Turkish Gulet Cruise: Best routes to book

Gulet cruises are a fabulous way to see some of the top highlights of Turkey. Full of stunning natural beauty and historical sights, the southern coast of Turkey is not to be missed. Not to mention the quality relaxation time on board while cruising from destination to destination. Many cruises either depart or arrive in the major harbor towns of Fethiye, Marmaris, or Bodrum. Each port has their own unique beauty and can be explored either before or after the following routes. Read more to find out which routes will bring you to the top destinations for swimming, sightseeing, and overall relaxation.

Olympos – Fethiye

Olympos to Fethiye is one of the most popular blue cruise routes, making noteworthy stops at Demre, St Nicholas Island, the Sunken City of Kekova, Simena Castle, Kas, Butterfly Valley, and Oludeniz Blue Lagoon. After a visit to the remains of the ancient city of Olympos, history buffs can finish getting their fill while visiting St Nicholas Island, the Sunken City, and Simena. With a breathtaking view from the castle after a steep descent to the highest point of the small and charming town, Simena is an unforgettable stop along this route. Kas is a picturesque seaside town with approximately 7,000 residents and is the perfect place to explore shops and restaurants along cobblestone streets and a enjoy spectacular sunset over the Mediterranean. Butterfly Valley and Oludeniz are natural wonders and some of the most beautiful in all of Turkey. Clear turquoise waters in both locations provide the perfect surroundings for hours of swimming and soaking in the summer sun.

Fethiye – 12 Islands

This route focuses on the highlights of the Fethiye island region and includes stops at Butterfly Valley, St Nicholas Island, Bedri Rahmi Bay, Cleopatra’s Bay, the Yassica Island, and Tersane Island. Butterfly Valley is an impressive sight with its 2,000 meter high cliffs dipping 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 a few opportunities along this route to trek through the coastal landscape and enjoy some breathtaking views from the highest points. The gulf of Fethiye has much to offer and plenty of opportunities to enjoy both active and relaxing days.

Bodrum – Gokova – Bodrum

Beginning and ending in the culturally and historically rich port city of Bodrum, this route travels east along the coastline, making stops at Orak Island, Cleopatra beach, Seven Islands, Tuzla Bay, and Karacasogut Village. The first stop at Orak Island provides the ideal opportunity to take in the ruins of a nearby Byzantine village. Cruises along this route will then anchor at the serene Cleopatra beach with its crystal clear waters, perfect for an afternoon of swimming. Sailing through the Seven Islands is a unique experience and an exceptional place to spend the night. There are many hidden gems along this route that captains have knowledge of and will share with you along the journey.

Bodrum – North or South Greek Islands

Bodrum also serves as a launching point to the nearby Greek islands. Two route options take passengers either north or south and also make a few stops along the Turkish Aegean coast in this area. This route is perfect for tourist who might be having a hard time deciding which country to visit during their holidays. Enjoy the beauty of both Greece and Turkey with this scenic option. Island visits on these routes include Kos, Rhodes, Symi, Pserimos, Xerakampos, Leros, and many others, all while stopping to swim, eat, and relax in many of the beautiful bays in between.

Marmaris – Fethiye

This route includes both port cities of Marmaris and Fethiye, along with a number of serene seaside getaways that make this option diverse and full of impressive scenery. Stops along this rough include the Dalyan beaches, the Yassica Islands, Tersane Island, and Ekincik. 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.

These common gulet routes can be explored via scheduled cabin cruise tours or through private yacht charter Turkey.

Top Shore Tours to Take from Gulet Cruises in Turkey

Relaxing and enjoying the natural beauty of the Turkish turquoise coast is the main activity on any blue cruise, however, if you are feeling active and adventurous, there are a variety of shore tour options to fill your time while anchored in pristine bays or docked at any of the charming harbors along the coast.

Not only will your blue cruise gulet experience introduce you to a new level of relaxation, you will also have many options to actively explore the natural historical wonders that surround you. Prepare to be amazed by the scenery and history that this part of Turkey is famous for. Feel free to enjoy any of these activities, as they are all accessible from popular blue cruise routes that run throughout the summer months.

Oludeniz for Paragliding

Oludeniz Blue Lagoon is the most photographed site in all of Turkey. From land, sea, and sky, the view is stunning and should not be missed. This is a popular spot on the Olympos to Fethiye route and your gulet will anchor here for the day for you to enjoy all that Oludeniz has to offer. If you are feeling adventurous, you will have the option to enjoy the many paragliders floating high above in the sky. You will be transported ashore and then travel approximately 2,000 meters up the stunning Babadag mountain. All flights are tandem with a professional pilot who will also help you to take some incredible photos once you having taken off and begin flying through the sky. There is no better way to experience the scenery of Oludeniz.

Parasailing in Marmaris

If paragliding seems too intense for your taste, parasailing could be the happy alternative you are looking for. Parasailing is an exhilarating activity on the water and there are plenty of opportunities if your blue cruise includes in the bustling port city of Marmaris. You will be pulled by a powerful speed boat while a colorful parachute floats behind you and lifts you into the air. Companies will allow you to choose the amount of time you would like to fly.

Fethiye for Fresh Fish

Whether your cruise departs from or makes its final stop in Fethiye, make sure to save enough time to explore the highlights of this fantastic town. In particular, the fish market is always full of activity and provides a unique dining experience. Approach the market stalls and take your pick of the fresh fish on display. Shrimp, mussels, crab, squid, and many types of fish are available for your choosing. Then take your purchase and choose one of the restaurants lining the perimeter of the market. There, they will cook your fish and provide side dishes and drinks to accompany your seafood. Fethiye is known for this experience and it should definitely be an addition to your gulet cruise experience.

Bodrum Castle and the Museum of Underwater Archeology

If you are cruising from Bodrum to the nearby north or south Greek islands, be sure to take some time to learn about the history of this area. Bodrum can easily be explored in a day either before or after your scheduled cruise. Bodrum castle was constructed in the 15th century by the Knights of Rhodes and has incredible view overlooking the harbor. The castle has an interesting story as it has evolved with changes throughout history. In its modern form, it now hosts the museum of underwater archeology and several cultural festivals throughout the year. The museum has 14 departments and holds an impressive collection of artifacts retrieved from shipwrecks over the years.

Trekking at Simena and St Nicholas Island

Another popular shore tour option on our Olympos to Fethiye blue cruises is to stretch your legs and explore some of the natural beauty and history that can be found in Kalekoy village and on St Nicholas island. Simena castle is situated at the highest point in the charming village of Kalekoy. To reach the top is a bit of a climb but the views are spectacular and worth the exertion. St Nicholas island will be an evening stop while en route to Fethiye. Passengers will have to option to go ashore and freely explore church ruins that date back to the 4th and 5th centuries AD before finding the perfect spot to witness an incredible Mediterranean sunset.

Things you Should Check out While on a Gulet Cruise in Turkey

Choosing a blue cruise can often be confusing and difficult given all of the incredible places to visit and things to do along each gulet route. Whether you join a standard cabin cruise or choose a more intimate private yacht charter, there is plenty to see and do no matter where your gulet route takes you. These suggested highlights will hopefully make your choice easier as you discover more about the options that best suit your interests. Perhaps you are looking for a more adventurous option that includes diving and paragliding? Or maybe you would really just like to completely unwind and relax on a gulet that offers the best of the Turkish coast and the nearby Greek islands? There is something for everyone and the following are on our list of must-sees while cruising the Turquoise Coast.

Simena and the Sunken City of Kekova

Olympos to Fethiye is a popular gulet route, and rightly so as this part of the coastline is filled with picturesque scenery and historical wonders. On the first day of your Blue Cruise Turkey, your gulet will anchor between Kalekoy village and the sunken city of Kekova. Kalekoy is home to Simena Castle where you are welcome to go ashore and ascend the steep hill for a spectacular view of the surrounding panorama. In the same day, your captain will carefully glide by the underwater ruins of Kekova and because the water is so incredibly clear, you will be able to marvel at this ancient sunken city.

Kas: Exploring the Town and Diving Excursions

Kas is a vibrant but small town with quaint cafes and shops lining cobblestoned streets. It is the perfect place to spend a few morning hours and is also a stop along the Olympos to Fethiye route. You can wander the streets, enjoying the unhurried ambience of this coastal town, and even visit the ancient amphitheater which can be found nearby to the city center. After spending a morning exploring the lovely coastal town of Kas, your gulet will take you to a nearby secluded bay where you will have the option to dive! Kas is one of the best spots along the Mediterranean coastline for diving. You will see fascinating sea life and the area is also known for underwater caves, shipwrecks, and reefs. Being certified is not necessary and diving is open to all levels.

Oludeniz Blue Lagoon

As one of the most photographed sites in all of Turkey, Oludeniz is sure to impress. A day here can be spent relaxing on board or on the shores of the sparkling Blue Lagoon. Options for paragliding can also be taken advantage of for those who are seeking adventure. The beach is lined with cafes where you can enjoy a drink while soaking in the perfect summer weather that this area of Turkey is known for. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the magnificent blue water overshadowed but the stunning Babadag mountain, the launching point for the many paragliders you will see floating high above.

Snorkeling at Orak Island

Orak Island is another popular snorkeling and diving spot and can be reached when traveling the Bodrum to Gokova blue cruise route. As if swimming in a crystal clear aquarium, exploring the waters surrounding this island is like a dream. Reefs and sea creatures will surround you and if you choose to swim ashore, the natural scenery provides the perfect atmosphere for some light trekking.

Greece & Turkey in One Holiday

Whether you opt for a standard cabin cruise or for a private yacht charter Turkey departing from Bodrum, it is possible to explore explore the Turkish coast as well as the nearby Dodecanese islands of Greece. Two routes, one exploring the northern Greek islands and the other which heads south, offer a relaxing journey through Greek culture, history, and stunning island beauty. The islands of Kos, Rhodes, Symi, and Kalimnos (to name only a few) are included on these routes and boast spectacular views as you approach each small harbor.

 

The Most Relaxing Blue Cruise Spots in Turkey

Blue cruising is synonymous with relaxation. However, there are a few spots along the turquoise coast of Turkey that will invite an exceptional level of calm into your life. Far from the maddening crowds, these destinations are sure to having you feeling calm and relaxed after just a few hours on board. All of these locations are reachable by boat and in fact, the most relaxing way to enjoy these places is on board a Turkish gulet. Days can be spent exploring charming villages and pristine beaches while evenings and nights are spent on board with delicious meals and a peaceful night’s sleep gently rocking with the waves.

Butterfly Valley

Butterfly Valley is an incredible canyon that reaches up to almost 2,000 meters above sea level. The cliffs are steep and the beach at the bottom of the canyon is only accessible by boat (or by an incredibly steep foot path), making this one of the most relaxing spots along any Turkish gulet blue cruise route. The valley is home to various species of butterflies, giving it its fitting name. You can easily fill your day here with relaxing time on the boat, a short swim to shore, sunbathing on the beach, and walks around the area to explore the local flora and fauna. The beach is never crowded due to its hard to reach location and the water is typically very calm. Spending the night in this bay is spectacular. Sunset bring cooling colors of purple and blue and sunrise gives way to brilliant oranges, yellows, and reds with the rising morning sun. The stars are also a magnificent sight. A day and night spent at Butterfly Valley is sure to rejuvenate and relax as the sounds of nature and the sea transport you to a secluded and peaceful place, both in mind and body.

Gocek

Surrounded by mountains and stunning scenery, Gocek is yet another beautiful and peaceful destination. Gocek is a uniquely quiet place, relatively untouched by tourism due to the lack of swimmable waterfront. However, when traveling by boat, sunbathing and swimming is always an option on board, allowing passengers to enjoy this bay for everything else it has to offer. Rustic waterside restaurants and a small town with shops and bars will give you plenty of reason to go ashore and explore the waterfront. Gocek is protected from overdevelopment and has managed to remain a tranquil town in a gulf surrounded by mountains, islands, and calm waters.

Kas

This picturesque town provides the perfect opportunity to slowly re-enter civilization after days of solitude in quiet bays along the coast. It is a small town with an unhurried ambiance and is the perfect place to wander cobblestoned streets and stop for a coffee in one of the waterfront cafes. There are some historical sights including an amphitheater and mountainside cliffs toms. Quaint shops with locally made souvenirs, jewelry stores, and art galleries line the small streets and there are plenty of dimly lit bars to enjoy an evening drink after a meal aboard your gulet. Kas has a vibrant but calm atmosphere is a welcoming break from the larger nearby cities of Antalya and Fethiye.

Symi

Symi is a Greek island accessible only by gulet or ferry from other nearby Greek islands. It is known for its striking harbor filled with colorful homes that create the atmosphere of a perfectly painted traditional Greek village. This is a popular stop along gulet routes that begin and end in the port town of Bodrum. Symi is an ideal way to experience Greek culture, history, and food and the peaceful evening atmosphere is a perfect ending to a day spent exploring ruins, cypress forests, and a few of the 120 local wine presses.

Cleopatra’s Bath (Hamam Bay)

If you opt for a Marmaris gulet cruise, be sure that your route makes a stop in this spot where Cleopatra once came to bathe. As legend has it, a Roman bath was constructed in this spot for Cleopatra by Marc Anthony as a wedding present. Remains of an ancient hamam still stand here and are open to visitors to explore. The medicinal water in this bay is infused with the minerals from a nearby thermal spring. This is an extremely quiet and peaceful spot and will prove to be a perfect break, especially after spending time in the bustling harbor town of Marmaris.

Simena Castle with a Gulet Cruise: Must-see destination in Mediterranean Turkey

If you have ever wanted to visit this magical corner of Turkey, known for the historical sights of Simena Castle and the Sunken City of Kekova, look no further. Hop on a gulet cruise to experience the majesty of both attractions. Private yacht charters, weekly gulet cruises, and smaller day trip boats can be found anchored around the the island of Kekova and the nearby coastal village of Simena (modern day Kalekoy), home to the magnificent Simena Castle. Many of these boats anchor for the day and passengers spend warm summer afternoons swimming in the clear water before riding ashore to Simena and attempting the steep hike up to the castle. Simena dates back to the 4th century BC and neighbors the charming village of Ucagiz. It is a very special experience to travel this area by gulet, the bays are sheltered and calm and serve as an ideal stopover for boats of any size.

Simena Castle

Simena is most commonly reached by boat but can also be accessed on foot via nearby Ucagiz. Simena Castle was built during the Byzantine period by the Knights of Rhodes and is a well preserved highlight of ancient Lycia. The walk to the top is steep and winds up a cobbled path lined with homes and shops filled with hand-made souvenirs. The climb is challenging but rewarding as the views from this dominant point are absolutely stunning. The turquoise water shimmers and is sprinkled with yachts headed both east towards Olympos and west towards the harbor town of Fethiye.  Inside of the castle, a small amphitheater with a capacity of approximately 300 people can be found and provides evidence that this was a minor settlement during Roman times.

At the bottom of the village, there are seaside cafes serving delicious Turkish food and fresh locally caught fish. If you are visiting Simena by land, there are also a few options for comfortable and affordable lodging.

Kekova, The Sunken City

Easily accessible by private yacht charter or cabin cruise, the Sunken City of Kekova is a unique destination along this yachting route. Known as Dolichiste during the Lycian era, Kekova island underwent various settlements, even following the earthquake that destroyed and sunk the town.

Kekova island is also a population day trip destination by boat from Kas, Demre, and Ucagiz. Although swimming is forbidden over the ruins, captains will slowly cruise just above the remains and passengers can take their time and admire from above. Swimming is permitted further west and tourists can snorkel close by the remains of a partly submerged Byzantine chapel.

Other Lycian Highlights of the Area

This part of Turkey is filled with ruins and thousands of Lycian sarcophagi can be found in the area. From Ucagiz, other ancient Lycian towns such as Isinda and Trysa can be easily explored. Ucagiz is a protected village and development is off-limits, preserving its quaint qualities and historical atmosphere. The village becomes very quiet at night once tourists return to their tour buses and gulets, making it an ideal place to spend a calm and relaxing evening.

However, it is hard to beat the experience of sleeping on a gulet that is anchored in one of the secluded bays of this region. With Yacht Charter Turkey, sleeping on deck beneath the stars while being slowly rocked to sleep by the evening waves is the perfect ending to a day filled with sun, swimming, and steep climbs to sensational views.

Check out Olympos Before or After Your Fethiye – Olympos Blue Cruise

If your next trip to Turkey includes a blue cruise along the magnificent Turquoise coast, be sure to take a few days to experience the wonders of Olympos before or after your voyage (cruises travel in both directions, to and from the charming port town of Fethiye). Only a 1 ½ hour ride from Antalya, Turkey’s 8th largest city, Olympos is easy to reach and full of things to see and do.

The ancient city of Olympos is a well-preserved representation of the past and is only a few minutes walk from a stunning beach with crystal clear turquoise waters. The secluded nearby village is full of affordable accommodation and home-cooked Turkish food. Olympos will easily prove itself to be one of the best decisions you made during your adventure in Turkey.

Getting There

Minivan rides from Antalya to Olympos are affordable and enjoyable, meandering along the coastal road with some magnificent views. If Olympos is the first stop on your Blue Cruise, this is the best way to arrive. Private cars can also be hired and your reserved accommodation in Olympos may offer this service. However, if you Blue Cruise ends in Olympos, the reverse trip is just as efficient. Similar minivan services are provided from other nearby coastal towns such a Kas and Demre.

Ancient City

Olympos was one of the ancient cities of Lycia and is ideally located in a river valley alongside the coast. The ruins are part of Olympos Beydaglari National Park and are open for exploration for a small fee (which also includes entrance to the beach). You can explore the ancient bathouse, amphitheater, and countless remains of buildings that served as communal areas, temples, and homes.

Olympos Beach

Olympos Beach is a long, stony stretch with the ruins of the ancient city on the west end and the hamlet of Cirali to the east. It is a pleasant destination year round and during the summer you can find it full with sunbathers, swimmers, and brave souls jumping from the nearby rocks that jut out high from the sea. Sellers walk back and forth, settling cold drinks and typical Turkish snacks of corn, mussels, and baked goods.

Unique Accommodation

Olympos is known for its backpacker vibe which has added to the preferred style of accommodation in the valley. Small bungalows known as tree houses can be seen along the main road that leads through town. Many offer AC, wifi, and two meals a day and provide the ideal break from long days in the sun.

Trekking, Watersports, & ATV Tours

If lounging on the beach is not of interest, Olympos has many options for those looking for a more active getaway. Olympos is full of mountain trails, perfect for trekking or ATVing with local guides. The 500km Lycian Way passes directly through Olympos and day hikers can follow the route to their liking. In town you can also find tours to the Chimera eternal flames located on a mountainside about 7 kilometers from Olympos. You will find options to do this hike in its entirety as well as to take a minivan ride for the majority of the way. Kayaking is also a great option when visiting the beach. By kayak, you can explore the coastline up close, discovering caves and ruins unreachable by land.

So if you leave a few days after your Fethiye to Olympos Blue Cruise (or vice versa), you will not regret your decision to stay and explore Olympos. It is a quiet and secluded getaway filled with history and natural beauty. This gem of southern Turkey is not to be missed.

Bodrum Blue Cruise: The top places and beaches to visit on a gulet

With so many beautiful places and beaches to explore, and Bodrum itself being a highlight of the area, blue cruises that traverse this part of Turkey are full of opportunities for adventure and relaxation.Many gulet cruise Turkey routes begin and end in this port town so leave a few days before or after your reservation to explore the rich culture and history that Bodrum has to offer. Bodrum was previously an ancient Greek city known as Halicarnassus. The castle of St. Peter overlooks the harbor and it partly constructed from the remains of a mausoleum that once stood in its place before it was destroyed by a devastating earthquake. Bodrum has an interesting mixture of the historical, the bohemian, and the modern. Take a water along the marina to the west or along a long stretch of beach lined with shops, cafes, and bars to the east.

Gulf of Gokova: Islands, Bays, and Villages

Gokova is an area full of must-see places, including Turkish islands, striking bays, and charming villages. The Seven Islands and Orak Island are remote and untouched and are ideal for diving, snorkeling, and wandering on land. The English Harbor is another hidden gem. It is a bay, lush with greenery and calm water that is perfect for swimming. Sedir Island is filled with ancient ruins and the sandy and relaxing Cleopatra beach where you can easily spend a day exploring. The ruins provide the atmosphere of an open air museum and you can walk around freely to discover the artifacts and ancient amphitheater. Karacasogut village is a popular stop along the coast. The village is only 25km from Marmaris and is a lovely place to explore the local  shops and cafes.

North and South Greek Islands and the Turkish Aegean Coast

Depending on which Bodrum gulet cruise you choose, the nearby Greek islands might be on your itinerary. Visitors have a choice between two major routes – through either the north or south Greek islands. These routes also make stops along the Aegean Turkish coast, creating the perfect combination of Greek and Turkish culture in one relaxing holiday. The northern gulet route travels to the islands of Kos, Aspat, Leros, Patmos, Lipsi, Kalymnos, Pserimos, and Xerokampos. The island of Kos is a highlight along this route, it is only 4 kilometers from Bodrum and is known as the birthplace of Hippocrates. Sandy beaches, rich history, and a vibrant nightlight attract visitors to the island throughout the summer. The remaining island stops along this route are filled with lush greenery, beautiful beaches, and local culture and history. Turgutreis and Aspat, both in Turkey, are also included on this route.. Turgutreis is the second largest city on the Bodrum peninsula and the climate is ideal for windsurfing. The beach here is also a great place to spend the day and many charming nearby villages are only a short minibus ride away. Aspat is one of these villages. Aspat Bay is a small and quiet place with a view reachable by a narrow path leading to a stunning panorama of the area. Hikers will love this stop and for those interested more in a relaxing time, the bay also has a small and secluded beach to enjoy.

The southern route also makes a stop at Kos but makes further stops at Symi and Rhodes, two very popular holiday destinations in the area. Symi is a small island, less than an hour from Rhodes. It has colorful buildings that have been restored according to strict regulations. It is a mountainous island and there is plenty of history and nature to experience.  Although it is ideal to visit Rhodes as part of a relaxing gulet cruise, it is also easily accessible by ferries making daily trips from Fethiye, Turkey. Rhodes is a much larger island with over 140 miles of coastline. The port town is full of restaurants, bars, and shops, with a castle and archaeological museum within walking distance. Be sure to join a tour group or rent a vespa so that you can explore the rest of the island and perhaps even the vibrant nightlife in the nearby town of Lindos.

Regardless of which route you choose, you are sure to enjoy your Bodrum Blue Cruise. All options include fabulous sights and food, and relaxing spots to enjoy the natural beauty that will surround you throughout each hour of the day.

Blue Cruise Routes to Take From Marmaris

As the largest harbor in Turkey, there are plenty of options for your Blue Cruise from Marmaris. Many cruises either begin or end in Marmaris, providing an ideal opportunity to explore this coastal town before or after embarking on your Mediterranean adventure.It is a bustling port town and has much to offer in the new center as well as in old town that surrounds the castle. Cruises depart and arrive daily and your options are limitless, particularly if you might be considering a chartered blue voyage for your private group. However, there are plenty of cabin cruises also available with predetermined routes that explore many of the following destinations.

Marmaris to Fethiye to Marmaris

This option makes various stops as the gulets head east towards Fethiye. Expect days filled with relaxing on board while exploring stops along the way such as Ekincik, Cleopatra’s Bath, Fethiye. the Yassica Islands, and Domuz Island. From Ekincik, there are two shore excursion options that will take you either to Dalyan or Kaunas where you can opt for a river boat trip or a few hours at the pristine Turtle beach where the Caretta sea turtles lay their eggs throughout the summer. Cleopatra’s bath was named after a wedding gift given to Cleopatra from the Roman general, Marc Anthony. The ruins of an ancient hamam still exist in this bay and can be freely explored.

Before turning around to return to Marmaris, this route makes a stop in Fethiye, famous as a mid-size port town with bustling markets, ancient Lycian rock tombs, and a beautiful harbor promenade. Be sure to enjoy a meal at the local fish market where fresh fish of any kind can be prepared to order. On your return to Marmaris, you will have the chance to island hop and explore the natural beauty that the Yassica islands and Domuz island have to offer.

Marmaris to Datca to the Greek Islands

This route combines the highlights of the Datca peninsula with visits to the Greek islands of Symi and Rhodes. Making stops at Bozukkale and Bozburun before continuing on to the Datca peninsula, there is endless culture and history to be experienced in this region as Bozukkale is home to the ancient city of Loryma and nine temples that visitors are able to tour. The 50 mile long Datca peninsula is the meeting point for the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. Because this pristine area is fairly difficult to reach by land (with many preferring to holiday in the nearby cities of Bodrum and Marmaris), this is a relatively untouched area with stunning natural beauty. There are plenty of hidden coves and beaches, only accessible by boat, and blue cruising is a fabulous way to enjoy this hard to reach places.

After Datca, your gulet will venture into Greek waters towards the Dodecandese Greek islands of Symi and Rhodes. Symi is the perfect place to watch the sunset and be sure to get out your camera while approaching the unique harbor with its 19th century neo-classical houses and pine covered hills. Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecandese islands and can be explored in a number of ways. The island boasts a large medieval city and tours from the city center can take you to beautiful spots located all around the 150 mile long coastline. The nightlife in the towns of Rhodes and Lindos are a great way to end your day after exploring historical sights and enjoying a delicious meal on board.

Marmaris to Gocek

This Marmaris Blue Cruise route makes many of the stops you are already familiar with, including Cleopatra’s Bath and the Yassica Islands. However, stops in Gocek, St Nicholas Island, and the 12 Islands are also included on this tour. Gocek is a small port town that has avoided overdevelopment from the tourism of this area. It is a quiet bay and although there is no beach, it is a great spot to anchor and swim from your gulet. If you do decided to ride ashore, there are a few charming shops and restaurants along the waterfront and an evening stroll could be a perfect way to end your day here. St Nicholas Island and the 12 Islands are untouched gems that are perfect for light trekking and snorkeling. St Nicholas Island is also known for its stunning sunsets so be sure to catch one before returning back to Marmaris.

All Gulet Cruise Options to Take from Bodrum

Bodrum is the blue cruising capital of Turkey and many routes can be explored via the fleet of gulet cruises you see filling the harbor. Bodrum is the beginning and end destinations for all of the following routes so be sure to take time to explore the town either before or  after boarding you blue cruise. If your travel plans in Turkey land you in this charming seaside town, be sure to hop on a scheduled or private Blue Cruise to experience the scenery of this exquisite part of the world.Cruises are available for all itineraries and budgets and experienced captains will expertly guide you through these hard to choose from routes. 

Gokova

For the perfect balance of small seaside coves and ancient ruins, this route through the gulf of Gokova is the perfect choice. Orak Island is the first stop and a well known diving spot in the area. You will find yourself surrounded by smaller boats on day trips with divers exploring the extraordinary underwater scenery. The island is famous for a vertical reef wall descending almost 80 meters. The island is also the perfect place for snorkeling or simply floating around in these crystal clear calm waters.

Your cruise on this route will then meander through the Seven Islands, an ideal place to anchor and explore the natural scenery. Lazy snorkeling and wandering around the preserved islands will fill your day at this stop. Karacasogut Village comes next on this route. Full of even more places to explore for nature lovers, the town center is a close distance to nearby waterfalls, swimming holes, and caves.

North Greek Islands

The Greek island routes are ideal for those seeking to include some of the sights in both Turkey and Greece. Although this route begins in Bodrum, the gulet will pass through the northern Greek islands of this region before returning to Turkey to make a few stops along the turquoise coast. With plenty of time to swim and snorkel in many of the bays in between, this northern route makes stops at the islands of Kos, Pserimos, Xerakampos, Leros, Platanos, Lipsi, Patmos, and Kalymnos before returning to Turkey. There is always plenty of time to explore what each of these islands has to offer. The island of Kos in particular is a highlight along this route, known for its historical sights and sandy beaches. The harbor is dominated by a 15th century castle and will come into clear view as you approach the island.

South Greek Islands

This yet another unique opportunity to explore the culture and scenery of two countries in one relaxing trip. The south Greek island route also includes the island of Kos, but makes additional stops at Nisyros, Symi, and Rhodes before backtracking along the Turkish coast in the direction of Bodrum. This Bodrum Blue Cruise option explores islands known as some of the most population summer destinations for tourists from all over the world.

Nisyros is a volcanic island and is still relatively untouched by tourism. It is a quiet island with quaint cobbled streets and a few local tavernas and bars to enjoy. Symi is just a few miles off of the Turkish coast and is know for the rows of colorful restored homes along the harbor. It is a mountainous island with many small coves and beaches to explore. Panormitis, a small village on the island is famous for monastery that is frequented by Greek tourists.

Rhodes

You can also choose this shorter route which highlights Rhodes and also makes a few stops along the Turkish coast in secluded bays perfect for snorkeling and spending the night.

Rhodes is the largest of the Greek Dodecanese islands and the main city is home to a population of approximately 50,000 people. The old town still maintains World Heritage status and with its cobbled streets and sunny cafes, it is the perfect place for a stroll to take in the sights and local history. From the city of Rhodes, many options for day excursions around the remainder of the island are available. Rhodes boasts 140 miles of coastline with villages and resorts spread all around. The nearby town of Lindos on the island is also worth a visit for its vibrant nightlife.

Top 5 gulet routes starting in Marmaris and all about Turkish gulets

Marmaris is an ideal starting point for a holiday on the water. Heading west down the Datca Peninsula there are the Greek Islands, east heads towards Fethiye while the Island of Rhodes lies fairly close off the Turkish mainland. There is plenty of choice and much will depend upon how long you have to enjoy this great part of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Those deciding to start their holiday in Marmaris have two possible points of entry on the Turkish mainland. Dalaman Airport is east of Marmaris, around 90 minutes away. There are numerous direct flights from many regional airports in Europe and the Middle East. Bodrum’s Airport at Milas is to the north and is a similar distance away.

Taking to the Sea

The immediate vicinity of Marmaris is extremely interesting. Cleopatra Island, a nickname given to Sedir Island in the Gulf of Gokova, has Greek and Roman ruins. It has a great beach with the sand seemingly brought by Mark Anthony for the pleasure of his Egyptian lover, Cleopatra. It’s a great place to spend some time. Cennet (‘’paradise’’ in Turkish) Island is another place to visit. Marmaris Gulet Cruises are really ideal for doing this because the Island is only accessible by sea even though it is not actually an island.

Nearby there are resorts that attract visitors on a gulet; Icmeler, Turunc, Gokova are worth a visit while plans have recently been announced to build what will be the biggest yacht in the world at Bozburun. Its hull will be finished next year although it is not expected to be launched until 2020.

Datca Peninsula

The route west down the Peninsula is stunning. While in some ways the Peninsula looks barren, this is an extremely fertile area and many would argue that Datca tomatoes compare favourably with any in the world. There is a host of places to drop anchor to swim or fish and diving into the warm sea each morning is a great way to wake up to a new day. Even though every passenger will have a cabin it is great fun to sleep on deck.

Four Days East

The journey from Marmaris to Fethiye is difficult to beat. A relaxing few days on a gulet offers beautiful bays such as Ekincik, the protected Iztuzu Beach and the Lycian rock tombs of Dalyan before the many islands off Gocek and Fethiye. There are great beaches, quiet coves and guaranteed sun.

Rhodes

A Turkish gulet to the Greek Island of Rhodes is a chance to sample Greece and its people. Locally relations are excellent and it is just a matter of hoisting the Greek flag to get a warm welcome to this island that has so much to offer the visitor.

Once you experience a gulet holiday out of Marmaris you are likely to want to come back for more. As you can see there is plenty of choice.