Trip reference number: 15182

Trip Operator: Peter Sommer Travels

Cruising the South-East Aegean

From: £2875.00

This gulet cruise is a combined itinerary, introducing our guests to the sights of the Turkish coast and the adjacent Greek Isles within the same tour.

Throughout the region's long history, the sea has not only provided a geographic separation, but also a dense web of cultural links between the settlements along its shores, island or mainland. From the Doric Greeks who settled the area three millennia ago, founding a series of vibrant cities, via the Romans and Byzantines to the short-lived empire of the Crusader Knights of St John and beyond, fascinating remains of past glories await the visitor at every corner.

Not only does the cruise throw light on the different peoples that have dwelt in the region or passed through it throughout time, and on the various eras when they did so; it also highlights many different aspects of human life and human achievement. Peaceful and open coastal villages look across the water at sternly defensible walled cities or citadels; remote mountain villages perched high above the rugged coastline overlook the same seas that harbour extravagant trading centres, once hustling and bustling with commercial life; places of austere and dignified monastic spirituality alternate with wealthy homes featuring luxurious facilities and sensual decorations.

Likewise, the trip highlights many contrasts in the terrain, the nature itself of the area we travel. Layers of sedimentary limestone dominate some coasts and islands, while others are entirely volcanic, comprising jagged lava and ashy pumice. Bare rocky slopes, resulting from millennia of browsing sheep and goats, are a typical sight, but so are dense pine forests and well-watered plains; rugged wilderness prevails in the pastoral uplands, while carefully constructed and terraced agricultural landscapes sit far below them…

On this cruise, we will visit the great island of Kos (part of the Dodecanese), its island capital a veritable patchwork of ancient and modern, overlooked by the serene healing shrine of Asklepios. We continue to the tiny island of Nisyros with its labyrinthine harbour village and its stupendous volcanic caldera and then to verdant and peaceful Tilos. On Symi, we get to see one of the Mediterranean's most picturesque ports. Returning to Turkey, we explore Knidos, one of the greatest cities of the ancient Aegean, set on a long peninsula and virtually surrounded by Greek islands, before finishing at Bodrum, ancient Halicarnassus, erstwhile capital of Caria, with the remains of the great Mausoleum and the enormous crusader castle.

Join us for this unique experience combining two countries, one fascinating history and a whole series of beautiful landscapes and seascapes!

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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Peter Sommer Travels