Arrive in Izmir and transfer to Kusadasi and transfer to Callisto. Overnight aboard docked in Kusadasi.
Drive to the ancient city of Ephesus, renowned for its great mother goddess, Cybele, later identified as Artemis, or Diana of the Ephesians. Ephesus was for a time the most important commercial city in Asia Minor. The immense Hellenistic and Roman excavation site includes the ancient theater, the imposing Library of Celsus, the hill houses with their fantastic mosaics and frescoes, and early Byzantine remains. Spend the afternoon at leisure in Kusadasi or alternatively, tour Priene, a 4th-century B.C. city in a spectacular setting.
Arrive in Bodrum, ancient Halicarnassus and the birthplace of Herodotus, “the father of history.” Here, 4th-century B.C. King Mausolus lay in state within his Mausoleum, a tomb of exquisite beauty, adorned with sculptures by the finest Greek artists. In the 15th century, the Knights of St. John built the massive castle of St. Peter using stones from the Mausoleum. Visit the ancient site, castle, and citadel, housing the Museum of Underwater Archaeology. In the afternoon, sail to Kos, the island where Hippocrates established the standards of medical ethics in the 5th century B.C. Explore the ancient ruins, including the Asklepeion, dedicated to Asklepios, the god of healing.
The historic island of Rhodes was known in antiquity for its schools of philosophy, rhetoric, and sculpture. Explore Old Town, one of the largest medieval towns in Europe. Walk along the Street of the Knights, overflowing with mosaics, finely carved portals, balconies, and coats of arms. Then visit the Archaeological Museum, housed in the former Knights’ Great Hospital. Also travel to picturesque Lindos. Set high above the village, with spectacular views of the Aegean, are the remains of the Acropolis and the Doric columns of Athena’s Temple, among other structures.
Arrive this morning at Ekincik, a secluded bay in Turkey’s south coast. Journey aboard a small craft up the Dalyan River to the ruins of ancient Caunos. Remains include several buildings from the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Continuing upriver toward the small town of Dalyan, we see magnificent temple-tombs carved out of the cliff in the 4th century B.C.
In the morning, Callisto glides through stunning clear waters to Fethiye. From here, travel to Xanthos, built on a great cliff overlooking the Xanthos River. Xanthos boasts significant ruins, including the ruins of the Nereid Monument, an Ionic building whose figured friezes are in the British Museum. Visit the acropolis, the theater, and the unusual pillar tombs.
Sail to the small island of Castellorizo, one of the hidden gems of the Greek archipelago. Spend time at leisure ashore to explore on your own. In the afternoon, Callisto cruises through the turquoise waters of Kekova Bay, where the narrow island of Kekova forms a series of beautiful bays and fjord-like waterways. The waters here contain half-submerged ruins from the ancient city of Simena. Later, travel to the Lycian city of Myra to see its impressive Roman theater and rock-hewn tombs.
From Antalya, visit two of Turkey’s most famous ancient sites. Perge’s Hellenistic ruins include its great stadium; colonnaded, marble main street; and theater. At Aspendos, tour the 20,000-seat theater commissioned by Marcus Aurelius in the 2nd century A.D.
Disembark in Antalya and transfer to the airport for return flights home.