14 to 27 September 2014
Tour cost £3,295
Single Supplement £600
Cappadocia and Lycia
This tour, exceptionally rich in history and beautiful scenery, combines the uniquely magical landscape of Cappadocia with a cruise along the ruin-strewn shores of Lycia. It begins with the natural volcanic wonderland of Cappadocia. The first few days will be spent exploring chapels and monasteries, some with superb frescoes, as well as the extensive underground cities used as hiding places by early Christian communities. The extraordinary, surreal landscape, with its characteristic outcrops known as ‘fairy chimneys’, its deep gorges and fertile vine-clad valleys, is unforgettable.
Our journey towards the Mediterranean will then take us across the Anatolian plateau by way of Konya, one of Turkey’s most important cultural and religious centres where the great mystical philosopher and poet, Celaleddin Rumi, founded the Mevlevi order, the ‘Whirling Dervishes’. We will also visit Sagalassos, a stunning, unfrequented Classical site, before we come down from the plateau to join our boat at Göcek for a leisurely cruise along the Lycian shore.
Jeremy Seal is a well-known travel writer with a particularly extensive knowledge of these regions. He is sure to regale you with stories of his travels and adventures in the area and give you a fascinating insight into its history.
Day 1 Our minibus picks us up from Kayseri airport for the transfer to our comfortable cave hotel in Ürgüp where we stay for four nights.
Day 2 An early start to beat the crowds to Göreme Valley (B), an outstanding cluster of frescoed chapels and rock-hewn monastery buildings. We then take a 30 minute walk along the nearby Pigeon Valley (A), famous for its rock formations and the carved and painted pigeon cotes for which it is named. After lunch we drive out to the underground city of Mazıköy (B). On our return we stop off at the Keşlik Monastery Complex where the caretaker offers tea in beautifully-tended orchards.
Day 3 For those after a perspective other than the underground one, there is the option of a balloon ride at dawn. In the morning, we take a 90 minute walk from Ortahisar along the pretty Baklan Valley (A) to the remote church at Pancarlık. After lunch at Sinassos (Mustafapaşa), a town of handsome Greek mansions, we drive out to the Soğanlı Valley where we visit some scattered rupestral churches.
Day 4 We drive out to the Ihlara Valley (C) for a two and a half hour riverside walk visiting chapels along the way. Later, there is free time to wander the back streets of Ürgüp.
Day 5 We visit the monastery of Eski Gümüş near the town of Niğde, before driving on to Konya, ancient Ikonium, home of the Whirling Dervishes and a city with fine Seljuk architecture. There is free time for exploring this vibrant city where we stay the night.
Day 6 A drive with sweeping vistas takes us through Turkey’s lake country, stopping to visit the wooden mosque at lakeside Beyşehir and the evocative Hittite sacred spring at Eflatun Pınar. At Adada (B) we see parts of the ancient road that St Paul trod on his first missionary journey. We overnight at Eğirdir.
Day 7 The final day of our land tour takes us to spectacular Sagalassos (A/B), mentioned as early as the 14th century BC in Hittite documents. It is here that archaeologists uncovered a huge head of Hadrian exhibited at the British Museum in 2008. After a brief visit to the Archaeological Museum at Burdur, we board our gulet at Göcek in time for well-earned dinner.
Day 8 We cross the Bay of Fethiye to Gemiler (B/C), a small island with a late antique monastic settlement and links to St Nicholas of Myra. We moor in a sound between the island and the mainland with Baba Dağı, Father Mountain, rising dramatically to the east. In the late afternoon a short minibus ride brings us to Kayaköy, the ‘ghost village’ abandoned by its Greek residents in 1923 and the setting for Louis de Berniere’s novel, Birds Without Wings. Dinner is in one of the village restaurants.
Day 9 An early start for Kaş, ancient Antiphellos (A) where we spend a leisurely day exploring the theatre and the Lycian tombs. In the late afternoon there will be an optional trip to Kyaenae, a remote, hilltop site with a huge, earthquake-damaged theatre. We overnight at nearby Bayandır Bay.
Day 10 To Myra (A), famous for its Lycian rock-cut tombs, large Roman theatre and St. Nicholas church, then on to Andriake (A) to see Hadrian’s granaries, one of the best-preserved Roman buildings on Turkey’s southern shore. We spend the night in the sheltered bays of Kekova where Lycia’s distinctive sarcophagae lie dotted along the shoreline.
Day 11 We visit the village of Kaleköy which lies below an Ottoman fort on the ancient site of Simena (B), one of the most romantic settings of the holiday. Nearby Teimioussa (B) has one of the finest of all Lycian burial grounds.
Day 12 We cruise to the pretty village of Kalkan and visit Xanthos (A), capital of ancient Lycia, and the port city of Patara, both remarkable sites with a rich architectural heritage.
Day 13 We sail to the beautiful inlet of Ağlimanı (Fisherman’s Net Cove) and make our way along a Roman cattle track to a hidden ridge, crowned with the Mausolea (B) of a wealthy local family with links to the Roman Senate. The unexcavated city of Lydai lies in the valley below.
Day 14 We leave early for Göcek. Dalaman is 30 minutes from the harbour.
(Please note – wine and spirits are not included during the land portion of this tour. A balloon ride is an optional extra.)
Our reading list for this tour is coming soon.
Recommended flights coming soon.
If you would like to make a booking enquiry about this tour, please contact us to check availability.