A Mediterranean adventure: Gulet sailing on the Turkish Riviera
by Sena Alkan
ISTANBULAug 01, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Sena Alkan
Aug 01, 2015 12:00 am
Sailing on a traditional gulet is the perfect way to enjoy the summer with your loved ones on the sea and under the sun. For those who want to feel the luxury of sailing on the Turkish Riviera and soak up the sun and sea, Turkey offers an amazing Blue Voyage on a traditional gulet
Gulet cruising on the waters off Turkey is one of the best ways to explore the Aegean and Mediterranean atmosphere of the country at the same time. Turkey offers you not only to soak up the sun and sea but also feel the luxury of sailing on the Turkish Riviera.
You may have tried to stay at hotels, camping or uing RV facilities during holiday adventures, but none of them have the amazing joy of sailing on a traditional wooden Turkish gulet. Hand-crafted gulets in Turkey are renowned as you see many of them in marinas along Turkish coastlines. They have a 15 to 20-person capacity and most of them have different itineraries to try as well as private touring options.
Preferred mainly by sea-lovers whose holiday understanding is to commune with the sea, Gulet cruising, also known as Blue Voyages, are also on the top of the list of couples who are looking to get away from the crowd and families who want to spend some time together.
Gulet cruising in Turkey is considered luxury holiday, but not because the price, but because the all-inclusive gulets make you feel at home on the sea away from the summer crowd. Turkish beaches are always full with foreign and local tourists making it hard to find a sunbed, so gulet cruising is the best option if you want to have a dinner at sea with friends and see nothing distracting except for the stars and moon. To have a dreamy holiday, gulet cruising on Aegean and Mediterranean coastlines is the way to go.
Many gulet cruises in Turkey are marketed under the name Blue Voyage and the teams in Turkey knows well how to keep the balance between life on the water and at port since many of the tours are more than five days. If you are planning to go on a Blue Voyage you can either select one of the scheduled itineraries or ask the captain to create a new route for you in accordance with your time schedule. The special routes are generally created when a private gullet is rented. When you sail on the Turkish Riviera, you will see many isolated bays, marinas and lively holiday destinations.
The time that you spend there is pre-determined if you choose one of the specified routes, but there are more alternatives on private charters. You can also choose which gulet you want from among many different options from luxurious large gulets to smaller ones. Compared to the Italian and French Rivieras, Turkey is more affordable without making any concessions to quality. While it is affordable for people who are looking for an economic cruise, Turkey is also a magnet for multimillionaires' mega yachts, who are attracted to the marinas and coasts.
During your sailing in Turkey there are also many fantastic spots for diving activities. Here are some Blue Voyage tours for that Turkish Riviera experience.
The Göçek-Kekova Blue Voyage starts from Göçek and ends in Kekova.It will let you see famous destinations, including Ölüdeniz and Demre, which is thought to be the birthplace of St. Nicholas. Ölüdeniz is an attractive spot for paragliding where you can watch paragliders while enjoying a swim.
The last destination will be Kekova in the southern city of Antalya. Kekova is a region that boasts mesmerizing islands and is among the nominated sites on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. Kekova includes bays, islands and historical remains of Lycian settlements, including Teimioussa and the sunken city of Simena. The Kekova region was declared a Specially Protected Area in 1990 to protect the region's nature, culture and geography. In ancient times, Kekova was a small fishing village. Today, having been home to different civilizations, Kekova is one of the top tourist destinations in the country.
Focusing on the Mediterranean coast, this eight-day Blue Voyage will allow you to visit and discover Antalya, the most well-known tourist destination in Turkey. While you are starting off on your cruise you will see the elegant Antalya marina and all its yachts anchored in the Mediterranean Sea. You will drop anchor in the bay in Kekova and then head toward Kaş, one of the most untouched tourist spots in Turkey, which sport diving activities. With more than 25 diving sites, it is one of the most suitable places for diving in the country and is included in the world's top-100 diving destinations.
From Göçek, a small town in the Fethiye district of Muğla province, you can sail on a 15-day nonstop tour to see some hidden secrets and fascinating views along the coast. Göçek, with six significant marinas, is a great, eye-catching destination to start a cruise. When you start the cruise in Göçek, you will visit the Datça peninsula, lined with small bays and coves. When the 15-day tour finishes, the gulet will anchor at Bodrum, probably the most well-known tourist spot on Turkey's Aegean coast. It is filled with many tourist attractions, beautiful beaches, historical sites, luxury hotels, restaurants and an intense nightlife. Described as "the land of eternal blue," Bodrum attracts a diverse population of vacationers who stroll along its long palm-lined waterfront as elegant yachts crowd the marina.
This Blue Voyage encompasses two countries with the same vivid blue sea. Starting from Bodrum, the cruise heads toward the Greek islands. The first route of the cruise leads to Rhodes, a Greek island in the eastern Aegean. From Rhodes the cruise heads to Symi of Greece. Being part of the Rhodes regional unit, Symi has picturesque views that seem to go beyond true beauty.
If you do not have time to spend more than three or four days on the sea during your stay in Turkey, you still have an option to sail on a mini cruises starting in the Aegean. Compared to other cruises, it is not possible for you to spend longer times in marinas or bays, but they basically take you to the most renowned holiday destinations. If you would like to see hidden spots that are not possible to reach by car, you can also hire a private gulet and take three to four day mini cruises.
Historic cruise tours
Since Turkey has many historical sites on its Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, sailing on a gulet also allows you to see historical sites. The most renowned among these historical cruises is the combination of Greco-Roman sites in the Aegean. The historical cruise tours make you feel as if you traveled to the past on the traditional gulets, which were also used during Byzantine and Ottoman times. The itineraries of the historic Blue Voyage includes the ruins of Ephesus in the western province of İzmir, the white marble city of Aphrodisias, Didyma, the city of Caunus, the Carian city of Alinda and many more. You can also choose your own destinations if you hire a private charter. You can also combine your blue voyage with visiting historical sites and hiking the Lycian Way, which is one of the most famous historic destinations on the Aegean coastline.