Holidays that are extraordinary can be expensive for for the average person and cruising can be a costly type of vacation. However, cruises are often an unforgettable and magical experience. The big question is can you have this kind of magical holiday on a huge cruise liner? If you are unsure, there is an alternative that may be exactly what you want, and it is found in an already popular tourist destination; Turkey.
AlaTurka Cruises offer exceptional and unique tours that include land excursions as well as gulet cruises. A gulet is a traditional-style boat from the Mediterranean region. Once used as a working vessel either as a fishing trawler or used to dive for sponges, this Humble beginning has led to the modern gulet that is being made with customer comfort in mind.
These gulets are ideal for exploring the Turkish Coastline with many fantastic views and locations to explore. When taking a relaxing journey along the coast, the vessel must be comfortable and spacious. While the cabins are a little smaller than hotel rooms, the views and deck space more than makes up for this. As with hotels, if you increase your budget the rooms will have more space. However, with the Turkish sunshine and magnificent turquoise sea, how could you not spend your time above deck or swimming in the ocean?
The Turquoise Coast has always had a rich historical background with many fantastic photography opportunities. One of the starting points on these cruises is the port town of Demre. This town has a rich history, one of the most famous figures that came from here was St. Nicholas. This town is where St. Nicholas grew up and eventually became the bishop. The stories in Turkey of St. Nicholas show he was famous for his generosity and greatly admired for how he helped the poor, especially the children. The story of Santa Claus has been attributed to this Saint and the stories surrounding him.
As the gulet depart from Demre, the captain will head towards the Sunken City. The boat will stop along the way at Pirates cave which is the first place where passengers can enjoy a swim and snorkel within the cave itself. As the boat heads round to the Sunken City, you will be able to explore the ruins just beneath the waters surface. The ruins has been maintained but never renovated. Also, to protect the underwater section, swimming has been restricted but passengers will have a great view of the ruins from the gulet.
From these ruins the journey takes you to Simena Castle, this historic site is a village that grew around the ancient Byzantine castle that stands proudly on the hill. This town was once the protection for the area during the period of history when pirates were commonplace. Now, the hospitality of the locals in this remote village is heart-warming. Amongst all of the visitors that have stopped for something to eat or drink, most say that here is where they have found the best homemade ice cream.
A recommendation by those who visit Simena is to walk up the hill leading to the castle. The ruins here are open to the public and boast one of the best panoramic views of the area showing the harbour below, the Lycian tombs, and the theatre. This ancient amphitheatre was the smallest built in the area holding only 300 people. From this height, being able to look out over the turquoise waters is breathtaking and worth the walk.
Moving on from Simena Castle the cruise leisurely makes its way round to Gokkaya Bay. This area makes for an idyllic location to anchor down for the night. This particular spot has an amazing added benefit – there is a nightclub that can only be reached by boat. Smugglers Inn is a friendly place to have a drink and dance the night away before heading back to your gulet for a night of relaxing sleep.
As the cruise continues along the coast there are many fantastic natural sites to behold. Islands that only see visitors from passing vessels with no human inhabitants and bays with crystal-clear water are regular stops along the route. A highly alluring places is Butterfly Valley. This valley is an well-preserved piece of land that can only be reached by boat. Save for a small restaurant that houses a bar as well as showering facilities and a few bungalows, there is very little human interference in the valley.
When walking through Butterfly Valley there is a sense of connection to nature, especially during the time of year the butterflies are gracefully flying. Within the valley there is a waterfall and those who are more confident in their abilities or have previous experience climbing, it is possible to use the ropes in place to scale the valley wall.
With views that leave you wanting to come back again and again, it is no surprise that gulet cruises are becoming more popular with each passing year. When you next visit Turkey maybe it will be your turn to try these fantastically relaxing tours.