Kemer, Istanbul and Athens Cruises
The Turkish coast along the Aegean Sea just might be the single best place for cruises. The water is crystal clear, the beaches pristine, and there is more history here than just about anywhere else. For those of you interested in planning a cruise, here's a listing of several itineraries that include Kekova, Fethiye and Istanbul …
Fethiye is one of the more popular starting points for Turkish cruises, due in large part to its unparalleled beauty along the Meditarrean sea. While there, make sure to check out the Lycan rock tombs that are literally carved into the cliffs themselves; some date back as far as the fourth century BC
Another highlight of Fethiye is Belcegiz Bay, which is home to the world famous Blue Lagoon. Cruises that land in Fethiye often only stay for the day, which severely limits your time there. However, many cruise operators begin a tour from Fethiye, which offers you the chance to spend the night in the harbor before heading east. This is the route I recommend.
Istanbul itself is a worldly city in its own right. As Napoleon once observed, if the world was one nation, Istanbul would be its capital. Rightly so; it is the third most populous city in the world (behind Mumbai and Karachi, respectively) and is the only city in the world located on two continents. Originally known as Byzantine as far back as the seventh century BC, Istanbul's current name is Greek for "the city" or "downtown."
Kekova is a highlight for cruises along the Mediterranean Sea. Like Pompeii in Italy, this small island was once the height of civilization, until an earthquake leveled it in the second century AD It was rebuilt and remained prosperous for many years before Arab invasions eventually led to its permanent abandonment. On many cruises you can visit the sunken city, and then spend a lovely afternoon in the harbor, overlooking Gokkaya.
Athens is usually the western most point for cruises from Istanbul, and provides a wonderful ending to a cruise. Athens, like Istanbul, is a modern city with a rich history. As you work your way up towards the Acropolis and the Parthenon, it feels as if you've gone back in time. You are drawn back thousands of years, back to the ancient Greeks, the civilization responsible for prompting Western philosophy, geometry and logic (not too shabby for a civilization, huh?). As you descend, you'll come upon the modern city, replete with dining, shopping, bazaars and the legendary Plaka District.
From Kekova, cruises continue to Olympos, an ancient ode to history. Olympos began its rise to fame around the time Kekova was destroyed by an earthquake (roughly second century BC). The town itself received its name from Mt. Olympos, which rises high above nearby. The locals worshipped the god of fire, who they believed was responsible for the ever present flames emerging from Mt. Oympos (the real culprit is a continuing supply of methane gas).
Whatever cruise you decide upon, try to include at least a mixture of civilization with beachcombing.
Source by Adam Costa