Before I had a child I used to go gulet sailing in Turkey with a bunch of friends (the only way to do this!) Now my son is a teenager we spent two of the most enjoyable weeks in Turkey in the summer of 2013 on board a gulet for the first week and in a hotel in Ölüdeniz for the second. There were 6 adults and 4 teenage boys! The gulet was spacious and luxurious and came complete with a Captain, a Chef and a Boy Friday – all of whom were superb! The food on board was exquisite and we had three meals a day prepared for us. Effectively it was a full board option and we were allowed to bring aboard our own drinks!!!!
We chose our route and sailed from Gocek and visited: Domuz Adasi & Gemiler; Kas Town; Kekova Area, Kale & Yesilköy; Kalkan Town & Yesilkoy; Sarsala and Boynuzbuku and back to Gocek. It was truly fantastic. The crew could not have done enough for us – nothing was too much trouble for them and they were excellent with our boys. We did little but relax all day long, enjoyed the good food and the sunshine and occasionally indulged in some snorkelling, fishing, water skiing and banana rides. The highlight of the first week was visiting underwater city of Kekova, which was fascinating. I tended to sleep on deck most nights as it was cool and I enjoyed being woken by the adhan which is the call from the musallah, or prayer hall, via microphone to a speaker system from the minaret at the mosque.
We docked one evening and spent it at Kalkan – I loved it. It’s a small peaceful Mediterranean resort and fishing town. It doesn’t appear to have been touched (yet) by mass tourism. It feels more sophisticated than some of the many other resort towns I have visited over the years. It’s charming and has loads of smaller boutique type properties and some fabulous villas. I took the opportunity to visit the Likya Residence Hotel and Spa. A chance to escape the teenagers as it’s adult only – truly delightful with amazing views over the sea and lovely harbour.
Our second week was spent at a delightful hotel in Ölüdeniz. We each had a swim up one bedroomed apartment and the boys shared a two bedroomed apartment – bliss! The area is famous and probably the most photographed in the whole of Turkey because of its turquoise waters of the Lagoon from where a pristine beach stretches down the Mediterranean coast to further bays and coves.
It’s a fabulous family resort and is excellent for a laid-back beach holiday, with plenty of facilities but it is quite developed since I last saw it 20 years ago and is fairly commercialised – our teenagers loved it. (Live football shows at most bars!) It’s safe and very clean. The main resort beach is a long stretch of coarse sand-and-shingle beach known as Belcegiz. There’s a famous “Strip” alongside the seafront promenade where you can find loads of casual bars and restaurants that serve both local and international cuisine. The town’s shops stay open well into the night. We found some lovey boutique hotels with amazing restaurants but we preferred to stay in the seclusion and privacy of our hotel – The Mozaic Apartments. The owner is charming and very hospitable. He even cooked a lamb BBQ for us all one evening. He also happens to own the best bar in town – the Buzz Bar!
Ölüdeniz is also famous for its paragliding opportunities due to its unique panoramic views and height. I took the plunge and so did my 15 year old son and we survived the 45 minute flight down – it was the most exhilarating thing I have ever done! Please call me for more details about this two centre holiday.
Author : Sally Strang