By Anne Wood
Relax, and Let Your Room Take You There

If you have not previously cruised aboard a traditional, wooden gulet, you’re in for a very pleasant surprise. On a gulet-based vacation, there is no vehicle traffic, no switching hotel rooms, and no packing and unpacking. Instead of you moving from place to place, your “floating hotel” does! You can sit back and watch the ever changing scenery drift by, relax, enjoy a cool drink, and read up on the next port of call, all while traveling to it.

Gulets are a common type of vessel all around the Mediterranean, and we use them on our “Treasures of Turkey” adventure. Although they also appear in Croatia, they are most strongly associated with the southwest coast of Turkey, where they originated. They still ply the waters of that storied “Turquoise Coast,” and traveling aboard them only adds to the sense of antiquity that is so pervasive in that corner of the world.

A Day Aboard & Ashore

Even with a planned itinerary, the exact timing of each day is often dependent on the sea, wind, and weather conditions. So plans are, by necessity, a bit more flexible, making the tenor of the trip that much more relaxed. A typical day aboard our gulet begins with a family-style breakfast, usually served on deck in the fresh, Mediterranean sea air, with hot coffee, tea, and a selection of local specialties. And of course because we are on the move, every morning’s breakfast comes with a brand new view. After breakfast, you’ll be eager to explore your  new surroundings.

By 10:00 am, it’s time to embark on the day’s activities. Depending on your location, you might enjoy a hike or more leisurely walk, a visit to nearby ruins, or perhaps you’ll opt to explore a charming coastal village. Lunch is often enjoyed at a local restaurant, or picnic-style in a beautiful outdoor setting. Some days you might return to the gulet for lunch and a siesta, before going back ashore to continue your explorations in the cooler afternoon hours.

But for all there is to enjoy on shore, the gulets are so comfortable and relaxing that some guests choose to simply stay on board their floating hotel for the entire day and read, nap, or sunbath. From the gulet, you can jump in the cool waters for a swim, or take a kayak out on the water for an easy paddle. After all, it’s your vacation—you can be as active as you like.

Unwind and Relax (Some More!)

By the end of the day, most people are ready for an aperitif, and what could be more wonderful than enjoying a glass of wine and a glorious Mediterranean sunset with new friends on the deck of our gulet. This is the time to kick off your shoes, lean back on comfy deck pillows, take in the light breeze, and share stories of the day. Stars begin to twinkle in the darkening sky, heralding the arrival of…dinner! Many nights our meal is accompanied by the sound of music wafting from shore, or the sound of water gently lapping against the hull.

Many people begin their gulet-based vacation unable to completely relax. We all bring with us our worries and stresses from work and home, and some aspects of travel can be taxing. However, by the end of the week, nobody looks at their watch anymore. Bathing suits and flip-flops are daily wear, and the stresses of home and work have been all but forgotten. There are then two challenges: saying good-bye to these floating hotels, and planning the next trip aboard them!

For more information on our “Treasures of Turkey” gulet-based adventures, call 1-888-831-7526 or email us today!


About Anne Wood
Anne is Senior Program Director for Europe at MTS. A 3rd generation Italian and German American, she has traveled throughout Europe—often in hiking boots—regularly for decades. Having explored over 30 countries in Western and Eastern Europe so far, Anne often jokes that she has seen more of Europe than most Europeans have. When she is not traveling, you will find Anne in the outdoors hiking, running, and mountain biking. Anne has been working for MTS since 2001, and spends several weeks out of each year personally scouting and fine-tuning our European adventures.