The coolest way to cruise isn’t new. It’s very traditional. Turkish gulets don’t have the opulence of superyachts, but they’re trending right now.
People are now discovering how a Turkish gulet is a luxurious way to have two holidays in one. They’re cool because they combine a classic leisure holiday with a genuine adventure.
What is a Turkish Gulet?
Gulets are large sailing boats, traditional to Turkey’s southwestern coast. We asked His excellency Egemen Bağış about them. He’s Ambassador of Turkey to the Czech Republic.
Gulets are usually wooden but engineers now use the same technology to build them with fibreglass. This makes them lighter and more comfortable. You can use the wind and sail. Or use the engine and speed.
Obviously they look completely different to modern supteryachts, like Khalilah or Esmeralda of the Seas. But they do have a high standard of contemporary amenities, like air-conditioned cabins, large indoor and outdoor lounge areas, a dedicated crew and service.
Large gulets measure over 30 metres and also have a spaciousness on par with top catamarans like the Sunbreeze. Design and aesthetics are not the largest differences between gulets and superyachts. It’s actually the price. Gulets are exceptional value, perhaps only a quarter of the cost for a summer charter.
Why is the Turkish Gulet Trending?
For €255,000 a week you can charter the 48-metre Khalilah. For €80,000 a week you can charter a superyacht in summer. Demand is high and prices do keep going up. The best Turkish gulets are more like €20,000 a week in July and August, cheaper outside these peak months.
Price is one reason they’re now trending. For a reasonable price you get a five-star-level charter, on a modern 26-metre air-conditioned vessel, with six to eight ensuite cabins for 12 to 16 people.
They’re an increasingly popular choice for friends and family wanting a private vacation on the sea. Not all yachts are made the same and the same is true of gulets, even if they look similar from a distance. There is a wide variation of quality and only some are up to our standards.
Why are Turkish Gulets so Cool?
In one sense it’s a classic leisure holiday. Sailing on the breeze. Lounging on the deck beneath the sun. Swimming in deserted warm waters. Dropping anchor in interesting harbours and hidden bays. Cruising the coast and disconnecting from the everyday world.
A gulet is also an adventure in Turkey. It’s more than sun, sea, sail and swim. It’s history and culture and exploring one of the world’s most interesting regions. So what’s on route?
Ancient World Heritage cities like Letoon, Xanthos, Aperlai and Simena, timeless places narrating tales of different empires.
The magic of Marmaris, with its castle and archaeological discoveries.
Ancient sites of Loryma, Knidos , Idyma, Kaunos and Phoenix. Sakilkent Canyon, Simena, Turgut Waterfall, night walks in the forest and hiking trails along the cliffs.
The ruins of Anastasiapolis and Kedrai on Sedir Island. Kiz Kumu and the Carian Kings’ Tombs.
Bodrum, a fantastic old city with its cobbled streets and domineering castle.
Your Turkish Gulet Holiday?
Not everything is flexible with a private gulet charter. Be aware that air conditioning is usually restricted to eight hours per day and when in harbour, it must be switched off after midnight. Generally, a week-long charter runs from Saturday to Saturday. You can start and end on different days but it will cost more.
Although you could start and end from anywhere along the southwestern coast, but we recommend three destinations for logistical reasons.
Marmaris – A historical city close to Dalaman Airport. Being at the centre of the region means complete flexibility over your gulet itinerary.
Fethiye – The easternmost starting point for a gulet cruises, made very accessible by Dalaman Airport.
We recommend a one-way journey, such as Bodrum to Marmaris or Fethiye to Bodrum. But that’s only an initial recommendation. Do you prefer the best coves for swimming or the most impressive historical sites? Do you want one land excursion per day or two?
A Turkish gulet is cool because you have so many choices. Get in touch with us and we’ll show you what’s possible.