One of the beautiful journey that I experienced! You want to experience a beautiful holiday then you can read this travel blog and prepare your itinerary. When I was planning I wished if I would have know those things. So I will ensure to add all the essential points of the trip. Along with the beauty of Turkish southern coast.
Best season: May to October – Summer is the best season but just before peak summer catches it is best as you are on the sea side. I highly recommend this for those who want to experience the coment shower. I was not surprised, I was shocked to see shower of coments. In the night when you are under the open sky and floating on the water, just lie down and do star gazing. There is amazing display of open sky for you! If you are more crazy like me, do not miss the open sky viewed above Mediterranean sea at 03:00 am in the morning. I will share a picture that I have clicked.
How to reach?
There are various trips that takes you from 4 days to 12 days around the Turkish southern coast. Since I live in Turkey, Istanbul. We took a flight from Istanbul Ataturk Airport to Dalaman airport. Roughly 8 hours 49 minutes by road. We hired a Mercedes van from Airport to Fethiye harbor roughly 40 minutes drive. There are non stop buses from Airport to various locations around the region. These buses are very convenient with all your baggage and air conditioned. The cost must be roughly 15 Turkish Lira per personbit should be very convenient. Cost may change subject to your visit to the place.
Things to do:
Activity wise it is a holiday so you don’t have to do any thing. As my album on Facebook page “Vari The divine journey” I mentioned it is Eat, sleep, swim then again Eat, sleep, swim. What more you want.? There is no Wi-Fi so take pictures and videos as much you like and post it on social media one you are back from holiday. Have patience! Local mobile internet does work but not so great. Since I was with my husband I just informed my parents on both sides that we are on holiday with not much of connectivity. So next 4 days I did not use my devices for connecting.
For more pictures of my travel visit this link
Swimming, walking little trekking in some hilly terrain you may need sports shoes. At some places the boat stops near islands for you to go and do some window shopping or view sunset from some point and stuff like that. So they take you from in a small buggy boat or speed boat and then drop you at the other end. So you may need optional foot wear that gets wet in water during transitions. Also bags that you carry must be small sags. Your hands must be free. As you climb metallic steps from one boat to other where your boats are still rocking below your leg on water. So no hand bags hanging on shoulder.
Expectations Vs Reality:
If you think this is a luxurious cruise or you are looking for luxurious cruise then this is not what you are looking for. This boats have roughly 21 people staying on board with one navigator and one captain who is also a part time chef. I did not see any safety issues in this. Rooms are very small cabins, bathrooms are really smaller than you could imagine. There are toilets in side your room. They advise you in the beginning of the journey as do not flush any papers or other stuff as the ship is carrying a small tank. You have nice bed for sleeping but we choose not to sleep inside the rooms as almost 18 people out of 21 people were sleeping on the deck. For me I cannot stand the diesel smell. Yet another reason to watch stars. There are shades created on the deck as early morning you will be completely wet due to dew drops. Blankets were not so pretty. SO, I layered it with my bedsheet below it. So if my husband reads my blog, then he will remember why I got such a huge bag. Still in next travel he will say “I don’t know what you carry in that big bag for 4 days?” Every day you need only swim suit. Minimum 3 swimsuits will be good. Some could manage with one. Its tremendous hot during day time since the ship is moving you won’t feel it. Entire boat is wooden deck. They have life jackets, flippers of different sizes, some snorkeling kits. Many people bought their own snorkeling kits. Now a days decathlon has good snorkeling kit options with reasonable cost. You can do little bit of practice on how to use it before visiting. Snorkeling you should not miss as in expectation vs reality you may not have hundreds of luxurious options on the boat but while swimming you may be fortunate to swim in crystal clear waters with some turtles around. It is such a beautiful experience to be with nature interacting with you. Firstly water here is very salty as the place where you enter in water is not at the edge of the coast. You are in the middle of the sea. You are jumping into water, yes you read it correct, you can jump into waters. You can see my video of this visit for all the fun. Here chances of you drowning are very less as due to salt water you get tremendous buoyancy. Middle of the day water is nice warm. Morning and evening you can feel currents of mix water of cold and hot waters. Most funny part. I was the only one person who do not know swimming and even I entered the water. Of course wearing life jacket, swim glasses hair cap, extra floats around me and people holding my hand.
Luckily all the people were so nice and kind. There was a group of American people, Group of Italian people and a adventurous German lady. American people (middle aged) were cool and nice they were enjoying holidays as like we did. Italian group were all senior citizen group who were actually a group of friends from school. I was stunned to see the amount of enjoyment this group did. The concept was amazing that at this age they were all meeting and having fun together.
The adventurous German lady was amazing, her husband had come to drop her on the boat at Fethiye harbor with one huge bag. She did not talk much. She must be in late 50s. She had here own snorkeling kit and flippers. She used to jump in water and go to swim in far off distances. No one from the group had done that and that too alone. She would finish her swim and nicely return. Occasionally she used to sit with me and chit chat. I never understood what she was telling. Just one story that she saw shark in water and wanted me to believe her. There is a warm water spray as you come out of swimming from sea you can just take a shower. There was no concept of taking bath. Rooms were only used as changing room. and keeping bags. There is no locker system. Food is not very lavish food. It is simple Turkish, breakfast. Meals at lunch and dinner were also pasta or kofte simple food with fruits. Vegetarian people might find bit difficult. I always keep dry fruit, biscuits, laddu snacks and all. You can buy water, beer, cold drinks that is available on the ship/boat. Tea time you get tea coffee biscuits you have to be ready at the time of common meals in the dinning area at the bell. Me and my husband liked the food that we got on board. Some times there small boats where local Turkish people come in small motor boats with Ice-Cream and Gözleme. It is like stuffed paratha. We tried the one with banana and Nutella. It was such a fun to experience all this while staying on board on little boats. Everything on boat was well managed and on time.
Ours was not only boat taking this journey bur there were also many other boats with similar set of tourists. This we realized as in the evening when we docked the region had many such boats in the surrounding. Along private beauties, Yacht! You can hire this kind of private Yacht with families and good facilities on board from TV and nice deck behind to swim. Really luxurious ones. Docking is really fun to watch. Small boats take a string/chain from the backside of the boat and tie the boat to the rocky coast and anchor is released and boat is reversed. It take several permutations and combinations attempt to get it right. Our captain was really talented. A private Yacht people were not able to fix anchor. He dived and swam to the Yacht and help them dock the Yacht. So in expectations vs reality we saw a Jack Sparrow in reality. I am still confused on why this trip is Fethiye to Olympos. As the Sailing gets over at Demre hourbor. From there a bus takes you to Olympos which is one and half hour away by road. I would next time like to visit Olympos. It appears to be really beautiful place. The drive by the coast from Demre harbor to Olympos was amazingly beautiful journey. From Olympos we hired a combined transfer to Anatalya airport which was nearest, to return Istanbul.
After 4 long days you feel bored to do only set of same activities. You feel completely rejuvenated after 4 days as you left all your sets of work and thoughts at home. Now I am just craving to have such a holiday again every summer.
A lady on our boat who was American lived in Pune and could talk to me in Marathi!
Most important part is try and open any packets, bottles inside your bags and throw it in the dust bin. Do not let any of the garbage that you created go to waters. Also do not try to feed fishes or turtles or birds with bread and leftover seeds or food. Ecosystem can manage its own food cycle they do not need food from us.
As we reached to the Fethiye harbor our boat was getting ready to leave the coast. We were called at 10:00am and we left at around 01:00 pm they kept saying us that they were waiting for someone to reach. Which no one turned. For this we jad taken really early morning flight to reach by 10:00am. Also, if you are writing to these companies they will ask you for number of people and booked flight tickets. One of the company whom I was discussing with had actually mentioned me that there is no vacant set now to book on the dates I was looking. This was after they made us book air tickets. So, you need to be careful and clear on the communicating with this people. Luckily I found other gullet cruise that sailed out on same dates and we were saved.
Finally our ship or boat sailed at 01 O’clock in mid afternoon. We had an option to sit in A.C. office of company but we took a walk outside and explored the marina or harbor.
Once the boat sailed in waters of Mediterranean sea it was better breezy. We were bit hungry and dehydrated. We opened our dry fruits packet. At the same time you have to go to deck to catch hold of nice beds for yourself. Rooms are allotted by captain with basic do’s and don’ts instructions. I have a small video of how are the rooms here which you can see soon.
Here we had a first lunch on the deck. This is a common big table. Which is nice setup. Crew works really hard with all the faculties.
As you relax for a while post lunch. You will reach to some designated locations where you begin with jumping into water. Me and my husband took some time to get acclimatized to the environment, change in food. It was very hot. We just watched all happy souls swimming and enjoying the beginning of the holiday. So post all others swam we moved and our boat was docked with other boats in some silent area where you could just hear some insects sound. You are near coast but little inside water. There are several similar boats decked around in the surrounding. Here it starts beautiful evening where there is vast sea below and open sky above with nice cool breeze. Post a hot sunny tiring dehydrating day you will enjoy the pleasant night under stars cover. Still you can feel your boats on small water movements.
We had amazing dinner of first night. Till now we had plans to sleep inside room but then we moved on the deck. This was really amazing so I got all the sleeping material on deck. Most of us did sleep on the deck. There is a shade under which you can sleep. Initially you feel bit hot. Later it is bit cold and pleasant. You need to sleep under shade portion as the morning dew is like rain. Morning we got up first and slowly everybody got up. I some how used to finish my sleep at 03:30 am I just would take a walk on the sides go sit and watch water. Morning has amazing magical feel. You can watch fishes where lights are falling on water. Its real peaceful, connection with nature. Where there is perfectly no disturbance. Mobile networks were also bad so not much of vibrations in air. Only you can hear some snoring people. I was prepared with Odomos mosquito replant cream if there are mosquitos, since we were little in the middle of wanted and not connected with land. We did not get mosquito problem sleeping in open space. In the morning all were wandering around dinning table. Mornings you really feel very hungry. We had nice spread of Turkish breakfast. After some time may be 30 to 40 minutes later people would start jumping in the water. It was cold for me. I would prefer only afternoons to get in water but it was fun watching all of them playing in water. As everyone returned on the deck ship would move for next location. The journey continues. As the day starts it starts becoming more hot again then we stopped on next location for sight seeing. They used to drop us either in first half or in second half. There were several locations that were covered during this visit. One of the few mentions is Oludeniz, Butter fly Valley, Kas Sunken city,Kekova city. In Kas sea becomes more beautiful more transparent water, turtles everywhere , you can go on hill and have views of distant horizons. There are many ruins on these islands. At some places there is entrance fees or if you have a museum card then you need not pay entrance. To know more about museum card soon I will be posting a video and blog. That suggests you local transportation that you can do without any tour guide or tour operator. Hope that is helpful piece of information.
On Kas island one of the lady bought nice carpet for 500 USD. There are lots of restaurants. If you need to buy any snacks you can get refill from here. It is fun with adventure, to walk down the steel ladder and get into little motor boat or a buggy. That drops you at Island to explore, eat and shop. Again once you are back on boat you can jump into water. There are ropes tied on the boat with clips. As if you need to switch between two swim suits you can keep one for drying along with all other clothes. At Oludeninz you can hire a paragliding activity either you can tell your ship captain or company to hire one for you or you can easily search it on Instagram or other social media sites very easily. The thing is you can bargain for the pictures the click for you. Here beach is very nice for swimming. We walked really inside the valley to see butterflies but could spot only few of them. The best season to spot butterflies is spring mostly in the peak of spring somewhere around month of May. Depending upon number of days and route you will get to see all nice locations.
The journey continues with eat, sleep, swim again eat, sleep and swim and so on. This is one of the crazy holidays to be on. I really did not bother 4 days for my hair as I have long hair, swimming is good but I cannot shampoo my hair always to remove salt from hair. Just enjoy the vitamin Sea! Entire day Mediterranean sea shows ice different shades of blue. How beautiful is the sunset, equally beautiful are starry nights and magical mornings. All you need to enjoy the vastness of that space where you feel yourself a speck which will come and go one day! In between is the journey of life to take all the experiences of life.
Those who have motion sickness or sea sickness, they stay at Oludeniz and area around may be in a pansiyon or something like that and then take day tours along the different Islands. At a halt near Kas in the night our captain informed us that in the night a boat comes and takes you to a disco inside a cave or a hill. There you can eat, during and all he mentioned. All the ladies were ready by 08:30pm to go for this disc they kept asking our captain please call we need to go! We all went to sleep around 10:00pm those who were already into pajamas. As it is so peaceful you don’t stay awake for longer naturally. In the morning at breakfast table the ladies mentioned the pickup boat came at around 01:00am. When I got up around 3 the ladies were gone to this disc. Hope they had a great party that they were looking for.
After the Sunken city, there is a pirates cave, according to me a cavity in rock formation like sea arch. Where they take you near to the entrance and see how big the cave is. In early days they mentioned pirates used to hide here for attacking goods carrying ships or boats. Now it his only spot for tourist boats to pay a visit. Mostly in entire Turkey yo see inclined beddings those are metamorphosed due to which you get some amazing landscape views. This is continuation for movement with Alpine belt of mountain formation. Also we see uneven surface exposures and mostly slate formation in certain areas and intrusions of igneous basalt rock overlying.
Soon I will be posting pictures on Facebook, and nice glimpse in videos on YouTube from all the fun that we did on the Gullet cruise.
Hope you would like to read my blog, watch my photos and videos. Stay connected and updated with The Vari! The divine journey.
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