What might be left on your bucket list of vacations in these Covid times? Have you ever thought about a cruise along the beautiful Turkish coast on a (mini) yacht, e.g. a gulet, sailing ships that can accommodate 2 (honeymooners e.g.) or 30 people (a year group, an association or a family reunion) and everything in between. So consider a ´small ship cruise´, as they sometimes call it.
According to connoisseurs, and I am certainly not one of them, it would be better to classify me as an admirer who has only seen a small part of it myself, the Turkish coast is one of the most beautiful coasts in the Mediterranean to sail with a small ship. Tiny harbors where you can get out for a walk in the wild, visit historical sites, see an amphitheater from Roman times or small sandy beaches where the kids can have a great time.
Gulets along the Turkish coast
A gulet is a two-master sailing ship that has since outgrown its function as a fishing boat and has become very popular with the small ship cruising public. Although sailing is great fun, especially if you want to make stunning photographs, the ships are mainly driven by diesel engines. They go out for three to five hours a day and then anchor at a nice spot to give the shipmates an opportunity to enjoy nature, the water, the sun or a cocktail.
With literally thousands of ships to choose from, your homework comes first: choosing the right ship with the right crew and the right place to cruise. The latter, of course, depends mostly on your preferences, but let me give you a few suggestions.
Bodrum, Marmaris, Fethiye, Antalya, Kas, Hisaronu, Datca, Bozborun, Oludeniz, Kalkan, Dalyan, Gokova, Bencik....to name just a few very nice places. You can google them all and they all have their own special charm. Each of them has an interesting past and wonderful centers to explore. Shopping is especially fun in Antalya and Bodrum.
If you like nature, Kekova and the bay of Gocek are great. Patara beach is a staggering 18 km of long sandy beaches, while Kaputas beach is a small bay between the towns of Kas and Kalkan, sandwiched between steep and jagged cliffs. Ask your skipper to point out the most beautiful beaches and he will surely know them better than I can tell you.
The Lycian hiking trail
The trail is over 400 km long and is also known as Likya Yolu. They are ancient paths through fragrant pine forests, along winding paths in small fishing villages, or to ruins of settlements on hilltops with their roots in mythology that have breathtaking views of the beautiful turquoise Turkish coast. The trail, or small sections of it, that you can do from a landing spot, is truly an incredible experience.
Are you familiar with Turkish cuisine? You may consider this an integral part of your trip, but I just have to mention it. Turkish food is one of the most surprising in the world and it would be a shame if you didn't try it. Plenty of fresh vegetables, fish obviously and rice are the main ingredients, but the way they are prepared is a unique blend of Mesopotamian cuisine, Greek cuisine, Levantine cuisine, Egyptian cuisine, Balkan cuisine and Mediterranean influences that together became the heritage of Ottoman cuisine. All of which will be prepared for you on board while you enjoy another dip in the crystal clear waters.