From: October 1 to October 10, 2018

Destination: Ephesus and Turkey's Turquoise Coast

  • Ephesus and Turkey's Turquoise Coast

    Turkey is known for its history, culture, hospitality, and natural beauty and there is no better way to explore its beaches and bays than aboard a gulet, a traditional wooden sailing yacht. We'll be off the traditional tourist path as we travel along the Turquoise Coast. We'll hike on trails accessible only from the sea, explore ancient ruins, visit small villages, feast on fresh food prepared by our on-board chef, and relax at night to the sound of the sea gently lapping against the boat. Traveling on a small boat allows us to moor in quiet bays, hike from one point to another, and choose to stay on board and relax on any day, swim,  kayak, and snorkel in azure seas. Along the way we'll see ruins that reflect Turkey's long history, from Lycia to Roman domination to the Turkish empire. At the end of our cruise, we'll visit the archaeological village of Ephesus, a town that reflects Turkey's history and importance to Christianity. Max group size: 12
    Download Trip Summary and Packing List

  • If you would like to spend time in Istanbul before the trip starts, we're offering a 2 day pretrip extension. You can download details here. We are also offering an extension to Cappadocia at the end of the trip.

    Monday, October 1
    We'll meet in Istanbul for the short flight to Dalaman, with the exact time and airport being determined 6 months before the trip. We get our first taste of the Turkish countryside during our drive to Marmaris Harbor where we will be met by our English guide and the co-owner of the boat, Anne. She'll guide us through the town streets to our boat, East Meets West, a traditional wooden sailing yacht called a gulet. We'll be shown our cabins and then meet the captain and 2-person crew. After settling into our cabins we will share a welcome tea and biscuits, and then begin relaxing while the first of many outstanding dinners is freshly prepared. D

    Tuesday, October 2
    This morning and every morning we start with a breakfast feast of fruit, tomatoes, cheese, bread, different jams and strong hot coffee. The mountains surrounding the bay, that we have so far only seen from the boat, beckon to us for our first short warm up hike. Following a broad track that climbs gradually with a steeper ascent at the end, we'll have plenty of opportunity to chat as we make our way to the caves of Nimara, where there's evidence of a Goddess worshipping site from around 20,000 BC. We'll take in stunning views of the Aegean as we reach a height of 470 feet.
    Although the boat has sails, we use the engine for cruising so we don't take all of our time getting between places. On this afternoon's cruise we'll pass islands and wooded inlets as we head out of Marmaris Bay before turning south and cruising the coastline for about two hours to our next mooring spot. There will be time for swimming before enjoying dinner, which might be barbecued fish, fresh salads, potatoes, and other vegetables with other options for vegetarians. Hiking: 2 hours, 3.1 miles, 470 ft elevation gain and loss. B, L, D

    Wednesday, October 3
    After another hearty breakfast we start the day with a boat taxi up the Dalyan River. We pass the colorful town of Dalyan and the ancient Lycian tombs built directly into the rock, the oldest remnant of Caunos. Our destination? Mud baths! Start by plastering yourself and each other (this may be the most fun getting plastered you've ever had), wash it off in a cold shower, and then proceed to a further dip in the hot pool. You might not look any younger at the end but your skin will thank you.
    We then return by boat partway down river for our 30 minute uphill walk to the ruins at Caunos. Caunos dates back to at least the 4th century BC and the ruins mark its long and varied history before becoming part of the Roman Empire. While still being actively excavated, it is particularly known for the Roman amphitheatre that seated 5,000; the Byzantine Basilica, an ancient Doric temple; and well-preserved Roman baths. We'll enjoy our picnic lunch overlooking the sprawling ruins and have time to explore them before starting our hike back. Our path starts through the ruins, continues through a village, and then goes steeply up to a saddle where a Muslim cemetery is located. From here we descend on road and trail back to sea level.
    We return to our gulet, moored at Ekincik, where another delicious dinner, possibly chicken or aubergine gratin, bulgur, more delicious salads, and locally grown fresh fruit, awaits us. Hiking: 4.5 hours, 7 miles, 650 feet elevation gain and loss. B, L, D

    Thursday, October 4
    The wonderful thing about cruising on a boat is that you can skip the built up places and head for the less crowded, which is what we'll do this morning as we pass Dalaman and head towards the Fethiye Gulf. Dropping anchor in a small bay, this morning's walk climbs above the water on a coastal path before turning inland on an old Roman mule track that we'll follow to the ruins of a Roman church and settlement at Lydae. Our path now skirts through woodlands along a gorge, ending in another stunning view of the sea below. From here we descend to Manastir Bay and the ruins of Cleopatra's Baths. According to legend, Mark Anthony built these baths as a wedding gift to Cleopatra where they found a hot water spring in this part of the bay. Our boat will be waiting for us in the bay and we can swim among the ruins before lunch. After lunch we'll enjoy ice cream from the the ice cream boat (!) and relax on our gulet as it motors around to the next bay. Tonight we'll moor in a small beautiful cove that is just a short distance away. Hiking: 2.5 - 3 hours, 3 miles, 520 feet elevation gain and loss. B, L, D

    Friday, October 5
    This is the perfect morning for a lazy start. Following ancient goat trails, our path takes us above the water and through woods, gaining a summit with clear views of the many islands that dot Fethiye Bay. We descend to another cove where our boat awaits us, with lunch and a relaxed afternoon. Our boat continues to the small yachting resort of Gocek where it takes on supplies while we wander the town or sit in one of the many outdoor cafes and drink coffee before enjoying a dinner of chicken or freshly caught fish and calamari. Hiking: 2.5 hours, 3 miles, 400 feet elevation gain and loss. B, L, D

    Saturday, October 6
    Today is our last hiking day and our longest hike of the week. Walking amongst lavendar, rock rose bushes, and juniper, our path once again climbs to a ridge, with magnificent views this time overlooking the whole of Fethiye Bay and the famous Gocek islands. It's a fitting last walk as we can see many of the places we've walked previously. Returning to our boat we'll motor a short way before dropping anchor for the night. Hiking: 5 hours, 7 miles, 1100 feet elevation gain and loss. B, L, D

    Sunday, October 7
    oday we journey inland by a comfortable air conditioned vehicle. We'll stop first at the Tlos ruins, which date from the Lycian period. Originally one of the six largest Lycian cities, it was first mentioned in 14th century BC records. Excavation of the site is limited but its location and size make it worth a stop because there's so much to explore.
    We'll go on to visit the ghost village of Kayakoy. It was once inhabited by a Greek and Turkish community until it - and all Greek communities - were expelled by the Turks in the 1920s (and in turn Greeks expelled Turkish communities from Greece). When a massive earthquake later decimated Fethiye, residents removed windows, doors, and roofing materials to help rebuild their town. We'll have lunch here in a very authentic local restaurant located among the ruins. An optional pleasant downhill walk to the edge of Fethiye will help us work off lunch before we return to the gulet. Tonight is our final night on the boat and we'll share a final farewell feast, toasting Anne and the crew and all we've learned. Hiking: 1 hour, 1.3 miles, 400 feet elevation loss B, L, D

    Monday, October 8
    After one final delicious breakfast, we bade farewell to our boat and the crew for our transfer to Sirince. The drive takes about five hours with a break for lunch and shows off Turkey's mixture of modern and traditional ways. We'll spend the next two nights in Sirince, close to Ephesus, and a delight in itself. It's one of the very few genuinely beautiful historic villages left in the western seaboard of Turkey, and almost all houses date from 19th Century or earlier. The guide will give you an orientation to the town and the many shops there. Dinner tonight will continue the theme of eating delicious and freshly prepared food. B, L, D

    Tuesday, October 9
    We'll spend the entire morning visiting the ancient city of Ephesus. First a Greek and later a Roman city, it is considered to be the commercial, religious and social center of antiquity. It is a vast site and not yet completely excavated; what is visible, such as the Temple of Artemis, gives some idea of its original splendor. It is also an important early Christian site: this is where St Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians and the Virgin Mary is believed to have spent her last days here. After lunch we'll return to the Inn where we'll have a chance to relax before an optional and informal tour of Sirince, followed by dinner. We'll be back to the Inn in time to pack up for the next leg of our adventure. B, L, D

    Wednesday, October 10
    This morning we'll return to Izmir for the flight back to Istanbul or, if you have the time, onto Cappadocia for our hiking trip there. Our final schedule for this day will once again depend on the flights and we'll determine final departure times once those are known. B
  • $2995 (click here for discounts) $400 deposit. You can check out our cancellation policies here. The single supplement is $450 for the boat and $625 for the entire trip. If you are coming with someone who wants to share a single cabin, you can each deduct $350. There are a very limited number of single cabins. We are also offering an optional pretrip visit to Istanbul ($375, you can download the description here) and a 5 day post trip extension to the wonderland of Cappadocia ($1295, details here)

    Trip Includes

    • Experienced guides including one local guide and one Adventures in Good Company guide
    • Nine nights double occupancy accommodation
    • All meals from dinner on Monday through breakfast the last Wednesday
    • All activities on the itinerary including tours, excursions, a Turkish bath, and entrance fees
    • Transportation within Turkey, including internal flights from Istanbul to Dalaman and Izmir to Istanbul
    • Gratuities for the ship's crew, daily tour guides, hotels, restaurants, drivers etc.

    What's not included: International travel to and from Istanbul, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities, and trip insurance.

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  • Common Questions

    If you’ve never traveled with us before, you may have some questions about how we do things and what you can expect. We’ve answered the most common ones below and are always available by phone or email to answer any others.

    How do I pay for my trip?

    You can make the deposit by submitting a secure form with your credit card information after filling out the registration form or calling us with your card information. We will send you an invoice for the balance due with your Predeparture Information 4 months before an International trip and 3 months before a domestic trip. You can get a 3% discount for paying the balance by check.

    What if I’m coming alone?

    The majority of women who travel with us come by themselves. If you want to pay a single supplement to guarantee your own room, or if you want to share a room with someone with whom you are traveling, you can indicate that on the registration form. Otherwise we randomly assign roommates and rotate every time we change lodging – it’s a great way to get to know different women on the trip.

    Can you accommodate special diets?

    It depends on both the trip and on your specific needs. With advance notice, we can accommodate most dietary restrictions or allergies on our domestic trips, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten intolerant. This is not always true on international trips, so please contact us in advance if you have specific dietary needs. We've found that if you are willing to bring some of your own snacks and a couple of items to supplement what is on the menu (peanut butter is always good!) and possibly have less variety than you are used to at home, then dietary needs usually are no obstacle. If in doubt about your specific dietary needs, especially if you have Celiac disease, please give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email.

    What if I have to cancel my trip?

    The amount of your refund depends on how close to the trip you cancel and whether it is a domestic or an international trip. You can read our cancellation policies here. We highly recommend travel insurance because cancellations are always unexpected; we will send you additional information about insurance when you register.

    Will my family be able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency?

    Yes, we always send out emergency contact information. On a few trips, because of limitations in communication, the best approach is to give them the office number and let us make the contact.

    What other information will you send me?

    When you register, we’ll send you a Trip Summary that includes the itinerary, travel information, and a packing list. Three to four months before your trip we’ll send you Pre-Departure information that includes detailed information on how to get to the trip starting point, pre- or post-trip lodging suggestions, suggested books and websites etc. Four to six weeks before the trip, we’ll send you a list of everyone who is registered along with their travel plans; and a Pre-Trip letter with the name of your guide(s) and how to contact them if your arrival is delayed as well as any other important updates.

    Do you help with pre-trip and/or post-trip hotel reservations?

    For international trips, if you want to stay at the hotel where we’re staying the first night before the trip, or at the hotel we’re staying the last night after the trip, we’re happy to make a reservation for you. Otherwise our PreDeparture Information will have hotel suggestions. Our travel agent is also happy to help you with this.

    How does the waitlist process work and how often do people cancel?

    If you are interested in a trip that is full, you should sign up here. If there is a cancellation, we send out an email to everyone who has expressed interest and ask them to respond within 24 hours. If more than one person is interested, we give the space to the person who has traveled with us before or in the order of being put on the waitlist. Frequently, even when we have a long wait list, it is the last person to sign up who is still available to go. Whether or not there will be a cancellation is completely unpredictable, although not uncommon.

    What is the role of the guide(s)?

    On every trip, the primary roles of the guide(s) are to ensure your safety and to make sure that, to the extent possible, you are having the trip you want. The guide(s) will also make sure that you know what is happening each day and what you need to bring to be prepared. On domestic trips the guide(s) will also likely be driving, preparing picnic lunches and sometimes other meals, providing skills instruction, and giving you information about the natural history of the area. On any trip where we partner with another company (which is most international trips and some trips that require special equipment), the AGC guide will work with the local guide to make sure that the trip is conducted in accordance with the AGC philosophy.

    What if I have more questions?

    Give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email. A Program Manager is assigned to each trip. Once you have registered, she will send you a registration confirmation letter that includes her name and email, and she will be your primary contact. Her job is to make sure that you get all your questions answered and that you feel completely prepared for your adventure.

    What if I'm the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape/only single woman/only mom on the trip?

    You might be. Someone has to be the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape person on the trip. And while the great majority of our trips have both single and non-single women, and moms and non-moms, sometimes they don't. But it doesn't matter if you're "different" in any of those ways - what you will share with everyone else is a desire to experience adventure in your life, and an appreciation of the joy and camaraderie of being in an all women's group.

Trip highlights

  • Hiking ancient paths and seeing ruins that date back to the 10th century BC
  • Swimming, kayaking, and snorkeling as you cruise along beautiful coastline
  • Learning Turkish history and experiencing Turkish culture and hospitality
  • Feasting on food that is always fresh and sometimes has been caught that day
  • Visiting the historic city of Ephesus

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