Legendary hangout of Queen Cleopatra, Alanya’s two-faced for all the right reasons. On the one hand an ancient Seljuk city, on the other a slick beach resort, it’s aplace…Time in port: 10:00 - 19:00
Journey by coach to the Manavgat River to see Alanya’s famous waterfall. It’s one of the most photographed spots in Turkey, thanks to its white foaming water that plunges over low rocks. The rocks are so low, in fact, the waterfall completely disappears during flooding. You’ll also to explore the ancient city of Side on this tour. Once a Roman port, it’s now a modern town that’s dotted with ruins. See the marketplace where slaves were once traded, and wander around what’s left of the public baths and the ancient amphitheatre. Don’t miss the Temple of Apollo, either – it dates back to the 2nd century AD and, legend has it, it was a gift from Anthony to Cleopatra as a token of his love for her. Once you’ve had time to explore the ruins, there’ll be some free time in the city. Pull up a chair and buy a sizzling kebab at one of the eateries, or haggle for bargains in the stalls of the backstreets.
This tour kicks off with a visit to the Medieval castle in Alanya. Most of it was built in the 13th century by the Sultan of Seljuk, on top of earlier Byzantine and Roman fortifications. It’s setting is pretty special to say the least. It sits 250 metres high on a rocky peninsular, with the Mediterranean Sea protecting it from three sides. The area was pacified under the Ottoman Empire, so the castle stopped being purely defensive. During the 19th century, lots of villas were built within its walls. Today, it’s an impressive open-air museum, reflecting Seljuk art at its best. After some time here, you’ll stop at Dalmatas Magarasi – a small cave with beautiful calcite formations. It was discovered in 1948 by engineers building Alanya harbour, and in the 1960s Turks started coming to the cave for its alleged healing properties. The humid air is supposed to be good for asthmatic problems, and doctors prescribe treatment here regularly. Leaving the cave behind, you’ll have some free time in Alanya city centre before returning to the ship.
Also known as the heart of ancient Pamphylia, Perge is where St Paul preached his first sermon when he began his missionary journeys. On this trip you’ll see examples of Pergian architecture and ruins that’ll give you a real insight into the importance of the city. Afterwards, make your way to Aspendos and admire what is probably the best-preserved theatre of antiquity. Big enough to hold thousands of spectators, it’s still used today for performances and festivals. The galleries, stage decorations and acoustics all testify to the architect's success. The second highlight of Aspendos is its aqueducts, left behind by the Romans. Once you’ve seen those, we head back to Alanya. Cameras at the ready…
Basking in more hours of sunshine than any other Greek island, Rhodes is loved for its fascinating past, not to mention its glittering sandy beaches.
- Wander your…
Time in port: 08:00 - 16:00
This tour kicks off with a visit to what is arguably one of the most beautiful villages in Greece – Lindos. Its well-preserved acropolis and UNESCO status make this a must-do excursion. As you wander through the quaint, quiet streets, it’s impossible not to fall in love with the laid-back pace of life and the postcard-prettiness that the village is famous for. Narrow lanes are lined with little white stone houses, which will have you reaching for your camera every few steps. And it’s a great place to explore, with the famous acropolis boasting treasures like the Temple of Athena, the Byzantine church and the Hellenistic stoa, plus evidence of fortification by the St John’s Knights. Climb the Hellenistic staircase to the top of the acropolis and you’ll be blown away by the panoramic views of the coast and Lindos town. This tour has got it all - incredible architecture and breathtaking views. What more could you ask for?
This trip is a half day taster of the wonderful city of Rhodes. First of all, you’ll visit the heart of the town – the Mandraki harbour and a glistening collection of luxury yachts. Government buildings from the Italian era, pretty pavement cafés and colourful boats dominate the scenery in these parts, so make sure you’ve got your camera handy. Monte Smith is up next, with the ancient acropolis of Rhodes-town, the temple of Apollo, the ancient stadium and the amphitheatre. You’ll drive along a beautiful road which brings you some fantastic panoramic views of the Turkish coast. Starting from the picturesque Porte d’ Amboise, you’ll then enter the old town by foot, walking past the world famous Street of the Knights and the Palace of the Knights. Your tour ends with some free time to reflect on all you’ve seen.
This fantastic tour starts by passing the Mandraki harbour and its glistening collection of luxury yachts. Government buildings from the Italian era, pretty pavement cafés and colourful boats dominate the scenery in these parts, so make sure you’ve got your camera handy. Continue with a drive up to Filerimos, a hill around 12km from Rhodes, which offers up jaw-dropping views. On reaching the top, you’ll see an outstanding collection of monuments, including the foundations of the temple of Athena Polias, an early Christian basilica, and the small subterranean Byzantine church of St George. Head to the back of the monastery and you’ll find the impressive remains of the Byzantine garrison. From here, a short coach ride will bring you to the wonderful city of Rhodes. Bathed in warm sunshine, it’s like a great big treasure trove crammed with archaeological gems. Passing the Acropolis of Rhodes in Monte Smith, you’ll drive along a beautiful road which brings you some fantastic panoramic views of the Turkish coast. Starting from the picturesque Porte d’ Amboise, you’ll then enter the old town on foot, walking past the world famous Street of the Knights for a visit to the Palace of the Knights. Your tour ends with some free time to reflect on all you’ve seen over a well-earned cup of strong Greek coffee.
Laze away the day on the silky sands of Kusadasi or head for the ruins of Ephesus for more sights than you can point a camera at. It’s your holiday, your call.
Time in port: 09:00 - 17:00
Leave the port of Kusadasi behind and head up into the hills to the house of the Virgin Mary, recognised by the Vatican as a place of pilgrimage. You’ll see a small chapel, which has been built on the foundations of a humble dwelling where Mary’s believed to have spent her last days. If you want to, you can collect water from the Holy spring and leave a prayer in the form of a ribbon on the prayer grid. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate this serene setting though. Tucked high in the hills above the coast, it’s really something. From here you’ll carry on to the world famous archaeological site of Ephesus for your walking tour. Tick off a list of sights including the Temple of Hadrian, the Marble Street and the Celsus Library.
This fabulous, full day tour takes in just about every attraction around Kusadasi. A drive from the port will take you up into the hills to the House of the Virgin Mary, recognised by the Vatican as a place of pilgrimage. You’ll see a small chapel, which has been built on the foundations of a humble dwelling where Mary’s believed to have spent her last days. If you want to, you can collect water from the Holy spring and leave a prayer in the form of a ribbon on the prayer grid. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate this serene setting though. Tucked high up in the hills above the coast, it’s really something. From here you’ll carry on to the world famous archaeological site of Ephesus for your guided walking tour before stopping for a well-deserved lunch. After, you’ll visit the Temple of Artemis where a column and scanty fragments strewn on the ground are all that remains of the Seventh Wonder of the World. According to Strabo, it was destroyed at least seven times and rebuilt just as many times. You’ll also visit the Isabey mosque, a beautiful example of Seljuk Turkish architecture in an idyllic location and with a pretty courtyard before returning to the ship.
Drive to the Meryem Ana Monument to get a snapshot of the world famous archaeological site of Ephesus that glimmers in the distance. Next, carry on to the church where St John lived with the Virgin Mary after being cast out of Jerusalem in 37 to 42AD. Legend has it that St John wrote his Gospel here, and was buried here in accordance with his dying wishes. After a brief stop at the entrance to the Basilica, with time for taking photos, you’ll head to the village of Sirince. It’s a peaceful little place that hugs the hillside and is famous for its homemade wines and Gözleme – griddle bread with various fillings. After a short wine-tasting session you’ll have some time to wander round this pretty village and browse its souvenir stalls and cobblestone laneways where village women sell their colourful handiwork, before returning to the ship.
Kora La serves Asian dishes, with interiors that echo the exotic menu. Just so you know, a cover charge applies.
When it comes to extravagant dining, this place is a real gem. Pick the likes of lobster thermidor and lamb rack from the à la carte menu, and enjoy attentive waiter service in contemporary surroundings. Just so you know, a cover charge applies and you’ll need to make a reservation.
There’s a laid-back and friendly feel to this self-service buffet restaurant, which has an indoor and an outdoor dining area. It offers a huge choice of hot and cold meals, from full-cooked breakfasts first thing in the morning to lunchtime carveries and curries for late-night munchies.
Holy sights come thick and fast in these parts. From Ashdod, visit the awe-inspiring cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem and see some of the world's most impressive shrines…ARRIVE IN PORT: 06:00 (DAY 6)
DEPART FROM PORT: 18:00 (DAY 7)
Jews, Christians, Muslims – they all hold this place dear. Sights here represent each of the faiths. Kicking things off is a fly-by driving tour, passing the Israeli parliament building known as the Knesset, the Museum of Israel and the Shrine of the Book. It’s the best way to see the city sights. Next you’ll drive to the top of the Mount of Olives. Named after its olive tree-planted slopes, this place is thought to be where the dead will be resurrected on Judgement Day. The views from here are epic. From here, you’ll head for the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus went to pray after the Last Supper and was betrayed by his disciple Judas. A visit to the Church of All Nations is also on the itinerary here. It’s followed by an active walk through the old city following the path Jesus took as he carried his cross to Calvary, a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection and a glimpse of the shimmering mosques of Al-Aqsa and The Dome of the Rock. You’ll also stop off at the Western Wall, the place where Orthodox Jews nod in prayer and put prayer notes into the cracks of the wall. Finally, you’ll head to Bethlehem for lunch in a restaurant and to see one of Christianity’s most sacred sights, the Church of the Nativity, built on the same site as the stable where Mary gave birth to Jesus.
Tel Aviv is the lifeblood of Israel. Old and new collide in the nation’s biggest metropolis, which means you get a great feel for the city. One of the major draws is the beach, which you’ll visit on this tour. A sweep of pale sand rinsed by the clear Mediterranean waters, it’s the perfect place to relax for a little while. What’s more, there are beach bars nearby if you want to grab a drink or a snack. From here, you’ll head to Carmel Market, Tel Aviv’s largest fruit and veg market. You’ll find more than your five a day here, though – you can pick up traditional clothes, jewellery and pottery, too. Plus, you’ll find fish, meat and some local specialities. Make sure you try a ‘boreka’, a salty, puff pastry filled with egg, pickles and tomatoes. And don’t miss the Turkish and Japanese food sections, either. Once you’ve snapped up some bargains, you’ll head to Ramat Aviv Mall. This huge shopping centre is brimming with modern shops, cafés and restaurants, so it’s a world away from the traditional marketplace. You’ll have plenty of time here to grab a bite to eat and wander around the glitzy stores, before heading back to the port.
The Western Wall. The Gardens of Gethsemane. Mount of Olives. They’re some of the world’s most famous religious icons and just a drop in the ocean of Jerusalem’s line-up of superstar sights. In fact, there are more things to see here than you can feasibly fit into a day. But you can catch most of them on this guided tour. Kicking things off, you’ll travel from Ashdod to the Mount of Olives, where it’s said the Messiah will resurrect the dead on the day of judgment. It’s Jerusalem’s holiest cemetery and the view from the top is breathtaking, the whole city spreads out below you. From here, you’ll head to the Gardens of Gethsemane, the olive grove where Jesus prayed after the Last Supper and was betrayed by Judas the same night. Next up, is the Western Wall. Also known as the Wailing Wall, it’s the most sacred site in the Jewish world and for centuries Jewish worshipers have gathered here to pray. After a buffet lunch with time to relax, you’ll take a fly-by driving tour of the city. Highlights seen include the Knesset where Israel’s Parliament holds court and the Israel Museum where the world’s oldest-known biblical documents, the Dead Sea Scrolls, are kept. Finally, you'll head to see David's Tomb, the Dormition Church and the room of the Last Supper.