*Please note that the following information is meant to provide a general overview of your tour. The specifics of your trip will be contained in a pre-trip letter you will receive prior to your confirmed departure.
Important Trip Details:
MEETING PLACE: The Haze Hotel Istanbul.
MEETING TIME: 6.45pm
RETURN TIME: 3pm Approx
THE LAST SUPPER: Palamubükü
TRIP LENGTH: 8 days
AGE LIMIT: 12 years
BOAT TYPE: Sea Kayak
NEAREST AIRPORTS: Istanbul Airport (IST), Dalaman Airport (DLM)
Kayak Turkey's Carian Coast Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Istanbul, Welcome Dinner & Orientation Meeting
Travel from your home to Istanbul. If you’ve never been to this epicenter of culture and history that spans civilizations and is adorned with monuments of the ages, then plan to arrive at least two days in advance to discover the wonders. Do this on your own or better yet, with one of our guides. And if you have been to Istanbul before, come ahead of time anyway, to recover from jet leg and find tucked away corners with exotic cafes, and curious faces.
- Meals Included: Dinner
- Accommodations: The Haze Hotel
Day 2: Selimiye, Kayaking Introduction, Kayak to Bozburun
Morning transfer to the airport to fly south to the Dalaman Airport and transfer to Selimiye (125 miles, 2h). We check-in to our charming beachfront hotel before heading to the water to be introduced to our kayaks, adjust foot pedals and warm up.
In the 1950s gulets were sea-vessels used by fishermen, octopus hunters, and sponge-divers long before gulet tours in Turkey became popular. It all started when Cevat Şakir Kabaaağaçlı, who was known as Fisherman Of Halicarnassus, a Turkish writer of novels, short stories and essays, as well as being a keen ethnographer and travelogue, invited a bunch of intellectuals to explore the Turkish coast by sea. These gulets evolved into today’s comfortable boats with private facilities. Bozburun is one of the 3 major places known for gulet construction.
- Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Accommodations: Selimiye Yazıcı - Selimiye
Day 3: Bozburun
Kayak from Selimiye to Bozburun where we find a fisherman’s shelter along little beaches and islets. We walk about a mile from our landing beach to our hotel on Cape Aphrodisias. In the afternoon, you might want to relax on the beach by the hotel, paddle some more along the coast, or visit a nearby boat construction yard where traditional Turkish gulets are built.
Bozburun is one of the 3 major places known for gulet construction.
Kayaking: 4 ½ miles (with options for more)
Walking: 1-2 miles.
- Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Accommodations: Bozburun Dolphin
Day 4: Kargi Cove/ Datca
In the morning, we kayak among the crytal clear, aquarium-like beaches of the archipelago of Bozburun. After our casual 5-mile paddle, we return to the harbor and hop on a boat and cruise north 2 ½ hours to Datça, a small town located across the bay. Datca is the favorite retirement destination of Turkish intellectuals. We have some free time to explore this town, then return to our kayaks and paddle another 2 ½ miles to Kargı Cove where we find our picturesque beach-front hotel.
- Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Accommodations: Cape Crio - Datça
Day 5: Pig's Pit, Hayıtbükü
Today you choose a shorter or longer paddle. Those who want to stretch their legs and prefer a shorter paddle will hike around 4 miles on trails of pine-scented air on a section of the historic Carian Way, a waymarked 530-mile trail that follows footsteps dating back more than 2000 years. Those wishing a longer paddle follow the coast along a peninsula for 9 miles. We all meet at the Pig’s Pit, where we can find a beach tavern with no road access and enjoy a delightful lunch. Back in our kayaks, we paddle 5 miles to Hayıtbükü. Hayıtbükü is a small inlet near Mesudiye Village and here we stay in simple bungalows set near the sandy beach. The name of the place derives from a local shrub called “hayit” sought after by locals for its medicinal virtues. We enjoy a Turkish feast under the stars.
Kayaking: 5-14 miles.
Hiking: -4 miles
- Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Accommodations: Derinada – Hayıtbükü
Day 6: Palamutbükü
Today’s paddle travels west from Hayıtbükü, passing crescent coves with intimate beaches. After about 5 ½ miles we reach Palamutbükü, the only inhabited place until the the tip of the Datça Peninsula. Palamutbükü was originally known for growing acorns, or palamut in Turkish. In time acorns were replaced by more lucrative olive and almond orchards, which remain the main crops of this area today. We explore the countryside, and for those that wish, offer an optional 3.5 mile roundtrip paddle to a nearby island.
Kayaking: 5 1/2 miles with optional 3 miles
- Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Accommodations: Aylin’s Wooden Houses or Similar
Day 7: Knidos, Palamubükü
In the morning we drive a short distance to the village of Yazıköy to start hiking along another segment of the Carian Way that connects Yazıköy to ancient Knidos. On a trail of dirt and loose rocks, set above to azure waters of the bay, we hike 6 miles. After a picnic lunch, we return to the fabled Aegean Sea to kayak 5 miles to Knidos. Alternately we may opt for more paddling and do a 10-mile kayak journey to Knidos.
Knidos was one of the most visited port of the commercial ships in the ancient times. We explore the extensive classical site, birthplace of Sostratos, the architect of the Lighthouse of Alexandria (another of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world), and Eudoxus, the astronomer who first calculated the circumference of our planet. We return to our hotel in Palamubükü and enjoy a celebratory farewell dinner.
Kayaking: 5-10 miles
Hiking: 6 miles
- Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Accommodations: Bük Otel - Palamutbükü
Day 8: Dalaman Airport
After breakfast, we transfer 3 hours by van to Dalaman Airport for an early afternoon flight to Istanbul. From there you might begin your journey home, or connect to a highly-recommended post-kayaking extension to Cappadocia.
- Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch,
Travel to Instabul, Turkey
Please purchase your Visa in advance of your trip - You can purchase it online using THIS LINK
Istanbul Atatürk Airport is a big international airport with many flights coming and going from all over the world. Turkey is a beautiful place bringing together the East and the West. Wherever you are flying from, you can likely find an easy flight into Istanbul.
Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, United, American, and British Airways all offer convenient flights to Istanbul from the U.S. Some of these airlines fly direct to Istanbul from other major international airports. When you arrive in Istanbul, you will be 10 hours ahead of Pacific Time, so plan your flights accordingly.
Airport Transfer Upon Arrival
Once you arrive in Istanbul, the most convenient way to get around is by buses and trams. You can also opt to take the metro which has consistent transportation from the Istanbul Atatürk Airport to downtown Istanbul. The metro is more convenient for locals as they don’t stop as close to tourists sights as the trams and other buses do, but its a great alternative for getting to and from the airport for those visiting.
Weather in September should be in the 80’s to 90’s F. Evenings will cool down about 15 degrees F. Normally days will be sunny and clear, but there can be windy conditions. It’s always cooler sitting in a kayak just above the water than it is on land.
Water temperatures in the Aegean Sea in this area in September and early October will be around 70-80 F. Swimming is comfortable.
If you are interested in more specific information regarding the weather in Turkey, we highly suggest this website: wunderground. If you put in the location you are traveling, and the date, it will provide you with historical weather data that you can use to plan for your upcoming adventure.
When To Go?
April, May, September, and October are usually the best months to visit Turkey. These months are reliably and pleasantly warm, with tempretures ranging from mid 60's to mis 90's F. The summer months (June through September) are warmer but also good months to visit.
Sea Kayak Adventures Physical Requirements
Here at Sea Kayak Adventures our first and foremost goal is for you to have an enjoyable and safe experience. While most of our trips are suitable for beginners, some of our trips are more active than others and it’s important that you understand the physical requirement of the trip you choose.
All of our sea kayaking trips are active adventures that involve some level of physical exertion and possible exposure to the elements including but not limited to wind, rain, heat, sun, cold temperatures and cold water conditions. Sea Kayak Adventures is able to accommodate people with physical limitations, disabilities and medical conditions; please speak with your Adventure Consultant if you think you will require any additional assistance while on the trip. We ask that you consult your Doctor if you have health or medical conditions that could impact your ability to participate in an active and outdoor adventure. In general, all trip participants must be able to do the following:
- Wear all protective and safety equipment that are required by Sea Kayak Adventures and recommended/required by industry wide standards.
- Load and unload, on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion, the bus and/or van providing transportation for Sea Kayak Adventures activities.
- Reach the water access points (put-in and take-out) on their own, or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Enter and exit the raft, kayak and/or inflatable kayak on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Remain seated and balanced in a floating raft, canoe, kayak or inflatable kayak w/ the aid of adaptive equipment, if necessary.
- Float on their back when entering moving and still water. The participant must be capable of turning from face-down to face-up in the water with the aid of a Personal Floatation Device and must be able to hold their breath while under water.
- Remain calm and keep breathing under control in the event of a swim.
- Climb into the kayak, with the help of another person, should an involuntary swim happen at any point on the water.
- Make progress toward the shoreline or a boat by swimming in moving water and must be able to exit the water and ascend the shoreline once reached.
- Participate as an active paddler when instructed by the guide for the duration of trip.
- Move about the campsite on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion on all trips that include overnight camping and/or lunch.
Whether you are an avid sea kayaker, or it is your first time, you’ll enjoy these incredible trips, and share in our passion for adventure, commitment to conserving the environment, and relishing unique experiences. For those new to the sport, kayaking is easy to learn in the sheltered waters that we visit, and we provide all of the camping gear, kayaking equipment and guidance needed. In addition, we keep our groups small to allow you to not only travel intimately among nature, but to ensure you receive the necessary attention from our guides.
Kayak Turkey Packing List
The packing list outlined below is meant to serve as a guide to help you plan, prepare and outfit yourself for your upcoming sea kayak tour in Turkey. Please use this list and you will have what you need. Of course, feel free to amend it with your favorite travel items too!
Gear Provided by Sea Kayak Adventures
Sea Kayak Adventures provides all necessary equipment for your selected tour. Since this is a hotel-based sea kayaking tour, the gear includes all the necessary equipment for kayaking including: personal flotation devices (PFDs), paddles, kayaks, and one dry bag for gear you might need during the day. Your other luggage will be transported between each night’s hotel in the trip vehicle.
Provided Dry Bags
At the orientation meeting on the evening, before we start kayaking, we will provide each guest with a 10-liter dry bag to pack any items you might want with you during the day. You’re welcome to bring your own if you prefer. This bag can be stowed inside the cockpit where you sit, or on the deck of your kayak.
Sea Kayak Adventures trips are best enjoyed if you travel light. We think it is wise to avoid checking any luggage under the plane. If you do check a bag, make sure that you have everything that is either essential or would be hard to replace, with you in your carry-on.
We recommend packing in one soft sided, roll-on (ideally a non-hard-sided version) or duffle luggage that meets carry-on requirements. Alternatively, if you must have a checked bag; make sure your personal item is packed with your “hard to replace items.”
We also recommend bringing one small day pack. This dual-purpose pack can serve as your personal item during your flights as well as your day pack for hikes during the tour. Outside zippered pockets are nice and allow you to organize your travel gear. Carry medications, travel documents, important personal items and other essentials or “hard-to-replace” items in this on the plane.
Turkey Kayak Packing List:
- Passport – must be valid for at least six (6) months after the date of your arrival
- A photocopy of your passport, inside a Ziplock bag and stowed elsewhere in your luggage (As an additional precautionary measure, consider leaving a photocopy with family or friends at home). Keep a photo on your phone as well.
- Turkish Visa - Please purchase in advance of your Trip - https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/
- Copy of your air tickets with ticket numbers placed elsewhere in your luggage and/or email someone back home your air ticket information in case you lose your phone.
- Credit and/or Debit/ATM card that works internationally, ideally with chip technology (Some banks want you to notify them of travel plans ahead of time which often can be done online.)
- Plan to use cash (Turkish Lira) for small purchases, taxis, incidental tipping
- USD, CAD or Euros for guide gratuities at the end of your trip
- Gratuities - The only cash you might want to bring is about $250/person for a gratuity to be given to the crew, and $200- $250 per person for your guide. Gratuities are entirely at your discretion but these are good guidelines.
- Watch or small travel clock with alarm (if you are taking a phone, this can serve as your alarm clock)
- Money belt or concealed passport carrier to carry your passport, travel documents and money, hidden under your clothing
- Phone – Most people bring a phone to also use as their camera. You might want to check with your carrier about plans for Turkey.
- Travel outlet adaptors compatible with European plugs
We highly suggest that all of your kayak clothing is synthetic or wool, not cotton. Synthetics are also ideal for activity, as they wick away moisture from the body and dry quickly. (Added SPF protection in your clothing is always a great option). We recommend keeping one outfit out of the following packing guidelines as a “post activity” outfit for mornings and evenings in the small towns or villages where we stay.
- One - two pairs long, lightweight, nylon pants with zipper pockets (zip off legs give you more options)
- One pair nylon shorts
- Rash guard – great for use as sun-protection and extra warmth when swimming or snorkeling
- Sarong (optional, but super handy for changing clothes, laying on the ground, etc.)
- One - three short sleeve button-up shirt(s) or t-shirt(s) (synthetic is best)
- One - three long sleeve shirts, ideally with SPF protection
- One light-weight bottom layer like a long-sleeve synthetic shirt or merino wool t-shirt
- One medium-weight layer of fleece – synthetic or merino wool for warmth
- One windbreaker or light raincoat (better)
- One wide-brim, tie-on hat
- Three pairs light synthetic or merino wool socks
- One pair sturdy trail shoes, or running shoes, to use for hiking and for casual time.
- One pair of sandals with ankle straps to wear while kayaking, on the beaches, walking around towns, etc.
Casual Pre & Post Activity Clothing
One - two other comfortable pairs of bottoms: pants, shorts, skirts, dresses, etc.
- One pair other lightweight shoes for town time
- One - two tops: short sleeve, long sleeve and/or button up shirt(s)
- One light sweater or jacket for warmth in the evenings and mornings
- One pair pajamas
*The suggested numbers of clothing items are based on a 7-day kayak trip. You might want to add a couple items if you are extending your travels.
- Retaining strap for glasses and sunglasses
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Small day pack or fanny pack for hikes
- One large-mouth water bottle, 1 liter or larger
- Water filtration system - Bringing this along will help reduce our use of single use plastic. Turkey has nearly perfect tap water that can be easily filtered so it wont upset your bodys system. We recomend you bring a filter such as a LifeStraw, Grayle, Steripen, or Sawyer Squeeze
- One buff or bandana for sun protection and cooling off
- Camp towel (small lightweight towel, backpacking style works great) you might to use during the day
- A lightweight sarong or similar you can use as a beach towel and carry in the kayak with you during the day
- Snorkel and mask - the waters are beautiful and if you enjoy snorkeling, bring your own mask and snorkel.
- *Optional fins - these can be challenging to travel with, but if you have a small pair feel free to bring them for snorkeling.
- Camera and appropriate charging mechanism
- Back up battery pack for electronic devices (put in carry-on luggage when flying)
- Waterproof camera or valuables case
- Binoculars or monocular
- Glasses or contacts if needed
- Polarized sunglasses
- Reusable dirty/clean gear bags for wet or soiled items
- Small reusable, leak-proof bags for liquid or spillable personal items
- Books or E-reader, pen and notepad, headphones, etc. If you want to listen to music, please do it privately with earbuds or headphones.
- TSA-accessible lock for luggage security when not on your person (optional- can buy these at any travel or outdoor recreation store)
Toiletries and First Aid
- Standard toiletry kit including general hygiene products, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. (keep liquids under 3.38 oz.(100ml) for carry-on)
- Insect repellent
- Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF 20-50
- Pre-moistened toilette packets or disposable shower wipes to refresh
- Prescriptions and any necessary personal medicines (please be sure to bring necessary prescriptions and any needed emergency medicine such as an EpiPen, Benadryl, Loperamide, etc)
- Heavy duty skin lotion for dry, sun-baked, and salted skin
- Small squeeze bottle of hand-sanitizer gel
- Shampoo and soap (Hotels will have basic amenities including this)
- *Optional female urinary device (allows women to urinate standing up without removing clothing). Silicon or hard plastic ones work great. Popular name brands include Gogirl and Shewee.
Mosquitoes, bees or hornets are sometimes present during our tours. If you are sensitive to these you may want to pack a quality insect repellent.
Sea Kayak Adventures - Turkey Recommended Reading List
Most of our trip is through the lands and water of ancient Greece. Therefore, any of the great Greek authors are excellent traveling companions. Homer's Iliad or Odyssey are superb and the best translation is by Lattimore. Other choices are Herodotus' History and Thucydides' Peloponnesian War.
The Book of Acts, in the New Testament is especially interesting as it records much of St. Paul's travels and adventures in Ephesus.
GUIDE BOOKS: There are two fine modern guides to Turkey. For an excellent and readable narrative on the country and something to read before you go and while in Turkey, get a copy of Turkey in the Cadogan guidebook series. Lonely Planet has a great guide book - Lonely Planet Turkey. Also from Lonely Planet is a Turkish Phrasebook which you will receive compliments of ROW.
Many of the books below will be available in your local library or on Amazon in either hard or digital copy.
- Barber, Noel, The Sultans, Simon and Schuster, 1973. A unique and fascinating record of four centuries of glory, debauchery, splendor and cruelty. This book will add much to your enjoyment of Istanbul and the Topkapi Palace. A must read!
- Bean, George, Aegean Turkey, 1966; Turkey Beyond the Meander, 1971 and Lycian Turkey, 1978,
- Chase, Holly, Turkish Tapestry, Bosphorus Books, 1993. A modern traveler offers humorous insight and lots of good tidbits about modern Turkey.
- Lord Kinross, Ataturk, The Rebirth of a Nation, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, London, 1964. Essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the formation of the modern Republic of Turkey, as well as the reverence in which modern Turks hold the father of modern Turkey.
- Lord Kinross, Europa Minor, Morrow, NY/Johathan Cape, London, 1956. Lord Kinross traveled was the British Consul General in Izmir around 1947-51, and traveled by yacht along Turkey's coast, as did Freya Stark (below).
- Lord Kinross, The Ottoman Centuries, Morrow, NY/Jonathan Cape, London, 1977. The best known popular history.
- Nikos Kazantzakis,Zorba the Greek, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Greek Passion, The Odyssey-A Modern Sequel and Report to Greco. Born in 1883 he grew up in Crete during the last years of the Turkish occupation. His books include
- Stark, Freya, The Lycian Shore, 1956, John Murray and reprinted by Dover. A remarkable Englishwoman who traveled extensively in Turkey and the Middle East. Difficult reading, but excellent black and white photos.
- Yasar Kemal, Mehmed, My Hawk and The Wind from the Plains, 1955.
- Everyday Life in Ottoman Turkey (Putnam's Sons, New York, 1971) is a good overview of life during the great days of the empire.
7 Must Try Foods in Turkey - Learn about the culinary experience you'll embark on in Turkey!
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