How to Explore the Turquoise Coast
Sailing on the Turquoise sea is a unique experience and sure to be the highlight of anyone’s Turkish holiday. There are many options for exploring this fantastic stretch of coastline; some choose to take day trips on shared boats from coastal towns like Bodrum, Marmaris, Fethiye or Kas, while others prefer to make their own itineraries with private yacht tours on the Mediterranean Sea. For multi day trips on the sea larger groups might opt for a yacht charter with an experienced local captain, but for most travelers a four to eight day Blue Cruise, with an international crew of 12 to 20 people, is the perfect way to explore the Turquoise Coast.
A Day on the Blue Cruise
In almost every location that you visit passengers will have the chance to throw themselves into the refreshingly cool sea and swim in crystal clear bays. Pack a mask and snorkel and discover the underwater corals and vibrant sea walls and watch colourful fish drift by. Aquarium Bay, Kalkan Region, has the clearest water of the coastline and the widest variety of sea life, from the topdeck you may even be able to spot stingrays resting on the seabed.
Not just a week of sunbathing among jaw dropping scenery, a day on a Blue Cruise also offers adventure and discovery. On day one you might hike to a waterfall hidden inside a cliff lined valley, or explore Lycian burial tombs and ruined castles. While on your second, third and fourth days you might opt to go scuba diving, wizz behind a speedboat on inflatables or, if the tide is right, swim into a mysterious blue cave, once used by pirates to hide their loot.
On a Blue Cruise all meals, and sometimes drinks, are included for the entire voyage and prepared by the crew. So you can start each day with a classic Turkish style buffet-breakfast, accompanied by tea or coffee and hopefully good company and conversation, while anchored in a scenic bay or marina. Lunch and dinner are also family style buffets, and are often served fresh from onboard BBQ’s, alongside tasty salads, pasta or rice. Turkish food, and particularly Mediterranean cuisine, is notoriously good so you’re unlikely to go hungry on while on a Blue Cruise in Turkey!
Sleeping arrangements depend on the individual gulet that you choose to sail with. Budget options offer comfortable but basic cabins with toilet and shower, either private or shared with another passenger. However most cruises offer private cabins and luxury yachts may even have air conditioning. Although, during the hot summer months the best beds are under the starry night sky on the top deck of you gulet boat.
Sunrise and Sunset:
Each night Blue Cruise yachts anchor in secluded bays or silent coves in time to watch the sunset over the sugarlump islands and reflect of the azure blue sea. Some of the best sunset spots are located in the Kekova region between the towns of Kas and Demre. Meanwhile you captain will guide you to a new location each morning as the sun is rising so early birds will be able to see the first rays of sun climbing over the jagged coastline.
Blue Cruise Itineraries
Fethiye to Olympos:
This is by far the most popular Blue Cruise itinerary and can also be taken in reverse. Between Fethiye and Olympos are the lush green islands and breathtaking bays of the Kekova region, where the sea water is so transparent that the walls of the Sunken City of Kekova can be seen lying beneath the surface in Gokkaya Bay. Another highlight of this route is a stop at the famous Blue Lagoon at Oludeniz, known for its rich flora and royal blue water, perfect for snorkelling. From Oludeniz there is also the possibility to Paraglide from one of the top paragliding locations in the world.
Marmaris to Fethiye:
A Marmaris to Fethiye Cruise is ideal for anyone who wants to lay back and relax after a busy few days partying and sightseeing in the bustling town of Marmaris. Nature lovers will particularly enjoy this itinerary as most gulets will make a stop at Turtle Beach, a protected breeding area for the Caretta Caretta, where you can swim in shallow water and search the beach for nesting areas. It also offers passengers the opportunity to explore the reed lined banks of the Dalyan Delta passing under cliff cut Lycian Tombs at Kaunos and visiting the same natural mud baths that Cleopatra herself swam in.
Bodrum to Greece:
For a longer sailing voyage head to Bodrum, the southwest’s party capital, and cruise for a week on a wooden gulet, across the Aegean sea to the mountainous Greek Islands. Visit notable historic sites and swim in pristine bays and quiet coves. Blue Cruises to the Dodecanese Islands generally make a circuit of the Northern Islands or the Southern Islands and make stops at both Rhodes and Kos before returning to Turkey.