Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Boat Day in Bodrum

One of the initial reasons we considered Turkey was the potential to take a multi-day gulet boat trip along the Turquoise Coast, which basically consists of either four or seven days of cruising on a traditional wooden vessel that looks very much at home on the Mediterranean and Aegean. Upon looking into a little further that the private tours were well beyond what we wanted to spend and that we’d need to take a shared charter. The shared charters seemed reasonably priced, perhaps even a little too reasonably priced. With a shared charter you also run the risk of getting stuck on a small sailing vessel with nowhere to escape with complete strangers that may or may not be total assholes. Plus, on a trekking trip, if someone on the trip gets a little grouchy (even if hypothetically that person is your spouse), you can simply walk a little faster or walk a little slower to get some distance. On a boat, not quite so easy. Since we had extremely good fortune on our Nepal trek and were fairly certain Glenn, Judith, Erin, and Gaby weren’t planning a gulet trip, we decided to take a pass. Instead, we planted ourselves in Bodrum for a couple nights and opted for a gulet day trip instead.

The day trip seemed a very reasonable 25 Euros per person; inclusive of drinks, lunch, and transport to and from the hotel. We were careful to select a gulet, the Arda, that would only take fifteen passengers, which turned into the wisest decision of the day. There’s a healthy day trip gulet industry in Bodrum though many of the other boats haul 50 to 100 passengers, rock Turkish disco music, and freely encourage young women to belly dance. While good entertainment, not exactly our scene even if the the peaceful serenity of being anchored in a Mediterranean cove was interrupted by thumping Turkish disco music no fewer than seven times throughout the day.

The day’s activity consisted of five thirty to forty-five minute cruising segments interrupted by four stops for swimming and lunch. They would just pull up in a cove, drop anchor, tell us the depth (which I appreciated as I grew up on the Mississippi River where I was taught to never dive where you can’t see the bottom, which on the Mississippi basically means the entire river), and we’d jump into the sea. The boat didn’t provide any snorkel equipment or anything of that sort. They basically just provided a platform from which to jump into the ocean. Lindsay said it best when she remarked, “it really is cheap entertainment when you’re just jumping off a boat.” Regardless, it was a blast, and there are certainly much worse ways to spend a day.
Yes, I really am that pale.


  1. Hello,

    Beautiful pictures! Boat trips are available from Bodrum harbor or from any of the local beaches or harbors.It is an ideal starting point for exploring the Aegean coast. Most boats leave from the harbour in Bodrum and sail either towards the Bay of Gokova or in the opposite direction along the Bodrum coastline passing the small bays as they go. Thanks a lot...

  2. I think that taking a Gulet is a total must during a vacation on the Turquoise Coast.