Turkey is one of the world's oldest romantic destinations. Marc Anthony and Cleopatra used to escape here, and 2,000 years later, the blend of mystery and beauty continues to captivate. Explore Istanbul's bazaar of wonders, ancient Roman history in Ephesus, and a private cruise on the Aegean to discover the opulence of an ancient love story and contemporary luxuries.
Istanbul – A Romantic Welcome in Istanbul
Istanbul bristles with history and culture. Dissected by the Bosphorus, and marking the divide between Europe and Asia, the city forms a treasure chest of memoirs from two continents, dozens of sultans, and a handful of famous empires. You're picked up at the airport and transferred to your boutique hotel. Don't worry about travel fatigue because there's an indulgent treat waiting nearby. The local hamams date back over 500 years and glimpse at the earliest examples of spa treatments. Enjoy a two hour treatment at the Four Seasons Spa, a place that's based on the traditions of a classic Istanbul hamam, but is updated with modern touches and therapies. It's the perfect antidote to a long journey and an idyllic way to start a vacation of romance.
Feeling suitably relaxed and recuperated, your driver then takes you to a gourmet rooftop restaurant with views into another continent. Savor a traditional feast that draws on the influences started by Roman and Greek empires. Wine is corked, the sunset gently reflects on the Bosphorus, and a table for two offers an indication of the privacy and exclusivity to expect on this vacation. After dinner, and at your convenience, the driver will return you to the hotel.
Istanbul – Exploring the Culture and History of Istanbul
Kusadasi – Bazaars and Palaces Then Onwards to the Aegean Coast
Kusadasi – Exploring the Ancient Wonder of Ephesus
Aegean Coast – Setting Sail on a Private Luxury Yacht Cruise
Aegean Coast – Archaeological Ruins Beside the Aegean Sea
Aegean Coast – Serene Cruising to Lasos
Day 8 - 9
Aegean Coast – Beaches and Ruins as the Luxury Yacht Cruise Continues
Bodrum – Completing the Cruise in Bodrum
Bodrum – Departure
- Explore the charm and mystery of Istanbul as you walk hand in hand through architectural wonders, markets of spices, and cobbled streets of intrigue
- Discover the ancient city of Ephesus and revel in the historical journey from Greek to Roman empires
- Spend seven days cruising the Aegean Sea on your own luxury yacht, an elegant wooden gulet that takes you from Kusadasi to Bodrum
- Anchor in quaint village ports and hidden bays as you serenely cruise south on turquoise waters
- Step off the yacht to explore the historic ruins that dot the coast, including ancient Halicarnassus and the old cities of Miletus and Priene
- Enjoy a vacation filled with romantic treats, like spa treatments on arrival in Istanbul, champagne picnics with no other boats in sight, and boutique indulgence at every turn
Cleopatra sailed to Marc Anthony with ores made of silver and a barge scented of exotic perfume. The couple then escaped to the coast of Turkey to privately wallow in their romance. Continuing this fine tradition of seduction, this vacation is coated in a beauty and mystery befitting a bygone era. Three distinct destinations showcase a unique side to the country. Start in Istanbul, where the old-world charm and architectural wonder makes for an atmospheric journey through the ages. Next it's Ephesus, perhaps the region's most splendid and preserved archaeological city, blending ancient Ionian style with Roman musings and early Christian history. Then the Aegean Sea compels and captivates. For seven days you cruise the sapphire waters, an elegant yacht providing a journey of privacy usually reserved for pharaohs and generals.
It all starts in the most regal of styles. Land in Istanbul where a sumptuous spa therapy helps ease you into the opulence. Spend three days exploring the sublime sights, including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and fragrant bazaars that scream of yesteryear. From sultans' palaces to quaint cafes, Istanbul offers a tranquil and often mysterious immersion into a historic hybrid of cultures. Fly to the coast on the evening of day three and spend day four lost in the carefully preserved ruins of Ephesus, a provincial Roman capital that unveils the pomp and razzmatazz of an empire. The House of the Virgin Mary adds further poignant history while the twinkling waters of the Aegean promise the beauty of what's yet to come.
Climb aboard your luxury wooden yacht on day five, setting sail for Didyma on the first of seven serene days. Relax in a delightfully appointed cabin, laze away hours on the elegant upper deck, and anchor in pristine waters miles from any other boats or people. The cruise slowly takes you down the coast to Bodrum, dropping anchor in cute villages, deserted bays, and besides forests of pine. Throughout the journey, history and archaeology mixes with classic coastal pleasures. There are cliffside ruins and relics to discover, each providing an interlude to tranquil hours coasting along the sapphire. From Bodrum there are direct flights back to Istanbul where you connect to your international departure.
$8,795 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
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- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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