Blue cruising is synonymous with relaxation. However, there are a few spots along the turquoise coast of Turkey that will invite an exceptional level of calm into your life. Far from the maddening crowds, these destinations are sure to having you feeling calm and relaxed after just a few hours on board. All of these locations are reachable by boat and in fact, the most relaxing way to enjoy these places is on board a Turkish gulet. Days can be spent exploring charming villages and pristine beaches while evenings and nights are spent on board with delicious meals and a peaceful night’s sleep gently rocking with the waves.
Butterfly Valley is an incredible canyon that reaches up to almost 2,000 meters above sea level. The cliffs are steep and the beach at the bottom of the canyon is only accessible by boat (or by an incredibly steep foot path), making this one of the most relaxing spots along any Turkish gulet blue cruise route. The valley is home to various species of butterflies, giving it its fitting name. You can easily fill your day here with relaxing time on the boat, a short swim to shore, sunbathing on the beach, and walks around the area to explore the local flora and fauna. The beach is never crowded due to its hard to reach location and the water is typically very calm. Spending the night in this bay is spectacular. Sunset bring cooling colors of purple and blue and sunrise gives way to brilliant oranges, yellows, and reds with the rising morning sun. The stars are also a magnificent sight. A day and night spent at Butterfly Valley is sure to rejuvenate and relax as the sounds of nature and the sea transport you to a secluded and peaceful place, both in mind and body.
Surrounded by mountains and stunning scenery, Gocek is yet another beautiful and peaceful destination. Gocek is a uniquely quiet place, relatively untouched by tourism due to the lack of swimmable waterfront. However, when traveling by boat, sunbathing and swimming is always an option on board, allowing passengers to enjoy this bay for everything else it has to offer. Rustic waterside restaurants and a small town with shops and bars will give you plenty of reason to go ashore and explore the waterfront. Gocek is protected from overdevelopment and has managed to remain a tranquil town in a gulf surrounded by mountains, islands, and calm waters.
This picturesque town provides the perfect opportunity to slowly re-enter civilization after days of solitude in quiet bays along the coast. It is a small town with an unhurried ambiance and is the perfect place to wander cobblestoned streets and stop for a coffee in one of the waterfront cafes. There are some historical sights including an amphitheater and mountainside cliffs toms. Quaint shops with locally made souvenirs, jewelry stores, and art galleries line the small streets and there are plenty of dimly lit bars to enjoy an evening drink after a meal aboard your gulet. Kas has a vibrant but calm atmosphere is a welcoming break from the larger nearby cities of Antalya and Fethiye.
Symi is a Greek island accessible only by gulet or ferry from other nearby Greek islands. It is known for its striking harbor filled with colorful homes that create the atmosphere of a perfectly painted traditional Greek village. This is a popular stop along gulet routes that begin and end in the port town of Bodrum. Symi is an ideal way to experience Greek culture, history, and food and the peaceful evening atmosphere is a perfect ending to a day spent exploring ruins, cypress forests, and a few of the 120 local wine presses.
Cleopatra’s Bath (Hamam Bay)
If you opt for a Marmaris gulet cruise, be sure that your route makes a stop in this spot where Cleopatra once came to bathe. As legend has it, a Roman bath was constructed in this spot for Cleopatra by Marc Anthony as a wedding present. Remains of an ancient hamam still stand here and are open to visitors to explore. The medicinal water in this bay is infused with the minerals from a nearby thermal spring. This is an extremely quiet and peaceful spot and will prove to be a perfect break, especially after spending time in the bustling harbor town of Marmaris.