THE TRANQUIL GULF OF CERAMOS
The Ceramic Gulf, the deep-set stretch of water east of Bodrum, is one of the least spoiled areas of the Turkish Coast no holiday villages, no hotels, no fish farms, only scores and scores of uninhabited tiny bays in some of the most sheltered waters in the Mediterranean. It makes for a great week's cruise.
CERAMIC GULF - EIGHT DAY ITINERARY
Flight to Bodrum, ancient Halicarnassus, where our cruise begins. Halicarnassus was the capital of the Hecatomnid King Mausolus whose wife built the Mausoleum in his honor in 352 BC. Embark our yacht. Evening visit to the Bodrum Museum. Housed in the 14th Century Crusader castle of St. Peter, the museum is famous for its underwater collections excavated from wrecks around the coast of Asia Minor. Overnight ON BOARD.
Mid-morning, cruise south across the Ceramic Gulf past the Greek island of Kos to the classical site of Knidos where we moor in the ancient harbour in the lea of the Hellenistic theatre. Perhaps one of the most spectacularly sited of cities in Asia Minor, Knidos was built in 360 BC and still retains many original Hellenistic features. Afternoon visit through the site, visiting the temple of Apollo Karnaios, where the relics of the Dorian Hexapolis where kept, the tholos temple of Aphrodite Euploia which once housed the famous statue by Praxitales, the Doric portico which dominated the Knidian skyline, a number of early Byzantine churches, and the harbour theatre. Overnight ON BOARD moored in the ancient harbour of Knidos.
After breakfast cruise along the southern shores of the Ceramic Gulf, amid the rugged coastal mountains of the Resadiye Peninsula, to Körmen, on the north side of the Datça Plains. Depending on the timing, we shall either visit Burgaz, site of archaic Knidos, recently excavated, or Triopium. The earliest levels at Archaic Knidos go back to the 10th Century BC and continue until the 4th. This period is very much the missing link in the archaeology of Asia Minor. Triopium was within the Demes of Knidos and has a magnificently sited Hellenistic Fort overlooking the bay. After lunch, sail across the Gulf to Alakisla Bükü, a good place for swimming. There are Byzantine remains in the bay. Overnight ON BOARD Alakisla Bükü.
A leisurely day sailing eastwards down the Gulf to the enchanting world of Yedi Adalar, the Seven Islands, where small islands and inlets form a water paradise. Plenty of time for swimming and relaxation. Overnight ON BOARD at Yedi Adalar.
A short morning cruise to Cleopatras Island where the finest sand in Turkey is said to have been brought from Egypt by Mark Anthony for Cleopatra. We shall explore this phenomenon. The island incorporates the Classical city of Cedrai, which includes a delightful Hellenistic theatre amid a grove of olives, and the remains of the Temple of Zeus. There are also Byzantine churches scattered across the island. Afternoon sail to the inlet of Karaca Sögüt. From here we can visit the village of Selimiye with its traditional carpet weaving. Overnight ON BOARD at Sögüt.
Cross to the north side of the Gulf to Çökertme. The scenery on the northern shore of the Gulf is a very dramatic, high escarpment closing off the interior of ancient Caria. From Çökertme we shall visit Euromos, with an almost complete Corinthian Temple of Zeus, set in an olive grove. Continue into the mountains to Labraunda, an ancient Hellenistic city high among the granite cliffs and pine forests, preserving Hellenistic houses and streets. One of the most beautiful Hellenistic cities, this was the sacred shrine of the Mausolus dynasty where they worshiped the cult of Zeus Labraundos. We return to the yacht at the lovely bay of Mola Ibrahim for overnight ON BOARD.
Morning visit to Ören to see ancient Keramos, with Hellenistic and Roman remains. There are substantial city walls within which are the remains of the Temple of Zeus. On the acropolis nearby there are Classical and Byzantine remains. Cruise on to Maziköy for an afternoon of swimming and relaxing. Overnight ON BOARD near Maziköy.
After breakfast transfer to Bodrum Airport for flight to Istanbul connecting with flights.