The Gulet is a modern adaptation of a traditional Mediterranean sailing yacht and the name comes from the Italian word ‘gouletta’. Gulets are produced in Turkey from Aegean pine with wide decks and large cabins below and vary in size from 14 to 35 meters.
My advice when choosing a Gulet is to be clear on what you want, and what’s best for your day/s out at sea. There are many daily group excursions that are inexpensive, but you will not be alone and free to explore the islands and coves unhindered…
We wanted a private experience, so we prowled the Bodrum marina where the array of Gulets and yachts are moored and eventually found just the one; she was a beauty, a classic authentic vessel, modest in size with lots of charm.
We went aboard, negotiated a price, chatted to our skipper who mapped out our route and explained which bays and coves we would be visiting, discussed our Turkish lunch cuisine and agreed on a time to set sail the following day.
At a civilized hour we boarded our Gulet and headed out to sea to discover the hidden beauty of the Bodrum peninsula. Accessible only by boat, we reached our first port of call, Aquarium Cove, where we had our first dip in the gorgeously clear turquoise waters and watched the various other Gulet passengers do likewise from their Gulets.
Black Island (Karaada), was our next planned stop, but the choppy waters prevented us from docking. This was unfortunate as the island is famous for its geothermal springs. You can swim into the cave where the mud from the inner section is believed to have healing properties and maintaining your youth. There is a legend that Cleopatra, enjoyed the benefits of the island. The experience is well worth a visit next time. At this point it was on to Corai, yet another magnificent bay, where we spent some time lazing in the sun and frolicking in the crystal clear waters, as time stood still.
Our final stop and time for lunch was Tavsan Burnu. Once we anchored, it was amusing to see the different Gulets including an ornate Pirate Party Gulet, that anchored close by. I was not too amused to see a new hotel development going up on the land overlooking this secluded cove. The thought of this beautiful, God kissed remote and untouched coastline, being inhabited in the future, is worrying for future travelers seeking holiday gems. For me, its a stark reminder that the face of Mother Nature is ever changing and being compromised.
But, for now, while our skipper Ali, rustled up our delicious lunch, we were blissfully swimming and snorkeling in warm ideal temperatures. It was a perfect day on board our charming Gulet with the sound of the soft gentle ocean lapping against the boat while we lolled around sipping Raki eating pasta, salads and grilled Sea Bass. It was in fact… just another day in Paradise.