Huge numbers of tourists head for the major resorts on the ‘’Turkish Riviera’’, the coastline facing west and south. They rent villas and apartments as well as booking hotels, some all-inclusive. The sun is guaranteed, the sea or pools warm and the locals hospitable. There are plenty of activities for those wanting to do more than sunbathe and one of the popular day trips involves spending some time at sea. There are plenty of beaches, quiet coves and uninhabited islands where boats stop for their passengers to swim. At the end of the day it is back to port.
A Real Pleasure
The beauty of a sail Turkey gulet booked for a few days is that while day trippers are heading home, a private charter can suit itself. There are few better experiences that sitting on deck with a cold drink watching the sun go down. The only sound as night falls is the activity of the captain and crew preparing dinner.
The sea loses little of its warmth throughout your time on a charter. As long as you are anchored close to the coast there is nothing wrong in swimming after dark and there can be few better ways to really wake up in the morning to dive into the sea early in the morning after the sun has risen. So refreshing!
On the Move
After breakfast you will move on to your next destination but private charters do not need to stick to a strict timetable. There may be something to see en route and there is no problem in stopping. All the food for the day will be on board though there will be regular stops to pick up fresh supplies on a regular basis. It may be from a village market where the range of fruit and vegetables is amazing; plenty of colour as well as plenty of flavour.
The typical mezes dishes are excellent, mostly using vegetables and herbs with yoghurt. Fresh bread each day together with chicken, lamb and fish will be on the menu. The gulet will have a range of drinks, soft and alcoholic and if you want to copy the locals when they eat fish, try the raki, an aniseed flavoured spirit, clear but turning cloudy with the addition of water or ice.
Deciding Where to Go
So the scene is set for you to think about a charter. Your holiday dates might be set but if you want to take a charter for a few days you will have to decide where you want to sail. There is an excellent option that starts in Bodrum and explores the peninsula before heading towards Greek Islands. Kos is nearby and to enter this historic port all your captain needs to do is to raise the Greek flag as the gulet enters Greek waters; you will be very welcome on any of the Greek Islands.
The South Coast has a couple of main ports of departure. Marmaris is a very lively resort but after a night enjoying its nightlife you may be very happy to sail out for some peace and quiet. Further east there is Fethiye which itself is surrounded by uninhabited islands and coves. There is plenty to see sailing out of either of these ports. Your captain will have a schedule of the area he intends to cover during your days at sea and he will be flexible about where he puts anchor down or stays overnight. There is real independence when you have your own boat and having hired one once many people do so time and again.