When planning your next trip to Turkey, consider taking a cruise on a yacht in the Mediterranean Sea. Many different journeys are available to suit all tastes and budgets but the cruise between Demre and Fethiye is one of the most popular itineraries. You’ll get the chance to experience some of the best that the Turkish Riviera has to offer.
The journey starts in Demre’s busy harbor. Here, you’ll board the yacht (also known as a gulet) on which you will be spending your time. From the moment the yacht sets off towards the first destination, you can leave your worries and troubles on the dock. You’re about to several days soaking up the sun and taking in unforgettable landscapes.
To stimulate your wanderlust, here are a few highlights of the places you will be visiting along way:
The most popular site in this small town on the Mediterranean coast is easily the Santa Claus Museum. The museum was once a church dating back to the 6th century and later restored in the 11th century. It was also one of the places St. Nicholas’ remains were held. Santa Claus aside, there are many other historical sites to see in Demre. The breathtaking ruins of ancient Myra contain an amphitheater and Lycian rock tombs.
Kekova sunken city
One of the first stops on this journey is Kekova sunken city. As implied by its name, this is an underwater city. Nearly 2000 years ago, a strong earthquake left the city in ruins with many parts partly or completely submerged. For centuries, the area was left abandoned. In recent years it has become a popular spot for sailing. Swimming and scuba diving are forbidden but looking down into the crystal-clear water, you can easily see walls and remnants of various buildings.
Only a few minutes away from Sunken city is the charming hillside village of Kalekoy (also known as Simena). Though quite small, Kalekoy offers lots of things to see, including Lycian tombs, a Greek theater, and an ancient castle. To reach the castle you’ll have to walk uphill through a small maze of lovely cobbled streets lined with cascading bougainvillea. Once you reach the top, you are rewarded with a stunning view of the bay and the nearby islands.
This pretty fishing village lives up to all your Mediterranean dreams. It’s the perfect place for a relaxing stroll, checking out the boutiques and admiring the pretty traditional houses. If you’re hungry when you get here, a good selection of restaurants serve excellent fresh seafood (though you’ll be extremely well-fed on the boat, more on that later). Kas is also an amazing scuba diving destination with more than thirty diving locations displaying sunken ruins, diverse marine life, and colorful flora. If scuba diving isn’t your thing, you can also opt to kayak over the city’s sunken treasures and have a great view thanks to the incredibly clear waters.
Oludeniz and the Butterfly valley
Known as the blue lagoon, Oludeniz’s beach is one of the most famous in all of Turkey and with good reason. The beach is actually a long and narrow piece of land that stretches out into the water, creating a lagoon. If you’re into paragliding, you’ll be pleased to know that Olu Deniz is one of the best places in the world to practice this activity. The view you’ll get when jumping over the beach is simply unbeatable.
Just a few kilometers away from Oludeniz is the Butterfly valley, which owes its name to the roughly 130 butterfly species that live in this particular area. If you like hiking, follow the path which leads you through the valley to see a lovely waterfall.
St. Nicholas Island
This small island, also known as Gemile Island, contains ruins of various religious structures that date back from the fourth to the sixth century. The name St. Nicholas Island comes from the saint himself. It is believed that he was born in a nearby town and this island was his first resting place before being moved to Demre and then later to Italy. It is a beautiful place to visit with incredible views of the Mediterranean and the other islands that surround it.
Fethiye is a popular summer tourist destination and a busy cruise port. It’s especially known for its historic ruins, beautiful seafront views, and many shops. The Old Town is a perfect place to get lost while exploring the alleys. The Tomb of Amyntas built in 350 BC is located in Fethiye as well as an ancient Roman theater. Shop for fresh fruits and vegetables at the Fethiye Market or simply relax and take in the sun at one of the nearby beaches. Help Beach is one the most popular worth checking out.
Swimming, eating, and relaxing
As you can imagine, during your time on the boat you’ll have loads of opportunities to jump into the water for a good swim. When you’re not busy swimming, sunbathing, or taking part in one of many activities offered on this journey, you’ll probably be eating. In Turkey, food and the process of mealtime are taken seriously. In that sense, your yacht crew will want you to get the whole experience. From the spectacular, plentiful Turkish breakfasts to the flavorful salads, grilled fish, and meats, you’ll never go hungry!
An unforgettable trip
This itinerary packs many things in a short amount of time. You’ll see historic sites, visit traditional villages, and admire unbelievably beautiful landscapes. Not only that but you’ll also have plenty of time to relax and enjoy life. When on a boat, our relationship to time changes completely. Once you board the yacht, you’ll forget about deadlines and problems. The only you’ll have to think about is all the fun you’re having with your new friends, the amazing things you’re experiencing and the beautiful pictures you’re capturing in the meantime.