Cappadocia, Coastal Turkey & the Greek Islands

Date: Wed, October 12, 2022 - Mon, October 24, 2022

Trip Status: Waiting for the brochure

Price: from $6,990

Activity Level: Moderate

Region: Europe

Arrangements: Thalassa Journeys

For ancient civilizations, as in modern times, location is everything. The ancients perhaps knew this better than anyone else. In their temples and palaces, fortified towns and churches, they relied on the natural characteristics of the terrain to enhance and illuminate their creations. On this journey that will operate during the golden days of autumn, we will explore the fascinating links between nature and civilization, while discovering some of antiquity’s greatest sites.
 
Our journey will begin in Cappadocia. Located in central Turkey, this region features one of the most unusual landscapes on Earth: A forest of conical stone formations shaped in otherworldly shapes by centuries-old erosion. In this striking moonscape, caves have been turned into dwellings, some of them dating to prehistoric times, and churches, dating from early Christianity, have been carved out of the rock. After touring this amazing place, we will travel through the Turkish countryside to the coast, stopping for a day in Konya, an ancient town, which, in the 13th century, became the center of Mavlana, the Sufic mystic who founded the Whirling Dervishes sect.
 
At the port city of Antalya, we will board the private yacht-like small cruise ship Elysium, which accommodates only 48 guests, and set sail for a cruise that will include Turkey’s southern shore and the Greek islands of the Aegean Sea. From Antalya, we will visit two superb ancient sites, Aspendos and Perge, and in Myra, the city of the gift-bearing St. Nicholas, the Santa Claus of popular culture, we will visit his church, and the unique ancient Lydian monuments. We will enter the world of the Aegean Sea in Rhodes, the lovely island that was dedicated to Helios, the sun god, and site of the famed Colossus. Nearby Kos was the birthplace of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, where, in a lovely setting, we will visit the remains of an ancient healing center. In the center of the Aegean, we will call in Amorgos, one of the quintessential Cycladic islands, where in an improbable location, the side of a cliff rising sharply from the sea, we find a white-washed monastery that was built in the 11th century. Not far away is fabled Santorini, perhaps the most spectacular island in the entire Mediterranean. Our voyage will end in the great island of Crete, which, during the Bronze Age, was home to the brilliant Minoan civilization, the earliest civilization in Europe.

Itinerary Outline

  • October 12 Depart the US
  • October 13 Arrive in Kayseri, Turkey. Transfer to the Hotel Anatolian Houses, in the heart of Cappadocia.
  • October 14 & 15 Explore the rock dwellings, churches and monasteries of Cappadocia.
  • October 16 Drive to Konya. Tour of the city. Overnight at the Hotel Hilton Garden.
  • October 17 Drive from Konya to Antalya, visting ancient Aspendos and Perge. Board the Elysium. Overnight aboard docked in Antalya.
  • October 18 Relax aboard in the morning as the yacht cruises to Finike, for the visit to ancient Myra.
  • October 19 Rhodes. Excursion to Lindos and tour Rhodes’s Old Town.
  • October 20 Kos and Kalimnos. Explore the islands.
  • October 21 Amorgos. Tour the island, including the 11th-century Monastery of Chozoviotissa.
  • October 22 Santorini. Tour prehistoric Akrotiri and the iconic town of Phira.
  • October 23 Heraklion, Crete. Tour the Minoan Palace of Knossos and the Heraklion Museum. Overnight aboard the yacht, docked in Heraklion.
  • October 24 Disembark and transfer to the airport.

A two-day pre-trip optional stay in Istanbul will be offered.

Program Inclusions

  • Three nights at the Hotel Anatolian Houses, Cappadocia.
  • One night in Konya’s Hotel Hilton Garden.
  • Full breakfast, lunch and dinner daily in Cappadocia and Konya, with wine or beer.
  • Seven-night cruise from Antalya to Crete aboard the 48-guest Elysium with accommodations in cabins facing outside.
  • All meals during the cruise, including wine, beer and soft drinks.
  • Welcome and farewell cocktail receptions hosted by the captain.
  • Private Duke cocktail reception aboard ship.
  • Program of lectures by the accompanying Duke lecturer.
  • Open bar during the cruise with selective alcoholic beverages.
  • Complete program of tours and excursions with professional English-speaking guides.
  • Airport/hotel/pier transfers abroad and handling of luggage.
  • All taxes and service charges, including embarkation and port taxes.
  • Gratuities to guides, drivers and porters.
  • Experienced Thalassa Journey trip manager.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.

Reservations and Information

To reserve, complete a registration form in the brochure and mail to Duke Travels, Box 90572, Durham, NC 27708, or call (919) 684-2988 to reserve conveniently over the phone and let us know you are mailing your reservation form to hold your space.

To learn more about our travel program or any of our upcoming trips, please contact us at duketravels@duke.edu or 919-684-2988

Duke Leaders

Mode of Travel

Ocean Cruise

Land

map showing route of mode of travel