Simena Castle with a Gulet Cruise: Must-see destination in Mediterranean Turkey

If you have ever wanted to visit this magical corner of Turkey, known for the historical sights of Simena Castle and the Sunken City of Kekova, look no further. Hop on a gulet cruise to experience the majesty of both attractions. Private yacht charters, weekly gulet cruises, and smaller day trip boats can be found anchored around the the island of Kekova and the nearby coastal village of Simena (modern day Kalekoy), home to the magnificent Simena Castle. Many of these boats anchor for the day and passengers spend warm summer afternoons swimming in the clear water before riding ashore to Simena and attempting the steep hike up to the castle. Simena dates back to the 4th century BC and neighbors the charming village of Ucagiz. It is a very special experience to travel this area by gulet, the bays are sheltered and calm and serve as an ideal stopover for boats of any size.

Simena Castle

Simena is most commonly reached by boat but can also be accessed on foot via nearby Ucagiz. Simena Castle was built during the Byzantine period by the Knights of Rhodes and is a well preserved highlight of ancient Lycia. The walk to the top is steep and winds up a cobbled path lined with homes and shops filled with hand-made souvenirs. The climb is challenging but rewarding as the views from this dominant point are absolutely stunning. The turquoise water shimmers and is sprinkled with yachts headed both east towards Olympos and west towards the harbor town of Fethiye.  Inside of the castle, a small amphitheater with a capacity of approximately 300 people can be found and provides evidence that this was a minor settlement during Roman times.

At the bottom of the village, there are seaside cafes serving delicious Turkish food and fresh locally caught fish. If you are visiting Simena by land, there are also a few options for comfortable and affordable lodging.

Kekova, The Sunken City

Easily accessible by private yacht charter or cabin cruise, the Sunken City of Kekova is a unique destination along this yachting route. Known as Dolichiste during the Lycian era, Kekova island underwent various settlements, even following the earthquake that destroyed and sunk the town.

Kekova island is also a population day trip destination by boat from Kas, Demre, and Ucagiz. Although swimming is forbidden over the ruins, captains will slowly cruise just above the remains and passengers can take their time and admire from above. Swimming is permitted further west and tourists can snorkel close by the remains of a partly submerged Byzantine chapel.

Other Lycian Highlights of the Area

This part of Turkey is filled with ruins and thousands of Lycian sarcophagi can be found in the area. From Ucagiz, other ancient Lycian towns such as Isinda and Trysa can be easily explored. Ucagiz is a protected village and development is off-limits, preserving its quaint qualities and historical atmosphere. The village becomes very quiet at night once tourists return to their tour buses and gulets, making it an ideal place to spend a calm and relaxing evening.

However, it is hard to beat the experience of sleeping on a gulet that is anchored in one of the secluded bays of this region. With Yacht Charter Turkey, sleeping on deck beneath the stars while being slowly rocked to sleep by the evening waves is the perfect ending to a day filled with sun, swimming, and steep climbs to sensational views.

Reasons Why a Turkey Gulet Cruise is the Most Amazing Holiday Ever

Typically gulets are found cruising between Bodrum and Antalya and options are virtually endless for routes that cruise east and west along the coast and to the nearby Greek islands. Much of the coastline is untouched and uninhabited and the best way to explore the many serene bays and intimate beaches is via a traditional Turkish gulet. Blue Cruises, as they have come to be known over the years, are relaxing, invigorating, and provide plenty of opportunity to explore the local history and culture. Traditional style wooden gulet boats equipped with full kitchens and comfortable cabins provide the perfect environment to enjoy pristine bays and charming seaside villages. If you have yet to be convinced, keep reading to discover why a Turkey gulet cruise is the most amazing holiday ever.

That Mediterranean Blue

While planning a Mediterranean cruise, you are mostly likely daydreaming about crystal clear waters that reflect the brilliant blue of the summer sky. Your daydreams are sure to come true as you finally hop aboard your gulet and observe the environment you thought was only possible in doctored travel magazine photos. That Mediterranean blue is real and will have you weak in the knees throughout the entirety of your cruise.

Quiet Coves and Secluded Beaches

The Aegean and Mediterranean coast of Turkey is full of stunning coves and beaches. Many of them are isolated from any development and are only reachable by boat, making this a top reasons for choosing a gulet experience. It is likely that you can spend hours in a quiet bay, swimming, snorkeling, and relaxing and feasting on board without another boat or tourist in sight. This is a very private experience and is sure to bring you a sense of calm and tranquility that will sink in and last for days.

Turkish Cuisine

If you haven’t tried it before, you are in for a treat. Turkish cuisine is flavorful and fresh and gulets are known for the exceptional food that is prepared on board. Vegetarians will be especially impressed by the variety available to them for each meal of the day. Shopping for meals is done at local markets and breakfast, lunch, and dinner are prepared fresh each day. Village cheeses, local olives and eggplant, and freshly caught fish will make your stomach happy during your stay in this appetizing country.

Guaranteed Climate

It is safe to say that your blue cruise voyage will be sunny and warm as summer weather in this region is pleasantly predictable. Evenings are an especially enjoyable temperature and it is possible to even sleep on deck directly under the stars.

Sleep Where Your Eat, Sleep, Swim, and Play

To enjoy all that a blue cruise has to offer, you never have to go very far. After a sound sleep either in your cabin or on a soft cushion on deck, breakfast and coffee are served right on board. In fact, all meals are prepared and served on board and in between times, passengers have plenty of opportunity to swim, snorkel, or go ashore in the towns and villages where the gulets drop anchor. Everything about this type of holiday is at your fingertips, inviting simplicity and a stress free way to enjoy the Turquoise Coast.

Island Hopping

Island hopping is one of the highlights, particularly for cruises that depart to and from Bodrum or Marmaris. Aboard a blue cruise Marmaris, your gulet will tour the 12 islands and Bodrum cruise routes explore either the north or south Decocandese islands that are a part of Greece. If you are having trouble deciding whether Turkey or Greece is the destination for your next holiday, why not do both?!

Shore Excursions

Whether you are exploring isolated bays and beaches or any of the towns and villages along the coast, there is always reason to go ashore. Kas is a seaside town known for its charm and is the perfect stop along the Olympos to Fethiye route. Culture and history are always to be found in places like Kas, Demre, Gocek, and Fethiye. You will also likely have options to snorkel, scuba dive, kayak, of if you are an adrenaline junkie, parasail high above the panoramic Oludeniz Blue Lagoon.

Accessibility from Marmaris, Bodrum, Fethiye, and Olympos

Not only are gulet cruises relaxing, invigorating, and affordable with a hard to beat tropical backdrop, they are also incredibly accessible from many port towns along the Mediterranean and Aegean coast. This leaves you with little reason not to finally book your dream gulet cruise in Turkey. Explore your options and hop aboard!

Luxury Yacht Charters: Turkey to the Greek islands

On your next holiday in Turkey, why not hire a Turkish gulet charter to explore the coastline and nearby Dodecanese Greek islands? This gathering of islands sprinkled where the Mediterranean meets the Aegean is best explored via a Turkish gulet. Even better if you have the opportunity to charter your own and explore the islands at your pace and leisure. When planning your personal charter itinerary, you have the freedom to choose your port of departure and arrival. Luckily, the Greek islands are accessible from various ports which you can choose based on your interests and travel plans.

From Marmaris

Marmaris is another option for those desiring the views of the Datca peninsula, in addition to some of the Greek islands such as Symi and Rhodes. The Datca peninsula is a secluded stretch with over 80 kilometers of coastline. As tourists traveling on land prefer to stay at the more easily accessible nearby cities of Bodrum and Marmaris, Datca has remained relatively untouched by the development of tourism. By boat, you will be able to explore secluded coves and beaches, and truly have an intimate experience enjoying the natural beauty of the peninsula. From Marmaris is it also possible to explore the Greek islands of Symi and Rhodes. It is easy to even spend a few days on Rhodes, exploring the well preserved medieval city and perhaps taking a day tour of parts of the coast. Lindos is another city on the island, approximately 50 kilometers from the city of Rhodes and is also known for its ancient beauty as well as a vibrant nightlife.

From Fethiye

Symi and Rhodes are also accessible from Fethiye, a lovely port town located along the coast between Bodrum and Antalya. If you prefer to begin in one part while ending your cruise in another, feel free to get creative with your itinerary and travel from Fethiye, to the nearby Greek islands, and end your cruise in Marmaris, for example. This type of itinerary will allow you to explore more of the coast and perhaps even stay a night or two on land either before or after your chartered cruise. Fethiye is a beautiful town to explore and a few days could easily be spent wandering the old town and the markets and taking long walks along the harbor promenade before setting out to explore the beauty of the nearby Greek islands.

Before booking your luxury yacht charter from Turkey to the Greek islands, take some time to consider what port your group would prefer to depart from (and whether you would like to return to this same port or explore a new one). The opportunities for relaxation and adventure are endless and chartering a yacht for your next holiday may just be the best travel idea you have had yet.

From Bodrum

The standard routes from Bodrum are bound for either the north or south Dodecanese islands of Greece. The northern route includes the islands of Kos, Aspat, Leros, Patmos, Lipsi, Kalymnos, Pserimos, and Xerokampos. Kos is the largest of these islands and is situated only 4 kilometers from Bodrum. The island is known as the birthplace of Hippocrates although travelers find their way here for the sandy beaches and vibrant nightlife. The remaining smaller islands provide the perfect opportunity to explore Greek island culture through food, markets, and smiling faces found in the many charming villages. The southern island route includes Nisyros, Symi, and Rhodes. Symi and Rhodes are especially well known and are visited throughout the summer by travelers of all nationalities. Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands and Symi is known for its picturesque waterfront lined with colorful 19th century neoclassical homes.

Of course you can vary these routes according to the schedule and tastes of your group and the routes can even be combined if your time frame allows. Yacht charter Bodrum is an ideal option if you group is interested to not only explore the coastline and Greek islands, but also the local history of Bodrum itself.

Luxury Gulet Charter in Turkey: Read these tips

It may be overwhelming to choose from the array of Turkey Blue Cruise itineraries that are possible for your luxury gulet charter. These suggested steps will help to guide you through the process of choosing which charter is right for you and your group to create the perfect holiday experience.

  1. Consider Your Interests: Destinations and Activities

Are you seeking an active vacation filled with every spot along the coast that you have been dying to explore? Or is your group content with a private and calm experience that includes slow island hopping and days anchored in isolated and pristine bays? It is important to consider your interests before choosing the best route for your group.

There is plenty of history to explore via the many shore excursion options in towns, islands, and villages along the coast. Diving in Kas and paragliding in Oludeniz are highlights for those seeking a more adrenaline-filled holiday. Cruising between the many Greek islands in the area while also exploring the Turkish coastline is a great way to experience some of the best sites in both countries. A yacht charter Marmaris is the perfect launching point for exploring the stunning Datca peninsula and Fethiye is not only a beautiful town to explore, it is also the perfect place to start your cruise heading east towards Antalya.

  1. Arrival in Turkey

Your departure point may very well depend on where you land in Turkey. Cruises depart from many locations along the coast and depending on whether you choose to fly to Dalaman, Antalya or Bodrum, this could determine the starting point for your cruise. Bodrum is the best departure point for all Greek island cruises and any cruises departing from Marmaris. Dalaman is closest to Fethiye and Olympos is only a 1 ½ hour drive from Antalya.

You may even decide to fly into one airport and depart from another. This is the best option if you choose to cruise from Kemer or Olympos to Fethiye, for example. Flying into Antalya and out from Dalaman would be ideal in this situation. However, all airports are easily reachable from all cruise destinations, whether by local minibus or private transfer.

  1. Your Group Needs and Budget

When choosing your gulet charter itinerary, it is important to consider the time and budget you are working with. Depending on your budget and whether your group has 4 days or 2 weeks to spare for their summer holiday will greatly affect the route you choose. Here are some popular route examples, broken down by time frame:

4 day routes:

Fethiye – Marmaris

Fethiye – Oludeniz – Fethiye

Olympos to Fethiye

8 day routes:

Fethiye – Marmaris – Fethiye

Fethiye – Antalya

Bodrum – Gulf of Hisaronu – Bodrum

Bodrum – North Greek Islands – Bodrum

Bodrum – Gokova – Bodrum

14 day routes:

Marmaris – Kekova – Marmaris

Your group can choose from a long list of standard blue cruise itineraries or if you are feeling creative, you can combine destinations and create your own.

  1. Choose Your Gulet

Gulets range in size, services, and level of luxury. All are equipped with cabins, private bathrooms, and a full kitchen for daily preparation of meals for your group. Crews take pride in the exceptional cuisine provided on board. The size of your gulet will depend on the number of passengers and you are free to choose the level of luxury that best suits you.

Although the price tag of a private gulet charter may cost no more than a few nights stay at a luxury hotel, your private charter will give you the freedom to explore the beauty of the Turquoise Coast at your pace, all while including your accommodation and freshly prepared daily meals. To best explore the coastline, bays, and islands of Mediterranean Turkey, a luxury gulet charter is hard to beat.

 

 

Luxury Gulet Charter: Bodrum to the Greek islands

Sometimes the options for blue cruise Turkey are overwhelming with so many beautiful places to visit and explore. However, if you have decided to begin your journey in Bodrum, all that remains is planning your itinerary for visiting the nearby Dodecanese islands of Greece. The following islands are easily accessible and all stunning in their own unique ways. Depending on your time frame, it is possible to explore the majority of the islands, getting a very good taste for Greek culture in this region of the Aegean sea.

Kos

Kos is the largest of the northern Dodecanese islands and is known for its abundantly sandy beaches. The island is rich with Greek and Roman landmarks, including a castle, many temples, and a villa that boasts lavish mosaics. It is also one of the most fertile Greek islands and has three large protected areas for nature to flourish. The sunsets on Kos are an extremely beautiful sight and there are many vantage points around the island from which to enjoy this marvel. Busy cosmopolitan cafes and rustic taverns in the town of Kos are a perfect way to end your day after exploring the history and natural beauty of this island.

NORTHERN ISLANDS

Pserimos

A small island with only 80 reported inhabitants, Pserimos is an isolated island with a pleasant amount of charm. It is one of the smallest inhabited islands in Greece making it a unique stop along your gulet journey. Although small, Pserimos has a number of sparkling white sand beaches and a few tavernas with delicious local food.

Leros

Leros is a very mountainous and green island with many secluded bays and beaches to enjoy. You can rent a bike or explore the island easily by foot. Be sure to take a walk around Plantanos, the main city of Leros, and if you are feeling energetic, climb the 300 steps up to the Castle of Leros. The narrow streets and flower gardens make Plantanos a charming place to spend an afternoon ashore.

Lipsi

On Lipsi you can enjoy sandy beaches and explore the capital with its traditional white houses and local tavernas. Platis and Giolos beaches are particularly beautiful and provide the perfect place to relax and marvel at the crystal clear water.

Patmos

Patmos is another small island but is well known for its religious history. It is also a mythological phenomenon as it is known to have been a present from Zeus to his daughter, Artemis. You can easily spend an afternoon strolling around and exploring the local monasteries.

Kalymnos

After Kos and Rhodes, this is the 3rd most populous Dodecanese island. It is one of the wealthiest Greek islands and is known as the “sponge divers” island as sponges were once the main source of income for the island. With its dramatic mountains it is also a popular rock climbing spot year round, attracting climbers from all over the world. Pothia harbor is the capital of this island and is linked to other towns by a coastal highway with spectacular views.

SOUTHERN ISLANDS

Nisyros

Nisyors remains a peaceful island destination, relatively undisturbed by tourism. It is a private spot along the southern route, making it an ideal stop while en route to the larger islands of Symi and Rhodes. It is mostly famous for its young and active volcano but is also known for its picturesque villages and pristine local beaches.

Symi

Symi should definitely be included on your itinerary and have your cameras ready when approaching this harbor. The waterfront is lined with colorful 19th century neoclassical homes that have been originally restored according to strict regulations. There is also an annual music festival hosted here and if you plan it right, you might be able to stop over at the right time. On the opposite side of the island, there is a major Greek Orthodox pilgrimage site known as the Monastery of Archangel Michael Panormitis. Symi is incredibly charming and well worth the visit.

Rhodes

Be sure to reserve some time on your itinerary for Rhodes, the largest of the Dodecanese islands. As home to over 50,000 people, Rhodes has a vibrant downtown and plenty of nature to explore around the island. Lindos, another town approximately 50 kilometers away from the city of Rhodes, is worth traveling to either by organized tour or rented motorbike. The nightlife on the island is also a particularly fantastic so be sure to take a wander around after enjoying a relaxing dinner on board your gulet.

No matter which of the Greek islands you choose to explore while on your private blue cruise Bodrum, you are sure to enjoy all that this region has to offer. Relish in the beauty of Greek culture and delicious local cuisine. Soak in some sun and enjoy the incredible natural beauty of this unique area while enjoying the luxuries of a private Turkish gulet experience.

Check out Olympos Before or After Your Fethiye – Olympos Blue Cruise

If your next trip to Turkey includes a blue cruise along the magnificent Turquoise coast, be sure to take a few days to experience the wonders of Olympos before or after your voyage (cruises travel in both directions, to and from the charming port town of Fethiye). Only a 1 ½ hour ride from Antalya, Turkey’s 8th largest city, Olympos is easy to reach and full of things to see and do.

The ancient city of Olympos is a well-preserved representation of the past and is only a few minutes walk from a stunning beach with crystal clear turquoise waters. The secluded nearby village is full of affordable accommodation and home-cooked Turkish food. Olympos will easily prove itself to be one of the best decisions you made during your adventure in Turkey.

Getting There

Minivan rides from Antalya to Olympos are affordable and enjoyable, meandering along the coastal road with some magnificent views. If Olympos is the first stop on your Blue Cruise, this is the best way to arrive. Private cars can also be hired and your reserved accommodation in Olympos may offer this service. However, if you Blue Cruise ends in Olympos, the reverse trip is just as efficient. Similar minivan services are provided from other nearby coastal towns such a Kas and Demre.

Ancient City

Olympos was one of the ancient cities of Lycia and is ideally located in a river valley alongside the coast. The ruins are part of Olympos Beydaglari National Park and are open for exploration for a small fee (which also includes entrance to the beach). You can explore the ancient bathouse, amphitheater, and countless remains of buildings that served as communal areas, temples, and homes.

Olympos Beach

Olympos Beach is a long, stony stretch with the ruins of the ancient city on the west end and the hamlet of Cirali to the east. It is a pleasant destination year round and during the summer you can find it full with sunbathers, swimmers, and brave souls jumping from the nearby rocks that jut out high from the sea. Sellers walk back and forth, settling cold drinks and typical Turkish snacks of corn, mussels, and baked goods.

Unique Accommodation

Olympos is known for its backpacker vibe which has added to the preferred style of accommodation in the valley. Small bungalows known as tree houses can be seen along the main road that leads through town. Many offer AC, wifi, and two meals a day and provide the ideal break from long days in the sun.

Trekking, Watersports, & ATV Tours

If lounging on the beach is not of interest, Olympos has many options for those looking for a more active getaway. Olympos is full of mountain trails, perfect for trekking or ATVing with local guides. The 500km Lycian Way passes directly through Olympos and day hikers can follow the route to their liking. In town you can also find tours to the Chimera eternal flames located on a mountainside about 7 kilometers from Olympos. You will find options to do this hike in its entirety as well as to take a minivan ride for the majority of the way. Kayaking is also a great option when visiting the beach. By kayak, you can explore the coastline up close, discovering caves and ruins unreachable by land.

So if you leave a few days after your Fethiye to Olympos Blue Cruise (or vice versa), you will not regret your decision to stay and explore Olympos. It is a quiet and secluded getaway filled with history and natural beauty. This gem of southern Turkey is not to be missed.

Bodrum Blue Cruise: The top places and beaches to visit on a gulet

With so many beautiful places and beaches to explore, and Bodrum itself being a highlight of the area, blue cruises that traverse this part of Turkey are full of opportunities for adventure and relaxation.Many gulet cruise Turkey routes begin and end in this port town so leave a few days before or after your reservation to explore the rich culture and history that Bodrum has to offer. Bodrum was previously an ancient Greek city known as Halicarnassus. The castle of St. Peter overlooks the harbor and it partly constructed from the remains of a mausoleum that once stood in its place before it was destroyed by a devastating earthquake. Bodrum has an interesting mixture of the historical, the bohemian, and the modern. Take a water along the marina to the west or along a long stretch of beach lined with shops, cafes, and bars to the east.

Gulf of Gokova: Islands, Bays, and Villages

Gokova is an area full of must-see places, including Turkish islands, striking bays, and charming villages. The Seven Islands and Orak Island are remote and untouched and are ideal for diving, snorkeling, and wandering on land. The English Harbor is another hidden gem. It is a bay, lush with greenery and calm water that is perfect for swimming. Sedir Island is filled with ancient ruins and the sandy and relaxing Cleopatra beach where you can easily spend a day exploring. The ruins provide the atmosphere of an open air museum and you can walk around freely to discover the artifacts and ancient amphitheater. Karacasogut village is a popular stop along the coast. The village is only 25km from Marmaris and is a lovely place to explore the local  shops and cafes.

North and South Greek Islands and the Turkish Aegean Coast

Depending on which Bodrum gulet cruise you choose, the nearby Greek islands might be on your itinerary. Visitors have a choice between two major routes – through either the north or south Greek islands. These routes also make stops along the Aegean Turkish coast, creating the perfect combination of Greek and Turkish culture in one relaxing holiday. The northern gulet route travels to the islands of Kos, Aspat, Leros, Patmos, Lipsi, Kalymnos, Pserimos, and Xerokampos. The island of Kos is a highlight along this route, it is only 4 kilometers from Bodrum and is known as the birthplace of Hippocrates. Sandy beaches, rich history, and a vibrant nightlight attract visitors to the island throughout the summer. The remaining island stops along this route are filled with lush greenery, beautiful beaches, and local culture and history. Turgutreis and Aspat, both in Turkey, are also included on this route.. Turgutreis is the second largest city on the Bodrum peninsula and the climate is ideal for windsurfing. The beach here is also a great place to spend the day and many charming nearby villages are only a short minibus ride away. Aspat is one of these villages. Aspat Bay is a small and quiet place with a view reachable by a narrow path leading to a stunning panorama of the area. Hikers will love this stop and for those interested more in a relaxing time, the bay also has a small and secluded beach to enjoy.

The southern route also makes a stop at Kos but makes further stops at Symi and Rhodes, two very popular holiday destinations in the area. Symi is a small island, less than an hour from Rhodes. It has colorful buildings that have been restored according to strict regulations. It is a mountainous island and there is plenty of history and nature to experience.  Although it is ideal to visit Rhodes as part of a relaxing gulet cruise, it is also easily accessible by ferries making daily trips from Fethiye, Turkey. Rhodes is a much larger island with over 140 miles of coastline. The port town is full of restaurants, bars, and shops, with a castle and archaeological museum within walking distance. Be sure to join a tour group or rent a vespa so that you can explore the rest of the island and perhaps even the vibrant nightlife in the nearby town of Lindos.

Regardless of which route you choose, you are sure to enjoy your Bodrum Blue Cruise. All options include fabulous sights and food, and relaxing spots to enjoy the natural beauty that will surround you throughout each hour of the day.

Blue Cruise Routes to Take From Marmaris

As the largest harbor in Turkey, there are plenty of options for your Blue Cruise from Marmaris. Many cruises either begin or end in Marmaris, providing an ideal opportunity to explore this coastal town before or after embarking on your Mediterranean adventure.It is a bustling port town and has much to offer in the new center as well as in old town that surrounds the castle. Cruises depart and arrive daily and your options are limitless, particularly if you might be considering a chartered blue voyage for your private group. However, there are plenty of cabin cruises also available with predetermined routes that explore many of the following destinations.

Marmaris to Fethiye to Marmaris

This option makes various stops as the gulets head east towards Fethiye. Expect days filled with relaxing on board while exploring stops along the way such as Ekincik, Cleopatra’s Bath, Fethiye. the Yassica Islands, and Domuz Island. From Ekincik, there are two shore excursion options that will take you either to Dalyan or Kaunas where you can opt for a river boat trip or a few hours at the pristine Turtle beach where the Caretta sea turtles lay their eggs throughout the summer. Cleopatra’s bath was named after a wedding gift given to Cleopatra from the Roman general, Marc Anthony. The ruins of an ancient hamam still exist in this bay and can be freely explored.

Before turning around to return to Marmaris, this route makes a stop in Fethiye, famous as a mid-size port town with bustling markets, ancient Lycian rock tombs, and a beautiful harbor promenade. Be sure to enjoy a meal at the local fish market where fresh fish of any kind can be prepared to order. On your return to Marmaris, you will have the chance to island hop and explore the natural beauty that the Yassica islands and Domuz island have to offer.

Marmaris to Datca to the Greek Islands

This route combines the highlights of the Datca peninsula with visits to the Greek islands of Symi and Rhodes. Making stops at Bozukkale and Bozburun before continuing on to the Datca peninsula, there is endless culture and history to be experienced in this region as Bozukkale is home to the ancient city of Loryma and nine temples that visitors are able to tour. The 50 mile long Datca peninsula is the meeting point for the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. Because this pristine area is fairly difficult to reach by land (with many preferring to holiday in the nearby cities of Bodrum and Marmaris), this is a relatively untouched area with stunning natural beauty. There are plenty of hidden coves and beaches, only accessible by boat, and blue cruising is a fabulous way to enjoy this hard to reach places.

After Datca, your gulet will venture into Greek waters towards the Dodecandese Greek islands of Symi and Rhodes. Symi is the perfect place to watch the sunset and be sure to get out your camera while approaching the unique harbor with its 19th century neo-classical houses and pine covered hills. Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecandese islands and can be explored in a number of ways. The island boasts a large medieval city and tours from the city center can take you to beautiful spots located all around the 150 mile long coastline. The nightlife in the towns of Rhodes and Lindos are a great way to end your day after exploring historical sights and enjoying a delicious meal on board.

Marmaris to Gocek

This Marmaris Blue Cruise route makes many of the stops you are already familiar with, including Cleopatra’s Bath and the Yassica Islands. However, stops in Gocek, St Nicholas Island, and the 12 Islands are also included on this tour. Gocek is a small port town that has avoided overdevelopment from the tourism of this area. It is a quiet bay and although there is no beach, it is a great spot to anchor and swim from your gulet. If you do decided to ride ashore, there are a few charming shops and restaurants along the waterfront and an evening stroll could be a perfect way to end your day here. St Nicholas Island and the 12 Islands are untouched gems that are perfect for light trekking and snorkeling. St Nicholas Island is also known for its stunning sunsets so be sure to catch one before returning back to Marmaris.

All Gulet Cruise Options to Take from Bodrum

Bodrum is the blue cruising capital of Turkey and many routes can be explored via the fleet of gulet cruises you see filling the harbor. Bodrum is the beginning and end destinations for all of the following routes so be sure to take time to explore the town either before or  after boarding you blue cruise. If your travel plans in Turkey land you in this charming seaside town, be sure to hop on a scheduled or private Blue Cruise to experience the scenery of this exquisite part of the world.Cruises are available for all itineraries and budgets and experienced captains will expertly guide you through these hard to choose from routes. 

Gokova

For the perfect balance of small seaside coves and ancient ruins, this route through the gulf of Gokova is the perfect choice. Orak Island is the first stop and a well known diving spot in the area. You will find yourself surrounded by smaller boats on day trips with divers exploring the extraordinary underwater scenery. The island is famous for a vertical reef wall descending almost 80 meters. The island is also the perfect place for snorkeling or simply floating around in these crystal clear calm waters.

Your cruise on this route will then meander through the Seven Islands, an ideal place to anchor and explore the natural scenery. Lazy snorkeling and wandering around the preserved islands will fill your day at this stop. Karacasogut Village comes next on this route. Full of even more places to explore for nature lovers, the town center is a close distance to nearby waterfalls, swimming holes, and caves.

North Greek Islands

The Greek island routes are ideal for those seeking to include some of the sights in both Turkey and Greece. Although this route begins in Bodrum, the gulet will pass through the northern Greek islands of this region before returning to Turkey to make a few stops along the turquoise coast. With plenty of time to swim and snorkel in many of the bays in between, this northern route makes stops at the islands of Kos, Pserimos, Xerakampos, Leros, Platanos, Lipsi, Patmos, and Kalymnos before returning to Turkey. There is always plenty of time to explore what each of these islands has to offer. The island of Kos in particular is a highlight along this route, known for its historical sights and sandy beaches. The harbor is dominated by a 15th century castle and will come into clear view as you approach the island.

South Greek Islands

This yet another unique opportunity to explore the culture and scenery of two countries in one relaxing trip. The south Greek island route also includes the island of Kos, but makes additional stops at Nisyros, Symi, and Rhodes before backtracking along the Turkish coast in the direction of Bodrum. This Bodrum Blue Cruise option explores islands known as some of the most population summer destinations for tourists from all over the world.

Nisyros is a volcanic island and is still relatively untouched by tourism. It is a quiet island with quaint cobbled streets and a few local tavernas and bars to enjoy. Symi is just a few miles off of the Turkish coast and is know for the rows of colorful restored homes along the harbor. It is a mountainous island with many small coves and beaches to explore. Panormitis, a small village on the island is famous for monastery that is frequented by Greek tourists.

Rhodes

You can also choose this shorter route which highlights Rhodes and also makes a few stops along the Turkish coast in secluded bays perfect for snorkeling and spending the night.

Rhodes is the largest of the Greek Dodecanese islands and the main city is home to a population of approximately 50,000 people. The old town still maintains World Heritage status and with its cobbled streets and sunny cafes, it is the perfect place for a stroll to take in the sights and local history. From the city of Rhodes, many options for day excursions around the remainder of the island are available. Rhodes boasts 140 miles of coastline with villages and resorts spread all around. The nearby town of Lindos on the island is also worth a visit for its vibrant nightlife.

Standard or Luxury Gulet Charter in Turkey

Gulet cruises Turkey: private luxury charter or standard cabin cruise? How do you choose? Both can be equally as relaxing and at times there is hardly a price difference, depending on the time of year, size of the boat, and number of people you are traveling with. If you are traveling with a group focused on certain destinations, private charters are ideal. However, if you are single or a couple traveling and seeking a relaxing holiday with everything planned for you, standard cabin cruises may be just the right fit for your time in Turkey. The options are endless so here are a few ideas to narrow down your decision for your next holiday.

Standard Cabin Cruise

Standard cabin cruises are an affordable and relaxing way to explore the Turquoise Coast. Predetermined popular routes make this option a stress-free way to enjoy your holiday in Turkey.

Pros

  1. The planning is done for you. All you have to do is purchase your cruise and board the gulet on the day of departure.
  2. If you are traveling alone, as a couple or in a small group, this is the most affordable option. You are also likely to meet great people and maybe even make lifelong friends during your time cruising the coast.
  3. You are free from the obligation of hiring an entire boat.

Cons

  1. Cruising with new people could present a potential problems if interests among passengers are not aligned. That being said, most of the time is spent outdoors on deck or swimming, or on land excursions exploring various destinations.
  2. Itineraries are predetermined with no flexibility.
  3. Length of cabin cruises is predetermined and if you are looking to fill more than 4 or 5 days, it will be hard to find a cruise to your liking.

Luxury Gulet Charter

Luxury gulet charters are an affordable way to feel like VIP, with the utmost privacy for you and your traveling companions as you enjoy the wonders of the Turkish Mediterranean. Itineraries are flexible and determined by you, making this an ideal option for a family vacation, birthday celebration, or tropical getaway for you and your friends.

Pros

  1. If you are traveling with a larger group, this is often the most affordable and comfortable way to go as you will be traveling with people you know.
  2. You will have your choice of initial itinerary and your group is free to be flexible with the route along the way. For example, on a yacht charter Fethiye, you may decide to spend an extra night while anchored in Butterfly Valley while en route to Olympos or Antalya.
  3. Choose your menu! Charter passengers can review the cruise menu and make slight adjustments according to the tastes and/or diet restrictions of the group.
  4. The length of your cruise is also set by you, charters can range from 5 days to 2 weeks or more depending on the length of your holiday.

Cons

  1. This option can be more expensive and is only best for larger groups traveling together.
  2. There is more planning involved as you will be given suggestions for routes, but more effort will have to be taken on your part if there are certain areas your group would like to explore. Of course, blue cruise companies are extremely helpful and will assist in the planning every step of the way.

Whether you choose to hop on a cabin cruise or plan out your perfect family getaway aboard a luxury gulet charter, your holiday in Turkey is sure to be a success. With crystal clear turquoise waters, secluded bays and beaches, picturesque islands, and vibrant seaside villages and towns, blue cruising in Turkey is a holiday that is hard to beat. Weigh your options and determine what is best for your next holiday. We will be waiting!