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MAX SHORE: 24-Night Hidden Histories and Pamukkale Hot Springs

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MAX SHORE:

24-NIGHT HIDDEN HISTORIES AND
PAMUKKALE HOT SPRINGS

BEYOND THE ORDINARY

Experience a signature, 24-night MAX SHORE itinerary navigating 19 ports and 7 countries. Start in Odessa, Ukraine and sail for 7 days heading into Russia before arriving in Istanbul, Turkey. Explore archaeological wonders and sink into the hot springs of Pamukkale with our COMPLIMENTARY, 4-day/3-night land immersion. Delve into lesser known sites of Sardes, Aphrodisias, Hierapolis and Sagalassos. Drive to Kepez to rejoin the ship and continue sailing for 14 days, exploring Turkey and Israel before disembarking in Jerusalem.

Like all other Atlas Ocean Voyages expeditions, our signature MAX SHORE itineraries are All Inclusive All The Way, with land packages that include COMPLIMENTARY inland transportation, accommodations, meals, and tours. It’s truly a vacation within a vacation.

If you’d prefer to stay on board between sailings and call World Navigator your home while in Istanbul, that’s a good choice, too. To make it easier, all local shore excursions are COMPLIMENTARY in this port when you purchase a back-to-back sailing.

ALL INCLUSIVE ALL THE WAY

Roundtrip airfare • Top-shelf beverages • Elevated accommodations • Butler service for suites • In-room indulgence: Enjoy L’Occitane products • Self-care on us with yoga, mat Pilates and Spinning®️ • Enriching classes • A Complimentary adventure in select ports • Gourmet international dining • Prepaid gratuities

MAX SHORE:
24-Night Hidden Histories and Pamukkale Hot Springs

Aug 04, 2021 / 24 nights

World Navigator

Base Rates
Starting FROM $14,799 per person

*Government Taxes and Fees are additional.

Aug 04 Odessa, Ukraine Depart: 8:00PM
Odessa, Ukraine

From catacombs to sunny beaches, Odessa holds an array of environments that appeal to any type of explorer. It is a city that balances the quaint with the extraordinary.

The port city of Odessa sits along the southern coast of Ukraine on the shores of the Black Sea. Founded by Russian empress Catherine the Great, the relatively new city contains modern history of its establishment dating back to the 14th century.

However, the settlement that existed in its stead in ancient times led to Odessa’s great diversity, influenced by the cultures of the Greeks, Tatars, and Turks. Steeped in such varying cultures, Odessa developed a unique aura that you can still feel today as you wander its countless, winding streets.

Deribasovskaya Street exudes a carnival vibe, brimming with shops and restaurants that bring a colorful energy to the city. Its cobblestone paths, now only open to pedestrians, pulls you into the city’s history and beckons you to find more treasures amidst its 19th century buildings and markets.

The iconic steps of the Potemkin Stairs, renowned from cinematic history, appear to stretch up into the horizon. But in reality, they lead to the port’s entrance where an unparalleled view of the Black Sea’s gulf greets the adventurer hungry for more than local cuisine.

Speaking of eating, a visit to Odessa is not complete without sampling the city’s fresh sea food fare. Dishes like bichki (bull fish) and Black Sea mussels in white wine, cream, and herbs entice you with their delectable aromas and mouthwatering flavors.

Aug 05 Cruising the Black Sea
Cruising the Black Sea

Spend the day on the high seas pampering yourself at the spa or enjoying some time on deck. Mingle with your fellow explorers and swap stories of your exploits, making plans for new ones together once you get to shore.

Aug 06 Novorossiysk, Russia Arrive: 8:00AM Depart: 6:00PM
Novorossiysk, Russia

The Port of Novorossiysk at Tsemes Bay greets travelers with both a city skyline and breathtaking mountains before they disembark on a journey to the past. The city of Novorossiysk in Russia has roots that date back to the Paleolithic era, giving visitors a chance to walk in the footsteps of prehistoric mankind.

An architectural combination of historic design and contemporary structures proves that this Black Sea city pays homage to the past without getting stuck in it. Monuments and memorials scattered throughout the city’s parks and plazas pay tribute to its history and offer explorers a glimpse into its past.

On the outskirts of Novorossiysk you will find picturesque landscapes, with views of the North Caucasus Mountains that expand further than the eye can see. If you venture into the mountain range, you will come across the enchanting Lake Abrau, the largest and purest lake — and vineyard — in the region. Here you can develop a taste for Russian sparkling wines at the historic Abrau-Durso winery.

Not far from there lies Durso Beach, a popular site for lounging among the stone shore and playing in the pristine waters. The surrounding view of cliffs dotted with green foliage makes for a great photo opportunity. While the beach is often bustling with life, its location feels more remote and off the beaten path.

Back at the port, the ship lights shining against the bay waters create a sparkling scene that mesmerizes even the most veteran explorers. There is no better sendoff than that.

Aug 07 Sochi, Russia Arrive: 7:00AM OVERNIGHT
Sochi, Russia

Sochi has gained a reputation as the Russian Riviera, as it contains more villas, parks, palm trees, and yachts than the rest of the country. A walk among the palm trees of the Arboretum will make you believe you have somehow been transported to a tropical paradise. That’s because Sochi is the only city in Russia where you experience five climate zones.

The riches of the parks filled with magnolia and cypress take you back to nature and create a sense of peace. Out in Sochi National Park you can truly get away from the busyness of day-to-day life and surround yourself with the hush of the forest.

The quiet rush of small waterfalls as they flow into the lakes and stones below make the soundtrack of your journeys. Snowcapped peaks from the Western Caucasus mountain range form the backdrop of your adventures.

Along the outskirts of the city lie ancient ruins from Byzantine times. Stepping through the stones of Loo Temple and Godlik Fortress takes you to a past before the noise and bustle of city life ever existed. Although the trees and nature continue to grow around the remains of these structures, they have not been lost to time.

Sochi is alive and vibrant, rich in history, art, and culture. At every turn through the city there is something new to discover and immerse yourself in, whether it’s a shop full of local Russian wares or restaurants tantalizing you with delicious aromas. The blazing colors of the city at sunset will fill you with awe and wonder.

Aug 08 Sochi, Russia Depart: 9:00PM
Sochi, Russia

Sochi has gained a reputation as the Russian Riviera, as it contains more villas, parks, palm trees, and yachts than the rest of the country. A walk among the palm trees of the Arboretum will make you believe you have somehow been transported to a tropical paradise. That’s because Sochi is the only city in Russia where you experience five climate zones.

The riches of the parks filled with magnolia and cypress take you back to nature and create a sense of peace. Out in Sochi National Park you can truly get away from the busyness of day-to-day life and surround yourself with the hush of the forest.

The quiet rush of small waterfalls as they flow into the lakes and stones below make the soundtrack of your journeys. Snowcapped peaks from the Western Caucasus mountain range form the backdrop of your adventures.

Along the outskirts of the city lie ancient ruins from Byzantine times. Stepping through the stones of Loo Temple and Godlik Fortress takes you to a past before the noise and bustle of city life ever existed. Although the trees and nature continue to grow around the remains of these structures, they have not been lost to time.

Sochi is alive and vibrant, rich in history, art, and culture. At every turn through the city there is something new to discover and immerse yourself in, whether it’s a shop full of local Russian wares or restaurants tantalizing you with delicious aromas. The blazing colors of the city at sunset will fill you with awe and wonder.

Aug 09 Batumi, Georgia Arrive: 7:30AM Depart: 5:00PM
Batumi, Georgia

The city of Batumi contains the sprawling diversity of charming, historic towns to cosmopolitan waterfront promenades. In recent times, it has become known as the Mini Las Vegas of the Black Sea. Its big city feel comes alive with blazing, colorful lights along the night sky horizon coming from its spectacular and unique buildings.

A climb to the top of the 130-meter Alphabetic Tower rewards you with impressive views over the city and out to the Batumi Seaport. The nearly aerial view gives you a glimpse of the zones where the past and present meet within the city’s architecture and design. A sea of colorful rooftops makes for a splendid sight as you take in the breadth of Batumi.

Becoming absorbed in real Georgian life happens naturally as you wander the side streets and courtyards. Passing the locals as they stand on their apartment balconies and listening to the residents’ conversation as you make your way through the city makes it easy to immerse yourself in this world, becoming more than an outsider looking in.

Batumi’s old town district contains the quintessential look and feel visitors often associate with the 19th century. The narrow, cobblestone streets juxtaposed with modern-day vehicles invoke the sense of a city that lives in the present while keeping the memory of its past alive.

Grand architecture at Europe Square in this district brings to front of mind the question: What is Batumi’s story? There is much yet to discover.

Aug 10 Sinop, Turkey Arrive: 2:00PM Depart: 10:00PM
Sinop, Turkey

With thousands of years of history dating back to ancient times, Sinop holds an array of ruins for the venturous traveler to explore. According to legend, the Amazons of mythology founded the port city of Sinop, named for their queen Sinova.

Lying on the southern coast of the Black Sea, this city resides on the Ince Burun isthmus linking Turkey’s mainland to the Boztepe Peninsula. On its southside lies a high mountain range covered in lush forest, locking it away from the Anatolian Plateau. Modern apartments and complexes also rise from the mountain grounds, giving way to the realization that Sinop is a city alive and in the present.

From the ancient citadel to Sinop Castle and Sinop Archaeological Museum, the city’s many historical sites give visitors a chance to imagine themselves into a time long past. Weathered stones tell the tales of a people who have come a long way.

The sight of Greek-style houses built into the mountains, dotted with trees scattered throughout, brings to front of mind the influence of other cultures in Turkey as it is known today. As you make your way between well-worn homes, shops, and restaurants, you may get a whiff of sweet Turkish treats like baklava or ekmek kadayifi, a bread pudding with Ottoman origins.

Sit for a spell in a local eatery to savor the flavors of Turkey’s most renowned dishes, like islama, a traditional favorite that combines flaky phyllo dough with chicken broth topped with shredded chicken or turkey, crushed walnuts, and butter.

Aug 11 Amasra, Turkey Arrive: 9:00AM Depart: 5:00PM
Amasra, Turkey

As explorers make their way through the likes of Amasra Castle, a ninth-century church, and the archaeological museum, they can reach out and touch the past, just at their fingertips. The Black Sea port town of Amasra, located in the ancient region of Paghlagonia, holds centuries of artifacts and history to satiate the most curious of minds.

Its position straddling a peninsula between two bays made it an important strategic location throughout its history. An old Roman bridge closes the gap between Amasra and a rocky island, making it more remote than most other tourist attractions. Legends of the city tell story of a secret tunnel leading from Rabbit Island to a church once used as a monastic retreat.

Stepping out of the past and into the present, you will find yourself surrounded by crystal blue waters and evergreen mountains. Along the coast of the small village Kapisuyu lies a relatively remote beach where the pristine scenery of Turkey abounds. For a truly authentic dive into Amasra, you can mingle with the residents and hear their stories as you share the local fare.

Fresh seafood is never scarce in this seaside town. Plenty of restaurants offer a fresh, daily dish of fish by the portion. Adventurous foodies must sample the hamsi, anchovy, cooked in several different ways throughout the country. It is a local favorite and can be found in any Amasra restaurant. Unique, new flavors run wild across the palate as explorers get a real taste of Turkish cuisine.

Aug 12 Istanbul, Turkey Arrive: 9:00AM OVERNIGHT
Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul’s combination of religious history and vibrant, cultural influences make it a dream destination for the most experienced travelers. Throughout its history, many empires have ruled in Turkey. The influences of Roman, Egyptian, Byzantine, and more remain apparent in the city’s architecture, art, and traditions. Straddling the Bosphorous Strait, the narrow passage that joins the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, Istanbul has connected trade and culture between Europe and Asia for millennia.

You will want to stop at the Grand Bazaar to get a true feel for the present-day culture of the city. Filled with merchants, artisans, and authentic wares, the bazaar provides a vibrant backdrop for a little holiday shopping. The rush of locals haggling back and forth to get the best prices will sweep you up in the energy of the people and make you want to join in.

For the traveler that wants an intimate experience with Istanbul’s traditions, a visit to a hamam, the famous Turkish baths, fits the criteria. The city has transformed the historically Roman baths into spa-like sites for the modern explorer’s needs. Structures crafted from shining marble give these baths a classic look and feel with contemporary amenities, bringing together the best of both past and present.

Some of the most beautiful architecture in Istanbul is found in the mosques. These sacred spaces filled with centuries of religious history inspire awe with their colorful paintings and intricate patterns throughout the interiors. Their grand appearances from the outside also create a striking view when roaming the bustling streets of the city.

Aug 13 Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul’s combination of religious history and vibrant, cultural influences make it a dream destination for the most experienced travelers. Throughout its history, many empires have ruled in Turkey. The influences of Roman, Egyptian, Byzantine, and more remain apparent in the city’s architecture, art, and traditions. Straddling the Bosphorous Strait, the narrow passage that joins the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, Istanbul has connected trade and culture between Europe and Asia for millennia.

You will want to stop at the Grand Bazaar to get a true feel for the present-day culture of the city. Filled with merchants, artisans, and authentic wares, the bazaar provides a vibrant backdrop for a little holiday shopping. The rush of locals haggling back and forth to get the best prices will sweep you up in the energy of the people and make you want to join in.

For the traveler that wants an intimate experience with Istanbul’s traditions, a visit to a hamam, the famous Turkish baths, fits the criteria. The city has transformed the historically Roman baths into spa-like sites for the modern explorer’s needs. Structures crafted from shining marble give these baths a classic look and feel with contemporary amenities, bringing together the best of both past and present.

Some of the most beautiful architecture in Istanbul is found in the mosques. These sacred spaces filled with centuries of religious history inspire awe with their colorful paintings and intricate patterns throughout the interiors. Their grand appearances from the outside also create a striking view when roaming the bustling streets of the city.

Aug 14 Istanbul, Turkey Depart: 6:00PM
Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul’s combination of religious history and vibrant, cultural influences make it a dream destination for the most experienced travelers. Throughout its history, many empires have ruled in Turkey. The influences of Roman, Egyptian, Byzantine, and more remain apparent in the city’s architecture, art, and traditions. Straddling the Bosphorous Strait, the narrow passage that joins the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, Istanbul has connected trade and culture between Europe and Asia for millennia.

You will want to stop at the Grand Bazaar to get a true feel for the present-day culture of the city. Filled with merchants, artisans, and authentic wares, the bazaar provides a vibrant backdrop for a little holiday shopping. The rush of locals haggling back and forth to get the best prices will sweep you up in the energy of the people and make you want to join in.

For the traveler that wants an intimate experience with Istanbul’s traditions, a visit to a hamam, the famous Turkish baths, fits the criteria. The city has transformed the historically Roman baths into spa-like sites for the modern explorer’s needs. Structures crafted from shining marble give these baths a classic look and feel with contemporary amenities, bringing together the best of both past and present.

Some of the most beautiful architecture in Istanbul is found in the mosques. These sacred spaces filled with centuries of religious history inspire awe with their colorful paintings and intricate patterns throughout the interiors. Their grand appearances from the outside also create a striking view when roaming the bustling streets of the city.

Aug 15 Kepez, Turkey Arrive: 7:00AM Depart: 8:00PM
Kepez, Turkey

Kepez leaves much room for imagination as its rich culture gives way to legend and history, where the lines between the two often overlap. From Troy to Gallipoli, Turkey beckons the curious to explore its deepest reaches.

Approaching the shores of seaside town Kepez, a line of historic structures on the horizon greets travelers as they arrive and bids them farewell when they depart. But beyond this view, the Turkish city holds a great deal of modernity that any explorer can appreciate for its contemporary history. From here, those filled with wanderlust can venture to the likes of Troy and Gallipoli.

The land of myth and legend no longer resides in history as archaeologists have brought to life Troy’s storied past, made accessible to the present. A walk through the ancient stone columns of the 3,700-year-old city will make you feel like you just witnessed the battle between Paris and Achilles. As you catch sight of the monument commemorating the famous Trojan horse, it’s impossible not to feel a sense of victory.

Over in the Gallipoli Peninsula, a more hushed aura surrounds the region’s history and its role in World War I. At the Gallipoli Campaign Historic Site you will find monuments and memorials that honor the Allied defeat. It’s a place of pilgrimage for many who wish to pay their respects for the lives lost to the battle. Along the Anzac Cove, where the troops landed for their campaign, the soft lap of the water against the rocks and shore brings you back to that fateful moment in history.

Aug 16 Bozcaada, Turkey Arrive: 8:00AM Depart: 6:00PM
Bozcaada, Turkey

Bozcaada Island, also known as Tenedos, offers spectacular views of the cerulean Aegean Sea. Rocky coastlines lead to lush vineyards, of which cover one-third of the island, where fun-loving travelers can tour the wineries and wine cellars. A gateway to the Canakkale Province, the third largest island of Turkey begs explorers to come and play.

From the white, sandy beach shores and diving into the crystal-clear Aegean waters, a diverse array of underwater flora invites you to see more beneath the waves. That’s why so many visitors spend so much time snorkeling the island’s coast, discovering all the ocean has to offer.

Beyond the shores and making your way to town, whitewashed houses in the Greek style decorated with vibrant foliage line the narrow, cobblestone streets. This idyllic scene makes a leisurely stroll through town well worth the steps on the pedometer. A gentle breeze under the shade of trees in an alleyway between restaurants entices wanderers to stop for a bite to eat and to bask in the scenery with a glass of wine in hand.

As you take the road to Canakkale, you get closer to myth and legend than ever before. In the city center lies the replica Trojan horse from the star-studded film Troy. Sadly, a Brad Pitt appearance is not guaranteed. But you can still dive into the seaside city’s culture and history by stopping for dinner at a local restaurant and enjoying the catch of the day directly from the Dardanelles Strait.

Aug 17 Dikili, Turkey Arrive: 8:00AM Depart: 6:00PM
Dikili, Turkey

Rich history and ancient ruins. Sandy shores surrounded by mountain ranges. Hot springs and mud baths. The coastal town of Dikili, Turkey offers plenty of off-the-beaten-path hot spots for travelers seeking more than the average vacation.

Lying on the coast of the Aegean Sea, Dikili’s panoramic views include blue as far as the eye can see with the expansive sight of the surrounding Madra Mountains, dotted with lush forest. Venturing past the shores, the streets of the Turkish town mix cobblestone paths with modern roads, for a charming combination of past and present one would expect of a small town.

For a true journey to the past, you must go where the western Anatolia and the Aegean converge: Pergamon. This UNESCO World Heritage Site abounds with ruins, stones, and columns that stayed behind from the sprawling city that once claimed the site. An ancient amphitheater carved directly in the mountains takes you back in time to spark your imagination.

Many find their way to Dikili for the thermal springs and healing mud baths. The country’s unique geography makes this miraculous feature possible. Slipping into pure relaxation and bliss has never been so easy. While a mud bath might sound counterintuitive, there is something about the activity that brings you back to childhood, playing in the dirt without a care in the world.

Aug 18 Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey Arrive: 8:00AM Depart: 11:45AM
Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey

Making port in the coastal resort town of Kusadasi from the Aegean Sea, travelers are greeted by a castle on Pigeon Island surrounded by lush, green trees. The causeway along the route connects this lone island to the mainland of Kusadasi, where visitors will disembark to begin their exploration of Turkey.

Picture this: marble ruins of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World right before your eyes. Through the rubble you gaze upon the impressive Temple of Artemis. This is the experience of Ephesus, a UNESCO-listed, 4,000-year-old city located in Selcuk that is considered the best-preserved classical city of the eastern Mediterranean.

Countless historical sites and ruins abound in the region, from the Basilica of St. John to the House of the Virgin Mary. A visit to Ephesus makes it easy to step into the past and imagine life among the locals in times before. Nothing invokes that feeling more than the ruins of the Library of Celsus, an ancient Roman site where its namesake is buried in a crypt beneath it.

This archaeological zone still buzzes with activity, as archaeologists continue to dig through the ruins and discover its secrets. To walk among the excavations as scientists continue to unearth the site’s remnants makes it hard not to get swept up in the history.

Standing amid the ruins, beyond the excavations, stretching far and wide before your eyes is Ayasuluk Hill. Dotted with palm trees and other foliage, the site creates the perfect picture of the region’s mild climate, making it a vacation haven.

Aug 19 Patmos, Greece Arrive: 8:00AM Depart: 10:00PM
Patmos, Greece

The “Holy Island” of Patmos holds religious history as the site where St. John wrote the Book of Revelations. With quintessential whitewashed houses in the Greek style and iconic windmills against a backdrop of blue skies, the Sacred Land of the Aegean also offers breathtaking panoramas that will impress the most experienced travelers.

Venturing over to the Cave of the Apocalypse amid the hills between Skala and Chora, you get a whole new view of the countryside. As the golden sun hits the Monastery of St. John over the rich, brown stones and hillside, it’s easy to see why this is a sacred land. Constructed in the Byzantine style, its stone walls and turrets call to the explorer with a thirst for knowledge.

Sunny skies and the quiet rush of waves from the Aegean Sea over sandy shores make Patmos the perfect destination for a lazy beach day. The mountains ranges of Greek islands dot the horizon, making it an ideal scene for a photo op. As the sea breeze blows through your hair, whether you’re playing in the water or laying on the sand, it brings a sense of utter relaxation.

Along the seaside village you will find an array of restaurants with the fresh catch of the day. Whether you’re indulging in a hearty meal full of Greek flavors and favorites or simply stopping for a cup of coffee along the boardwalk, the sleepy little town gives you the chance to slow down, mingle with the locals, and get an intimate feel of life on a Greek island.

Aug 20 Bodrum, Turkey Arrive: 8:00AM Depart: 6:00PM
Bodrum, Turkey

From its sunbathing corners shaded by olive groves to gourmet cuisine and a lively night life, Bodrum has been deemed the St. Tropez of Turkey. The vibrant city has become a celebrity hot spot for a getaway away from prying eyes.

Located along the southern coast of Bodrum Province, this town offers vistas of deep blue sea that only the Aegean Sea can provide. Whitewashed houses mixed with the more colorful buildings reaching up into the hills creates a magnificent sight that calls travelers to come further explore the city’s shores.

Further into the backstreets and side paths of Bodrum, you pass between the iconic Greek style houses adorned by brightly colored flowers and lush foliage. These narrow streets and paths beckon with the sense of adventure and taking the road less traveled.

From the street markets and into the Bodrum Bazaar, you get the chance to test your haggling skills as you shop among the locals for fresh herbs and produce. The spice markets of Bodrum tantalize with a rainbow of colors and fresh, aromatic scents that drift through the air as you peruse the stalls for what will become part of your next culinary adventure.

Fresh seafood abounds at the restaurants along the waterfront. Savory smoked mackerel fillets send a whiff of pure deliciousness through the air that will make your nose lead the way. If you have a sweet tooth, then lokmasi is the way to go. These deep fried dough balls submerged in syrup will leave your mouth watering for more once the very last one is gone.

Aug 21 Marmaris, Turkey Arrive: 8:00AM Depart: 6:00PM
Marmaris, Turkey

At the intersect where the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas meet lies the Turkish town of Marmaris. Stunning vistas of deep blue ocean and sky surrounded by expansive mountain ranges dotted with lush green make this city an absolute heaven on earth. Sandy beaches dotted with multicolored umbrellas along the water’s edge invite travelers to stop for a moment and take in the wonder.

As soon as you step on shore the sight of Marmaris Castle, built around 1044 B.C.E., greets you. The path that leads you to the castle lies on a stone road between whitewashed houses with vibrant flower decorations. Interspersed within the castle’s stone walls stand tropical palms, creating a juxtaposed image of ancient history with paradise vibes.

Throughout the town, structures range from the iconic Greek style to brick paved houses and streets. But all paths wind their way through the city, giving you plenty of corners to explore and discover away from crowded areas. Between adventures you can stop at one of the many tavernas to grab a kebab or indulge in a piece of baklava or kunefe. You may get pulled into conversation among the friendly residents while you’re there.

In the evening, the musical dancing fountain provides a fantastic spectacle that will bring out your inner child. Located in the heart of the Marmaris town center, many visitors stop for a few minutes to catch the show. Colorful lights synchronized with music and a spewing fountain make for a delightful performance to forever keep in your memory.

Aug 22 Fethiye, Turkey Arrive: 8:00AM Depart: 6:00PM
Fethiye, Turkey

Along Turkey’s southwestern Turquoise Coast lies the perfectly blue-green lagoon of the beach at Oludeniz in Fethiye. The rocky coast dotted with green shrubbery amid the remote, ocean backdrop makes the perfect spot to do a cannonball into the water and grab an epic picture.

The former ancient city of Telmessos transformed into Fethiye holds thousands of years of rich history and culture. The ancient ruins of Lycian society and a Roman theater strewn over the mountains spark a sense of adventure as your imagination runs wild of what life must have once looked like among the stone structures and columns.

Amid the 86,000 square meters of Butterfly Valley you can mingle with over 100 species of these gossamer beauties. A cascading waterfall in the background runs into a gentle river that waters the butterflies’ native habitat, the chaste trees. Between the nature preserve and forested mountains, Fethiye’s environment enchants and enthralls with its breathtaking views.

The city’s Old Town creates the perfect backdrop for wandering through the bazaars where you can haggle with the locals for their goods and wares. When your appetite opens up, there are plenty of restaurants to stop and grab a kebab, mezes, or fresh-caught seafood.

The sweet and savory flavors of dishes like yogurt with herbs and garlic or hot pepper, walnut and tomato crush mix on the palate for a feast you are not soon to forget. Along the seaside promenade lies a feast for the eyes as well as the sun sparkles on top of the water.

Aug 23 Kekova Island & Demre, Turkey Arrive: 8:00AM Depart: 6:00PM
Kekova Island & Demre, Turkey

Amid the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea lies the uninhabited Kekova Island, also known as Caravola, still bountiful with raw nature. Between stony shores and dotted green hills remnants of a former Lycian society give visitors a glimpse into the world’s first democratic federation.

The sunken ruins of a Byzantine church, visible in Tersane Bay, add an air of mystery around an already remote paradise. But don’t forget — no swimming allowed.

However, kayaking and snorkeling off the coast of Kekova Island is allowed. Lying along the Teke peninsula on the Mediterranean coast amid the backdrop of the Tauras Mountains, the town of Demre allows you to go further into history with the ruins at Myra. Stone pillars and temples carved into the mountain rocks give the impression of a society long past but still alive.

The tomb of Saint Nicholas, most famously associated with Santa Claus, in the ancient city has become a popular pilgrimage for many travelers. There is even a statue of the saint in the main square of Demre that offers an opportune photo op for those that are tickled by the legend of jolly old Saint Nick.

The modern town of Demre consists of wide acres of farmland. But on the outskirts of today’s Demre still remain the abandoned Greek settlements from so many years ago, giving an eerie feel of a ghost town. Kekova Island and Demre lie so far off the beaten path that very few travelers get to explore their storied pasts and bask in their present wonders.

Aug 24 Paphos, Cyprus Arrive: 8:00AM Depart: 5:00PM
Paphos, Cyprus

Considered the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite, Paphos contains enough prehistoric archaeological sites rich in the real and the mythical to satiate the most curious of minds. The vast Archaeological Park and Tombs of the Kings, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, offer a playground of ancient stones and ruins to let travelers’ imaginations run rampant with life from as far back as the fourth century B.C.E.

Overlooking the impossible blue hue of the Mediterranean Sea from Cyprus’ southwest coast, Paphos offers spectacular vistas of horizons filled with white, sandy hills. Tropical palms mixed with old castles create the backdrop for this picture-perfect destination that is made for exploration.

Paphos does not get mired in its past, though. A modern waterfront filled with shops, restaurants, and hotels makes it ready to greet travelers looking for everyday conveniences. Visitors can stroll along the brick-paved promenade and watch local fishermen bring in the catch of the day. A cool sea breeze from the coast creates an idyllic scene to sit for a spell at one of the cafes.

Cypriot cuisine makes an impression on every traveler. With influences coming from across three continents and various cultures, the flavors of this island’s food range from Greek to Turkish to Middle Eastern. Those who take a trip to Cyprus cannot leave without trying its signature cheese dish, halloumi. Letting the salty cheese run wild against the palate is best enjoyed with a glass of Cypriot wine.

Aug 25 Masada (Ashdod), Israel Arrive: 9:00AM OVERNIGHT
Masada (Ashdod), Israel

The port of Ashdod acts as a gateway to the powerful history of the Holy Lands. A pilgrimage along the expansive scenery along the Dead Sea takes you to Massada: an ancient fortress and ruins that hold great significance in the Jewish religion. Overlooking the remnants of the past Jewish rebels’ stone houses from which they fled slavery, solemnity takes hold under the blazing desert sun.

The trek to the summit of Massada begins either on the zig-zagging Snake Path or the easier Roman Ramp. The walk along these paths offers stunning views of golden sun over brown, stone hills as far as the eye can see. But if walking is not your speed, then you can ride the cable car up from the eastern entrance of the national park for an equally amazing vista.

Below the ancient fortress lies the lowest point on Earth, the Dead Sea, where you can float weightlessly for an experience like none other. The silky smooth waters flow over your skin creating a pleasant sensation that makes it impossible to tell that you are still bound to the earth.

Out in the quiet desert of the Mitzpe Ramon nature reserve, a deep blue-black sky filled with twinkling stars surrounds you with a sense of wonder. As you gather around a crackling fire at your campsite with new friends, basking in the crisp, cool night, you cannot help but be overwhelmed with the pure magic created by a perfect night for stargazing.

Aug 26 Masada (Ashdod), Israel Depart: 8:00PM
Masada (Ashdod), Israel

The port of Ashdod acts as a gateway to the powerful history of the Holy Lands. A pilgrimage along the expansive scenery along the Dead Sea takes you to Massada: an ancient fortress and ruins that hold great significance in the Jewish religion. Overlooking the remnants of the past Jewish rebels’ stone houses from which they fled slavery, solemnity takes hold under the blazing desert sun.

The trek to the summit of Massada begins either on the zig-zagging Snake Path or the easier Roman Ramp. The walk along these paths offers stunning views of golden sun over brown, stone hills as far as the eye can see. But if walking is not your speed, then you can ride the cable car up from the eastern entrance of the national park for an equally amazing vista.

Below the ancient fortress lies the lowest point on Earth, the Dead Sea, where you can float weightlessly for an experience like none other. The silky smooth waters flow over your skin creating a pleasant sensation that makes it impossible to tell that you are still bound to the earth.

Out in the quiet desert of the Mitzpe Ramon nature reserve, a deep blue-black sky filled with twinkling stars surrounds you with a sense of wonder. As you gather around a crackling fire at your campsite with new friends, basking in the crisp, cool night, you cannot help but be overwhelmed with the pure magic created by a perfect night for stargazing.

Aug 27 Jerusalem (Haifa), Israel Arrive: 9:00AM OVERNIGHT
Jerusalem (Haifa), Israel

On the plateau of the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and Dead Seas lies one of the oldest cities in the world. The very atmosphere of the ancient city of Jerusalem is heavy with solemn energy and sacred history. Along the northern slope of Mount Carmel lies the port city of Haifa, where your pilgrimage begins to a land filled with religious significance.

Atop Mount Carmel, the view gives way to a sprawling, modern city complete with skyscrapers and contemporary constructs. Often called “Israel’s San Francisco,” Haifa contains a bustling city alive with workers and residents as they go about their daily lives. Filled with museums and cultural events, Haifa boasts a rich and vibrant backdrop for even the most experienced traveler.

But the true jewel of the city are the Bahai Gardens, an oasis with Italian stone, fountains, emerald lawns, and vibrant flowers sloping down 19 steep terraces to a resplendent dome shrine that makes up the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Out at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, a hushed reverence falls over the place of prayer, a site rife with emotion. Walking through the old stone corridors of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, you cannot help but get mired in the history of this sacred city that holds significance to many major religions.

Venturing to the outskirts of the city, you find the Mount of Olives, where some of the oldest olive trees in the world still stand. The Garden of Gethsemane provides another holy site, with a backdrop of lush green to feel the embrace of nature.

Aug 28 Jerusalem (Haifa), Israel
Jerusalem (Haifa), Israel

On the plateau of the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and Dead Seas lies one of the oldest cities in the world. The very atmosphere of the ancient city of Jerusalem is heavy with solemn energy and sacred history. Along the northern slope of Mount Carmel lies the port city of Haifa, where your pilgrimage begins to a land filled with religious significance.

Atop Mount Carmel, the view gives way to a sprawling, modern city complete with skyscrapers and contemporary constructs. Often called “Israel’s San Francisco,” Haifa contains a bustling city alive with workers and residents as they go about their daily lives. Filled with museums and cultural events, Haifa boasts a rich and vibrant backdrop for even the most experienced traveler.

But the true jewel of the city are the Bahai Gardens, an oasis with Italian stone, fountains, emerald lawns, and vibrant flowers sloping down 19 steep terraces to a resplendent dome shrine that makes up the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Out at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, a hushed reverence falls over the place of prayer, a site rife with emotion. Walking through the old stone corridors of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, you cannot help but get mired in the history of this sacred city that holds significance to many major religions.

Venturing to the outskirts of the city, you find the Mount of Olives, where some of the oldest olive trees in the world still stand. The Garden of Gethsemane provides another holy site, with a backdrop of lush green to feel the embrace of nature.

MAX SHORE:
24-Night Hidden Histories and Pamukkale Hot Springs

24 nights

Call your Travel Advisor or one of our Voyage Specialists at 1-844-44ATLAS (28527) for more information.

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