The Turquoise coast is an area in the south-west of Turkey. Natural beauty and fascinating historical locations are combined with a blend of modern comfort. This blend has been carefully managed to allow for nature to continue flourishing while remaining open for visitors to have comfort during their holidays.
Many holidaymakers stay in hotels and either walk or take a taxi to nearby destinations. This type of holiday is somewhat limited as there are many highlights of Turkey that are most easily reached by boat. Fortunately, Turkey has an alternative, off-the-beaten path option which allows to visitors to experience the best that the Turquoise Coast has to offer.
Gulet cruise companies utilise this traditional boat model which was once used by local tradesmen for their specific needs, such as sponge diving or as a fishing trawler. These boats have maintained their traditional design while new ones are being remodelled to create a luxurious space for visitors seeking a unique kind of cruising holiday. The interior design is authentic but given a modern clean edge, using polished wood with some traditionally Turkish colours. The deck has been repurposed with spacious sunbathing areas and a comfortable dining section.
While the gulets themselves are comfortable and ideal for a relaxing vacation, the Turquoise coast itself also has much to experience. Traveling this beautiful part of Turkey present travellers with options of many routes to enjoy. https://www.sailturkey.net offers different high-quality itineraries which aim to show off some of the best attractions as you journey along the coast.
A popular choice is the Fethiye to Olympos route. Heading out from the harbour town of Fethiye towards the famous beach of Oludeniz where you can try paragliding which is one of the most exciting activities that you can choose to add on to your itinerary. Paragliding is a great way to see all of Oludeniz and the well-known Blue Lagoon, both of which are usually used as the poster landmarks of this region. Once back on board it will be time to depart for the next location, Butterfly Valley.
Butterfly Valley and St Nicholas Island
Butterfly Valley was named after the butterflies that use this secluded valley to breed and live. This valley is a perfect place for them to use as it can only be reached via sea vessel. Therefore, the human impact is only slight when compared to other bays along the coast. When exploring the area, you may find the two waterfalls that descend from the clifftop and gracefully disappear into the rocks below.
After Butterfly Valley has been left behind, the cruise will leisurely make its way St. Nicholas island. This destination has gained its name directly from its history. This island has been claimed as the potential location for the resting site of the saint. It is said that the ruins themselves were built by St. Nicholas as a retreat for himself and other religious observers. However, these days it has become a tourist destination due to its location and the spectacular views it offers. Here is where the cruise will anchor for the night and those who wish to can walk to the top of the hill and watch the sunset across the awe-inspiring turquoise waters.
Aquarium Bay and The Fishing Town of Kas
On the next day begins the journey to Aquarium Bay. This bay gained its name due to the crystal-clear waters which allow for easy viewing of the natural wildlife below. Often found are shoals of small fish with larger fish idly swimming amongst them and when the time is right there will also be loggerhead turtles lazily feeding on the plentiful food. This location offers the perfect place for snorkeling and underwater photographs.
After snorkelling is finished the captain will set off for the small harbour town of Kas. The town used to be a fishing village although it has evolved into a well-known tourist destination that has maintained the feel of an authentic Turkish town. As you wander the streets of this quaint town, you will notice the handmade gifts in small shops owned by the craftsmen and women themselves. After visiting Kas the cruise heads around to a secluded bay to spend the night. Here the sunset can be viewed across the Aegean Ocean in all of its splendour.
On the third day, many people recommend waking early to witness the sunrise. The view as the sun breaks over the horizon over the sea has been said to be like out of a story. Once the sun has fully risen the captain will get underway to Gokkaya bay where the cruise will anchor for the night. Along the way, the boat stops at the Sunken City where you will find ruins that are the remains of a once thriving village that was struck by an earthquake, plunging a section of it into the water. The part remaining on the land is fully explorable however for protection the area underwater is off-limits to swimmers allowing future generations to visit this unique place.
After these ruins have been explored it is time to head to Gokkaya bay. This is the location of another relaxing evening but this time there is an option for some additional excitement. Nearby is Smugglers Inn, a locale bar operated exclusively for gulet passengers who are transported back and forth by dingy. A special way to end the night is to retrieve the bedding from your cabin and sleep under the stars.
Olympos and Chimera
The final stop is the town of Demre. From here it is relatively easy to get to the village of Olympos, well-known for the ancient city that remains there. The town of Olympos has been influenced by many ancient cultures. Besides the town itself there is one major attraction that is a must-see, the flames of Chimera. Here there is a natural gas vein that has been burning on its own with no ignition from a human for generations. This phenomenon has lead to the myth of the Chimera creature.
This journey filled with historical locations and breathtaking views is a humbling yet amazing experience. With this in mind, it is always good to remember that it is only one option – there is always more to see in the wonderful country of Turkey and its beautiful Turquoise coast.