Sailing in Turkey

Gulet sailing in Turkey… let the adventure begin!

Hop on your wonderfully equipped gulet (a wooden sailing vessel from the southwestern coast of Turkey) and sail along the beautiful Turkish Riviera, popularly known as the Turquoise Coast. We believe sailing is one of the best way to explore the Mediterranean and sailing here does not disappoint. You will discover ancient cities, isolated villages, harbours, tombs, sun-drenched sandy beaches in small coves, forests, and streams all along the Turquoise Coast, making this an exceptional holiday adventure. The crystal clear coastline of Turkey also makes it ideal for swimming, enjoying water sports and exploring a mesmerising marine world. Turkey also enjoys a warm climate meaning the sailing season is longer. May, June, September and October are perfect times to visit.

Why sail here?

Sailing is one of the best ways to explore the Turkish coast. And a stunning coastline it is too. Densely wooded mountains drop dramatically down into cerulean waters; tiny bays fringed with golden sands are often quite empty, and sometimes, around a headland, you’ll catch a glimpse of some ancient archaeological ruin.

Much of the coast is not accessible by road, giving it a remote and untouched feel, and then when you least expect it, a taverna owner will row up to your moored boat, show you the catch of the day, and ask how you’d like it cooked. Much of the sailing is line of sight, with short distances between picturesque bays, anchorages or marinas. And if you’re after some cosmopolitan living, then a day or night in Bodrum or Göcek offers plenty to do and see. Thanks to its southern Mediterranean position, the sailing season in Turkey lasts longer than its neighbours further north, and mountains mean the breezes usually remain consistently calm. Then, there’s the Turkish hospitality – they love to welcome visitors. Our sailing in Turkey is all aboard gulets – the traditional wooden boats of the region. Spacious and exceptionally comfortable, they come with every comfort imaginable, lots of deck space for lounging, a huge number of toys, and most importantly, an expert skipper, a host and a chef. In fact, they are the perfect introduction to sailing.

A day in the life

Think of your gulet as a small, boutique hotel, but with the added bonus of it just being your family and friends on board, and the crew waiting on you alone. You will have discussed your itinerary beforehand, according to what kind of sailing you’d like to do, where you’d like to visit and the prevailing conditions – but this can be altered day to day. From the early morning tea, coffee or juice brought to you, to a night cap at the end of the day, you are thoroughly looked after.

Perhaps you’ll wake up in a deserted bay, dive in for a swim, or paddle board over to the beach. After breakfast, choose a book from the library, and claim your space on the expansive wooden deck. If the conditions are right, then possibly an hour or so of waterskiing, or maybe some snorkeling in the crystal clear waters around the gulet. The anchor is pulled up, and the course is set for a lunch time spot. You might spend the afternoon beachcombing, lazing about in a kayak, or visiting a local archaeological site – it’s a tough choice. Then mid afternoon, set sail once more to another idyllic location along the coast, or off a small, uninhabited island, for a peaceful evening of listening to the gentle sound of waves lapping against the boat and looking up at the stars.

Food & Drink

The chefs on board are handpicked and have a remarkable ability to create mouthwatering and memorable food. From the moment you step on board, to the moment you leave, you most certainly don’t go hungry. In fact, as you arrive, you’re greeted with a welcome drink of something chilled and bubbly, and something that the chef has rustled up. Breakfast each day is delicious selection of meats, cheeses, olives, yoghurts, fresh bread, jams and fruit.

Then throughout the day, the crew are on hand to bring you chilled drinks – it’s thirsty work lying on a boat! Lunch magically appears – usually salads, grilled meats and fruit, all accompanied by a very good wine list. Leave room for afternoon tea, and as the sun begins to dip, then an obligatory sundowner or two. Pre-dinner drinks and nibbles are served, then dinner is normally a formal affair, with a choice of local mezes, meat and fish, then traditional Turkish puddings. The food on board is all truly exceptional.

Activities & Experiences

The gulets come with a great selection of toys from sailing dinghies to paddle boards, kayaks to snorkeling gear and waterskiing equipment – you can be as active or inactive as you want. The coastline is full of picture perfect beaches – you can swim to them, or get taken over on the tender – and you’ll also find some of the region’s most interesting archaeological sites that are definitely worth exploring.

At Xanthos, there’s an 8th century BC amphitheatre, against the beautiful backdrop of the Taurus Mountains, and close by, are the rock tombs of Amynthas – incredible structures carved into the cliffs. If you’re near Fethiye and you have a head for heights, try tandem paragliding off Babadag Mountain – 6500ft up and down onto the beach.

Our favourite spots

There are so many different routes along the coastline, with islands to circumnavigate and explore; empty inlets to anchor in and villages along the way to visit and wander around. We love the Gulf of Fethiye for its calm waters, speckled with countless islets and historic ruins. Göcek marina is often full of superyachts, but the village retains its sleepy charms. The landscape and beaches around here are truly beautiful. We love the Datça Peninsula, south of Bodrum, for its gentle sailing, the colour of the water and the coastal scenery.

A stop off in Bodrum is a must. This striking town is teeming with wonderful places to eat, very good shopping, and is the place to experience an authentic Turkish bath. Further out, Sedir Island is famous for its white sand – made from tiny shells, and further along the coast, you’ll come to Karacasogut, where you’ll find a waterfall and pool for swimming and caves to explore. Hopefully you’ll get to anchor in Longoz, one of the most beautiful bays in the entire region, then for a slice of authentic Turkish life, head for Gumusluk, for its laidback feel and great selection of restaurants.

The Salamander

Find out more about your gulet – The Salamander

The Salamander