Turkey Back in Time

Kusadasi to Antalya. A historic 12-day cruise through an age of empires, from Persian to Byzantine.


A Sense of Adventure

Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Emperor Hadrian sailed between Kusadasi and Antalya - 2,000 years ago. This 12-day itinerary hits their historical highlights. Turkey’s Aegean Coast is where antiquity meets adventure. eBike to Greek temples (at Didim). Kayak a sunken Roman-era city (at Kas). Ride a hot air balloon over a UNESCO site (at Pamukkale). Put simply, a yacht charter allows guests to sail into history. Pack a sense of adventure. Travel by RIB up a surging river to the cliff tombs of Kaunos. Or tender to the lonely ruins of Knidos, where the Mediterranean meets the Aegean. Prefer history easy? Swim from your yacht to Patara Beach, where two amphitheatres lay lost in 20km of golden sand. From skydives over lost cities, to scuba dives over ancient shipwrecks, this voyage is history’s final frontier.



Embark at Kuşadası. Where street markets stock as many spices and silks as Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. The big-ticket activity? Ephesus. This vast Greco-Roman city hosted one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Your Y.CO Charter Specialist can arrange exclusive access to this open-air museum. At sunset your yacht will position off Kuşadası’s Aegean Coast. Your Turkish adventure has just begun.



Wake up in Didim and eBike back to Ancient Greece. At the Temple of Apollo stride alongside Ionian columns while eating wild figs. Already toured the ruined cities of Priene, Miletus and Aphrodisias? Anchor off uninhabited Panayir Island instead. Indulge in sunshine, hydrofoil surfs, drinks and dinner. In any order you please.



Rise and shine in Türkbükü. Turkey's answer to Ibiza. And munch Tokyo-grade sashimi next to swimming pool seas. For a history hit, your yacht can position off Gümüşlük, a hippy-chic village with sunken Roman mosaics in snorkel-friendly shallows. Thirsty? Swim back onboard for a glass of traditional Turkish raki while overlooking the Greek Islands beyond.



Today you’re based in Turkey’s most historic port. Bodrum is home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a Knights of St John Castle, while the historian Herotodus was born near the 3,000-year-old marina. Aquatic archeology? Scuba ancient shipwrecks and a sunken Dakota C-74 propeller plane. Octopi are the only passengers onboard.

Sedir Island


Before breakfast you’ll swim in celebrated company. Cleopatra holidayed on Sedir Island 2,000 years ago. Hike inland to find a Byzantine church, ruined temple and vine-choked amphitheatre. Ask your crew for a snorkel. Then swim past a sunken Roman harbour wall coloured by striped bream. A historic Turkish feast has been prepared back on board. Grouper with olives, herb stuffed squid, pistachio ice cream.



Today you’ll go Greek. Symi Island sits 5km from Turkey. But with zero airport and just five island taxis, access is solely by yacht. We’ll arrange a scooter if you wish to explore Symi’s moonscape interior. Race to Panormitis Monastery, a finely frescoed temple overlooking the Aegean Sea. Sip Greek Chardonnay over dinner. Tomorrow you’re back in Turkey.



Another day. Another voyage into history. Take a RIB tour up the Dalyan River. Labyrinthine creeks hide Nile turtles and nesting kestrels. Your expedition ends at Kaunos, a Hellenistic, Persian and Roman city lost to archaeologists until 1966. Battle inside the amphitheatre. Play hide-and-seek in the Byzantine baths. Or gaze at rock tombs carved high above your craft.



This morning enjoy a watery history lesson. Near Gocek's five-star marina sits Tersane (or 'shipyard') Bay. Here you can snorkel over Roman amphorae with only starfish for company. Prefer archeology on land? Your yacht will reposition to below ancient Lydai, a classical pre-Greek town of which only a ruined temple and fabulous sea views remain. Your charter yacht is the only restaurant, beach club and accommodation for miles around.



Today follow our trusted hiking guide into the hills. The Lycian Way is a 500km trail that links classical cities from Fethiye to Antalya. First stop is the hand-hewn rock tombs at Amyntas. Hike on to Kayaköy, a Byzantine ghost town abandoned one century ago. Final stop? Ölüdeniz, Turkey’s most famous beach. Swim across to your waiting yacht. Or paraglide down from a mountaintop.



Today you’ll position off Kalkan for white sand and white-knuckle adventure. Swim or tender to the beach, where an SUV awaits. Drive to Xanthos, Turkey’s most bucolic UNESCO-inscribed ruins, where geckos guard an ancient acropolis. Channeling Indiana Jones? Raft through the Saklikent Gorge, Europe’s second-grandest canyon. The barely discovered tombs at Sidyma and Pinara are just a short drive away.



Anchor off Kaş for breakfast, then kayak back in time. In 240AD a massive earthquake submerged an entire classical city. Paddle over shipyard walls and semi-submerged tombs. Turtles and wrasse might swim in your wake. Later, enjoy a private tour to the ancient tomb of Saint Nicholas of Myra. Known to the rest of the world as Santa Claus.



Disembark in Antalya, where historians are in good company. Emperor Hadrian built the Roman antique centre. Ibn Battuta (the Arabian Marco Polo) wrote about the cuisine. Antalya’s most astounding site? Head to Aspendos. An ancient city so spell-binding it once wowed Alexander the Great. The 12,000-seat amphitheatre still hosts alfresco concerts in the warm night air.