Feel the privilege of a Blue Voyage on the Turkish Riviera

SENA ALKAN @senaalkan
Published 28.05.2016 00:00
Feel the privilege of a Blue Voyage on the Turkish Riviera

For those who want to feel the luxury of sailing on the turquoise Turkish Riviera, Turkey offers amazing Blue Voyage options like historic cruises and gulet cruising

Compared to the Italian Riviera and the French Riviera, Turkey is more affordable without making any concessions on quality when it comes to a vacation. While it is affordable for people who are looking for an economical Riviera, it is also a magnet for multimillionaires' mega-yachts due to its marinas and coasts. During your sailing adventure, there are also many fantastic spots for underwater diving activities.

With turquoise waters, historical ruins and well-kept bays on the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts, it is known as heaven on earth. While it seems that there is a Riviera almost everywhere, Turkey is definitely one of the countries that deserves the "Riviera" title. Sailing on its Riviera is referred to as a "Blue Voyage," taking its name from a writer known as the Fisherman of Halicarnassus who introduced this term to express his love of Anatolia's vivid blue seas.

Every year, hundreds of tourists come to embark on these Blue Voyages and discover the many natural wonders. Some rent a private yacht and cruise along the coast from the Aegean Sea in the west to the Mediterranean Sea in the south. What makes these cruises different from others around the world is probably the gripping feeling one experiences sailing east and west, south and north, to finally meet in a perfect spot: Turkey.

There are numerous historical remains along Turkey's coast, and most of them have been well protected for years. For those who want to experience history and modernity, rush and serenity together, then a Blue Voyage is a lavish activity that you should not miss during your stay. While on a cruise, nature gives you a chance to catch what you miss in fast-paced city life: Lie on the deck at night and wink back at the stars, while listening to the water lap against the yacht.

On a Blue Voyage, gaze at the sea for hours, swim in the water, sleep and sunbathe, do yoga or entertaining activities organized by a special crew. You can also try the nearby canoes and engage in adventure sports like water skiing and jet skiing when your yacht is anchored.


This Blue Voyage combines two countries with the same vivid blue sea. Starting in Bodrum, the cruise heads toward the Greek islands. The first stop is Rhodes, a Greek island in the eastern Aegean Sea. Rhodes is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and, needless to say, is a World Heritage Site. From Rhodes, the cruise heads toward the Greek island of Symi. Being part of the Rhodes regional unit, Symi has a picturesque view that seems to transcend beauty.


Focusing on the Mediterranean coast, this eight-day Blue Voyage allows you to discover the best-known tourist destination in Turkey: Antalya. When the cruise begins, you see the elegant Antalya marina and all its yachts anchored in the Mediterranean Sea. You drop anchor in the Bay of Kekova and then head toward Kaş, one of the most untouched tourist spots in Turkey where you can experience more than 25 incredible diving sites in one of the world's top 100 diving destinations. Apart from yacht cruises, there are traditional gulet cruising options in traditional handcrafted wooden gulets that have a capacity of 15-20 people; most have various itineraries as well as private touring options. Gulet cruising is considered a luxury holiday, not because of the price but because all-inclusive gulets make you feel at home on the sea away from the summer crowd. Beaches are always full of foreign and local tourists, making it hard to find a sunbed, so gulet cruising is the best option if you want to have dinner at sea with friends with no distractions except for the stars and moon. To experience a dreamy vacation, gulet cruising along the Aegean and Mediterranean coastlines is the way to go.


The Göçek-Kekova Blue Voyage, which starts in Göçek and ends in Kekova, brings you to famous destinations, such as Ölüdeniz and Demre, which is accepted as the birthplace of St. Nicholas. In Ölüdeniz you can watch paragliders, while enjoying a swim. Kekova, which has been nominated for the UNESCO Tentative World Heritage List, has bays, islands and the historical remains of Lycian settlements, such as Teimioussa and the sunken city of Simena. The Kekova region was declared a Specially Protected Area in 1990 to protect its nature, culture and geography. In ancient times, Kekova was a small fishing village, but after hosting many different civilizations, Kekova is now one of the top tourist destinations in the country.


From Göçek, a small town in the southwestern province of Muğla's Fethiye district, sail on a 15-day nonstop tour to discover the hidden secrets and fascinating views of the coasts. Then visit the Datça Peninsula with its many small bays and coves. When your tour finishes, your yacht anchors in Bodrum, the most well known touristic spot on the Aegean coast and filled with many tourist attractions, beautiful beaches, historical sites, luxury hotels, restaurants and intensive nightlife. Described as "the land of eternal blue," Bodrum attracts a diverse population of holidaymakers who stroll along its long palm-lined waterfront as elegant yachts crowd the marina.

Gulet cruising

Many gulet cruises are marketed under the name Blue Voyage, and the teams know how to maintain a balance between life on the water and in port since many tours last more than five days. If you plan to go on a Blue Voyage, either select one of the scheduled itineraries or ask the captain to create a new route in accordance with your schedule. Special routes are generally created when a private gulet is rented. When you sail on the Turkish Riviera, you see many isolated bays, marinas and lively holiday destinations. The time is predetermined if you choose one of the specified routes, but there are more alternatives on private charters. You can also choose a gulet from a variety of options from luxurious large gulets to smaller ones.

Mini cruises

If you do not have time to spend more than three or four days at sea, you can take a mini cruise in the Aegean. Compared to other cruises, you can't spend a long time in marinas or bays, but they take you to the most renowned holiday destinations. To visit hidden spots that can't be reached by car, hire a private gulet for a three or four-day mini cruise.

Historic cruise tours

Sailing on a gulet allows you to see historical sites, particularly Greco-Roman sites in the Aegean. These tours make you feel as if you are traveling on a traditional gulet during Byzantine and Ottoman times. Itineraries 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 much more. Choose your own destinations if you hire a private charter. You can also combine a Blue Voyage with visiting historical sites and hiking the famous Lycian Way on the Aegean coast.

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