A stunning cruise on a traditional gulet that makes every second enjoyable and awe inspiring. Explore ancient ruins with exceptional backdrops that look like they are straight from a painting.
When you think of Turkey and cruising you would probably think of an ocean liner visiting a number of countries along the Mediterranean Sea. However, Turkey has been running a different type of cruise and every year more and more people are booking as soon as they can.
Gulet cruises are drawing people to unique holiday destinations. Gulets are traditional boats that have been made in places like Istanbul and Fethiye for generations. As popularity has increased so did the number of boat yards making them. These gulets started out as working boats for ferrying cargo or fishing. However, do not mistake their humble beginnings; new gulets are being fitted specifically for tourism and companies like Alaturka Cruises make holidays on these types of vessels a reality.
The cruises often embark on short four or five day journeys, but this does not mean that they are lacking in the quality of destinations explored along the way. The Turkish coastline is full of ancient and natural wonders that should not be missed. In addition, the harbors where these cruises depart from and arrive to are often worth visiting themselves.
The modern gulet is made to be luxurious and comfortable whilst maintaining its rich history. The rooms are ideally sized to give enough space on, board especially as most people spend their days relaxing on deck. As another highlight, it is also possible to sleep on deck – bringing up the bedding from the room and sleeping under the stars while listening to the sounds of water gently splashing the shore.
The Turquoise coast is famous for its crystal-clear waters and natural untouched islands. While the natural beauty is a huge draw for these tours there are also many historical locations to experience. Ancient ruins such as the Sunken City just outside of Kekova are a stunning site to see. This historic city that once flourished was unluckily hit by a major earthquake that destroyed the town and sunk a section which can now be seen from aboard your gulet.
Some islands have a wonderful balance of natural and historical sites. St. Nicolas Island was designed to have this balance as it was built as a place of worship but the natural beauty was not destroyed to make way for it. Since then, nature has regrown among the ruins and visitors can take a walk around this small island that has the backdrop of Gemiler beach and the Aegean Sea.
Those islands that have been left virtually untouched often have some superb swimming areas. While the coast is famous for all of the islands off the coast there are also many bays that are only reached by boat. Butterfly Valley has become famous for this very reason. Butterfly Valley is a protected area of land for the preservation of the butterflies from which it has earned its name.
What cruise would be complete without some amazing food such as traditional dishes served fresh for each meal. This includes breakfasts consisting of freshly cooked eggs, cold meats, jams and other Turkish preserves, bread, as well as some fresh light salad items. These meals are especially made to be filling but not too heavy so that passengers can still swim after their meal. Other meals vary between fresh barbecued fish or an option of meat, with traditional Turkish mezes that are gorgeous in flavour and make you want to come back again and again.