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Gulet - Croatia vs Turkey vs Greece


Jul 21st, 2016, 02:08 AM
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Gulet - Croatia vs Turkey vs Greece

We are 12 people (6 adults in their late 40s/early 50s and 6 young adults who are late teens/early 20s). We are wanting to do a trip on a gulet next July (2017) but need to decide which area is best - Croatia, Greece or Turkey? We would do a private charter as our group is big enough for this.
I personally am not great on the water so I am looking for somewhere that has minimal winds.
Everyone in the group enjoys chilled laid back holidays so we are not looking for a whole lot of sightseeing etc but rather an area that offers beautiful scenery & beaches, clear warm waters, genteel island living.
I'd love to hear your suggestions.
Also, if anyone can recommend companies that they have hired gulets from that have offered excellent service.
Many thanks
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Jul 21st, 2016, 08:28 AM
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The Meltemi Winds, which can sometimes keep the ferries in port, are strongest in the Aegean Sea in July so Greece would be my last choice for a sailing holiday at that time of year. Southern Turkey heading east would probably be much calmer. I have no experience with weather in the Ionian Sea.
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Jul 22nd, 2016, 06:58 AM
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Thanks for the headsup re Greece. I'll look further into the southern Turkey area. Much appreciated.
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Jul 22nd, 2016, 12:34 PM
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Gulets are more of a Turkish thing, anyway. The Aegean coastline of Turkey, along with the Greek Dodecanese Islands, isn't affected by Meltemi winds as much as the Cyclades.

Another popular sailing area is the Greek Ionian Islands, which aren't affected by the Meltemi at all.
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Jul 23rd, 2016, 01:05 PM
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Thanks Heimdall. I am so new to all of this so all this information really helps me. I am very keen on NO hectic winds!
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Jul 23rd, 2016, 03:46 PM
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The Ionian Sea has no meltemi winds either, there is a number of beautiful islands that are ideal for sailing, especially Lefkas, Paxi and Kefalonia along with the coastline of Epirus which has some fantastic beaches.

While there are no gulets there, you can charter a sailing boat.
The area has everything you asked for
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Jul 23rd, 2016, 04:25 PM
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Remember, you cannot have a successful sailboat trip unless there are SOME winds. Many of the gulets operate only on power on the Turkey coast.
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Jul 24th, 2016, 09:39 PM
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Thanks clausar, those suggested islands are beautiful! Makes me want to be there right now instead of in our winter. Wish we didn't have to wait until next July.

Travelerjan - very true what you say
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Jul 25th, 2016, 12:40 AM
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Of course there is wind in the Ionian Sea!

When clausar wrote: "The Ionian Sea has no meltemi winds either..." he was referring to a specific phenomenon that occurs during summer in the Aegean Sea, primarily in the central Cyclades. When the Meltemi is at its strongest it can keep small boats in port for 2 or 3 days at a time.

To learn more about the Meltemi go to: http://www.sailingissues.com/meltemi.html

The Ionian Islands are very popular with small boat sailors partly because of the gentler Maistro wind in that area. There is much information on the Sailing Issues website that will be useful to you, including information about gulet sailing in Turkey, so play around with it when you have time.
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Aug 9th, 2016, 12:33 AM
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Heimdall - thank you for the link. I'm doing lots of reading on these various winds.
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Aug 9th, 2016, 02:04 AM
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We are heading to the Ionian Islands for the second year in a row sailing with this company: http://www.activityholidaysgreece.com/

We loved the islands and the sailing, and would highly recommend this company.
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Dec 9th, 2016, 11:34 PM
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Yes, I'd agree with much of the above. There aren't any gulets based out of the Ionian Islands so taking a gulet cruise there can only be done if a gulet moves into the area during the season. There are some Greek and Italian flagged gulets that do this at times.

I'd certainly recommend avoiding the Cyclades during the summer months because of the winds. You might consider the southern Dodecanese i.e. from Kos to Rhodes. They would offer a better alternative in the summer months.

The only downside to Croatia in the summer is that it will be very busy because it is peak season. So you might want to choose a less popular section of coast i.e. avoid the Split to Dubrovnik shore and instead head for a quieter section of coast e.g. from Trogir north to Zadar which tends to see less gulet cruises.

Italy is another option you might like to consider. There are only a handful of gulets in Italy and not all are of the best quality but there are a few good boats and you can organise charters along the Amalfi coast or in the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily. The latter would be the recommended option for July.

In terms of weather and avoiding crowds, Turkey is probably the best option overall. It has such an amazing and long coastline and so many bays and coves that even in the peak season it doesn't feel crowded. At the moment, of course, with Turkey so out of favour, it's especially quiet and so an excellent time to go. I led an archaeological gulet cruise in Turkey this October and was amazed how quiet it was. Most of the bays were totally empty and the ancient cities that stud the coast were deserted.
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Dec 10th, 2016, 02:27 AM
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The Ionian Islands are a great choice, exploring them with gulet is also ideal because you can sail to some magnificent isolated beaches.

Here are some of the highlights of the Ionian Islands:

Corfu city: the capital of the Ionian Sea, is a jewel of a city and a UNESCO site. Ruled by the Venetians for 400 years, it came to be a stunning mixture of Venetian & Greek architecture. Walking in its lanes is like walking in Venice, with no canals and more locals.

Paxoi & Antipaxoi island: these small islands are a boat ride from Corfu, the former has a picturesque port-town and the later has one of the best beaches in all of Greece. Voutoumi beach, pink sand and turquoise waters aurrounded by wild forests.

Lefkafa island: home to some of Greece's most famous beaches, this place is a true paradise for sea-lovers. The 2 unmissable beaches of Lefkafa, are Egremni beach & Porto Katsiki beach. Their beauty can only be described through pictures.

Kefalonia island: yet another stunning island. Don't miss the Myrtos beach, Melissani Cave, Assos Town.

Ithaca: Odysseu's home happens to be today a laid-back ionian island with charming small beaches and a picturesque port-town perfect for relaxing in a seaside taverna with some fresh fish and ouzo.

Zante/Zakynthos: one of the most loved islands in the Ionian Sea, is also home to arguably the most famous beach in the World.
The Navagio Beach, is simply something not to be missed while in the Ionian Sea.
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Jan 31st, 2017, 08:55 AM
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Hello There, I am here to tell where ever you choose you will like the Gulets. It does not matter how big or how old the Gulet is, It is the matter of fact that how good your Captain and the Crew. These people will made your trip. A good Captain will keep you in sheltered bays, a chef will fill your tummy with fantastic food and your deck hand will do every think before you even ask, than it is all you have to choose the Gulet for your budget and destination will be a chose of yours where every you like.
You probably already have an agent to find you a gulet but before you sign the contract just take some times for optional days and research for the Gulet name and crews.
Once you like Gulet charter you will love it and you will always do this type of holiday and you will be come a regular gulet customer that I am sure about it. I wish you happy holidays with your family and friends, It is the way fro Great Escape.
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Mar 6th, 2017, 12:43 AM
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As a person loving gullet vacations taking two weeks every year a gullet cruise in Turkey; also based on what I hear from other who have been in other countries mentioned for gullet cruises here is what I can say;

Gullet is a Turkish traditional wooden yacht last 15 years they come in different sizes and offering a lot of comforting amenities as well so basically you can get standard gullet, deluxe gullet and many types of luxury gullets in different segments.

While 4-6-8-10 cabins are available most common is 6 cabins / 12 guest so there are many options on 6 cabins.

Most gullets are able to cruise on international waters so combining Greek islands or heading Croatia or getting one of the Turkish gullet in Croatia is possible.

Having said that, what I hear about Croatia while beautiful sea is not warm as in Turkey.

In most Greek islands rather than overnight at inlets coves you need to base yourself at a port. There are ofcourse exceptions to that.

In Turkey you are in calm waters, bays & inlets are endless and possibility to visit villages, towns even archaeological sites is possible or simply stay on board and enjoy.

We use gullets for enjoying sea, sun, quality time with friends & family, and enjoying exceptional yummy food rather than travelling from A to B. Gullets usually do not sail ( some does ) and you cruise maximum of 4 hours daily. You wake up swim, breakfast, some activity or rest on board or swim & snorkel further, than you move to another bay to anchor for swim & rest & some water sports and lunch. After lunch a bit rest and afternoon move to yet another beautiful bay and anchor for the evening - dinner & rest.

As Peter Sommer above mentions; even in peak season it is not overcrowded and you always find exceptionally beautiful coves to hide.

I have to warn you for one thing once you experienced a good gullet vacation you get addicted and you start dreaming about the next one....

Happy travelling,

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Jun 21st, 2017, 04:24 AM
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Gosh everyone - thank you so much for your fantastic and detailed replies. We booked in August but reading your replies - petersommer, and propertravel - I am really keen now to try gulet sailing in Turkey. I was concerned about the situation there but hey, I live in South Africa, so I guess I shouldn't be that worried

PetroB3 - I passed on your comments to friends of ours who are sailing there this year to help them plan their itinerary. Thanks so much.

SEHER1 - I think you may be right! We are already talking about our next trip and we haven't even sailed our first! The company we have been dealing with have been nothing short of superb and I think that's added to our excitement and anticipation.

Thanks everyone for your valued input.
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