Turkey Sailing, Kayaking & Hiking


“The scenery was gorgeous- another beautiful site was just around the next point...I had a wonderful time in a fabulous, exotic part of the world. Don’t even think of missing this adventure!” Mary K.
Book It!
From: Dalaman, Turkey
Price:$ 4,095
(6 - 8 People)
$3,895 (9 - 11)
$3,495 (12 - 14)
Duration: 8 Days, 7 Nights
Dates:
September 12 - 19, 2015
September 20 - 27, 2015
September 10 - 17, 2016
September 18 - 25, 2016

Or book a Custom Trip

Duration:
8 Days, 7 Nights
Activities:
Sea Kayaking
Skill Rating:
1
From:
Dalaman, Turkey
Price:
$ 4,095
(6 - 8 People)
$3,895 (9 - 11)
$3,495 (12 - 14)
Included: Guides, ground transportation, airport transfers, lodging, meals (breakfasts and lunch and dinner all drinks while on-board the Gulet), all kayaking equipment, instruction and entry fees ruins.
Not Included: Air or ferry to Dalaman Airport (DLM), personal clothing and accessories, full medical, baggage and trip cancellation insurance, airport taxes and gratuities.

Join The Northwest Passage on a truly classical journey. Kayak and hike where great battles have been fought, Antony and Cleopatra loved and history has been made in every cove. Sail like royalty aboard a magnificent traditional wooden gulet, and sleep on the deck out under the stars if you so choose. Hike to nearly forgotten ancient cities and haggle for rugs and antique silver jewelry in villages only reachable by water. Warning: if you join us on this voyage you may never want to return to modern society ever again!


Itinerary:

Day 1: Meet in the morning at Dalaman Airport. Short transfer to Gocek Bay (playground of the jet set). We'll board our gulet at Gocek and have the first of many spectacular meals aboard ship. We will depart after lunch for lovely Bedri Rahmi Bay facing Lycian rock tombs where we begin our kayak instruction.

Day 2: We will spend the day paddling the far reaches of Gocek Bay including "Cleopatra's Bath" which lies partially under water. The day will culminate with a hike to have tea and fresh baked bread with a nomad family. We will visit the Mausoleum of Aramaxa as well as a substantial and very impressive ancient town ruins and celebrate with champagne toasts.

Day 3: Motor or sail (depending on weather conditions) to our starting point at Paradise Beach. We'll then paddle to beautiful beaches, many of which are dotted with ancient rock tombs and ruins. We will paddle to St. Nicholas (Gemiler) Island which, according to local folklore, once was a pirate stronghold. Legend also has it that the island was ruled by a Queen whose skin was extremely sensitive to the sun. A covered road was built from her palace to the sea so she could walk out of the sun to the water's edge for a swim. Parts of an arched road still exist on the island. We will end the day by hiking to the top of the island for a spectacular sunset. We'll spend the night in a protected bay near the island.

Day 4: We will motor or sail to Yesilkoy (Firnazlar) Cove. From there, we will paddle to Kalkan for drinks on the beach. We will paddle past Patara, the ruins of which are some of the most evocative in Lycia. Sand dunes cover most of the site, half-filling the theatre and totally burying the harbor entrance and moles. It is renowed as the birthplace of Apollo, and it is one of the oldest and most important ancient cities of Lycia. We will overnight near Kas, enjoying a sunset drink in the theatre before dinner. We will have an opportunity to visit this charming "hip" village on the sea and do some shopping.

Day 5: We will paddle to the Greek island of Meis (Kastellorizo) for a true international adventure. Then it will be on to Uluburun followed by another spectacular sunset hike.

Day 6: Our paddling today will take us to Aperlai for some unique snorkeling over the sunken ruins. We will then cruise to Simena, a charming water access only village. We'll have a chance to explore the village and do a little shopping. We will hike up to the castle to enjoy a few drinks and one more sunset.

Day 7: On our last day of paddling, we will paddle along Kekova Island exploring the sunken ruins. We will take out in Ucagiz and transfer by bus to Dalyan. On our final evening, we will enjoy a fabulous Turkish bath (hammam). We will have a special belly dance class and festivities along with our final celebratory dinner. We will spend the night at the Dalyan Resort (www.dalyanresort.com) with a spectacular view of the lighted Lycian rock tombs outside our hotel windows.


Clothing & Equipment:

This is all you will need - anything else is unnecessary baggage and will only be extra weight to carry.

  • 3-7 t-shirts, some synthetic for paddling
  • 1 shirt, long sleeved
  • 2-3 pair shorts (some quick drying)
  • Sun/rain hat Sneakers/cross trainers hiking; some prefer hiking in Tevas or other sandals with socks
  • Rain gear just in case! (Paddling jacket works well as an alternative) or windbreaker jacket
  • 1 pair sport sandals (Tevas, water socks etc)/ Paddling booties are great!
  • Bathing suit(s)
  • Underwear, socks
  • Casual clothes for evenings (shorts/summer dresses are fine!)
  • Clean change of clothing for the trip home

Miscellaneous

  • Passport (be sure to check expiration date)
  • Toiletry kit- toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, sunscreen, face cream, nail clippers, moleskin, baby powder, soap, washcloth (most hotels don’t provide them) etc.
  • Personal medication kit- ibuprofen, aspirin, vitamins, band-aids, Dramamine®, cold/sinus meds if prone to colds
  • Daypack/fanny pack for hiking options
  • Collapsible walking stick for optional hikes
  • Sunglasses
  • Chums/Croakies® to keep glasses on your head are imperative
  • Water bottle (optional- bottled water is plentiful and cheap)
  • Small dry bag with carabiner clip (clear ones are very useful)
  • Headlamp for sea caves
  • Camera, film, waterproof container
  • Paddling gloves (for the tender of palm- not neoprene but any open fingered glove can help e.g. biking gloves etc)
  • Small towel (e.g. PackTowel® works well)
  • Small travel alarm clock

Optional Equipment

  • Guidebooks
  • Mask and snorkel (can be purchased inexpensively)
  • Field glasses – binoculars Paddle/personal PFD- we will supply paddles and PFD’s for group but if you prefer your own paddle and PFD, feel free to bring them along
  • Ziploc® storage bags (to keep stuff extra dry in dry bag)

What is special about this trip?
Turkey is one of the world’s truly beautiful places, and what history too! On this trip you experience Turkey and the Turquoise sea by foot, kayak and traditional sailboat, the gulet. Exploring the countryside, seas and shoreline and sleeping under the stars on the gulet are unforgettable experiences.

How do I get there?
The easy route is to fly to Istanbul.

What papers do I need for travel?
U.S. citizens will need to have a valid U.S. passport. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your nearest Turkish Embassy regarding visa requirements. As of this writing, there is a $20.00 USD cash entry fee at the Istanbul airport. Make sure to purchase stamp prior to entering custom check point line.

Do I need to get any shots before traveling?
No special inoculations are required for travel in Turkey, although, if you want to be extra, a vaccination for typhoid and a tetanus booster are good extra precautions.

How and where will you meet me?
We will either meet you at your hotel or at the airport, where a guide carrying a Northwest Passage sign will greet you.

How long will it take me to get there?
It takes almost 11 hours to fly from Chicago to Istanbul.

Where should I stay overnight around there?
If you plan to plan to arrive early or stay late be sure to call the office for a recommendation on a great place to stay.

What money should I take?
You will not need any money on the gulet, but of course be sure to bring money for gifts as well as traveling money.

What's the currency? Exchange rate? Where can I exchange money?
Turkey's unit of currency is the Turkish Lira (Türk Lirası). In 2009 a new series of banknotes (bills) called "E9," with strengthened anti-counterfeiting features, was introduced. The new notes are in denominations of TL1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 liras. As of December 2010, 1 US dollar converts to about 1.5 Turkish Lira.

Do they take plastic there? Are there cash stations?"
Many shops and restaurants accept Visa. Mastercard works most of the time but Visa is the best bet. ATMs are everywhere in Turkey, but since cash card fraud has been a problem, often times a bank’s fraud prevention/detection division will freeze your card preemptively after a single use. Be sure to notify your bank that you are traveling in Turkey if you intend to use your bank card.

What's the weather like?
We choose to travel in Turkey during September when the weather is much milder than often oppressive summer swelter. This schedule also avoids the heavy rains that typically arrive in mid October. Expect highs in the 80s and 90s with lows in the 60s.

What are the accommodations like?
We stay on Turkey’s traditional sailboat, the gulet, that comes complete all amenities including a head, galley and sleeping quarters. Although many participants prefer to enjoy the fresh air and and sleep out on the deck of the boat.

What do I need to bring?
We will provide you with a packing list upon registration. We will provide all necessary paddling equipment (kayaks, paddles, PFDs, and sprayskirts). If you want to bring your own equipment (especially PFD and/or paddle), you are more than welcome to do so. Please let us know. You will need to provide all personal clothing and accessories. A clothing and personal equipment checklist is enclosed which covers everything you will need. The weather in Turkey in the fall is typically 82° and sunny. Rain is quite unusual at that time of year but it is a good idea to have a rain shell of some type just in case. Please call if you have any questions about the list. We consistently hear from participants that they packed more than they needed to and regretted it at the end of the trip. You truly don’t need much and following the packing list is most highly encouraged!

Can I drink the water?
there is a large supply of fresh drinking water onboard the boat.

What's the food like?
Breakfasts usually consist of toast, meat or cheese filled pastries, coffee, tea and sesame seed bread rings, a local favorite. Turkish pizza, flatbread with a wide assortment of toppings, is a popular lunch option, as well as fresh seafood. Restaurants offer an array of filling Mediterranean specialties. Be sure to get some dolma, grape leaves stuffed with seasoned rice - delicious!

What time zone will I be in?
Turkey is 7 hours ahead of US Eastern Time.

How can people reach me in an emergency? Can I call home?
Upon registration we will provide you a list of all our accommodations’ contact information. Internet cafes and wireless zones are becoming quite prevalent in the larger towns, and phone cards are available for purchase as well.

How much time do we spend traveling each day? How many miles? Do I have free time?
We typically paddle between 5 and 15 miles a day. We pull our kayaks off the water by mid afternoon to allow for free time to relax.

What kind of equipment do you use?
We use rotomolded single and double plastic kayaks and foldable double kayaks.

How many people are on this trip? How many guides? Who are the guides / what are their qualifications?
Your guides will be knowledgeable Northwest Passage staff members who are highly skilled in all aspects of sea kayaking and wilderness travel and have years of experience leading groups. They all have training and/or certification in Wilderness First Aid.

How can I prepare physically for the trip? How much prior experience is needed?
No prior kayaking experience is necessary for this trip, neither is a conditioning program.


“The gulet was luxurious! Hans’ cooking was sublime. Captain Ramazon possessed an understated authority. The guests were HILARIOUS FUN! ‘Flop Time’ should be regularly instituted for the subdued hedonist in all of us. Rick’s indominatable spirit was ready at the helm. Alper’s enthusiasm and vast knowledge of his country’s history was seamless. Mike remains as steady, consistent and timeless as ever. The daily itinerary was chock full of variety! The best parts were sleeping under the stars on the deck of the gulet and the unpredictability and sense of exploration and discovery. Absorbing the evanescent tone of the call to prayer while bobbing in a rhythmic salty sea was simply sublime. This trip gently jolts you into time travel. Evidence of ancient cultures seems to breathe its haunting presence through the textiles, cuisine, traditional prayer calls, ruins and ruins and ruins…” -Bridget V., New York, NY - Turkey, 2005

“The food was excellent! The crew was helpful, willing and delightful to interact with. The guides on the trip were wonderful. Rick and Mike were topnotch in their ability to adjust to different situations and make them work. Alper was a font of knowledge and enthusiasm and was attuned to individual interests and needs. The scenery was gorgeous- another beautiful site was just around the next point. I appreciated the options that were offered so I could determine how much of a challenge I was able to participate in. Turkey with the add-on was a full meal. Starting in the seacoast area and moving to a vast cosmopolitan area was exciting and stimulating. The juxtaposition of rural and city was stark in this area of the world. I had a wonderful time in a fabulous, exotic part of the world. Don’t even think of missing this adventure!” -Mary K., Downers Grove, IL - Turkey, 2005

“The food was good and cabin nice. All guides were terrific. Rick and Mike were super and Alper knew his Turkey info inside and out. I enjoyed our group and living aboard the Galip together allowed us to interact much more than say on a Crete trip.” -Steve M., Chicago, IL - Turkey, 2005

“The food was very good and the dining area really pleasant. The staff were very helpful. All the guide and boat services were great. The individual options are important to make the trip work for everyone.” -Burt M., Downers Grove, IL - Turkey, 2005

“The gulet was great. Big- enough private spaces, comfortable, food and crew were excellent. Rick and Mike were awesome as always! Alper was a great complement to them- helpful, knowledgeable, charming. The itinerary was very flexible. What I enjoyed most was meandering along the coast, the boat experience, Alper’s historical insights- amphitheatre, sunset fort hike, ruins. The trip to Ephesus was wonderful- both the tour and the inn. The first-ever Turkey trip was a great combination of kayaking and exploring, with the convenience and luxury of the gulet. Great food and crew. Perfect weather. Above all the trip was memorable because of Rick, Mike and Alper- their ability to meet everyone’s needs- and a wonderful group of paddlers.” -Marilynne R., Chevy Chase, MD - Turkey, 2005

“The gulet experience was wonderful. The boat had plenty of space for everyone, both on deck and in the cabins. The food was FABULOUS – great fresh fruits and vegetables, and every dish was flavorful, spicy, and excellently prepared. Hats off to the crew for their cooking and for the general service they provided – including helping load and unload the kayaks every day, and meeting us with the Zodiac when we were paddling. They were very patient and helpful. And best of all was sleeping out on the top deck every night under the stars. I would recommend that it be mandatory that any gulet you use in the future be equipped with enough space (as the Galip was) for everyone to sleep outside. I’d love to do the whole trip over again, and sleeping out is a major attraction. As usual, the NWP guides were great – always helpful and cheerful and willing to go overboard (?) to make sure everyone was having a good time. Alper was also indispensable – he was so knowledgeable about the land, the history and culture, and was so willing and eager to share that knowledge. He was also able to convey a ‘sense of place’ or a ‘sense of spirit’ about the land – it’s hard to describe, but it added another dimension to our explorations. What I enjoyed most was sleeping outside on the gulet, hiking to ruins unspoiled by commercialization, and being on the water all day and night.” Liz B “This is the perfect trip for families. While you change locales daily, all your belongings stay conveniently in one place - your own cabin.” -Pamela W., Narberth, PA - Turkey, 2007

“This was a great family vacation! Everyone was able to come together (or break apart) as they wished. Turkey definitely had something for everyone.” -Kate R., Portland, OR - Turkey, 2007

“As advertised - terrific variety, good changes of pace.” -Doug R., Narberth, PA - Turkey, 2007


History:

Few countries in the world have such cultural diversity as Turkey. Spanning over two continents it's modern culture is a fusion of Eastern and Western, with the lingering influence of ancient Byzantine, Ottoman, Roman and Persian empires.

The Antalya Province is located on the south-west Mediterranean coast of Turkey, an area that has been populated by various civilizations throughout the ages. The earliest evidence of human habitation in the Antalyan region dates back to the Paleolithic age, more than 150,000 years ago. Starting in the 7th Century B.C. the Antalya Province fell under the control of various civilizations – from the ancient Romans, to the Persians, to the Macedonians.

During the 2nd Century B.C. the city of Antalya officially was founded and named after the last ruler of Pergamom, Attalos III. After the death of Attalos III, control of the city was transferred to the Ancient Romans, founders of the Byzantine Empire.

By the middle of 6th Century Antalya had flourished and expanded beyond its original city walls. While the region was still under the control of the Bysantines, it was around this time that the presence of Muslim Arabs became increasingly dominant. For the next few centuries the struggle between the Christianity and Islam dominated the region. By the year 1220, Byzantine rule had ended and under the rule of the Seljuk Turks the city was divided into Christian and Muslim sections. From the Crusades, to the struggle between the Byzantines and the Turks for control over such a well established trading base on the Mediterranean, this conflict maybe one of the most influential factors in the creation of modern Turkey.

After this period, the region passed through several hands before falling under the control of the Ottoman Empire in 1432. The Antalya Province remained part of the Ottoman Empire until the First World War, when it was occupied by Italian troops. Shortly after this, in 1921, the region was absorbed into the Republic of Turkey as part of the formation of the modern country.