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Trip Report Gulet cruise / tour in Turkey

I thought I'd write a brief tour report on a wonderful gulet tour I went on in Turkey last October as I have read a few mixed reports of gulet travel as well as queries about which companies / operators could be recommended.

I travelled from Antalya to Gocek over a period of one week and it was staggeringly beautiful: the coastline is peppered with lush forests, impressive mountains, secluded bays and beaches, and fascinating ancient archaeological sites. The sea is crystal clear and simply ideal for swimming. I have travelled fairly extensively (the Far East, Europe, Africa, USA) and this was one of the most interesting and beautiful places I have visited. I think many who have been there would agree that the traditional gulet is the best way to see this part of the world. As an ancient history buff it was fascinating for me to approach the numerous sites just as ancient travellers would have done, by sea, and of course thrown into that is the peace and relaxation one gets on board that one cannot get when travelling by air or road.

Here I must mention the company I travelled with, Westminster Classic Tours (www.westminsterclassictours.com), as well as the crew on board our gulet. Both were very attentive to all the guests needs. I would not hesitate in recommending Westminster to those planning to visit the region, especially those with a keen interest in its history. An excellent tour leader made sure everything ran smoothly and there was never any hanging around. Both he and the lecturer had expert knowledge of the sites and the latter entertained us each evening with an interesting talk on various topics related to the region. Oh and most importantly all alcohol was included!

The sites themselves were hugely impressive. Termessos is a stunning ancient town located quite high up in the mountains where the remains of its theatre lies cradled on an outcrop, offering majestic views. Lydai has a wonderful 'undiscovered' charm about it as a farmer still lives and works practically on top of the old agora! We also visited Myra, Andriake, Patara, Xanthos and Kas, all of which were fascinating. I refrain from going into too much detail here as I am sure others have extolled their virtues elsewhere. The point of this short report is to emphasise that if you find the right operator, crew and boat then there is no finer way to see this part of the world than by gulet. Westminster Classic Tours provided all of these things and although they are perhaps at the higher end price-wise, it was definitely worth it in my opinion. The balance between visiting sites and relaxing on and in the sea was just right. I would point out, however, they seem to be geared towards older travellers (40+): all on my trip were 50-75 and I got the impression that this was their typical clientèle. Not a problem for me but maybe for others!

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