When I mentioned to my folks back home that I would be travelling to Turkey this summer I was instantly met with the usual questions; Why Turkey? Is it safe for women? What will you wear on the beach? Well, I’m pleased to say that their questions and doubts didn’t put me off my plans and that travelling on Turkey’s Turquoise coast has been one of my best experiences.
After taking a couple of Fethiye tours and chatting with a handful of expats I was convinced that the best way to explore Turkey’s marvelous southwest coast was to take to the sea on a four day, three night Fethiye to Olympos Blue Cruise.
Sun, Sea, Swimming & Shopping
All the aspects of a great holiday came together on the Blue Cruise. Swimming in deep blue caves and isolated bays, snorkeling over gorgeous coral reefs, shopping in boutique clothing and craft stores in quirky seaside villages and sunbathing on the top deck with no unwanted attention or cat calling as I chill out on my sunbed. Sailing on the Mediterranean sea took me to the breathtaking sites of outstanding natural beauty and unique locations that are impossible to reach by road or on foot.
Social & Safe
In any new place it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to who’s about, but the cruise offered such a unique and safe environment that you really can drop your guard and just connect with the people and places. Each person on the boat was there for the same reason that I was; to discover the wonders of the Turkish Riviera and share the experience with like minded people. The entire trip was social and laid back, playing games in the evening and joking over lunch, with the perfect balance of personal space and social time.
While I’m an advocate for solo travel, dining out alone can still be a little intimidating which is what I liked most about the family style meals we shared each day on the boat. In the morning the crew prepared a full Turkish buffet breakfast, complete with fresh fruit and olives, which we ate together while chatting over tea and coffee. Lunch and dinner were also rich buffets with tasty barbequed fish and chicken, we certainly never went hungry and we had the chance to try some local Turkish foods cooked by our crew and captain.
Party Till Dawn or Sleep Under the Stars
On the third night and final night of the cruise our captain had surprise for all of us. A surprise in the form of a small speed boat which turned up to whisk us away to secret pirate bar on an island beach. It was fantastic meeting travelers from other gulet boats and chatting away with cocktails on the beach while music played and youngsters danced inside the bar. No need to worry about walking home in the dark and no horrific taxi drive to the hotel because the bars boat took up back to our gulets to see out the rest of the night under the starry sky.
Like ordinary daily life, travelling, particularly as a solo female traveler, can be both stressful and scary at times, however my experience on the Blue Cruise was neither of those things. The Blue Cruise offers a rare opportunity to totally disconnect from the pressures of daily life and reconnect with myself for a bit. With no WiFi, there were no phones buzzing, no facebook notifications or pressure to repeatedly check emails. There’s no rush to pack up your suitcase and rush to the bus station or plan your next day’s itinerary. Instead you will visit a number of stunning locations without the hassle of working out how to get there. Just lay back on a sunbed or swim in tranquil waters of the Mediterranean sea.
If you don’t have time in your holiday itinerary for a four day cruise then I would still recommend spending at least one day sailing on the turquoise sea. Either a Butterfly Valley from Oludeniz or a day trip to Gokkaya Bay to visit the Sunken City and Simena
Castle would be enough to give you a taste of the regions highlight. As for beaches, Olympos has one of the prettiest in the region. It stretches for 4 km below lush green mountains, with smooth pebbles one side and golden sand the other, so you get the best of both. And Yes ladies, you certainly can wear bikinis on the beach and on your Blue Cruise in Turkey.