Location: Turkey Dates: May 26 – June 4, 2008 (eg. arrives May 26, departs June 4) Duration: 10 days/9 nights Group Size: Limited to 32 students & partners (minimum 20) Accommodation: 6 nights boutique hotels, 3 nights on a sailing yacht
Ancient ruins, magnificent culture, turquoise waters and delicious cuisine are just some of the incredible highlights of our Turkey Trek. East meets West in Istanbul where we gain insights into the modern Islamic world. In Cappadocia, seeing the sights via hiking, biking and horseback is an unforgettable experience. And then sail the pristine Mediterranean Sea as we visit fishing villages, ancient ruins, and beautiful beaches. Accommodation is in boutique hotels, including a luxury cave hotel, and on board our hand-crafted wooden sailing ship.
Day 1: Arrive Istanbul We will arrive in the vibrant, exotic city of Istanbul. After checking into our boutique hotel we’ll have a free afternoon to relax and explore the area.
Day 2: Sights & Sounds of Istanbul Today we will enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of this exotic city that sits at the crossroads of civilization. We’ll visit the fabled landmarks of Istanbul: the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and the Grand Bazaar.
Day 3: Cappadocia Adventure Begins This morning we will fly to Cappadocia, a land of underground cities and Roman ruins, deep canyons and snow-capped mountains, fairy chimneys and stone villages. We’ll start with a visit to an underground city, which once housed an entire village of people and protected them from invaders. Then we’ll visit the Goreme Open Air "Musuem", a World Heritage Site made up of a cluster of Byzantine churches, chapels and monasteries built into the rock and sporting impressive frescoes. Accommodation is in a unique and beautiful cave hotel, carved out of a cliff overlooking town.
Day 4: Cappadocia on Bike & Horseback Today we'll explore the region on bike and on horseback via winding trails that take us along rivers, into canyons, over small mountain passes, and through traditional farming villages.
Day 5: Cappadocia to Konya We’ll start the day with a hike in Ihlara canyon which is commonly called the “Turkish Grand Canyon”. This valley, a favorite retreat of Byzantine monks, is home to dozens of painted churches carved into the rocks. We will then board our luxury bus and head to Konya. Overnight in Konya.
Day 6: Whirling Dervishes to Gentle Seas Konya is home to the whirling dervishes of the mystical Sufi Muslim sect. This morning we’ll visit the Mevlevi Museum and mausoleum , the original lodge of the whirling dervishes. We’ll then head to Fethiye to board our classic gulet, a hand-crafted wooden sailing vessel that will be our home for the next three days.
Day 7: Cruising the Mediterranean Today we’ll relax in the sunshine, as we cruise the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean, stopping to hike amongst Roman and Lycian ruins. In the evening we’ll dine on fresh seafood under the stars of our private yacht.
Day 8: Cruising the Mediterranean We’ll have the opportunity to swim and snorkel from our yacht today. We’ll dock in a small fishing village for lunch, and depending on conditions, we may have a chance to kayak or windsurf.
Day 9: Sightseeing & Back to Istanbul We’ll bid farewell to our gulet crew this morning and drive to Dalyan to tour Lycian tombs and the ancient trading city of Kaunos. We’ll then board our flight and head back to Istanbul.
Day 10: Departure Day Our Turkish adventure comes to an end today, as we board our flights home. Those who choose can spend a few extra days enjoying the sights of Istanbul.