If you ever wanted to bargain, eat oriental food, and feel a little bit like a pirate, then chartering a gulet at the junction of two continents – Turkey – is a must. Gulets are charming wooden vessels with two or three tall masts that originate from Bodrum and Marmaris in Turkey. They are particularly popular for having a so-called Blue Cruise along the Turkish Riviera due to ideal sailing conditions.
Not only gulets can be chartered in Turkey. There is a plethora of boats that you can choose from when deciding to spend your sailing holidays in some of the Turkish regions. Monohulls, catamarans, motor boats, you name it! You can opt for a cabin charter, where you get your own cabin on a boat, or a private yacht charter for you, your family and friends. Whichever you choose, you are guaranteed to have an unforgettable sailing experience in the crystal-clear turquoise waters of this diverse country.
The majority of the already-mentioned Turkish Riviera is called the Lycian Coast, and is covered with rugged cliffs and settlements where you can spend your days. One of the most important sailing destinations here is Bodrum where you can shop until you drop. You will be able to get to know history of Turkey by visiting the ancient city of Halicarnassus and the medieval Bodrum Castle, after which you can relax in traditional Turkish baths.
Considered a fishing village, Marmaris becomes a popular tourist destination during peak months. The whole region has beautiful beaches situated in calm bays. Make sure to sail to the famous white-sand Cleopatra Island for full experience. Lively nightlife on the Bar Street in Marmaris will definitely keep you going during warm summer nights. Note that there are different kinds of festivals in the Mediterranean and Aegean resort town to suit everyone’s taste.
Another major destination is Fethiye with an enchanting harbor and the colorful Umbrella Street. Slightly more attracting is the Blue Lagoon in Ölüdeniz near by that is proclaimed one of the most popular beaches on the Mediterranean. Your sailing adventure will continue in the picturesque Butterfly Valley where you can get in touch with nature by simply relaxing on the beach, swimming and snorkeling.
Göcek is thought to be a perfect starting/ending point of the Blue Cruise due to unspoilt nature of 12 surrounding islands, beautiful beaches and hidden coves. You will immediately notice that the people are friendly, the food is delicious, the nature is bountiful, and the weather is warm. All this makes for a tourist season to last long.
When mentioning food, you can eat in taverns (meyhane) while listening to live music, or in fish, meat, pizza and kebap restaurants. Döner kebap/kebab, a dish known all around the world, and Turkish coffee that you drink in a few short sips are unavoidable when having your sailing holidays in Turkey. Some other meals and drinks you can try are grilled fish fillets in bread (bahk ekmek), bread rings with sesame seeds (simit), and a tonic made from fermented barley (boza).
Worth mentioning is that if you do not want to sleep on the boat the whole journey, Turkey offers accommodation options for any budget, be it campsites, apartments or hotels. We recommend you wake up in Istanbul and take a bit of the country back home by shopping jewelry, ceramics and carpets on the magnificent and one of the largest markets in the world – the Grand Bazaar.
Hopefully, we have sparked your sailing interest to plan your next sailing holidays in Turkey!