When I left Fethiye the morning after my Dalyan tour, it was, thankfully, not to embark on another long bus ride, but rather to abandon land entirely and set sail for the sparkling waters of the Turquoise Coast! Like the morning of Pamukkale, this was one I was pretty excited about, mostly because it was the one thing other travelers I’d met could not stop talking about: 4 days and 3 nights aboard a boat, sailing along, stopping in bays and coves and caves, swimming, snorkeling, relaxing, sleeping on deck under the stars, living together with a dozen other people like family. I couldn’t wait to see what it was all about!
The cruise took me around this part of the Turquoise Coast, stopping in several different places between A and B.
The Blue Cruise is run by several different companies with a couple different routes to choose from. My particular course was from Fethiye to Olympos, with stops in Butterfly Valley, Blue Lagoon, St. Nicholas Island, Firnaz Bay, Kas, Kekova, Simena, and Pirate’s Cave. The crew wasn’t very good at telling us where exactly we were when we stopped to swim, but I wouldn’t have kept good records anyway, because the weather was warm, the water was blue, my book was good, and my tan was just getting started.
I was admittedly a little nervous about the whole thing turning into a giant booze cruise, which, in my mid-20s, I already feel too old for. My group was pretty great, though, and had a good mix of ages and characters, so it was a well-balanced few days with plenty of crazy and calm to go around. Plus, we were all together for much longer than the length of a dinner or a tour, so it was a good opportunity to spend a decent amount of time with people and get to know them better than I normally would, which is always nice.
Here’s a few photos of the half-week voyage!
Back of the boat, with helm and dining area.
Stairs lead to cabins, walkway leads to the front.
Plenty of space for laying out and, at night, sleeping. Honestly, laying out at night staring at the stars was perhaps my favorite part. Out on the sea you can see a lot more than usual!
Candy for the end of Ramazan, which Muslims celebrate with Sekur Bayram, or Sugar Feast.
A trading library.
Stairs to cabins.
My room I shared with a fun Swedish woman. It was legitimately like a sauna inside, though, so we mostly used it for storage and spent all of our time on deck, even to sleep.
On the first day, we stopped in a bay with some other boats and a husband-and-wife team made the rounds selling Turkish pancakes, gözleme. Like crepes, but better!
Cheese, potatoes, spinach, nutella, fruit. Anything you want!
She’d roll the dough, arrange the filling, then pass it to him to grill for a minute or so.
My personal favorite: Nutella and banana.
Spoiling my dinner.
Essentially what our ship looked like.
St. Nicholas Island.
I had to hold my nose! The salt water was too much in the ol’ nostrils.
I’m not a huge fan of tropical beaches, I’ve discovered. Walking along them during a sunrise or sunset is lovely, but during the day they just feel dirty, hot, and crowded. I love the water, though, so it was perfect to just be able to jump right in and climb back up to a comfy cushion and skip the hot, gritty sand. I’ve been ruined for any future warm-weather beaches!
Island of Semina. No cars allowed! We were able to spend a couple hours on land.
I got a good chuckle out of this.
Pirate’s Cave! Pretty cool to see, especially with some goggles. The coral was fantastic!
An absurd little dive we stopped at on the last night.
Because I have reached the pinnacle of maturity, I had to post a photo of this turtle turd. At least, we were told it was a turtle turd…
Some of the group! Fun folks. :) The others were out swimming.
In short, it was a fantastic 4 days, and definitely a must if you ever find yourself adventuring along Turkey’s southwest coast!