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Uncover the rich history and beautiful landscape of ancient Lycia. Canoe from the historic city of Xanthos to the beach at Patara, kayak over the sunken ruins of Kekova and explore the foothills of the Taurus Mountains, enjoying a delicious lunch with a local family. Spend our evenings exploring the cobbled streets and enjoying local Turkish cuisine in the delightful sea side town of Kas.
Explore Tour Leader
7 nights comfortable hotel
10 - 16
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Arrive in Kas, a laid back fishing town on the Turkish Lycian coast with a host of adventurous activities on offer.
Due to the number of evening flights into Dalaman, your Leader plans to do the welcome meeting on the morning on Day 2 and will leave a message in reception with details on timings and everything else that you'll need for the day. For those arriving earlier, there is the chance to go out for dinner. There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Kas at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Dalaman International Airport (airport code DLM), which is 150km, around 3 hours from the airport. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.
If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to take a dip in the hotel pool or head into Kas to sample the wide choice of restaurants. Be sure to sample the hearty Turkish food on offer such as slow cooked lamb, a barbecued meat selection or pide - it's similar to a pizza.
Club Phellos Hotel (or similar)
Our first day here is spent on the sea, as we take a boat trip from Kas across the surrounding calm and clear waters. From the sea we can appreciate fully this dramatic and beautiful coastline. There will be ample opportunity for swimming and snorkeling from our boat, and we plan to enjoy a barbecue lunch before returning to Kas later in the afternoon. Kas is a great place to relax, with cafes and restaurants spilling out onto cobbled streets and a network of tiny backalleys to explore.
Today we head for the hills to explore where we find cedar forests, streams, shady glades and tiny charming villages where the pattern of life has remained almost untouched for centuries. We plan to walk from a high pass, descend to a canyon and then up to a mountain village and take lunch with a local family in a typical village house. After lunch we will stroll around the village, hopefully seeing the blacksmith in action and visiting the village Mosque, before returning to Kas via the silver sand beach of Kaputas. Located just west of Kas, Kaputas is an idyllic spot for a swim at the end of our day in the mountains. Finally we make our way back to Kas.
If weather is particularly hot or humid, we may change the trekking route to a higher altitude walk around the Cedar treeline of Mt Bozkaya, before driving to the village for lunch.
Today is left free for you to do some exploring of your own. For those with a hankering for culture, Kas is built around the remains of a number of ancient sites including; Kas Theatre which was built during the third century BC and is now used for theatrical performances and music concerts, the monumental Lion Tomb and a number of hillside rock tombs. Alternatively you may like to visit the isolated and ruggedly beautiful Greek island of Meis (optional), to give its Turkish name, Kastellorizo. The island is just one mile from the Turkish coast and yet more than 100km from Rhodes, its nearest Greek neighbour.
We visit Xanthos this morning which was the capital of ancient Lycia and at one time was the largest centre of commerce and religion in the region. The town has had a turbulent past, falling to both the Persians and the Romans.
During the Roman civil wars of the 1st century BC, the Lycians sided with Caesar against Pompeius but after Caesar's assassination in Rome, Brutus attacked Xanthos and demolished the acropolis. Marc Antony rebuilt their city and today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We travel down the Xanthos River by canoe in the afternoon heading to the beach at Patara. Passing through tranquil and unspoilt rural backwaters along the way, we stop for a picnic lunch before eventually emerging at Patara Beach which is a protected nesting area for giant loggerhead turtles. We have the opportunity to swim on the return to Kas.
There is an opportunity this morning to visit the Church of St Nicholas at Demre (Myra) which is where the 4th century Bishop Nicholas is said to have anonymously given money to the poor thus spawning the legend of Father Christmas. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of two countries; Greece and Russia, and is also the protector of children, merchants, scholars and sailors - a busy man! The origin of Saint Nicholas's gift giving is believed to have arisen from a legend in which a shopkeeper was too poor to supply his daughters with dowries. When Saint Nicholas heard of their plight, he threw three bags of coins into the shopkeeper's yard, saving the daughters from a life of hardship.
The Church of Saint Nicholas was built after his death and Noel Baba's remains were placed in a rock sarcophagus. A modern statue of Saint Nicholas, complete with beard, bag of toys, and children has been placed outside the church. But Myra isn't just the home of Santa. A mile north of the church is the impressive ruins of the ancient town, where dozens of Lycian tombs are carved out of the cliff above a Roman amphitheatre. We plan to make an early start today (to beat the crowds and heat) but on returning to Kas there is a free afternoon either to relax or perhaps try snorkelling.
We depart in the early morning to try our hand at sea kayaking in the calm, protected waters of the bay of Kekova. We'll enjoy a packed sandwich breakfast with coffee en route and enjoy paddling in the tranquil waters before any other boats or kayakers take to the water. It's one of the most scenic areas in Lycia with picturesque islands, bays and small ancient cities surrounding the famous sunken city of Kekova. The results of various earthquakes, there are partly submerged streets and buildings visible in the crystal clear waters and even steps leading down into the depths of the bay.
Later we paddle to the picturesque whitewashed village of Simena, whose harbour is dotted with ancient sarcophagi (tombs), Roman baths, houses that cling to a hillside and a castle where we find an ancient theatre. Carved from the solid rock, it is a wonderful place to sit and soak up the beautiful surroundings. Taking to the waters again, we head back to Ucagiz from where we transfer back to Kas.
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Kas
There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Kas at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Dalaman International Airport (airport code DLM), which is 150km, around 3 hours from the hotel.
Summers are hot and dry with refreshing sea breezes and clear waters, great for boat trips. It is often cooler on higher ground and in the mountains and can be cold at night, even in the summer. During the shoulder seasons (loosely speaking, before mid-May and after early October), temperatures and rainfall can be erratic, with some temperatures dropping to 8-12 degrees, and other days being bright and sunny up to 25 degrees. Mountain locations will be cooler than on the coast, of course. In the winter, temperatures usually hover between 0 and 10 degrees, but are usually wet, particularly around the coast. The best time for walking in Turkey is mid-May, June and September, with pleasant temperatures and clear blue skies.
2 Pin Round
A selection of optional activities are listed below to help you budget for your Family adventure. Whilst the basic tour price you pay before you travel includes a great selection of highlights, we have also built in free time to allow you the flexibility to choose from a carefully selected range of additional excursions and activities or take time to relax, the choice is yours. At certain destinations along the way there may be several options to choose from and it may not be possible to fit all the activities in; your Explore Leader will be able to give advice on which are the most suitable for your family. Kas: Day 4 or 6: Full day boat trip to Meis island (also known as Kastellorizo Island) £24 per person Day 4 or 6: Horse riding £38 per person including return transport to the stables. Day 4 or 6: DEMRE Visit to the Church of St Nicholas and City of Myra. £16 per person Day 4 or 6: Scuba diving from £30 to £60 depending on number of dives; experienced divers should bring certification and log book; intro dives are available for those without previous experience.
The long Turkish summer can be hot, though much of the Mediterranean coastline is freshened by sea breezes. A warmer sweater is recommended for the evenings in early or late season. On the canoeing and sea-kayaking excursions in particular there is no shelter from the sun, so a sunhat is essential. March / April and late September / October / November tend to be cooler so bring layers and some warmer clothes. A light rainjacket may also be useful.
Trainers or walking boots for walks, plus sandals to wear in the canoes and sea kayaks which will stay on when wet.
One main piece of baggage and daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so
don't overload yourself.
We recommend a water bottle, torch, insect repellent, sunglasses, daysac and plenty of high factor suncream. All equipment is provided on the sea-kayaking and canoeing trips. Keen snorkellers should take their own equipment as sizes (especially children's) are limited. Note: Qualified scuba divers wishing to dive should bring their diving certificate and log book. Filling up your water bottle and reducing plastic waste. Kas water fountain - When walking west from the town square, and before you get to the mosque, there is a marble fountain with 4 taps, a source of cold spring water that is good to drink. Filling your bottles from here each evening can help make a plastic free holiday, as well as saving money. We also suggest filling your water bottle up at breakfast from the dispenser so you have water at the start of each day.
Our base for the week is the Club Phellos Hotel, superbly situated just a few minutes' walk uphill from the centre of Kas. It has an excellent outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers, open-air breakfast terrace with views down to the sea, and Wi-Fi is available in public areas. All bedrooms have a balcony and either a hillside or sea view and are allocated on a run of house basis. All the rooms have simple decor and are air-conditioned with an en suite bathroom with a toilet, shower and hairdryer.
There is a pool at the hotel with regular opportunities to swim in the sea
Can you drink the water?
It is generally possible to drink the local tap water, therefore to reduce the need for single-use plastic bottles we recommend you bring a refillable water bottle with you. Your leader will advise you on refill points each day.
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If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
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Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
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You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
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On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
An ability to swim is essential for your safe enjoyment of the water based activities on this trip. If you wish to participate in these activities then we insist that you are able to swim.
Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against tetanus, typhoid, infectious hepatitis and polio. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.