Turkey and the Turquoise Coast
September 16-October 1, 2009
Faculty: Tyler Jo Smith, Assistant Professor, Department of Art
Price: $3,695 per person Land Only or
$4,195 per person including air from New York*
$4,495 per person including air from Washington Dulles*
Please call us toll free at 866-765-2646.
Registration is Open
Turkey – where Europe and Asia meet to form "the cradle of civilization" – is ours to discover on this exclusive 16-day tour. We begin our journey in Istanbul, Turkey's cultural and spiritual heart. We'll enjoy the city's astonishing and legendary Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia and Topkapi Palace, one of the world's richest museums. We'll travel south to the sacred World War I battlefield of Gallipoli, ferry across the Dardanelles to Troy and explore the wealth of Greco-Roman ruins at ancient Pergamum. We spend a full day at Turkey's best-preserved classical city, Ephesus. Among its treasures are the grand Library of Celsus and a 25,000-seat amphitheater with excellent acoustics and splendid views. Then we'll spend five splendid days aboard our privately chartered gulet yacht, cruising the exquisite Turquoise Coast, relaxing and discovering hidden sights, quaint fishing villages and remote ruins. We end our journey in the beautiful seaside resort of Antalya, with excursions to ancient Perge and Aspendos.
- Exotic Istanbul, including the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sofia
- Private Bosphorus cruise
- WWI battlefield of Gallipoli
- Ruins at ancient Troy, Pergamum and Ephesus
- Lunch in homes of Turkish villagers
- Five-night "Blue Voyage" aboard privately chartered gulet yacht
- Cruising to secluded coves and hidden sites that few visitors see
- Opportunities for swimming, snorkeling and hiking
- Sunken Baths of Cleopatra
- 6th century Byzantine monastery on Gemiler Island
- Ancient sites of Perge, Aspendos and Myra
- Three-night stay in Mediterranean resort of Antalya
Hilton Istanbul: Overlooking the Bosphorus, the stunning Istanbul Strait, enjoy fabulous views from Bosphorus Terrace Restaurant at the Hilton Istanbul Hotel. Relax in one of two pools, the Turkish baths or jog on the onsite track.
Nazlihan Hotel: Located on the water in the old port, this lovely hotel offers an outdoor and indoor restaurant, with fireplace and cafe-bar with delicious and authentic Turkish and international dishes.
Kismet Hotel: The Kismet sits on a peninsula of the Aegean Sea with its turquoise waters. Guests enjoy delightful year-round sun, gentle breezes, proud pines and swaying palms just a 15-minute drive from the city of Ephesus.
Divan Talya Hotel: Situated atop the cliffs overlooking Antalya Bay, with views of the Bey Mountains, the hotel's location is unmatched. Amenities include a private beach, heated outdoor pool, spa services and wireless Internet.
Private Gulet Yacht: The gullet is a replica of a traditional Turkish fishing boat and houses 14 guests. Today's gulets are built with modern comforts in mind, containing small but cozy cabins with private bath and shower, public areas and broad decks in an area approximately 85 feet long and 21 feet wide. Beautiful craftsmanship combined with ancient artistry makes the gulet the perfect vessel on which to cruise the waters of the Turquoise Coast.^ back to top
36 meals: 14 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 12 dinners.^ back to top
Tyler Jo Smith, Assistant Professor, Department of Art
Tyler Jo Smith is a classical archaeologist who specializes in Greek vase-painting and iconography. Her research has focused largely on images of komasts (revelers) in Archaic Greek art and their relationship to drama, religion and social customs. She has recently revised her doctoral thesis (Oxford 1997) for publication. Other areas of research interest include the archaeology of Anatolia and the Black Sea, connections between art and religion, ancient performance and the history of collecting. Her recent publications have appeared in the Annual of the BritishSchool at Athens, Art Documentation, Games and Festivals in Classical Antiquit, and Griechische Keramik im kulturellen Kontext. She is currently working on the publication of the Greek vases in the collection of Sir John Soane's Museum in London. As an active field archaeologist, Ms. Smith has participated on excavations and surveys in Greece (Knossos, Chios), Turkey (Northern Lycia), England and most recently Morgantina, Sicily. Tyler Jo led a Cavalier Travels trip to Greece and on the Aegean Sea in 2008.
Day 1 - U.S. / Istanbul
Depart the United States early this evening on our flight for Istanbul.
Day 2 - Istanbul
After arriving late this morning, we'll meet our Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director and transfer to our hotel. There's time to unpack and have a short rest before an informative briefing about the journey ahead. We'll then take a short walking tour of the Taksim Square area (the heart of modern Istanbul) and continue on to a local restaurant where we get our first taste of traditional Turkish cuisine during our welcome dinner.
Hilton Istanbul (D)
Day 3 - Istanbul
It's our first full day in Istanbul, and there's much on the agenda. This legendary city, divided by the Bosphorus, separates Europe from Asia, and makes this a place where East and West meet in a fascinating melding of cultures. We cross over Galata Bridge, which spans the Golden Horn, and tour Old Istanbul, home of splendid mosques and magnificent palaces. Our first stop is at the ancient Hippodrome, where chariot races once took place. We continue on to the marvelous Blue Mosque, topped by six slender minarets. Inside is one of the world's great collections of blue Isnik tiles (20,000 of them), along with 260 stained glass windows. Next we visit the famed Hagia Sophia, which was the world's grandest cathedral when it was built in 537 AD; it was converted into a mosque in the 15th century and is now a museum.
We enjoy lunch together at Topkapi Konyali, a traditional Turkish restaurant that serves up magnificent views along with traditional Turkish fare. Then we tour splendid Topkapi itself, the vast palace that as the home of Ottoman sultans once housed as many as 4,000 royals, courtiers and hangers-on. Among other magnificent artifacts on display here we see priceless paintings, jewel-encrusted swords and delicate porcelains. Dinner tonight is on our own.
Hilton Istanbul (B, L)
Day 4 - Istanbul
On this morning's tour we encounter the vast Grand Bazaar, one of the world's largest covered markets, with some 4,000 shops and stalls selling goods of all kinds, including jewelry, pottery, leather and Turkish delicacies. From here we visit the Spice Market, with exotic spices, nuts and dried fruits from around the world. We then embark on a private cruise on the Bosphorus Strait, the lovely – and strategic – waterway that separates Europe from Asia. We stop in the village of Orkatoy, known for its trendy art scene, cafés and boutiques, where we have some time to explore and have lunch on our own before returning to our hotel mid-afternoon. The remainder of the day and evening is at leisure; tonight we have a choice of many excellent restaurants for dinner on our own.
Hilton Istanbul (B)
Day 5 - Istanbul / Gallipoli / Troy / Assos
We rise early to begin our day of travel to the Northern Aegean coast and a brief visit to the battlefields of Gallipoli, where in 1915 Allied troops faced the Turkish army led by Lieutenant Colonel Mustafa Kemal, also known as Ataturk, the man who later became the leader of modern Turkey. Large numbers of casualties were suffered here, and we pay our respects to those who gave their lives as we visit one of the Allied cemeteries. Then we travel across the Straits of the Dardanelles to Troy, once believed to have existed only in Homer's epic poem. Heinrich Schliemann discovered the real Troy in the 1870s and excavations have revealed the remnants of at least nine civilizations here dating back 5,000 years. After an exploration of the ruins and relics here, we continue on to Behramkale, ancient Assos, where we spend the night.
Nazlihan Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 6 - Assos / Pergamum / Kusadasi
This morning we depart for Pergamum, once one of the richest small kingdoms in Asia Minor. Pergamum once housed one of the world's largest collections of books. Here we visit the magnificent Acropolis, which contains the ruins of Pergamum's acclaimed 200,000-volume library, so large it challenged the world's greatest library in Alexandria, Egypt. In fact, the Egyptians were so afraid that Pergamum would attract scholars away from Alexandria that they cut off the area's supply of papyrus, forcing the invention of pergamen (Latin for parchment), made from animal hides rather than papyrus reed. The Acropolis also boasts a great theater seating 10,000 and the marble-columned Temple of Trajan. Below the theater lie the ruins of the Temple of Dionysus along with the Altar of Zeus. Much of Pergamum has been lovingly restored; it is now considered one of the premier ancient sites in Turkey. After enjoying our lunch in a typical Turkish kebab restaurant, we continue on to Asclepium, a sanctuary and healing center built in the 4th century BC in the name of Ascelepius, god of healing. Later this afternoon we continue on to Kusadasi and our hotel. We dine together tonight.
Kismet Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 7 - Kusadasi / Ephesus
Today we visit Ephesus, perhaps the world's best-preserved ancient city. In Roman times, Ephesus was the provincial capital of Asia, with a population of 250,000 at the height of its glory. An important Christian community arose here, and Ephesus was visited by St. Paul, who later wrote one of his epistles to the Ephesians. Perhaps its greatest claim to fame is the fact that Ephesus once housed the Temple of Diana, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Today the magnificently preserved ruins attract visitors from across the globe. A full day of touring here includes the immense theater that holds 24,000 people and is still used today. We'll walk along the Sacred Way, where the rich once lived and where an ingenious water and sewer system was constructed beneath paving stones of marble; see the Temple of Hadrian, a Corinthian-style building with the head of Medusa on the porch to keep away evil spirits; and admire the Library of Celsus, which once held 12,000 ancient scrolls. After having a home-hosted lunch in the beautiful rustic village of Sirince, we'll visit the Ephesus Museum, filled with statuary, ancient relics, mosaics and artifacts excavated from the site. Our last stop of the day is at the House of Virgin Mary, who is believed to have come to Ephesus near the end of her life in 37 AD. We return to our hotel late this afternoon and dine there together this evening.
Kismet Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 8 - Kusadasi / Marmaris
Today we continue our journey south, stopping along the way to see a demonstration of the ancient art of carpet weaving at a local factory. We'll stop in a local village for lunch and a visit to the Camlik Steam Train Museum where we can view the excellent collection. We continue on to coastal Marmaris. Once a sleepy fishing village, Marmaris is now a bustling center of commerce where fishing trawlers dock next to million-dollar yachts. Here we board our 14-guest gulet, a replica of a traditional Turkish fishing boat. Today's gulets are built with modern comforts in mind, containing small but cozy cabins with private bath and shower, public areas and broad decks in an area approximately 85 feet long and 21 feet wide. Beautiful craftsmanship combined with ancient artistry makes the gulet the perfect vessel in which to cruise the waters of the Turquoise Coast. After settling in to our cabins, we'll enjoy our first dinner on board, prepared by the ship's crew with fresh local ingredients. Tonight you may wish to join others sleeping on deck under the stars.
Gulet Yacht (B, L, D)
Day 9 - Cruising / Dalyan River / Ekincik Cove
Our route for the next five days is along the coastline that Mark Antony is said to have given Cleopatra as a wedding gift. Named for the brilliant color of its waters, the Turquoise Coast is nature's gift to all who travel here. The swimming is glorious, in crystal clear waters that afford views into the depths. With the scent of eucalyptus perfuming the air, and forested mountains as our backdrop, we begin our "Blue Voyage" by traveling to the mouth of the Dalyan River. Here we disembark and board a small riverboat for a trip through a maze of channels surrounded by bamboo and cattails. We'll keep our eyes open for the Lycian rock tombs skillfully carved into the mountains centuries ago. These relics of ancient Lycia, which stretched along the Mediterranean coast from Koycegis in the West to Antalya in the East, are the few remaining artifacts of this great culture. After lunch in a local restaurant, we board our gulet in Ekincik Cove where we anchor for the night.
Gulet Yacht (B, L, D)
Day 10 - Cruising / Aga Limani / Cleopatra Baths
Today we cruise to the hidden cove of Aga Limani where an optional hike of approximately three hours along an herb-scented trail brings us to Lydea, a little-known Greco-Roman site. The hike concludes at the Sunken Baths of Cleopatra, built in a breathtaking inlet by Mark Antony for the last Egyptian pharaoh. Those who prefer a less strenuous day can choose to stay on board the gulet as it sails to the Sunken Baths to meet up with the hikers. There's plenty on board with which to keep occupied, including games, cards or simply chatting with fellow guests.
Gulet Yacht (B, L, D)
Day 11 - Cruising / Yassica Isles / Bedri Rahmi Cove / Tersane Island
After breakfast we set sail in the stunning, calm Gulf of Fethiye, surrounded by the pine-covered lower slopes of the Taurus Mountains. Our destination is Bedri Rahmi Cove, where we spend the day exploring the islands dotted with Lycian rock tombs, swimming and relaxing. Called Taskaya Cove by the locals, Bedri Rahmi is now widely known for Turkish writer and artist Bedri Rahmi Eyupoglu who painted a well-known fish on a boulder here in 1973 on one of the earliest "Blue Voyages." Tonight we anchor in a quiet cove nearby.
Gulet Yacht (B, L, D)
Day 12 - Cruising / Gemiler / Kayakoy
Early in the morning we sail for our next anchorage, Gemiler Island, where we disembark for a tour of the 6th-century Byzantine monastery. After lunch, we disembark and drive to the Greek "ghost" town of Kayakoy, deserted after World War I and the Turkish War of Independence. Residents abandoned approximately 2,000 stone houses, which eventually will be restored by the Turkish Ministry of Culture. We'll explore the town and its two churches, which retain some of their painted decoration and mosaic floors. Later we return to our gulet and remain anchored in Gemiler tonight, our last night on board.
Gulet Yacht (B, L, D)
Day 13 - Cruising / Fethiye / Demre / Myra / Antalya
This morning we sail to Fethiye, where we disembark, bid farewell to our gulet crew, and board a motorcoach for the long drive to Antalya. Along the way we stop in Demre to tour the ancient site of Myra, with an extremely well preserved Roman theater and striking Lycian tombs (including one topped with a dramatic deathbed scene). As a point of interest, Demre is where the legend of Father Christmas ("Noel Baba" in Turkish) is said to have originated with a Christian bishop who gave dowries to penniless girls. The bishop became known as St. Nicholas. We also visit Demre's 12th-century Church of St. Nicholas, whose last major renovations in 1862 were sponsored by Czar Nicholas I of Russia. After lunch here we continue our drive to Antalya along the beautiful Turquoise Coast. Late this afternoon we reach our hotel, splendidly perched on a cliff at the edge of the sea. We dine there tonight.
Divan Talya Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 14 - Antalya
This morning we take a walking orientation tour of Antalya, where we see the resort city's Old Town, the extravagantly carved Hadrian's Gate, and the lovely Yivli (fluted) Minaret. Then we board a coach for the ride to Antalya's Archaeological Museum, which chronicles the history of the area through a wealth of ancient artifacts discovered locally. Of special interest here is the "God Gallery," housing statues of 15 gods from Aphrodite to Zeus. We return to our hotel in time for lunch on our own. The remainder of the day is at leisure; you may wish to indulge in an authentic Turkish bath! Dinner tonight is at our hotel.
Divan Talya Hotel (B, D)
Day 15 - Antalya / Perge / Aspendos
This morning we set off for a tour of the once-thriving Roman city of Perge, which reached its pinnacle during the era of Alexander the Great. Among the outstanding ruins here are the ancient shopping arcade, the awe-inspiring 12,000-seat stadium and a 15,000-seat theater. Then we move on to Aspendos, whose huge theater is considered one of the best preserved in all of antiquity. We return to Antalya in time for lunch on our own and an afternoon at leisure before we gather for a farewell dinner at our hotel tonight.
Divan Talya Hotel (B, D)
Day 16 - Return to U.S.
Those not joining the optional extension to Cappadocia and Ankara will transfer early this morning to the airport for the connecting flight to the U.S.
Since space is limited aboard the gulet, suitcases must be placed under beds or in irregular spaces. It will be very helpful if your luggage is flexible (duffel bag variety) rather than hard-sided. In addition, we ask guests to wear clean, soft-soled shoes aboard ship in order to prevent scuffing of the ship's hardwood floors. These should be a different pair than what you wear when out exploring during the day; any smooth soft-soled footwear such as boat or deck shoes, tennis shoes, sandals or slippers is fine. Last, you may wish to pack a washcloth for your time on the gulet.
In addition, this trip involves considerable walking on uneven or cobblestone streets and at sites of ancient ruins, as well as on stops during the gulet cruise. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to the fullest.
We will do our best to adhere to our printed itinerary. Occasionally though, unexpected obstacles, and opportunities, may arise that will force us to deviate from the itinerary as written. We would ask you to be open-minded and flexible should we vary the itinerary slightly. In addition, please note that airline schedules are subject to change. We will provide you with updated flight information closer to your departure.
For Land Only Guests
If you choose to purchase a "land only" package you will be making your own international air arrangements and will join the tour at the first hotel.
While airport transfers and luggage handling at the arrival and departure airports are not included when you purchase a tour as land only, you are welcome to join our motorcoach transfer to the hotel. This service will be provided to you on a complimentary basis.
To join in the transfer, you must be at the Istanbul airport concurrent with the group of other arriving guests. Look for our representative holding a Cavalier Travels or Odysseys Unlimited sign and you will be directed to the motorcoach. Please note that you must be present when the coach is preparing to leave.
Several different flights may be used for for this trip; however, to take advantage of the complimentary transfer you should be present for the following flight arrival:
Day 1 Depart New York 6:45 pm Turkish Airlines Flight 2
Day 2 Arrive Istanbul 12:05 pm
Please remember that all flights and schedules are subject to change.
Upon the trip's completion, you are also welcome to join the group transfer to the airport for your flight home.
For Guests Taking the
"Cappadocia & Ankara 2008"
Optional Post-Tour Extension
Day 16 - Transfer to Cappadocia
Guests who are joining our optional extension to Cappadocia and Ankara will have a full-day motorcoach transfer via historic Konya, where we'll stop for a visit to the Mevlana Museum, home of Turkey's renowned Whirling Dervishes – a mystic order whose members dance wildly to free themselves from earthly bondage. We'll have lunch here before continuing on to Cappadocia in central Turkey. Renowned for its awe-inspiring natural rock formations – which were utilized for everything from housing to churches and even complete underground villages – Cappadocia is as magical today as it was when early farmers discovered the fertile powers of the volcanic ash that covered the area thousands of years ago. Cappadocia became a haven for the first Christians, who ultimately carved more than 3,000 churches in the porous rock, painting many of them inside with splendidly preserved scenes from the Old Testament. We reach Cappadocia late this afternoon, and enjoy a buffet dinner this evening at our hotel.
Uchisar Kaya Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 17-18 - Cappadocia
For the next two days, we'll explore more of this unique region. We tour the rock churches of the Goreme Valley, including an open-air museum with 8th-century murals; and the refuge of Kaymakli, which was constructed over a period of centuries and provided a safe haven for Turks during times of war and conflict. A maze of tunnels reaching four stories deep, this underground city held as many as 3,000 people who were able to breathe thanks to a ventilation system that allowed fresh air into the complex structure. We also visit the vast Zelve Valley complex of caves laced with dwellings, churches and public spaces where villagers lived until just 50 years ago; and marvel at the fairy-tale chimneys at Pasabag and the troglodyte village of Uchisar.
During a stop in the charming town of Avanos we watch local craftspeople as they practice their arts, which include fashioning beautiful hand-colored pottery, and weaving rugs of natural colored wool, a regional specialty that has been perfected by the Turks over many hundreds of years and continues to be passed down from generation to generation. We dine both evenings at our hotel.
For those who wish, an optional early morning balloon ride is available on Day 18 (at additional cost). The ride offers an unparalleled view of the lunar-like landscape and may be reserved on-site during our stay.
Uchisar Kaya Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 19 - Transfer to Ankara
This morning we board a motorcoach for the half-day transfer to Ankara, Turkey's capital. Upon arrival we visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, where we will gain insights into Turkey's fascinating past. One of the exhibits dates back to the earliest known human community, and takes us through civilizations that include the Urartu, Hattie, Hittite, Phrygian and Assyrian. The building itself dates from the 15th century, and is a restored covered market. As we tour the museum, we will bring together all we have learned about Turkey and its people during our 2½ weeks of traveling. Tonight we gather one last time for a farewell dinner at our hotel.
Ankara Hilton (B, D)
Day 20 - Depart Ankara for the U.S.
Early this morning, we'll transfer to the airport for a connecting flight to the United States.
$4,195 per person, double occupancy, air, land & cruise inclusive from New York.
$4,495 per person, double occupancy, air, land & cruise inclusive from Washington D.C. (Dulles).
Please call for prices from other cities. Land only price is $3,695; arrival and departure transfers not included. Prices are per person based on double occupancy in outside cabin.
Single travelers please add $1,195.
A 5-day/4-night post-tour extension to Cappadocia & Ankara is available for $695 (single supplement is $165). Business Class upgrade on international flight is available on a request basis – please call for details. Airline taxes and departure fees of $397 per person are billed separately and subject to change.
Please note: Pricing subject to change and does not include taxes.^ back to top
How To Register
Ready to register? The best way to do this is by phone so that we can ensure we are meeting all of your needs. Please call us toll free at 866-765-2646. Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact information and the best time to reach you.
A deposit of $500 per person is required to reserve your spot. Final invoicing at approximately 95 days (June 13) prior to departure. Final payment is due 95 days (June 13) prior to departure.
Deposits can be made via Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover.
Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.^ back to top
General Terms & Conditions
Please read this information carefully, as a payment of a $500 deposit per person represents your acceptance of the following Terms and Conditions.
Payment Schedule: A deposit of $500 per person confirms your reservation. The balance of your invoice is due 95 days before departure.
Not Included in Tour Price: Airfare from your hometown to your gateway city and return; costs of passports and visas; airport, port, and departure taxes, which will be listed as separate items on your invoice and are subject to change; personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, room service and meals not specified; excess baggage fees; communication charges; gratuities to your Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director and shipboard personnel, which are at your discretion (suggested gratuity for your Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director: $10-$15 per day per traveler); optional sightseeing; and travel protection insurance.
Cancellation and Refunds: If you must cancel your trip, the effective date of cancellation will be upon our receipt of your written notification. Refunds for cancellations are subject to the following per person charges: Cancel 95 days or more before departure: $200 charge; cancel 94-65 days before departure: 50% of tour price; cancel 64-30 days before departure: 75% of tour price; cancel 29-0 days before departure: no refund. If a guest makes any changes within 94 and 30 days prior to departure to either their departure city and/or the optional post-tour extension, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. will apply a $100 per person administrative fee, in addition to any fees or penalties imposed by third parties. No changes are allowed within 30 days of departure.
Upon reservation you must provide your full legal name as it appears on your passport. In the event an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.
Responsibility: The liability of the University of Virginia, as sponsor, and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc., as tour operator, is strictly limited. The University of Virginia and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. purchase transportation, hotel accommodations, restaurant and other services from independent suppliers not under our control. We serve only as agents for these suppliers in securing tour arrangements, and therefore will not accept responsibility for wrongful, negligent, or arbitrary acts or omissions of these independent contractors, their employees, agents, servants or representatives. The University of Virginia and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. are not liable for injury, damage, loss, accident, or delay that may be caused by events not within our control, including without limitation, acts of terrorism, war, strikes, the defect of any vehicle, or the negligence or default of any third party. All coupons, receipts, and tickets issued are subject to the terms and conditions specified by the air carriers, cruise line, and other independent suppliers. We will make every effort to operate our tours as planned, but we reserve the right to make itinerary changes as necessary. If unforeseen circumstances require us to change a hotel, we will select alternative accommodations of the same or better quality. If you choose to make your own air arrangements, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. shall not have any liability for any loss resulting from cancellation of this tour or changes in this tour.^ back to top