Kaleköy (ancient Simena)
Theatre at Xanthos
Explore ancient cities containing fascinating classical remains on a voyage around the coast of south-west Turkey
Visit the impressive ruins of Xanthos, capital of ancient Lycia, with its blend of architectural influences and important epigraphy
Journey inland to discover further sites, including the beautifully located town of Pinara with tombs cut into the rock face
“Gillian’s engaging manner and profound knowledge of the subject she was sharing with us made it a fascinating and informative experience.”
- Attendee at a lecture given by Gillian Hovell
Many of the most striking cities in the Greek and Roman world are found along the coast of south-west Turkey, where the towering limestone cliffs and lofty mountain ranges have changed little since classical times. The armies of Alexander, the emperors of Rome and the traders of Byzantium all brought untold wealth to these rugged shores.
One of the most thrilling ways to experience the bygone cities of Lycia and south-eastern Caria is as the ancients saw them: by sea. This scenic coastline is dotted with small bays inaccessible to large cruise ships but perfectly suited to traditional Turkish two-masted vessels known as gulets. One such boat is the beautiful MS Larin Su, our home for a seven-night private voyage.
We begin with a cruise to Gemiler, where the vestiges of the once-thriving monastic community conjure up the majesty of high Byzantium at the time of Justinian. There are lovely Hellenistic ruins to admire at Kas and Pinara. At Myra, where St Nicholas was bishop in the 3rd century, are dozens of superb tombs cut into the vertical rock-face. In the bay of Kekova, we have the opportunity to spot ancient remnants beneath the clear waters of the eastern Mediterranean (classical Aperlae and Byzantine Tesane). And Xanthos, capital of ancient Lycia, is one of the undoubted historical highlights of the region, where Hellenistic and Lycian influences converge.
This tour will be led by Gillian Hovell, BA, an ancient historian and archaeologist with expertise spanning the Neolithic to Roman Britain and the Greek and Roman Mediterranean. Gillian actively digs at major sites in the UK and Europe, from Orkney to Pompeii, and is also an experienced tour leader and lecturer, regularly delivering talks for the Arts Society and at museums including the British Museum and the Ashmolean. An award-winning writer, she has given several TV, radio and podcast interviews and also runs online courses in archaeology, ancient history and Latin as ‘The Muddy Archaeologist’. Gillian’s guide to the archaeological sites of the Mediterranean is due for publication in 2024.
Please call us on 01223 841055 to discuss cabin availability.
Included: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded cabin, full board with water, tea & coffee, shore excursions & admissions, crew gratuities & all taxes.
Not Included: visa, travel insurance, cabin for single use supplement on request.