An Early-Season Cruise Exploring Turkey's Historic Lycian Coast

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The Itinerary

Day 1

We left harbour just before 4:00PM and made our way to nearby Tarzan Bay. It was windy, but the tall cliffs surrounding the bay provided great protection and we enjoyed a calm, first evening at sea. Chef Savaş prepared baked chicken for dinner and everyone headed to bed fairly early after a long day of travel.

map of day 1 of the cruise route

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Day 2

The sun rose early on Day 2 of the trip and Captain Oktay had us underway by 6AM. The weather had cleared overnight and the seas were calm for an uneventful (but long) trip to Kalkan. Breakfast was served enroute. Once anchored at Firnoz Bay, Stef courageously took the first plunge into the sea. He climbed out after a remarkably short time. Apparently the water is still quite cold!

After lunch (green bean casserole), we lifted anchor and made the short journey to Kalkan, where everyone disembarked via dinghy for a wander and some shopping in the resort. At 6:30, everyone returned to the boat and we headed back to Firnoz Bay for dinner (barbequed sea bass) and overnight.

map of day 2 of the cruise route

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Day 3

We headed out from Firnoz Bay around 7:30AM to avoid winds predicted for later in the day and arrived at Bayındır Bay near Kaş around 10AM. The thermometer says it's 21 degrees, but there was a cool sea breeze and no sun, so everyone was bundled up in blankets during the journey! After breakfast, the group hopped on the water taxi to shop and explore the town of Kaş.

After a short visit to town, everyone returned to the boat for an afternoon of relaxation aboard Arkadaslik. We ventured out of the bay in the late afternoon, hoping to make our way towards the Kekova region, but high winds forced us back to the bay for the night.

Captain Oktay fired up the barbeque and prepared a lovely dinner of Adana kebabs, and Chef Savaş prepared a tasty selection of mezes to accompany them.

map of day 3 of the cruise route

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Day 4

The wind died down overnight and we headed out from Bayındır Bay after breakfast. The sea was surprisingly calm and we arrived in Demre harbour about 3 hours later.

Rain clouds threatened a downpour, but the showers never materialized and we decided to venture out on an excursion to the sites of ancient Myra and the St. Nicholas Church for a couple of hours of sightseeing. These historic sites never fail to impress! Both places were relatively quiet, but packed tour buses packed were starting to arrive as we were leaving.

When our driver returned us to Demre harbour, we went on a short water taxi ride to search for sea turtles. The turtles were not to be seen; conditions were not great (too many choppy waves) and we suspect the turtles were nestled away at the bottom of sea, dreaming of warmer days and calmer seas.

Back at the boat, we had borek (cheese-filled pastry) and leeks for lunch, then headed to the Gökkaya region for the evening. Captain Oktay showed everyone a pirate cave, before anchoring in a peaceful little bay we call "San Lorenzo Bay" for the night.

Dinner on Day 4 of this trip was barbequed sea bream. Delish!

map of day 4 of the cruise route

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Day 5

After a leisurely breakfast in San Lorenzo Bay, everyone plucked up their courage and hopped into the sea. According to reports, it was fractionally warmer than the sea outside of Kalkan, and our guests managed to stay in the water for 10 to 15 minutes before climbing out for hot drinks.

We then lifted anchor and made our way past the Sunken City of Kekova, the castle village of Simena, and anchored in the harbour at Üçağız where we purchased more snacks, filled the tanks with fresh water, and disposed of our garbage. It has been an exceptionally windy trip thus far!

Our final stop of the day was a small, unnamed bay in the Gökkaya region. Protected from the winds, we enjoyed a pleasant evening together at sea - including a lovely steak dinner prepared on the barbeque.

map of day 5 of the cruise route

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We lifted anchor around 7:30AM to beat the winds and maximize time in Kalkan for shopping! (The ladies in this group LOVE shopping!) Enroute to the shopping mecca, we stopped at Five Islands near Kaş for breakfast, and then continued on our way.

Captain Oktay dropped the anchor just outside of Kalkan harbour and we dinghied everyone in for a relaxed afternoon of shopping and/or refreshments in the bar. Shaun bought himself a new wedding ring (he lost his swimming in the Kekova region), the ladies bought some gorgeous clothing and souvenirs.

When everyone was finished their land-based activities, they returned to the boat and we made the short journey to Firnoz Bay where we would spend the night. During the anchoring process, Sue's anchor hammer fell overboard, so she spent the rest of the trip securing the anchor winch by tapping it with a ridiculously tiny woodworking hammer.

Tonight's dinner was barbequed chicken.

map of day 6 of the cruise route

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Day 7

Day 7 of this trip involves a long stretch of cruising from Kalkan to Ölüdeniz. The crew were up at 5AM to take advantage of calm conditions, and Captain Oktay was able to raise the sails as we passed by Patara Beach. We cruised into Butterfly Valley and passed Ölüdeniz and the Blue Lagoon, but didn't actually stop until we arrived at Gemiler Island.

We anchored amongst the historic ruins of an ancient harbour at Gemiler, and spent the day relaxing and enjoying the sunshine. Our guests even hopped in for a swim - reporting the water temperatures to be mid-way between Kaş (very, very cold) and Kekova (cold, but acceptable for a short swim). We met some friendly, German speaking tourists on a sailboat next to us and watched (and heard) rowdy pirate party boats cruise through the channel periodically.

Around 4:30, we lifted anchor and made the short journey to Tarzan Bay for the night, putting us in the perfect position for departure in the morning. (The bay is named for the ropes hanging from tree branches along the shore.) We enjoyed ogling the luxury motor yacht next to us, and everyone shared their dreams of winning the lottery.

Chef Savaş and Captain Oktay prepared the final dinner of the trip - sea bass on the barbeque - with chips!

map of day 7 of the cruise route

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Day 8

After a leisurely breakfast in Tarzan Bay, we lifted anchor and made our way to Fethiye harbour.

It was a bit sad as we said our goodbyes and handed our guests over to Mustafa The Transfer Driver for the hour-long journey to the airport. Bye-bye guys, we're wishing you safe travels! It was a pleasure hosting you aboard Arkadaslik and we hope our paths will cross again!

map of day 8 of the cruise route

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