When planning a holiday to Turkey, be sure to include the unique experience of a gulet cruise on the Mediterranean. Gulet cruising is the perfect way to recharge your battery and to see some of the top highlights of Turkey. Full of stunning natural beauty and historical sights, the southern coast of Turkey is the kind of destination you are likely to find on the cover of glossy travel magazines. Alaturka Cruises offers gulet routes depart and arrive in the major harbor towns of Fethiye, Marmaris, or Bodrum making them easily accessible from many popular destinations in Turkey. In addition, each port town has its own sights to see and can be explored either before or after cruises embarking on the following routes.

Olympos – Fethiye

The Olympos to Fethiye (and Fethiye to Olympos) four day cruise is one of the most popular blue cruise routes, making memorable stops at Demre, St Nicholas Island, the Sunken City of Kekova, Simena Castle, Kas, Butterfly Valley, and Oludeniz Blue Lagoon. Olympos is a unique village located in a beautiful valley with an incredible stretch of beach and fascinating remains of an ancient city that once thrived in the lush valley. Along with the ancient city of Olympos, St Nicholas Island, the Sunken City, and Simena also boast well preserved ruins from the Byzantine and Ottoman times. The view from Simena Castle is worth the climb and offers one of the best photo ops of the entire four days. Kas is a quintessential seaside town and is the ideal place to explore shops and restaurants along cobblestone streets. Butterfly Valley and Oludeniz are incredible natural wonders that you will visit on the final days of this route. If the previous days were not convincing enough, these two places will soon make you realize why this part of Turkey is known as the Turquoise Coast.

Fethiye – 12 Islands

This route cruises mainly in the Fethiye region of the Mediterranean and includes stops at Butterfly Valley, St Nicholas Island, Bedri Rahmi Bay, Cleopatra’s Bay, the Yassica Islands, and Tersane Island. Butterfly Valley and St Nicholas island are also visited along this route. These two sites along with days filled with relaxing island hopping, are sure to impress you and provide you with the exact kind of relaxing holiday that you are looking for. Butterfly Valley is an impressive sight with its 2,000 meter high cliffs that dip low into a secluded seaside ravine. Further along, the Byzantine ruins of St Nicholas island can be seen from the sea and the crescent-shaped bay here is perfect for anchoring overnight. There are also a few opportunities along this route to trek through the coastal landscape and enjoy some breathtaking views from panoramic vantage points. The gulf of Fethiye has much to offer and plenty of opportunities to enjoy both active and relaxing days.

Bodrum – Gokova – Bodrum

For those with plans to visit Bodrum, this is a beautiful coastal route that travels east, making stops at Orak Island, Cleopatra beach, Seven Islands, Tuzla Bay, and Karacasogut Village. Orak island is home to an ancient Byzantine village and Cleopatra beach is a lovely and relaxing stop with crystal clear waters that provide the perfect anchoring spot for an afternoon of swimming and enjoying the sunshine. Sailing through the Seven Islands cluster is a unique experience and the calm waters in this area provide the perfect location for anchoring to spend the night out at sea. The hidden gems along this route are well known by gulet captains and they are sure to show you the best spots in Gokova Bay.

Bodrum – North or South Greek Islands

Bodrum is also the perfect departure point for cruises heading for the nearby north and south Dodecanese Greek islands. The northern and southern route options also make a few visits to parts of the Turkish Aegean coast, giving passengers the opportunity to explore some of the highlights of both Turkey and Greece. This route is perfect for tourist who desire to visit both countries during their next summer holiday. Island visits on these routes include Kos, Rhodes, Symi, Pserimos, Xerakampos, Leros, and many others, all while stopping to swim, eat, and relax in secluded bays and peaceful beaches.

Marmaris – Fethiye

For those looking to depart from Marmaris, a Marmaris blue cruise to Fethiye is a route that not only includes these two enjoyable port towns, but also a number of serene seaside getaways, making this option both diverse and full of impressive scenery. Stops along this rough include the Dalyan beaches, the Yassica Islands, Tersane Island, and Ekincik. The beaches in Dalyan are known for long sandy stretches and undisturbed surroundings that are well preserved for mating sea turtles. The Yassica Islands remain free from cafes, shops, or any facilities and it is enjoyable to swim from island to island. When you reach Fethiye, definitely take some time out to stroll along the harbor promenade and explore the old town where you can visit the famous fish market and taste the fresh fish caught daily from the same waters you sailed on to reach this final destination.

(images : supplied)