Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be aboard those lovely Turkish wooden boats, all lined up along the pier in Marmaris? They all look so different from each other. Some quite large while others are so small and cozy. These classic boats are called gulets (pronounced goolets). Gulets are all handmade, particularly the older ones that look traditional. Yes gulets are Turkish yachts designed generally by their owners. There is a standard in how they are built in the shipyards, but the overall design, comfort and luxury standards are up to how much or how little the owners wish to make them. Some can be quite expensive. However you don’t need to hire an expensive gulet in order to take pleasure in cruising the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean… as I found out today!
The whole experience of living the blue cruise is not only in the gulet itself, but also the crew, the places you drop anchor, and most of all, the reality of dining on board. You could cook the same dishes at home, or have them at a restaurant, but it just doesn’t taste the same. Imagine being in a peaceful and private bay with only the sounds of chirping crickets, the small gentle waves, distant sounds of motor boats, along with the warm summers’ breeze, the smell of fresh sea air and breathtaking views of the lush green hilltops and of course the sea. You don’t really hear the sound of clanging cutlery because you enjoy your meal mainly with your fingers… Turkish style!
Our trip today took place aboard the classic gulet, Esparanza. Even the name sounds alluring. She was an older type of gulet, known as a luxury gulet, with all the water goodies for some splendid time in the sea. We left the Marmaris harbor from the Old Town district around 11 am. It was a bit late and that was because we couldn’t seem to get ourselves organized. Normally gulet cruise day trips leave around 9:30 – 10:00am. With gulet cruise day trips, you are only served lunch, so we had our breakfast prior – which may have also been one of the reasons for our late arrival to the gulet.
We headed West towards the AsMarine, then around to the south side of Cennet Adasi (Paradise Island). But this wasn’t our first stop. We casually continued cruising past the island, taking photos and enjoying the views, watching other holidaymakers enjoying their holiday, including a few daily boat trips from Marmaris. Cennet Adasi is a popular place to stop for boat trips.
Moving along we continued to through the small strait which lead us to our furthest anchorage point allowable for day trips; a place called Kumlubuk. Kumlubuk is a part of the Turunc town municipality – so needless to say we were in the Turunc zone!
Kumlubuk bay must be one of the most beautiful bays in the region. It has a lovely sandy beach with a few restaurants that run a small pier and offer water sports activites for the adventuresome type.
Once we reached Kumlubuk, we dropped anchor at the pier. This is not a common allowable as large vessels are not allowed to drop their anchor near the pier, as the pier is privately operated by the businesses there. But there was a connection between the person who runs the pier and our captain, so all was good and we were allowed to stay anchored there for awhile. Our stay lasted for about an hour. During this time we had an excellent time swimming in the bay with our floaties enjoying the surroundings.
It was truly an exciting feeling being in the warm waters while we took in the … well we took in everything around us! You really have to live it to feel the “taking in” part.
Well after leaving Kumlubuk Bay, we began our return. At this point we were beginning to get the grumblies. We wanted a place that was quiet with not so many people around. Somewhere we could just relax without the water sports around us. It was our choice of where to go. This is another wonderful feature about these gulet cruises. As long as it’s ok by your captain, you do have the choice of destinations. Well our decision was made. Our next destination was going to be Keci Adasi (Goat Island).
I suppose you can figure out why they called it goat island. Yes, that’s right. It’s full of goats! Although we never saw any.
As we approached Keci Adasi, we realized how well made our decision was. It was beautiful and so peaceful. If we could have stayed here overnight, we would have. Well, at this point, I suppose the chef had heard our tummies growling, because from the moment we dropped anchor, our table began filling up with all this wonderful food.
What a meal it was. Grilled fish steak, Turkish meatballs, chicken breast, spaghetti in a tomato sauce, Turkish rice, and seasonal salad. This menu is exactly what the Esparanza serves for lunch on her daily gulet cruises. The only thing that is not included in the gulet price are the alcoholic beverages, which suited us fine.
After this wonderful meal, we were stuffed to the max! There was no more room for any fruit plates, which was what was coming up next. The service staff were great. Such excellent service, warm and friendly. So after a meal like this we thought we would relax on the aft deck and listen to the peacefulness of the area. The lady bugs, crickets, warm breeze, and soft waves, just made you want to go for a siesta. But, as this was going to be our last stop, we thought it might be good to go for another good swim. So we did. What an amazing place. What an amazing trip!
After about a half hour of wadding in the sea, we came back on board, and threw ourselves on the sunbeds. Oh they were so comfortable and soft. The next thing we knew, we were out like a light! I suppose having taken in so much fresh air, swimming and a good meal, it was no doubt the next thing our bodies would have had to do.
About an hour later we heard the sound of the engine starting and the anchor chain being pulled up. It was time to return. As we began to cruise back home, I took some more photos and videos, and realized that if ever a boat trip there was, this one had had to be the best!
If you would like more information on gulet charter day trips or weekly gulet cruises, please feel free to ask us. I’m sure that there will be one just suitable for your holidays in Marmaris.
Have a great summer!
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