No holiday to the Fethiye area is complete without venturing onto and into the warm, turquoise Aegean/Mediterranean sea. In our opinion one of the nicest ways to experience it is to take a day trip on one of the boats operated from Calis.

There are no shortage of boats of all different sizes offering day trips from the promenade in Fethiye.

Stroll along the seaside and you will see there are big boats offering space, water slides and music; those announcing “no loud music” and those that promise ‘no hassle’.

The range of trips is varies too from the popular 12 islands trip through to quite bays, sunset trips and more. It seems there’s a niche market for whatever the holiday maker wants.

But there’s one trip that we love best and it’s only a 20 minute water taxi ride from Fethiye.

The Calis Boat Cooperative offers daily boat trips with a difference with their family run boats and with a maximum of 12 passengers per boat there’s no over crowding and plenty of space.

You can either buy a place on board and share with others or charter the whole boat for yourselves.

So why are their trips so special? We explain.

The sun was already high in the sky and the temperature rising when we set off from Calis at 9:30 am. As we pootled along the reed lined river and out into the bay of Fethiye Kingfishers darted into and out of the water catching small fish.

As we snaked through the underwater channel fishermen, stood up to their waste in the water, dragged large nets scooping up shrimps that would be later sold as fishing bait.

Our skipper the young Ali turns the wheel one more time before heading into deeper water.

We sail past the island of Chevalier home to many exclusive holiday pads and homes, on past the Letoonia Hotel then past small well kept beaches until we turn left. The sea soon turns into a deep and clear blue the ideal spot to drop anchor and take the first dip of the day.

After a half hour of swimming and chatting with our new shipmates we head over on a shop hop to the aptly named Tarzan Bay so named because of it’s rope swing.

Ali and his mum anchored the boat and tied up a stern line to the rocks to keep us steady.

Splash – The clear sea was a great place to snorkel and watch the abundant marine life. A huge shoal of fish hung around the boat only lazily breaking ranks when a swimmer passed over. Below an Octopus crept around the rocks only just visible as it camouflaged itself with the surrounding rocks.

Meanwhile on the surface the passengers on the other boats were also enjoying the sea. The young and the brave took to the rope swing. One soul even climbed the rope swing tree and jumped into the sea. Onlookers cheered, our captain said he was lucky not to have broken his leg as the sea is shallow there.

After an hour we were called back on board for lunch, and what a lunch. Ali’s mother filled the long table in the centre of the boat with all manner of tasty Turkish lunchtime treats. Fritters, rice and beans, yogurt dishes, bread most of which she had prepared in the small galley below. Added to that Ali had expertly cooked chicken and kofte on a charcoal BBQ situated on the back of the boat. It was a feast for the eyes and, as we found, the taste buds too.

Ali and his Mum. Alis Boat

We chatted with our ship mates and crew over lunch as we grazed our way through the delicious dishes.

After the lazy lunch some snoozed no doubt helped by the lullaby of the cicada chirps, some swam and others chatted.

Later we moved to yet another bay before returning via Chevalier Island back to Calis. We arrived back at 5pm. It was a great day out. Relaxing, great food, great bays and great fun and at around a Tenner a head (30 TL @ 2011 prices) it was fantastic value too.

How to Book

It is best to book in advance as the boats do fill up. Visit the booking desk just before the road bridge to buy your tickets.

Drinks

No expensive drink charges on this trip. Drinks are bought on board and charges are no more than the bars charge e.g. a large beer was 5 TL when we went out in 2011.

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