Why Take a Blue Cruise?
For many people Turkey remains a mysterious and exotic land. Luckily, there are many ways to travel throughout the country, however sailing on a wooden gulet is one of the best experiences to get in touch with this ancient region.
With a fleet of gulets, Alaturka Cruises based in Fethiye will help guide you through the Turquoise Coast with blue cruise yachting Turkey. There are a multitude of reasons for joining a blue cruise whether it be for relaxation or exploration, so let’s look at highlights about the coastal provinces of Mugla and Antalya.
Imagine soaking in the sun rays on the front deck of the beautiful Alaturka Gulet, when you hear someone scream with excitement “Ice cream boat!” Now the ancient Greeks could have only dreamed of a mobile ice cream service while docked in a turquoise blue bay. If a creamy chocolate frozen delight isn’t your preference then bite into the soft pastry gozleme, filled with spinach and feta or Nutella and bananas. Women sit on small boats preparing the traditional Turkish pastry for those lucky beings on a blue cruise.
While hiking up to Simena Castle, built in the 4th century BC by the Knights of Rhodes, pick a fresh fig from a tree and enjoy nature’s fruit at its finest.
Markets in the town of Demre sell regionally grown fruits and vegetables full of color and flavor. Pick up a few tomatoes and aubergines to throw on the grill for dinner on the boat.
One way to explore Turkey is through the stomach and another is by way of sea.
Diving is the best way to get in touch with the deep blue waters. The world famous town of Kas is a stop on nearly all blue cruises and is considered a divers’ paradise by many. Flourishing marine life combined with the Uluburun shipwreck dating from the 14th century BC give insight into the oceanic world of southern Turkey.
Snorkeling in Aquarium Bay introduces the colorful saltwater creatures native to these seas. Grab an underwater camera and search for orange sponges, damselfish, red mullet, bright clownfish, giant groupers and the occasional octopus if you’re lucky.
Perhaps the simplest yet most rewarding example of convening with the sea is in the form of a sunrise or sunset swim. Sunrise dips can be chilly, but a great way to start the day and prepare for more holiday exploration.
After a refreshing swim from the gulet to the shores of Olympos, hike through the fragrant bay and pine trees to discover the rock tombs left behind by Lycians. If time permits, take the teleferik up the mountain to view the untouched forests of Beydaglari National Park and Mediterranean shoreline from Finike to Side- on the other side of Antalya.
When a blue cruise makes a stop in Demre (the home of St. Nicholas- some of us know him as Santa Claus) be sure to trek up to the first church of St. Nicholas of Myra. For foodies, make a stop at a local market to buy locally produced tomatoes or citrus fruits.
When docked in Fethiye, there are so many possibilities for further exploration. Hit the sunny beaches of Oludeniz and relax with a cold beer or glass of regional wine or go paragliding from the top of Mount Babadag. Butterfly Valley is a loved destination by eco tourists from around the world who come in the summer to gaze upon over 100 different species of butterflies.
Of course there is always shopping!
Kas hosts high quality artisan shops where you can watch glassblowers defining their craft. If you blew out your flip flop or fancy a new summer dress, you will find shops near the marina selling a wide range of summer goodies.
Walk through the narrow pedestrian streets through the market in the center of Bodrum for handcrafted leather sandals, ceramic dishes and decorations, or Ottoman inspired coffee cups. Silver, gold and beaded jewelry are popular items in the bazaar, but be sure to bargain!
In Fethiye, explore the old town area of Paspatur where you will find traditional handcrafts such as uzumlu dastar, woven fabrics, alongside typical trinkets emblazoned with nazar boncugu, or the all seeing eye. If its feeding time, head over to the fish market to choose fresh seafood then have a nearby restaurant, such as Oztuklu restaurant, prepare the dish to your taste.
After exploring southwestern Turkey by land, sea and perhaps by air, this exotic land becomes more intimate and welcoming.
Note: This is a guest post by our valued contributor.