Istanbul & the Aegean Coast

Stroll and sail among Turkey’s historical sites and natural splendor

  • Lose yourself in the lively, seemingly endless bazaars of Istanbul
  • The fascinating ancient cities of Ephesus, Priene, Didyma, Euromos, and Kaunos
  • Hike the coastal trails along the Lycian Way with breathtaking sea views, then relax aboard your gulet
More Trips Like This
Turkey Istanbul Aegean
Trip Type: Scheduled Departure
Trip Length: 13 days
Activity type(s): Sailing, Cultural Tour, Day Hiking
Trip Extensions: Call 888-570-7108 for custom extension options

Alone and tremendous,” Sacherville Sitwell called Istanbul, “No water city can compare… it must be the most wonderful site for a great capital there has ever been.” No excursion to Turkey would be complete without an insightful look at its most important and spellbinding city, once called Constantinople. Add to that some glorious days on the Aegean, rambles among archaeological sites, and a superb guide, and you’ve got this expertly crafted, 13-day touring and sailing adventure.

In Istanbul, we boat on the Bosphorus, seeing intimately why travelers have been so enchanted with the city’s position on the water. We dally in mosques, visit the Aya Sofya (one of humanity’s architectural triumphs), and comb the area’s bazaars for treasures, from rugs to evil-eye talismans. After flying south, we get to know the lovely hill town of Șirince and the evocative ruins of Ephesus—probably the Mediterranean’s most beautifully preserved classic city. We then board our supremely comfortable gulet in Bodrum and commence a five-day Aegean cruise. We stop to snorkel, wander seaside forests and towns, explore the archaeological site of Kaunos, meet local chefs and families, and dine under piercingly bright stars at the end of each day.

Turkey vacation tour map

Itinerary at a Glance

  • Day 1: arrive in Istanbul
  • Day 2: Constantinople, ferry to Kadiköy
  • Day 3: the Imperial City to the village of Șirince
  • Day 4: Ephesus, local cooking class to prepare lunch
  • Day 5: drive to Bodrum via Priene, Didyma and Euromos
  • Day 6: Bodrum, board gulet
  • Day 7: boat on Dalyan River to Caunus, Iztuzu Beach
  • Day 8: Lydae, Cleopatra’s Sunken Baths
  • Day 9: Gemiler Island’s Byzantine monasteries and cobalt blue lagoon
  • Day 10: Kayaköy (ancient Greek ghost town), Karada
  • Day 11: fly to Istanbul, private river cruise on Bosphorus
  • Day 12: Istanbul: The Age of Sinan (mosques and bazaars)
  • Day 13: depart Istanbul.