Turkish Coast and Greek Islands by Gulet

Experiences

The Client

A Gulet is a large, traditional Turkish boat, usually made of wood and with a professional crew, which can generally accommodate more guests than a standard sailing yacht.

This is the story of two brothers, their partners and three other couples – a total of 10 passengers – who wanted to explore both the Turkish coastline and Greek Islands on a charter yacht.

The Requirements

  • Sunday departure to fit with their fixed dates
  • Comfortable accommodation for five couples, plus good sized bathrooms
  • A skipper, hostess and cook
  • Plenty of cultural sites, quiet bays and the odd vibrant harbour
  • Watersports

Where and When

This holiday was part of a larger trip for the group, so their dates were fixed: the Gulet charter had to run from Sunday to Sunday at the end of July.

Given their desire to visit the Turkish coast and some Greek Islands, flying into Bodrum and Gocek in Turkey were both possible.

We recommended Bodrum, which is better situated for cruising the Dodecanese islands, and the group chose this option.

Budget

£2500 - 3000

per Couple

Yucebey I

After considering the options of a skippered catamaran or monohull, it became clear that a gulet would offer the best comfort and service for the group’s budget.

Out of the three gulets we presented, the group chose our recommended option due to its five spacious double cabins, all with ensuite bathrooms.

Their chosen vessel also featured plenty of deck cushions for sunbathing, a large tender, water toys and an area for al fresco dining – plus an outstanding crew of five to look after them for the week.

Continue reading to hear how they got on:

Turkish Coast and Greek Islands by Gulet

Bodrum Gulet Charter | Helm

Day 1

Bodrum, Bargains and Bellinis

After landing at Bodrum airport, our transfer drove us into the city so we could leave our bags on the boat and look around the bustling port.

Everyone picked up a few bargains, with the cheap leather bags being a particular favourite.

Returning to the gulet in time for cocktails at sunset, the crew treated us to a meal of traditional Turkish kebabs.

Gulet Cruising Greek Islands | Helm

Day 2

Sailing to Kos

Our first sail of the week took us over to the Greek island of Kos, where we spent the afternoon exploring the ruins of the Castle of the Knights.

Bikes were easy to hire, and made getting around the historic town speedy and fun.

At sunset, we all reconvened for cocktails on the white sands of Mylos beach.

Mandrake Town on Nisyros Island Greece | Helm

Day 3

Nisyros by Scooter

Today we continued to sail through the Dodecanese islands towards Nisyros, passing the island of Gyali with its towering cliffs made from thick layers of pumice stone.

Soon it was time for lunch, so we stopped at an incredible beach on the Aghios Antonios islet. After a quick swim and some fun on the wakeboards, we sailed on to Nisyros.

Mooring in Pali, we hired scooters to see the island beyond the harbour. We had the chance to walk the crater of the still active volcano – Nisyros is the youngest volcanic island in Greece – and stroll through the stunning white streets of Mandraki before heading back to the boat for dinner.

Symi Greece | helm

Day 4

The Colourful Island of Symi

A longer sail today took us to the island of Symi and gave us plenty of time for catching some rays up on the deck.

Our crew steered us to a secluded bay on the east of the island where we dove overboard and lazed in the turquoise sea.

Later we cruised round to the main harbour, where we were greeted by a gorgeous muddle of terracotta-crowned houses sprawling up the hill and countless cosy restaurants inviting us in.

Exploring Rhodes Greek Islands Gulet | Helm

Day 5

Medieval Rhodes

Day five took us to sheltered St Paul’s bay on the island of Rhodes, where we spent a couple of hours snorkelling in pursuit of its colourful marine life.

After lunch on board the yacht we sailed to Rhodes town and pottered through its maze of medieval streets in the afternoon sun.

As the evening arrived we settled in one of the many bars in Mandraki Harbour, sipping cocktails and dancing until long past midnight.

Amphitheatre of Knidos Greece Sailing Holidays | Helm

Day 6

Ancient City of Knidos

Our time on the Greek Islands sadly over, this morning we headed back to Turkey.

The first stop was the Datça peninsula, home to the ancient Carian city of Knidos.

After a morning exploring the ruins we sailed on to Palamutbuku, known for having the best beaches on the peninsula.

We dropped anchor, jumped into the sparkling waters and spent a relaxing afternoon in this idyllic setting.

Final Supper Seafood Gulet Charter | Helm

Day 7

Final Supper

On our way back to Bodrum we made one last stop at Poyraz Harbour for an afternoon of scuba diving.

With the marine life and rock formations starting at just five metres, it was well suited to the mix of abilities in our group.

Once we were all back aboard the yacht we made our final sail to Bodrum. We were treated to one last meal on the deck of the gulet, then toasted to a sublime holiday as the day’s sun slowly faded.

Cost breakdown

Yacht, fuel and crew: £10,000

Full board (three meals per day, snacks, soft drinks and local alcohol): £2,500

Premium wines: £300

Customs fees: £400

Airport transfers: £160

Gratuity (discretional): £1,000

£2,872

per Couple

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