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Sailing without effort - holidaying in a gulet

by Lee Mylchreest on 8 Apr 2014
Gulet Grande Mare - a very luxurious version of the gulet .. .
So you love sailing holidays but not all the family does, or you want a really lazy time on the water - a 'real' holiday. Why not go sailing on a traditional Turkish gulet - a splendid teak and mahogany traditional sailing boat - to sail in either Turkish or Greek waters? Someone else will sail the boat, someone else will prepare the meals - sorry you'll have to do the swimming and snorkelling and sunbaking yourself.

Whether you want to travel with your partner, your friends or your whole family, different wooden sailing vessels are available in all sizes, or take a larger one where you join others. The boats range from 14 to 25 meters, with two or three masts, although it's true, not much sailing is done these days on a typical 'sailing' holiday. The emphasis is on fun and comfort.

Depending on which gulet you choose, they will either have common or ensuite bathrooms. Some gulets even feature outdoor Jacuzzis and have many other facilities and 'toys', thus transforming the vacations on board into unique experiences.

The 'normal' is seven days to two weeks holiday, and they really do provide the ideal location to find deep relaxation and communion with nature, while leisurely exploring the culture, food and history of the Turkish and Greek islands.

Want to do it on your own? - Yes, no problem, what an escape! Just join one of the larger gulets. The crews on these gulets are typically Turkish in their care and attention, all done with a grace you'll remember long after the holiday is over.



The rear deck of every gulet serves as the hub of social activity, where you can gather for cocktails, dancing and to share a meal. The food is prepared on board fresh each day by a dedicated chef, who concocts a variety of mouth-watering sweet and savoury delights of Mediterranean cuisine.

While there's no pressure every to disembark during the voyage, the opportunities for exploring the sights and meeting the locals are always there. Visiting small coastal villages you can stroll narrow back streets filled with local stores selling handmade jewellery, local artworks or colourful scarves, or eat at a seaside local fish restaurant with a view of the Mediterranean always with you.

About the Turkish gulet:
A gulet is a traditional design of a two-masted or three-masted wooden sailing vessel (the most common design has two masts) from the southwestern coast of Turkey, particularly built in or near the coastal towns of Bodrum and Marmaris. Diesel power is now almost universally used and many of the recent builds are not properly rigged for sailing. The gulet probably originated from the schooner, which has long been used as a sweeping net, trawl net or sponging vessel in Turkey in the Aegean and Mediterranean shores, and as a freight vessel in the Black Sea. The fact that the gulet is constructed from timber these days means that it does not have a long life, and new gulets can frequently be seen being built in small boatyards along the Turkish coastline.

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