Lycia and Cappadocia

Gulet cruise combined with Catal Höyük and Cappadocia

Trip Scholar: Professor Peter Sarris

Professor Peter Sarris, Reader in late Roman, Medieval and Byzantine History, University of Cambridge
Available to Alumni of Oxford and Cambridge, family and friends

13 day tour
Price from £4395

21 September – 3 October 2024

This tour is a combination of a relaxing cruise along the shores of ancient Lycia in southern Turkey, possibly the most scenic anywhere in the Mediterranean Sea, with high mountains rising straight up from the coast to 10,000 feet. Among this outstanding landscape there are some of the best preserved ancient sites in Turkey, with Lycian tombs strewn along the villages of the coastline. There are also important classical cities like Myra and Phaselis with tremendous archaeological remains to see. This is a most relaxing way to visit the past, with plenty of time for swimming in the warm waters of the eastern Mediterranean in-between sites. We add to this a visit to the interior of Anatolia, including the famous site of Catal Höyük, largest Neolithic city in the ancient world, and then on to Cappadocia, with its extraordinary landscape of ‘fairy chimneys’ made of eroded volcanic ash, and its beautiful painted Christian cave churches dating to the 11th and 12th centuries AD and hewn from the rock. The adventurous can add an optional hot-air balloon ride over the valley, the most spectacular way to see it, and there’s an optional privately guided extension in Istanbul before or after the main tour for those with more time to explore.

Tour highlights

  • Discover incredible but lesser-visited classical sites in beautiful settings, from Myra and Arykanda to Phaselis and Olympos
  • Learn about the mystic cult of Mevlana at Konya, and what the excavations at Çatal Höyük teach us about the Neolothic world
  • Enjoy the other-worldly landscape of Cappadocia with the option to add a hot-air balloon ride
  • Gain valuable insights from accompanying trip scholar,  Cambridge Historian Professor Peter Sarris
  • Exclusive alumni charter of 9-cabin gulet for the cruise portion, to enjoy the congenial company of like-minded alumni and plenty of time to swim.


Myra Masks, Turkey - Copyright David Price Williams, Temple World

Itinerary at a glance (click on the itinerary tab for full details)

Day 1:    Tour starts in Fethiye with boarding at 5pm  |  Depart the harbour at 6pm  |   Welcome dinner on board.
Day 2:    Cruise into the Gulf of Fethiye  |  Moor at Gemiler (St Nichilas) island and explore the Byzantine remains  |  Overnight on board gulet
Day 3:    Cruise to the charming town of Kaş  |   Explore ancient Antiphellos  |  Overnight on board gulet
Day 4:    Cruise to the water wonderland of Kekova  |   Time for swimming  |  Climb to the fortress of Simena |  Overnight on board gulet
Day 5:    Cruise to the ancient port of Andriake  |  Discover Myra with spectacular rock cut tombs |  Overnight on board gulet
Day 6:    Cruise to Finike  |  Coach excursion into the Taurus mountains  |  Visit the magificent remains of Arykanda | Last night on board
Day 7:    Disembark the gulet  |  Travel by road to the Roman cities of Olympos and Phaselis |  Drive to Antalya and check in for 1 night
Day 8:    Depart Antalya by coach and visit Aspendos  |  Continue into the mountains to Konya  |  Check in for a two night stay
Day 9:    Full day excursion to the prehistoric site (UNESCO World Heritage Listed) of Çatal Höyük |  Return to Konya for overnight
Day 10:  Travel across the Konya Plain in rural Anatolia to Cappadocia  |  Stop at the Kervanserai of Ağzikarahan | Check in for 3 nights
Day 11:    Full day with our guide at the Göreme Openair Museum to see the Byzantine frescoes |  Overnight Ũrgüp or Göreme
Day 12:    Optional Hot Air Balloon  (extra charge)  |  Full day guided sightseeing at the underground cities  |  Final night in Ũrgüp or Göreme
Day 13:    Morning at leisure. Tour ends after breakfast. A complimentary group transfer to Nevsehir Airport will depart around 12:30 today

Dates and Prices
Prices are in UK£, per person, based on double occupancy

21 September - 03 October 2023
Room/Cabin typePrice per personSingle SupplementTurkish Airlines via IstanbulAvailability
Standard Twin/Double£4,395£2600From £320 return3 double cabins left

Twin or double bedded cabin (on the gulet)/room (in hotels on land) with private ensuite bathroom, full board whilst on board the gulet and full board for the land section of the tour except for two evenings when dinner is at leisure,   bottled water with all meals, all excursions mentioned in the itinerary (except optional hot air balloon trip in Cappadocia where a local charge applies), services of an English Speaking guide on all excursions,  all site entrance fees and transfers to/from sites,  lectures by expert trip scholar on average once every two days throughout the tour.

Single supplement £2350

Transport to and from Turkey (see optional flights below),  transfers on arrival or departure unless travelling on (or at the same time as) our specified recommended flights – see below for timings) drinks (other than the bottled water which is provided at mealtimes) tips to crew,/hotel staff/local guide(s),  travel insurance, items of a personal nature (ie souvenirs, snacks/drinks).

The cost of any visas or any other entry requirements to enter Turkey are not included if required,  but we provide up to date advice about what is required for entry and guidance on the quickest and most cost-effective way of complying with current rules to make this side of things as simple as possible.

Optional Turkish Airways flights
Temple World can arrange flights to co-ordinate with this tour.  Our recommended flights are with Turkish Airways Heathrow to Dalaman and from Kayseri to Heathrow, via Istanbul in both directions.

Sat 21 Sep   TK1988   Heathrow to Istanbul  06:45 arr 12:35
Sat 21 Sep   TK2564   Istanbul to Dalaman   13:50 arr 15:15

Thu 03 Oct    TK2005   Nevsehir to Istanbul  15:35 arr 17:00
Thu 03 Oct    TK1983   Istanbul to Heathrow 18:30 arr 20:35

As a price guide the return cost for the flights shown from London Heathrow are usually about £350- £450 return, per person, but prices will rise as the flights fill up.

Turkish Airlines also flies from Stansted, Gatwick, Edinburgh and Manchester but it may be necessary to fly one day early if departing from these airports, in order to avoid arriving too late to meet the gulet in Fethiye before the arrival time of 5pm on 04 Oct. We are happy to provide a quote for private tarnsfers anf accommodation in Fethiye for the night before the tour if needed.

There are direct British Airways flights from London to Dalaman that we can book for you if preferred, but BA does not fly from Cappadocia so we would only recommend flying with BA if planning a stopover in Istanbul on the way back. Then we can assist with open-jaw BA flights direct from London to Dalaman and from Istanbul to London, and a Turkish Airlines domestic flight from Kayseri to Istanbul in-between.

Please contact us for assistance or advice regarding flights.

Booking your own travel
Clients who would like to travel on different days/times, or who wish to travel using a low-cost carrier are advised to book their own flights. There are direct flights from many regional airports in the UK on the outbound to Dalaman flying with the likes of Easyjet, Jet 2, SunExpress etc which may be of interest (no direct flights on the inbound, sadly, so you’d have to buy separate tickets). Those wishing to fly on a low-cost carrier will need to book their own flights directly with the airline as we can’t book these on your behalf unfortunately.   If arriving/departing at a different time to the recommended flights  you will not be able to take part in the group transfer to/from the airports,  however we will be happy to arrange and quote for private transfers to meet any flight time if required.

VERY IMPORTANT! Those making their own arrangements should check with us before making any binding or non-refundable flight arrangements, firstly because the tour departure is not guaranteed until we reach minimum numbers, and secondly to obtain advice that the proposed flights will work with embarkation/disembarkation times of the yacht. 

Fitness Guideline
We have graded the fitness level required for participation in this tour as Moderate.

This is a relaxed itinerary when on board the gulet, though for those who wish to be more active there are opportunities to hike or kayak in that section of the tour. once we move on to the land portion of the tour there are some longer coach journeys and rather full days, without much free time.  There are some uphill walks on rocky pathways with loose gravel, numerous boulders and other archaeological debris to navigate.

Whilst sightseeing we might be ‘on the go’ for several hours at a time, without long breaks to sit down and rest.  We try and avoid excursions in the mid-day heat but even early in the morning and later in the afternoon the hot sun can make excursions tiring, and there may be very little shade.  Some shore excursions whilst on the gulet are accessed by dinghy and to get into this clients need to descend and ascend a ladder at the side of the yacht.  The bobbing of the boat and dinghy can make this tricky for those with poor balance. There are numerous tripping hazards on board the gulet, as well as steps both into the saloon and further into the cabins.

When on excursions it is important that everyone is able to keep up with the group as there is only one guide and sometimes a lot to see.  During the gulet section of the itinerary it is always possible to stay on board the yacht rather than undertake an excursion, but it is often problematic to return to the yacht mid-way through a shore-visit if it becomes too strenuous, except in an emergency.  During the land portion of the tour you can opt to stay on the coach rather than undertake an excursion but if you think you will miss too much or struggle to keep up with the group then we’d strongly recommend asking us to quote for a private guide for you at these sites so you don’t have to miss out or hold the group up.

We are able to provide a day by day analysis of the visits and their difficulty in order to help potential guests make the decision about whether this tour is suitable for them. As a general rule we would say that if you rely on a stick, frame or walker to get around your home or neighbourhood, this tour probably is not suitable.  Those who use hiking poles for lengthy walks are most welcome to bring them. Please contact us if you are at all unsure if this tour is for you.



No vaccinations are usually recommended for most straightforward touristic visits to Turkey,  as long as travellers are up to date with routine vaccination courses and boosters as recommended in the UK. These vaccinations include for example measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and diphtheria-tetanus-polio vaccine. See your GP or travel health professional at least 4-6 weeks before travel for advice tailored to your personal requirements, as some people may be recommended to have certain precautionary vaccinations depending on their personal health.


Entry Regulations
Some nationalities require a visa to enter Turkey, which you must obtain online before travel, using the official Republic of Turkey e-Visa website. An e-Visa currently costs from $15 to US$60 depending on your nationality – some countries are exempt from needing an eVisa at all, and some require one but there is no charge.  You can pay by credit or debit card, and should apply at least 48 hours before travel and up to 3 months in advance.   British and EU Citizens currently don’t require an eVisa for entry to Turkey for stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period (except for Cypriot passport holders, and holders of ‘British Subject/British Overseas Citizen passports and similar). Your passport must be valid for at least 150 days on entry, and should have a full blank page for entry and exit stamps.
Foreign Office Advice

Accommodation on this tour will be aboard the very lovely Ada Deniz, or similar,  a modern 8-cabin gulet built to a traditional design.  With a crew of 3 or 4 to look after our group, including a very good Turkish chef to prepare healthy local cuisine using seasonal ingredients, the gulet is supremely comfortable, with full-sized beds, ensuite bathrooms and air-conditioning to ensure the cabins are cool during the night.  Full details of the gulet we are likely to use,  including a likely cabin layout and equipment carried on board can be found here.

Trip Scholar
Professor Peter Sarris, FHS, Oxon. Reader in late Roman, Medieval and Byzantine History, University of Cambridge


Peter Sarris read Modern History at Balliol College,  Oxford (1990-93), after which he was elected to a Prize Fellowship (by examination) at All Souls College, Oxford (where he was a Fellow from 1993 to 2006). He moved to Cambridge as a University Lecturer and Fellow of Trinity College in 2000, and has held Visiting Fellowships at Rice University, Texas, and the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, Washington D.C. (Harvard University). Professor Sarris is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a member of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies and Director of the Virtual Centre for Late Antiquity.

He has published extensively on the social, economic and legal history of Late Antiquity, the Early Middle Ages and Byzantium,
with a particular focus on the political economy of the East Roman Empire from the fourth to sixth centuries, the transmission
of Roman economic and legal culture, and the background to the rise of Islam. He is a leading authority on the ‘Plague of Justinian’ and the ‘Age of Justinian’ more generally, and his latest book, Justinian: Emperor, Solider, Saint, was published October 2023 to superb reviews.  Professor Sarris is also an engaging lecturer, who has proved a very popular trip scholar on previous Alumni tours.


Lectures during our tours
All our tours are accompanied by an academic ‘trip scholar’ as well as local guides. The local guide or guides provide the day-to-day guiding on our tours, whilst the trip lecturer will give regular lectures on his/her specialist subject throughout to provide an academic overview. Lectures/talks usually last 30-40 minutes including questions and answers (if applicable). These are generally held in the evenings before dinner and attendance is optional. We don’t usually specify before travel which days the lectures will be given (for operational reasons) but guests can expect them roughly every other day as a minimum, with some lecturers giving some kind of talk or presentation more frequently.

The Glory of Istanbul Private pre or post tour

We recommend a 4-night privately guided itinerary to Istanbul either just before or just after the main tour, accompanied by an excellent local guide throughout.  This in-depth itinerary idea explores the city’s history through Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman occupancies in Sultanahmet, and also explores the city’s strong Armenian, Greek and Jewish heritage in the picturesque neighbourhoods of Fener,  Balat and Blachernae.  Including visits to Constantinople’s glittering jewel,  the Hagia Sofia as well as Ottoman treasures Topkapi Palace and the Suleymaniye Mosque, see relics of earlier Roman rule such as the Egyptian Obelisk of Theodosus, brought from Thebes and the city’s ancient Hippodrome.  Enjoy a Bosphorus cruise to observe fishing villages and Ottoman palaces along the banks, see piles of saffron, cinnamon caraway at the Egyptian spice bazaar and explore underground in the city’s evocative Byzantine cisterns.  Wander through Balat’s ecclectic bazaar and soak up the atmosphere amidst the decaying multi-coloured ottoman houses in Fener, finding hidden churches and spectacular mosques at every turn.

If you prefer, we can also simply arrange a recommended hotel and return airport transfers if you prefer to explore at leisure rather than have guiding each day, or a hybrid which includes some guiding and some time at leisure.  It’s also possible for us to create 2 and 3 night versions of the itinerary.

We can arrange your flights so that there is a stop in Istanbul on the way out or back of the length you desire to spend in the city, and can ensure that the onward service matches the recommended group flights so you arrive or leave in time to use the group tour transfers.

For a quote, please enquire with Lia from the alumni team at who can work on a price based on a 2,3 or 4 night stopover with hotels and transfers and any amount of guiding you would like.

Private extensions in Turkey

We have been arranging group tours and private journeys in Turkey for over two decades and there are no corners we don’t know! Our tailor-made team would be delighted to quote a bespoke pre or post-tour extension of any length, whether it’s for a privately guided side-trip to Ephesus or Bodrum (for example) or simply a lovely beach hotel before the tour.

Fethiye where the cruise starts, is close to a handful of really lovely luxury beach/coastal resorts, such as the wonderful D-Maris Bay hotel which sits on 5 white sand beaches (very rare in Turkey!), or the lovely sister property in Gocek (the D-Resort Gocek,) , both are very popular with Temple World clients.

In Fethiye itself is the up-scale Hillside Beach Club which is ideal for some pre-tour R&R, and we can also recommend simpler hotels if you just need a night prior to the tour in Fethiye harbour itself.

Alternatively, you could fly into the resort of Bodrum instead of Dalaman, home to the most deluxe retreats on the whole southern coast, such as Amanruya, Mandarin Oriental Bodrum, The Bodrum EDITION and the brand new LUX* Bodrum Resort, all located in seclusion in the surrounding coastline away from the town.  We also have hotel picks in central Bodrum too for those who would like to explore. – these are handy for the Museum of Underwater archaeology which houses the finds from the Uluburun wreck that we’ll cruise past in the gulet during the tour.  It’s around a 4 hour road journey from Bodrum to Fethiye to start the tour, which we can arrange as a private transfer.

Please contact or in our alumni tours team for advice or a quote on any private pre or post tour extensions.

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    The itinerary was very well put together. We covered an edifying variety of sites, but the pace was well judged with enough time to rest when needed. Pierre & Susan

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    Our small group tours are exclusively available to alumni of Oxford and Cambridge universities and their friends and family, making for a wonderful atmosphere amongst like-minded individuals.

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