This classic Blue Cruise route along Turkey's historic Lycian coast features an itinerary that appeals to everyone. A perfect balance of things to do, places to see, and time for relaxing, plus lots of opportunity for raising the sails!
Four couples, 1 from Canada and 3 from the UK, joined us for this early season Blue Cruise around Turkey's historic Kekova region. With 3 birthdays on the calendar, there was a fair bit of celebrating going on during the trip!
Les and Nancy - Canada
Simon and Sarah - England
Clive and Sam - England
Tom and Eve - Scotland
Highlights of the Cruise
Departed from Göcek Harbour around 2PM and headed to Kille Bükü in the Göcek Islands region for a quick swim.
Everyone had the chance to relax and get to know each other over beers and gin and tonics.
Long and bumpy ride across the open water of the Gulf of Fethiye - guests were unscathed, but the freezer and dining table took a tumble due to the rough water.
Spent the evening and overnight at Gemiler Island for a lovely fish dinner.
Early morning start from Gemiler Island, but not quite as early as we had first planned. (Captain Oktay checked the weather report, which indicated winds would die down mid-morning.) The passage was still a bit "rolling", but definitely calmer than Day 1.
Breakfast (including scrambled eggs with potato) as we passed by Patara Beach - birthplace of St. Nicholas.
Stop-over in a bay outside of Kalkan for swimming, paddleboarding fun, and lunch. (Score: Passengers 0, Paddleboard 5).
Continued on to Binder Bay outside of Kaş where we anchored beside a lovely little luxury yacht for the night.
After breakfast in Binder Bay, we lifted anchor and cruised to a spot just outside the Kaş harbour. Sailor Selim (Pencil) and Chef Ozan (Ozzie) ferried everyone into town on the dinghy for a bit of a walkabout.
After exploring the upscale resort town of Kaş, we lifted anchor and cruised for about 2 hours towards the Kekova region.
Lunch at the west end of Kekova Island overlooking ruins of an ancient church, then a slow cruise over the ruins of the Sunken City of Kekova before turning around and anchoring at the foot of Simena castle.
Most of the group climbed to the castle. Tom and Eve stayed on the boat and waved to us when we reached the peak.
Home made ice cream - peach, hazelnut, and banana - at Ankh Cafe at the foot of the castle before returning to the boat for dinner and drinks.
Breakfast then another slow cruise past the Sunken City of Kekova to capture drone footage for a new video.
Headed to Demre harbour where everyone hopped on a water taxi for a 1 minute ride to shore for the land tour of Demre - the ruins of ancient Myra, the St. Nicholas Church Museum, and Andriake.
Late lunch enroute to gorgeous Frunoz Bay where we spent some time in the water. Tom was the first in the group to subdue the paddleboard into submission, but everyone managed a successful paddle today. Congratulations all!
Unfortunately, a windy forecast necessitated pushing onwards to Binder Bay outside Kaş for dinner. DJ Eve kept everyone entertained with ABBA tunes.
After dinner, everyone enjoyed champagne and birthday cake - celebrating milestone birthdays for Nancy, Sarah, Sam, and Tom.
Severe winds forecast for today, so Captain Oktay was up at 5AM and heading towards Kalkan shortly thereafter. The conditions were good, so he continued past Kalkan, Patara Beach, and slowed down for a drive-by visit at Butterfly Valley and Ölüdeniz.
Anchored at a small cove near Ölüdeniz for swimming / kayaking and time to explore the Blue Lagoon before enjoying a hearty lunch of beef stew.
Raised anchor after lunch and sailed another two hours towards Ağa Limanı, but decided to spend the night at Summer Bay (aka Turtle Bay) on Tersane Island (Shipyard Island) inside the more protected Göcek Islands region.
Total cruising time today: 7.5 hours.
Simon, Sarah, Clive, and Sam slept on deck
Woke to the sound of goats at Tersane Island and enjoyed a good breakfast before the Purse Lady arrived to sell her wares.
Moved to Mervidenli Bay (Stairway Bay) mid-day for a bit of hiking, swimming, and kayaking.
Last anchorage of the day was Sarsala Bay, where we spotted several Loggerhead Sea Turtles (or maybe one turtle several times). İt was most impressive to see the turtle swimming with the fish while the underwater swim lights were on.
Windy night made sleeping on deck difficult, but Clive managed to persevere.
Lifted anchor and moved from Sarsala Bay to Hamam Bay before breakfast. Anchored next to the ruins of an ancient bath house.
Turkish coffee while anchored amidst spectacular scenery.
Tarzan rope swinging - Clive wins the prize for best overall swing!
Cruise-by Martili Bay to see the seagull art
Stop-off at Bedri Rahmi Bay to fill up with fresh water and check out the fish painted on the rock (by Turkish poet and artist Bedri Rahmi). This is where we spotted the Migros boat.
Dinner and overnight at Flat Island.
Breakfast at Flat Island before heading back to harbour. Group photos on the bow of Arkadaslik while waiting for a spot to open in the harbour