cruising the Turquoise Coast

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Fully Guided Locally Guided Adventure Small Group Cruise Family Island Hopping
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 Trip Length
8 Days
 Trip Starts
 Trip Finishes
8 Day Family Cruising the Turquoise Coast Itinerary (Explore)
Countries Explored: Turkey
Trip Operator:
Max. Group Size
Trip Style
Boat Journey
Guide Level:
Fully Guided, Locally Guided
Trip Code


Book online and enjoy exclusive savings on Explore's 8 Day Family Cruising the Turquoise Coast. Sailing on a traditional gulet, explore the legendary shoreline of the ancient kingdom of Lycia, known as the Turquoise Coast for its shimmering crystal clear waters. Along the way we snorkel in secluded coves, discover uninhabited islands and explore Roman ruins. Enjoy an easy going week where you can do as much or as little as you want.


Arrive in Fethiye, a lively ancient market town that can trace its history back to the ancient Lycian town of Telmessos built around the harbour in the 5th century B.C.

For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you at gates of Fethiye harbour at 4pm to escort you to our boat. Your skipper and local leader will conduct the initial tour briefing on board. Should you miss the meeting, your leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up. If you would like an airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Dalaman International Airport (airport code DLM), which is 50km, around 1 hour from the port.

We spend our first night in the harbour, dinner is served around 8pm.

If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to head into Fethiye. There are several restaurants and shops within walking distance of the harbour and an extensive lively market selling local produce, spices and Turkish delight off Pursahbey Street, 20 minutes' walk away. Stay: Overnight on Gulet (Simple) (D)

After a short transfer to the sleepy village of Dalyan we board our riverboat. We first head upriver to the therapeutic mudbaths of Ilica and then meander downstream, weaving through reed beds rich in bird life. We pass cliffs carved with dramatic Necropolis tombs before coming to the ruins of the ancient seaport of Caunus. Much of the site is overgrown, but the fine Hellenistic theatre is well preserved and the views from the fortified acropolis are breathtaking. Looking south to the Aegean 5 kms away it is hard to imagine that Caunus was once a thriving port, but fell into decline when the harbour silted up.

Continuing by riverboat we reach Iztuzu Beach, a wide spit of white sand lapped on one side by the Aegean and on the other side by the fresh waters of the Koycegiz River. This is one of the few remaining nesting places of Caretta caretta, the loggerhead turtle. Development at Iztuzu has been banned and an overnight curfew is placed on the beach, as this is when the female turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. Having paused to swim we transfer back to Gocek and board our gulet. We enjoy lunch aboard whilst sailing south to our first overnight mooring at the tranquil cove at Yassica Island.

Our traditional gulet is hand built in teak and pine, with a spacious and partly shaded foredeck and comfortable indoor and outdoor lounge areas. Meals are prepared on board by the boat chef and enjoyed in the shaded aft deck.

The cabins are cosy and can get warm in summer as there is no air-conditioning or fans, so you may find it preferable to sleep above deck although port holes can usually be opened. There are plugs available in the communal areas, so it is possible to charge cameras and phones.

There is some snorkelling equipment available aboard the gullet. If you are a keen snorkeler, you may prefer to bring your own mask and snorkel with you. Stay: Overnight on Gulet (Simple) (B/L/D)

After a hearty breakfast on board, we set sail across the bay to the tranquil island of Domuz Adasi. There is a silhouette of a seagull engraved on the ground right next to the sea in the bay which gives the bay its name, Seagull Bay.

The food on board is often listed as a highlight of the trip, despite the small galley kitchen our crew manage to produce food which is both plentiful and freshly prepared on board. Typically we offer a Turkish style breakfast with a different egg dish each day, cheese, Turkish sausage (a beef sausage that tastes like pork), olives, fresh fruits, yoghurt, pancakes both sweet (banana and chocolate spread) and traditional savoury pancake filled with spinach and cheese, Turkish bread , different spreads and jams.

Lunch is generally hot regional speciality, normally vegetarian. Options include stuffed peppers, baked aubergines, green beans in tomato sauce, pasta salads, lots of rice, bulgar wheat, amazing tomato and cucumber salads 'cacik' ( yoghurt and garlic dip), aubergine dip, walnut dip and fresh fruits for pudding.

Afternoon tea is served on board with biscuits and homemade cakes.

For dinner we often have a barbecue at the front of the boat and will have either grilled meat such as lamb kebabs or chicken or grilled fish accompanied by a seasonal salad and a traditional appetiser.

Water is included with the meals and there are other drinks available to purchase on board.

We dock against a wooden pier, there is ample time to explore the island, take a swim in the crystal clear water or sunbathe on deck. Overnight on board. Stay: Overnight on Gulet (Simple) (B/L/D)

A shorter sailing day as we navigate to the neighbouring island of Tersane. Dropping anchor, we once again have the chance to venture onshore to discover the beauty of the Lycian Coast. Formerly the site of a prosperous Greek village, Tersane is now uninhabited, except for a restaurant serving snacks and drinks and light meals.

Among the remains is a well preserved watchtower; its possible to take a short walk to the summit of a small hill on the island to get views of the surrounding bay. The harbour here is very sheltered and shallow making it ideal for an afternoon spent swimming, snorkelling and relaxing. Overnight on board. Stay: Overnight on Gulet (Simple) (B/L/D)

Sailing onto Cleopatra Cove, we moor in a cove where Roman era sunken baths are located on the shore line, surrounded by pine trees. According to history, Marc Anthony had the baths built for the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra as a wedding gift for when she visited this part of the Mediterranean coast. The baths used to be fed with thermal hot water from a crater lake high up in the surrounding hills, the healing properties of the waters were highly prized.

There is the option of a gentle walk along flat terrain to explore the site through the forest, taking around two hours round trip and covering a distance of 7km. Overnight on board. Stay: Overnight on Gulet (Simple) (B/L/D)

After breakfast we sail to Gemiler Island, also known as St. Nicolas Island. Byzantine ruins lie tucked amid the pine tree slopes. Heading ashore we can explore these ancient sites which include several churches built between the fourth and sixth centuries AD and a cistern chapel. One of the churches was cut directly from the rock at the island's highest point. We can make our way back to the gulet at our leisure to spend the afternoon relaxing and swimming off the boat. The sunsets around Gemiler Island are particularly spectacular if the skies are clear. Overnight on board. Stay: Overnight on Gulet (Simple) (B/L/D)

Today we cruise at a leisurely pace, returning westwards towards Fethiye. Stopping en route for swimming opportunities, we first make a stop at butterfly valley, where we head ashore for a hour long stroll along the valley floor known for its butterfly population. Our next stop is Oludeniz beach which takes its name from the secluded lagoon at the beach's western end. For those that want to there is the option to talk a walk to visit Kayakoy, the largest Greek ghost town in Asia Minor (2 hour return walk).

Our destination is around an hour from Fethiye in a quiet bay for our final night on board. Stay: Overnight on Gulet (Simple) (B/L/D)

The trip ends after breakfast in Fethiye harbour.

There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Fethiye harbour at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day it will be possible to leave your baggage either on board the boat or at the boat office in Fethiye. Please speak to your Tour Leader or the boat captain to make the necessary arrangements.

If you would like an airport transfer today, you need to depart from Dalaman International Airport (airport code DLM), which is 50km, around 90 minutes from the port. (B)

Trip Inclusions

  • Explore the legendary shoreline of the ancient kingdom of Lycia
  • Visit uninhabited islands and enchanting harbours
  • Plenty of activity - at a flexible and relaxed pace

  • You can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences on these Relaxed pace tours, with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings, but still come home feeling relaxed and refreshed.

  • Accommodation, itinerary and inclusions subject to change.
  • Price is for land, cruise and internal flights as specified. Flights not specified are not included
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About Explore!

Launching in 1981, Explore offer trips from over 130 countries - from classic small group tours. Read more

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Explore Leaders

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Prices & Dates

There are currently no departures available on this trip. Either it's the end of the season and new departures will be released shortly, or this itinerary has been changed and will no longer continue. Feel free to contact us for information about when next seasons dates will be released or click here to view the general release dates for all destinations.

Tour & cruises prices are per person. Prices shown have savings applied, are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Prices and trip information are correct at the time at this point in time, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking and are subject to change by Explore.

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