THE SHORES OF ANCIENT IONIA
The Aegean Coast of Ionia provides the setting for some of the best preserved sites of classical times. Our tour charts these shores away from the tourist routes, reaching otherwise inaccessible locations.
IONIA - EIGHT DAY ITINERARY
Flight to Bodrum/Milas Airport. Transfer to Bodrum to embark our yacht. After cabin allocation, visit to the remains of the Mausoleum, the Tomb of Mausolus, who made Bodrum, ancient Halicarnassus, his capital in the 4th century BC and whose tomb was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Also visit Bodrum Museum. Housed in the Crusader Castle of St. Peter, the museum is famous for its underwater collections excavated around the coast of Asia Minor. Dinner and overnight ON BOARD.
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 a second look at Knidos, including some of the wealthy villas of the city, cruise north to the tiny harbour of Gümüslük. This is the site of the Hellenistic city of Mindos, though little now remains. The quayside is charming. Overnight ON BOARD.
Morning cruise across the Gulf of Güllük. After lunch, drive the short distance to the site of the well-preserved oracular Temple of Apollo at Didyma. This is one of the largest and best preserved Hellenistic temples in the ancient world. We shall also visit the Roman city of Miletus, with well preserved theatre and the Baths of Faustina. Return to yachts and cruise to an inlet near Altinkum for the night. Overnight ON BOARD.
Full day to Ephesus, whose commerce at the time of Hadrian rivaled Rome itself. The site is still magnificent, with its marble streets and wealthy villas, the restored Celsus Library and State Agora, and a theatre to seat 28,000. After lunch visit the Museum at Seljuk which displays an excellent collection from the excavations, including a number of versions of Artemis Ephesia. Return to the yacht and sail to the quiet inlet of Kazikli. Overnight ON BOARD.
Morning cruise to Iassos. Afternoon walk from the ancient harbour to visit remnants of the classical and Byzantine site of Iassos, beginning with its superb agora, in its present form Roman in design. Being recently excavated, this colonnaded market place is still in good condition, on the one side of which is a well preserved bouleterion, or council chamber, of the polis of Iassos. The city was famous for its fish, then as now, and Alexander granted the city the use of the little sea, a vast inlet of the gulf. Atop the acropolis are the fragmentary remains of a beautifully situated theatre. Overnight at Iassos ON BOARD.
After breakfast we leave for a half day visit to Euromos, with an almost complete temple of Zeus. Continue into the mountains to Labraunda, an ancient Hellenistic city high among the granite cliffs and pine forests, preserving Hellenistic houses and streets. Labraunda was the major religious centre of Mausolus, the Satrap of Caria in the fourth century BC. The views over the city and the mountains are lovely. We return and rejoin the yacht, to sail away to the quiet cove of Bargilya for overnight ON BOARD.
Morning transfer to the nearby Bodrum Milas Airport for flight to Istanbul and onward international flights.