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Sailing Holidays & Yacht Vacations

The term "blue cruise" has been added to the literature by intellectuals such as Halikarnas Fisherman Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli, Azra Erhat, and Sabahattin Eyuboglu. These humanist intellectuals who gave importance to natural beauties, name their boat trips where they get away from civilization, discover new places and spend a peaceful time as “blue cruise", or in other words, as "blue voyage". In classic definition; a blue cruise is a vacation concept where you rent a private yacht and discover the Aegean and Mediterranean bays usually for 4 to 7 days.

Why Should I Prefer a Yacht Vacation?

A yacht vacation takes you away from the stressful environment caused by factors such as traffic, pollution and crowds of big cities and allows you to have a pleasant time by taking you out of the ordinariness of your daily life. It allows you to watch the sunset, sunrise, and stars on the sea with the sounds of the wave, allowing you to integrate with nature and relax your soul. It offers the opportunity to spend a wonderful holiday with your family and friends and strengthen your bonds with them. 

You will be the sole architect of your vacation during a sailing holiday. You can spend your time either peacefully by resting and spending time in nature, or you can have plenty of activities and fun. During your sailing holiday, you do not get stuck in one location. For instance, if you feel bored in a bay or think the bay is crowded, you can easily sail to another one. You can comfortably see many places in a short time by adding new places to your route. You can start your day in Bodrum and end it by eating fish in Dalyan.

Yacht vacations offer much more than a basic sun and sea holiday. It can also be named as cultural tourism as you will have the chance to discover historical beauties during your trip. Because of all of these, lately, yacht vacation is not only preferred by sea lovers but also by a larger crowd.

Which Boat Types Are Suitable for a Sailing Holiday?

Traditional Wooden Yachts

The most suitable boat types for a sailing holiday in Turkey are the traditional wooden yachts. These boats, which are motor sailers, are divided into 3, but the most preferred type is the gulet. You can sail into the blue in comfort with the gulet rental option.

  1. Gulet: Gulet is the best type of traditional wooden boats for a sailing holiday. It has a wide back where you can comfortably keep up your daily life. Gulets are 15-55 meters long and are ideal for a group of 6 to 24 people.
  2. Square Sterned Boat: Square sterned boats have a square back that provides more space for extra cabins in comparison with the gulets. They are 15-55 meters long and are ideal for a group of 6 to 24 people.
  3. Tirhandil: Tirhandil is the oldest wooden yacht that is ideal to travel with on the Aegean Sea and has a pointed back. It is between 11-30 meters long and usually ideal for a group of 6 to 16 people.

Modern Yachts

Modern yachts can both be rented with or without crew and would offer an unforgettable sailing holiday experience. 

  1. Sailboat: They are mostly preferred by licensed sailors who want to determine their routes at sea. Although it is usually rented without crew, those who do not have an Amateur Maritime License can also hire a captain.
  2. Motor yacht: If time and speed are the determining factors for your sailing holiday, the best choice is a motor yacht. These yachts, which are usually twin-engine, can reach high speeds. Motor yachts are equipped with modern maritime systems and are usually crewed.
  3. Mega Yachts: Mega yachts are very comfortable and offer high-quality service. The length of these yachts varies between 45-160 meters.

What Are the Activities That Can Be Done on a Sailing Holiday?

During a sailing holiday, as well as relaxing your soul and body, you can also take part in various enjoyable activities. Here are some of these activities: 

  • You can swim freely in breathtaking turquoise bays that are not accessible by land.
  • You can sleep while watching the stars.
  • You can read while listening to the sounds of waves.
  • You can go fishing.
  • You can dive.
  • You can do water sports activities. 
  • You can explore the coasts with short walks.
  • You can discover historical places.
  • You can play games such as backgammon, dominos, tabu, monopoly, and chess.
  • You can make your holiday unforgettable by taking pictures under and above the sea.
  • You can strengthen your bonds with your family and friends as a yacht vacation offers a unique and pleasant chat environment.

Life on a Sailing Holiday Yacht

Life on a sailing holiday yacht is simple and modest, but it is also quite enjoyable. During your yacht vacation, you can sleep by watching the stars on the deck and say hello to the day with the sunrise. Then you start the day with a short morning swim. The sound of the waves and the sunlight accompany your breakfast in an abundant oxygen atmosphere. After breakfast, you move to the bays and discover the historical and natural beauties of the bays you anchor. You can swim and enjoy the sea and the sun to the fullest. After having lunch, you will head for the sheep harbor where you will stay in the evening. Here you can either swim in the sea, explore the surroundings or enjoy the setting sun. After dinner, you can end the day under the stars by chatting with your fellow travelers, listening to music or reading a book accompanied by sweet tiredness.

Sailing Holidays in Turkey

The History of Sailing Holidays

It was at the age of 39 when the writer Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli, also known by the pen name Fisherman of Halicarnassus, was exiled to a small fishing village. Cursing at his misfortune, he arrived in Bodrum. The village had an otherworldly and addictive beauty. He would later write books about it. Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli, with his books about archeology and mythology; he influenced the hearts and minds of many archeologists, historians, writers, and other people.

Until then Bodrum was an ordinary fishing town that relied on fishing and sponge diving. Taking fellow writers Bedri Rahmi Eyuboglu and Azra Erhat with him, together they sailed to Gokova using villagers’ fishing and sponge boats. These journeys were later named as "blue cruise". They boarded ships native to Southwestern Turkey named gulet, taking water, local white cheese and Kos rusk with them and spent weeks at the Turkish Riviera. They avoided taking newspapers and radio with them and stayed away from the rest of the world. They sought a unique experience to isolate themselves and become one with nature. Together, they stared at the shores that gave birth to many civilizations.

The trio enjoyed these journeys so much, they wrote numerous books about it. They invited their colleagues and friends to their blue voyage, and it became a tradition among intelligentsia within the country and, over time, everyone who is willing to do it. From April to October people now to board the iconic gulets and start their blue cruise to sail around the Aegean Sea. Friendly Mediterranean climate, the calm sea, the gentle wind, and naval freedom offer once in a lifetime experience.

Modern Times

In the 80s, as a result of the rising number of boats and competition, yacht vacations became more affordable and their popularity rose. Tourists, both local and foreign, came to Turkey to set out on a yacht vacation. They used to relax by the day, party at night, lie beneath the sun within the stillness of the coves, and witness the ruins and sunken cities from another millennium. Living an experience like no other, they always came back, staying true to the words of Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli, the Fisherman of Halicarnassus;

“When you’re at the top of the hill, there you will see Bodrum.

Don’t ever think you will leave as you’ve come.

The ones before were just like you,

and they all left Bodrum, leaving their minds behind.”

Traditionally, sailing holidays start on a Saturday afternoon and end on the next Saturday morning, taking at least one week. However, it can be a minimum of 4 days if the time is short. The holiday originally takes place in Turkish Riviera (also known as the Turquoise Coast) which is the famous coastal area in southwestern Turkey encompassing İzmir, Aydın, Muğla and Antalya provinces. Many destinations in the Riviera are known internationally such as Alanya, Antalya, Bodrum, Çeşme, Fethiye, Göcek, Kalkan, Kaş, Kemer, Kuşadası, Marmaris, Bozburun, Selimiye, and Side.

The original blue cruise, also known as blue voyage, included some of the Greek islands as well, known as the Dodecanese Islands, which was part of the historical Caria, shares the history, the geography and the climate of the region. The island routes give another depth to the cruise, it makes it international and allows travelers to experience the Aegean Sea uniquely.

Today, the blue cruise isn’t just confined to Southwestern Turkey and the Dodecanese Islands. It also includes the entire Greece and Croatia. This makes the journey not just an Aegean experience but also a Mediterranean one as well.

What Are the Best Sailing Routes?

The routes must be well defined to enjoy the sailing holiday. There are many routes suitable for this holiday concept in Turkey which is surrounded by seas on 3 sides. Gocek, Bodrum, Fethiye, Marmaris and the Greek Islands are just some of the preferred areas. You can sail into the turquoise waters of Datca, swim in the crystal clear waters of Greece by visiting the Northern 12 Islands or South 12 Islands and visit the historical monuments there. You can enjoy the quiet and unspoiled bays on Fethiye, Marmaris, Kas / Kalkan sailing holiday options. You can have a chance to see the famous islands such as Rhodes, Crete, Santorini, and Mykonos with a yacht vacation. 

Sailing Holiday & Yacht Vacation Prices in Turkey

We are by your side during all processes to make you have an unforgettable sailing holiday by chartering a yacht. Through viravira.co, you can easily access thousands of anchored boats in hundreds of different locations and you can plan your yacht vacation in a few easy steps. For any questions you may have, our experienced holiday experts are at your service.

Contrary to popular belief, yacht vacation prices are quite reasonable. A sailing holiday budget is equivalent to the holiday budget you will make for an average hotel. For example; with a group of 8 people, you can have a very enjoyable holiday with prices starting from 25 euro per person per day. Yacht vacation prices usually include cleaning fees, mooring fees, port charges, and taxes. Apart from these, the cost of fuel and transit-log costs belong to the renter. You can check out our Turkey Sailing Holiday options.

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