If you are heading to Turkey, hopping on one of their Gullet boats is a great way to check out the southern coast. Part of my whirl wind European holiday, we chose to do Sail Turkey with Topdeck. This was very affordable as when you think about, all your meals, accommodation and transportation is included for a whole week, the only thing you need to worry about is how much you are going to drink on board (which was pretty cheap as well!).
Here is a bit of background information about what the sail entails for you:
Accommodation: As I mentioned before, you will be spending the 7 nights on a traditional gullet boat. They range in size from 14-35 metres and can generally house up to 16 people (based on max group size on Topdeck tour gullets). The cabins vary depending on boat, but you can generally find they will consist of a double bed or twin singles or bunk beds. The cabins aren’t very big but have room enough under the beds to stow away your suitcases. You will find these rooms fairly hot to sleep in during the night so you will find yourself sleeping out under the stars where it is a lot cooler. If you are sleeping under the stars, be wary of the morning movement of the boat rocking from side to side, the early morning waves can get very rocky and you will find yourself sliding from side to side! If you have travelled Europe before, it is likely you have come across a destination where you don’t flush the toilet paper or anything else for that matter down the toilet, you are to use the bins provided. Given that you are on a boat, this is the same rule. You must also use water sparingly for showers as there is limited supply and can only be stocked up when you dock at land.
Crew: The crew on board will consist of your captain, who will be the one sailing the ship and is in charge of everything out at sea. The captains are all locals who have been sailing the waters for years. There will be a deck hand who is in charge of all the cleaning on board and assisting the captain. Lastly, you will have a chef who will cook you some of the most amazing food and you sometimes question if it was really cooked in the little boat kitchen.
Butterfly Valley – This is a beautiful local hidden gem where you stop in the middle of two mountains that are covered with lush green trees (and mountain goats!). You are able to enter to check out the waterfall at the top of the hike. There is an entry charge of €3 per person. Don’t be fooled by the small running creek, to get to the waterfall you actually have to do some hiking!
- St Nicholas Island – If you are after a beautiful Turkish sunset, you cannot miss this stop. You stay here for the night and everyone (the other boats as well) climb up the top of the mountain and perch yourselves to watch one of the prettiest sunsets around (or that I have seen) The walk up is long and you will get hot but the view from the top is well worth it!
- Kas – This a beautiful little town on the edge of the water and is great for checking out the markets. One thing you have to try whilst you are in Turkey is the Turkish ice-cream, it is unlike any ice-cream I have eaten before! The texture is very stringy yet smooth, which the vendors use to their advantage to play with the tourists, very amusing!
- Myra – This was one of my favourite stops (not sure if they do it anymore) but Myra, a town in the province of now Antalya is the town known for its rock tombs. Walking around you are just in awe of how beautiful it looks and how amazing the Ampitheatre is. If you get the chance, go for a walk around!
- Kaleköy -This little town literaly means ‘Castles village’ and is named that as there is a Byzantine Castle perched on top of a hill. You will need to pay to enter the castle to look around, the view from the top is incredible.
- Smugglers Island – This is where everyone breaks out in their stripey shirts, sailor hats and eye patches for a night at Smugglers Cove inn. Prepare this one for a very roudy night. The best thing about a hangover on a sail, is the morning after swim! Nothing has better curative powers that the cool waters of the Medditeranean!
- Sunken City – Whilst you are in Simena, you will past the sunken city. The lagoon waters are a clear green colour so you can make out the buildings that lie beneath the surface. Great photo opportunity as well as turtle spotting!
This week was probably one of the highlights of my Europe trip, not only for the amazing things that I saw but for the people I met along the way and created fun and memorable experiences with.
“Take only memories, leave only footsteps”