This article was written for Fethiye Times by Sian Midgley

Now that all the Christmas and New Year kerfuffle is over, many people’s thoughts turn to their summer holidays – so, if I may, I’d like to share my experience of a week long cruise with Arkadaslik Yachting that I embarked on back in October.

The Arkadaslik gulet has four double staterooms, all with ensuite, and lots of shiny wood. Many of the cruises are hired out by groups of friends or families but if, like me, you don’t like that many people enough to spend a week or two with them, Arkadaslik also do a few cabin charter cruises where you can book just one cabin and hope the other friendless people on board are as charming and engaging as you are. I got lucky – I was on a cruise with a bunch of Canadians who were, well, awfully nice.

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Crew and guests

We all climbed aboard at Göcek mid-afternoon and were given time to get to know each other and settle into our staterooms before the anchor was raised and we were off.

A week of indulgence

Our itinerary for this week of indulgence saw us heading up the Turkish coast and visiting towns, villages, islands and ruins such as Kaş, Gemiler Island, Myra, Demre, Simena (best homemade ice cream in the universe apparantly), Kalkan and Ölüdeniz.

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Rock tombs at Myra

We had plenty of time to get off the gulet, jump on the dinghy and go and explore these areas in more detail. My personal favourites were the ruins at Myra and the coastal hillside village of Simena.

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The coastal hillside village at Simena

We also spent a lot of time moored in stunning bays where the waters were crystal clear and you had plenty of time to swim, snorkel, explore the rocks and sunbathe.

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You can scuba dive at an extra cost

If sunbathing isn’t necessarily your thing, there are plenty of other activities to indulge in during your cruise –  diving and paragliding can be arranged at extra cost, plus inflatable kayaks and paddle boards are kept on board for you to use any time the gulet is moored up. There’s also plenty of areas to sit in the shade with a good book (or even a bad one) and, despite being on a gulet, you never felt as if you were on top of each other.

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Inflatable paddle boards are kept on board for use when moored.

As it was October, good weather wasn’t guaranteed but, apart from one day, we had glorious sunshine. That one day I mentioned was in fact a rather large storm but our capable and experienced Captain Oktay, steered us through the worst of it with no problem at all. Although I did discover that a green tinge really doesn’t suit me!

As most of my friends know I am not a natural born cook – I’ve been known to leave a boiling egg so long it exploded and I don’t even own an oven – so it was with great delight that I feasted on the finest foods available, all expertly prepared by our on board chef Ozan. Every day, three meals were served and not one meal was the same as the other – there was steak, freshly caught fish, kofte, fresh salad, fresh bread and many Turkish specialities. In fact the food was so delicious and so plentiful that I only had to go ashore to buy my ketchup crisps once. Of course snacks are available on board all day every day but they didn’t have my favourite flavour of crisp – a problem I presume will be rectified as soon as I’ve complained about it on TripAdvisor and Facebook.

Drinks were also plentiful regardless of whether you preferred soft drinks, water, beer, wine or spirits – and all were included in the price which meant the cost of Efes didn’t come into conversation at all during the week.

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Efes time

To check out our cruise in more detail click here.

Arkadaslik Yachting also run cruises to the Greek Islands and, if you hire the whole gulet, they will work out an itinerary to cater for your wishes.

For more information check out their website or them on Facebook.

Got to run…I think I can smell toast burning…