Chartering a Gulet for a Fascinating Turkish Yachting Adventure
The Turkish coast is one of the most fascinating and picturesque destinations to explore on a gulet, a classic wooden sailing boat. The southern Turquoise Coast in Turkey is a favourite among charterers around the Eastern Mediterranean for its style and richness.
A gulet is a traditional wooden sailing boat that originated in Turkey. These boats are popular among people who want to spend their holidays on the sea due to their style, elegance and comfort. Crewed by experienced locals who are passionate about Turkey, these boats offer an unforgettable voyage, with the possibility of exploring the Greek islands from Bodrum and other areas.
The southern Turquoise Coast of Turkey offers a wide variety of cruising options, from the Gulf of Gokava to the Datca Peninsula, past the ancient city of Knidos, where the Aegean and Mediterranean seas converge. Knidos is a historic, once-prosperous port that dates back to 400 BC. Its remains include the temple of Aphrodite and an 8000-seater Hellenistic theatre, which is now popular among visitors.
As you sail towards the Bozburun Peninsula, you may dip your toes in Greek waters and visit Symi, a charming, cosmopolitan island. Charter yachts are exclusive to it because it is not easily accessible to the masses. Another exclusive experience is Bozukkale Bay with its three private boat-access-only restaurants. You can savour delicious Turkish cuisine in the setting of azure blue waters and lush green landscapes. On the hill, you will find Bozuk Buku Castle, which boasts fascinating history and a captivating story that your local captain can elaborate.
After enjoying cruising and sightseeing, you can relax and let the crew pamper you with a collection of water toys onboard the gulet. You can choose from power toys such as jet skis and tenders with towables, and leisurely options such as stand-up paddle boarding and snorkelling gear. Your onboard chef will serve your favourite dishes and local cuisine you are excited to try, with a selection of your chosen beverages.
As the sun rises on a new day, your gulet can set sail towards Marmaris, a fishing port which is now a popular destination with the largest charter yacht marina. Marmaris has an old quarter that is buzzing with restaurants, bars and bazaars, and from its 15th-century Ottoman battlements, you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the harbour. You can also take a pedestrian-only walk along the promenade that goes all the way from the marina to the quiet beach resort of Icmeler.
A short sail south brings you to Ekincik Bay, a perfect anchorage spot that has a delightful restaurant in the nearby village. The Delta Dalyan offers an opportunity to transfer to a riverboat that can cruise to the ancient city of Caunos via the haunting rock tombs. Dalyan means ‘fish trap’, and the delta is teeming with Mullet and Bass that swim upstream to provide a catch of the day for local restaurants. You can witness the Loggerhead Sea turtles if you visit Turtle Beach, a narrow spit of land that forms a natural barrier between the freshwater delta and the Mediterranean and is the primary breeding ground for the Loggerhead Sea turtles. Your crew can organize a riverboat tour or excursions to any other inland destination.
The charter season for Turkey runs from April to October and peaks in July and August when the weather is at its hottest. If you prefer cooler days, then April, May and October offer comfortable temperatures, fewer crowds and warm seas perfect for water sports, snorkelling and diving.
Sunscreens, good hats and cover-ups are essential since the sun in Turkey is hot and potentially dangerous, particularly on yachts where there is a tremendous amount of reflected light. Most yachts offer advice, planning and protection suitable for use onboard.
Charter vacations offer flexibility and choice for everyone on board. If some of your party are fed up with history and culture, the next stop at Ölüdeniz and its famous blue lagoon is sure to enthral. It is one of the Mediterranean’s best beaches, and its unique panoramic views and soaring Babadağ Mountain make it an ideal destination for paragliding. Watersports are a big part of the charter experience, and your crew will know how to make the most of them onboard.
If you are a passionate diver or want to learn from the world’s best diving waters, then Turkey is an ideal destination. Three of the best dive sites are south of Gocek: Kaş offers a variety of diving opportunities, with several wrecks, lively aquatic fauna, and an ancient underwater landscape. The waters around Fethiye offer an archaeological wonderland with caves, tunnels, caverns, and wrecks in abundance. Akfule, or Aladdin’s Cavern, is a popular area to see coral and other colourful formations plus an old shipwreck teeming with marine life. Kalkan has around 20 dive sites located around the bay’s mouth with rocky reefs, stunning walls and wrecks that offer something different every time you visit. Look out for turtles – they are the species divers delight in seeing the most.
The bustling towns of Gocek and Fethiye offer shopping, sightseeing, and dining experiences. Gocek retains its charm due to its strict planning regulations against overdevelopment, and its four marinas host visiting yachts from all around the world. Bazaars and boutiques are concentrated along the main street, while an eclectic selection of restaurants offers fine dining experiences or more rustic local cuisine. Fethiye is also a popular destination for yacht charters thanks to its magnificent marina, the ancient Lycian rock tombs that are built there, and the modern town’s vibrant nightlife.
Finally, after all of the exploration and adventure, you can end your journey by celebrating a special event or simply enjoying the final sunset dinner while soaking in the memories of your friends and your charter vacation. The crew will provide lasting memories of genuine Turkish hospitality and send you home with unforgettable experiences that you will always treasure.