Sailing in Turkey: A Complete Guide to a Gulet Cruise Along the Turkish Riviera
Sailing in Turkey, along the stunning Turquoise coastlines is the best way to spend a week in this beautiful country.
Stretching from the vibrant port of Fethiye to the famous resort town of Antalya, this coastline has been named the Turquoise Coast or Turkish Riviera for its cristal clear blue seas. The coastline is backed by mountain ranges for all the way along, Abundant pine forests, stunning sandy beaches, and sheer cliffs make the picturesque scenery, and dozens of pristine bays are hidden, only accessible by boat.
In the last 2 decades, Turkey sailing became very popular in the world and the traditional Turkish-made gulet cruise boat is a fabulous and the most authentic way to do it.
If you’re looking for long, lazy days onboard a traditional Turkish gulet boat, with glorious weather, stunning swim stops, and mouth-watering local foods, then a Turkey sailing trip is just for you. There are amazing sailing itineraries from 3 nights to 7 nights between Fethiye and Olympos offered by GoTurkeySail company. You can dig in delicious Turkish food, explore ancient ruins, enjoy drinks in lively small resort towns, and jump into the clearest water on the Turkey sailing tours. So here’s a complete guide to the Turquoise Coast, including how to choose a company to sail in Turkey with and what to do in each port of call.
Enjoy reading and have fun planning your own sail Turkey trip
How to get to the Turkish Riviera?
Depending on which route you are planning to sail, you need to have a flight to either Dalaman or Antalya airports. There are many airlines that have domestic flights from Istanbul and many other major cities to these resort towns. You can also get to these towns by bus. If you combine your holiday with some of the Greek islands, then a ferry is also an option between Rhodes and Fethiye.
There are more than 50 flights from the Uk and other European counties to those airports in the summer season that you can get really good deals with early planning.
When is the best time to go sailing in Turkey?
For the best weather and sea conditions, the summer season from early May to late September is the best. In these months, the crowds flock into these towns but the weather is best and you can guarantee long, sunny, hot days that perfect for sailing trips in Turkey!
How to choose a company for a Turkey sailing trip?
We are sure you might get a little overwhelmed as there are so many companies that offer blue cruise or Turkey sailing tours. But as an expert on sailing and also being local in the area, Go Turkey sail offers amazing curated sailing tours that have a variety of options from 3 days to 8 days on its web www.goturkeysail.com. Not only it has excellent reviews online, but its customer care service during the booking process is brilliant. The prices offered online are great value. The guaranteed departures work perfectly for anyone to choose the traveling dates easily.
The traditional gulets that Go Turkey sail uses for blue cruise holidays are all well-maintained, good size for 16 passengers. The crew is passionate, very organized, fun-loving, and friendliest young mates.
It may get really hot especially in July and August so you may enjoy sleeping out on the deck under the stars. There are a lot of comfortable sun-loungers on the deck where you can have amazing sleeping with nice Mediterranean breeze.
One of the great things about Turkey sailing tours is making life long friendships with people from all over the world onboard. The sailing tours offered by Go Turkey sail perfectly designed for solo travelers as well. An average of Go Turkey Sail’s passengers are %50 solo travelers.
If you have your own group of friends or family, you can also charter one of these amazing gulets privately for yourself.
What to pack for a sailing holiday?
It is a good idea to bring your beach towels however the bath towels are provided by Go Turkey sail. You will need sunscreen, swimwear, and hats. The sun can be very strong especially in July and august however there is a certain amount of shade on board. Our gulets have quite a few inflatables and snorkeling gears share but it is always more hygienic to bring yours.
We offer a full bar on board with an honesty tab system and drinks are reasonably priced therefore we kindly request not to bring any drinks on board.
One or two evening outfits recommended for the nights when you dock in a port for a lovely night out
Where to stay before or after the sailing trip?
The main sailing hubs are Fethiye and Olympos, or the other way round.
Fethiye offers a variety of accommodation options from luxury hotels to guesthouses. If you are on a budget, you can find dozens of hostels all-around Fethiye.
In Olympos, there is an unusual offering of treehouses in this amazing seaside town.
Some of the best options include:
• Turkmen Treehouses
• Kadir’s Treetop Houses
• Olympus Deep Green Bungalows
Towns to visit along the Turquoise coast on Our Sailing tours
Both thrilling and tranquil, this is one of the resort towns in the Turkish Riviera that you will return to again and again. As being one of the most popular destinations on the Turkish Riviera, Fethiye is also the largest town in Muğla province, is the meeting point of the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. Fethiye is one of the biggest ancient cities in Lycian civilization which is also known as Telmessos.
Today, Fethiye is one of the main hubs on the Turkish Turquoise coast where famous Turkey sailing trips start or end. Turkey sail is also known as blue cruises Turkey or Blue voyages Turkey. Every year Fethiye accommodates thousands of Turkish gulets as well as private yachts and superyachts in her 2 huge harbors. People from all over the world are choosing Fethiye for their sailing holidays in Turkey. Fethiye with her stunning bays and coves all around offers amazing stops for travelers with Turkish-made traditional gulets. The turquoise water in the tranquil bays is passionately loved by all sea enthusiasts. As soon as you start your blue cruise holiday in Fethiye you will start enjoying the vibrant turquoise sea against the hills.
Located about 25 km West of Fethiye, Butterfly Valley is the first destination on our blue cruise holidays which is an exceptional earthly paradise. It boasts a natural setting with no establishment. Butterfly Valley is a valley of 2 large looming mountains that drop straight into the turquoise waters down below. The beach has become a popular spot for backpackers from all over the world to come over and stay at the campsite That’s why you may often see tents pitched and plenty of people lazing about along the beach. There no land access to Butterfly Valley, however, it is accessible only by boat. Butterfly valley is also a place where all the blue cruise tours stop on their route to Kekova.
Oludeniz / Blue Lagoon
Oludeniz, also known as the blue lagoon, is definitely one of the most famous beaches in Europe. This stunning beach is voted as the most beautiful beach in Europe twice. It really is a beautiful stretch, but as with many gorgeous beaches around the world, it certainly attracts crowds and is pretty touristy.
One of the most popular activities to do in Blue Lagoon is paragliding! Every year, over 60.000 people from all over the world come to Oludeniz for a jump-off baba mountain which makes it no 1 spot in the world. We can help you to arrange a jump-off during your blue cruise holiday
You depart from the center of Oludeniz in a minibus with all of the paragliding kits and crew on board.
Oludeniz is also the starting point for the Lycian Way, one of Turkey’s most iconic hiking trails.
In Oludeniz, there are also some great bars and cafes to enjoy some time in if you don’t feel like paragliding.
Kaş means eyebrow in the Turkish language and when you check the map of the area, you can easily understand why. Kaş is a picture-perfect town on the Turkish Mediterranean coasts.
If you are after a warm Mediterranean atmosphere you are definitely at the right place. Kaş has all the right elements in hand; phenomenal sea view, narrow cobblestone streets with whitewashed houses, tempting restaurants and cafés, and bougainvillea of course. And while this is quite enough to be felt in love with, we can also add pretty beaches, and a picturesque harbor to complete the Mediterranean vibe.
This area is also known for fantastic diving and many dive operators run trips straight from Kaş. You will have enough time in the town to try out Scuba diving as an optional tour on our Turkey sailing trip.
You can enjoy fantastic cocktails at Mumi Cafe Beach which is 200 meters away from the harbor. This beach bar has an awesome atmosphere during the day, and we would highly recommend it.
The next stop along the coast is Kekova, Kekova has a unique historical attraction which is lying under the water today; the famous Sunken City. Once It was a huge port city to both Lycian and Roman civilizations, the ancient city was mostly abandoned by inhabitants when an earthquake happened in the 2nd century AD which resulted in most of the city was sink into the water. The city is mostly submerged, however you can still see underwater ruins on the shores thanks to the clearest water of the Turkish Mediterranean. In some places on the island, some defensive walls and ruins from basilicas with some rock tombs are still visible
This is a no walk, no diving zone since it is an archaeological site But many boats do sail past every day slowly to take in the incredible sight. You can see rooms, staircases, and doorways above the sea level, as well as make out pathways and more rooms under the water level. Luckily the water is completely transparent,
Kaleköy and Simena Castle
Simena Castle, also known in Turkish as 'Kalekoy' meaning 'castle village', is located on a stunning Turkish riviera in Kekova Region. Once it used to be a Lycian settlement, the castle remains largely intact upon a hill overlooking Kekova island. Kalekoy is the only Turkish village in the country which has no land access inspite of being on the mainland. The only access to the village today is by boat which keeps the island as it has been there for centuries. Today on our sailing Turkey trips it is one of the highlights especially on Olympos-Fethiye tours where we stop and explore the ancient castle and eat a lot of homemade organic ice cream. In the west of the town, a series of rock-cut tombs are scattered across the slopes of the castle.
the final spot along the Turquoise Coast to visit is the hippie town of Olympos. It is unspoiled heaven for especially young travelers, backpackers, flashpackers who love to enjoy nature, historical sites, partying in cozy places, sunbathing, swimming in the turquoise waters of the Turkish Riviera. located 90 kilometers from Antalya. It is a stunning spot to start or finish Turkey sailing trips. Olympos is an ancient city that was founded in the Hellenistic period, sharing its name with the nearby Olympos beach. Olympos was one of the 6 biggest cities in Lycian Leauge. Olympos was later invaded and ruled by the Cilician Pirates until the city was captured by the Roman Empire around 78 BC.
Olympos can either be a really cool escape from the hustle and bustle in big tourist attractions of Turkey, staying in cozy treehouses, or a more active stop with Turkey sailing boat cruises, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing. Olympos is located along the Lycian Way which is shown in the top 10 hiking destinations in the world with a 500-kilometer marked hiking trail between Fethiye and Antalya.
Goturkeysail offers 2 great routes of 4 days blue cruises which start or end in Olympos. For more information, you can visit www.goturkeysail.com
So that concludes our guide to sailing in Turkey and exploring the Turkish Riviera by traditional gulet boat. we hope this guide is useful. both for choosing our company for a sail and find out more about the stops on our sailing tours. As mentioned, Turkey sailing tours are often referred to the blue cruise tours or Blue cruise holidays.
If you’re considering a longer trip, Go Turkey Sail offers 7 nights / 8 days sailing trips as well you can find details on www.goturkeysail.com/destinations.
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