Whether you’re seeking true extravagance or pure relaxation, we have chosen the perfect 11-day itinerary that has it all
The Blue Cruise was established by the Turkish literati in the mid-20th century when Turkish intellectuals toured the overgrown ancient ruins and sleepy villages of the southern Turkish coast aboard gullets – wooden sailing boats used by sponge divers. A traditional Turkish Blue Cruise runs from the Bodrum peninsula to Antalya and likewise this itinerary begins in chic Türkbükü on the northern Bodrum peninsula. The final hundred nautical miles to reach Antalya is a long hard cruise with nowhere to stop. We advise disembarking at Finike and chartering a private helicopter to the affluent Antalya, which is known as the Dubai of Turkey.
Turkey boasts two of the seven wonders of the ancient world – Halicarnassus and Ephesus – and more ruins and archaeological sites than either Greece or Italy. Peaceful and unkempt Hellenistic, Byzantine and Lycian ruins are scattered along the shoreline and many sites are accessible only by foot or by boat. Months could be spent exploring the coast’s quiet coves and secluded bays, which are perfect locations for kayaking and windsurfing, and the scenery becomes increasingly dramatic as you head east where the rugged Taurus Mountains contrast with crystal turquoise waters.
Archaeology is not the only draw of the southern Turkish coast as the lively and sophisticated ports of Türkbükü, Bodrum and Fethiye offer exclusive clubs and elegant restaurants. The stunning clear waters of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas are perfect for snorkeling and there is always the chance you will spot a loggerhead turtle or ancient sunken ruins.
➤ Arrive in Türkbükü
Day 1: Türkbükü to Bodrum
Day 2: Bodrum to Knidos to Datça
Day 3: Datça to Symi
Day 4: Symi to Bozburun to Bozukkale
Day 5: Bozukkale to Kumlubük
Day 6: Kumlubük to Ekincik
Day 7: Ekincik to Göcek
Day 8: Göcek to Fethiye to Gemiler Island
Day 9: Gemiler Island to Kalkan to Kaş
Day 10: Kaş to Aperlai and Kekova
Day 11: Kekova to Demre to Finike