Crystal clear, warm waters, blue skies, stunning beaches, ancient ruins and picturesque coastal villages… Where else can you have this kind of escapade? Yachting is one of most classic activities you can have in Turkey. In other words, they are known as Blue Cruise (also formerly known as Blue Voyage) and they’re all over Turkey’s tourisms along the Lycian Coast.
This kind of cruise is nothing like others because they are done in old style sailing boats called gulets. You can find plenty of them with V-GO Yachting & Travel Agency. You wouldn’t be able to find a better way to explore the coast than on one of their cruises.
V-GO Yachting & Travel Agency was established in Fethiye in 2000 as a young, dynamic, and multi-lingual yachting company and it surely looks like they’ve stayed very young for the past 15 years. They offer different cruises that last anywhere from 3-7 days.
I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you how great they were! Through our correspondence in emails, they were very communicative and convenient. Thus, my experience with them as a yachting company and travel agency was excellent.
They offered me complimentary cruises and they were flexible when I needed to make last minute changes to my plans and trips. The best part was that they gave me different options that they thought would be great for my experience.
They agreed to sponsor the Lycian Coast Cruise Package with an additional few complimentary nights at the V-GO Hotel & Guesthouse. However, I only lasted 5 days out of the 8-day cruise due to few personal circumstances, which will be elaborated later. I also want to make it clear that it has nothing to do with the travel agency at all. Their staff, crew and services were beyond my expectation and I couldn’t ask for more or better.
Lycian Coast Cruise Package Details
PRICE: 285-485 Euros depending on the time of year.
START DESTINATION Fethiye
END DESTINATION: Fethiye
DURATION: 8 Days, 7 Nights
- Day 1: Fethiye
- Day 2: Fethiye Peninsula – Butterfly Valley – Oludeniz – St. Nicholas Island
- Day 3: Yesilkoy – Kas
- Day 4: Simena – Ucagiz
- Day 5: Kekova – Tersane Bay – Gokkaya
- Day 6: Bayindir Limani – Kalkan
- Day 7: Camli Burun – Batikkaya Bay
- Day 8: Fethiye
- Transfer from your Hotel in Fethiye to the gulet.
- All meals (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner), fuel, harbour fees, service.
- Standard yacht equipment, board games, snorkels & masks, fishing lines.
- Accommodations will need to be arranged under your expenses.
- All drinks, also water, are sold on board at reasonable prices.
- Please do not bring your own drinks on board.
- Please bring your own towels.
- Archaeological sites and national parks entrance fees.
- Crew tip of 3-5% is also not included in price.
Click here for more information on the itinerary.
- Waterfall at Butterfly Valley – 5TL entry (~$1.60 US Dollars)
- St. Nicholas Island – 8TL entry (~$2.60 US Dollars)
- Paragliding at the Blue Lagoon (Oludeniz) – 225TL per person (~$75 US Dollars)
- Simena Castle – 10TL entry (~$3 US Dollars)
V-GO HOTEL & GUESTHOUSE
- Address: 2. Karagozler, Fevzi Cakmak Cad. No:109, Fethiye, Turkey
- Contact: http://www.v-gohotel.com/contact.html
- Website: http://www.v-gohotel.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vgohotel
I was greeted by a warm welcome and smooth check-in by their super-friendly staff—just what I needed after a long bus trip from Cappadocia. They would make conversation with me while keeping up a quality and quick service. I also want to add that that you’ll always see them smiling around you and you’ll enjoy their presence.
You will be able to find services that arrange transfers, flight and bus tickets, rent a car/motorbike/jeep, daily tours and hotel reservations for you here.
This property has a hotel with rooms and suites, and a dorm for travelers. I was generously placed in a private room with bathroom, A/C, etc, which was quite comforting and exhilarating.
All the rooms have balconies that you can hang stuff out on or just enjoy the view of the gorgeous Mediterranean Sea. I literally took a minute to breathe and feel the breeze out on my balcony.
I’d say the room was really good and somewhat basic. The bed is more than adequate as I sank in the bed when I threw myself on the bed. The room also came with an ensuite bathroom facilities. Very clean and neat. The WIFI was fairly decent in the bedroom also.
Besides the room, the pool area and bar are great spots if you just feel like chilling out for the day, the pool is kept exceptionally clean. I asked them further about it, and they told me that if I ever get a pool I should definitely opt for a Dolphin vacuum. I didn’t even know that these things existed – Glad to learn something new every day.
Breakfast is served everyday on the terrace and you’d be surprised with their buffets. They’re fresh and varied. Not gonna lie that their view of the sea from the deck where you have the breakfast and other meals is just a perfect way to start your day.
Let’s say I was lucky that my cruise started on Saturday, so I came in on Friday and that is when they usually throw a party with live performances from live belly dancers and magicians. They surely did liven the crowd up. This is something that guests at young age would probably enjoy the most.
This would be your home out on the sea. You’ll be boarded on a large, 26-meters long, dark and wooden sailing vessel with blue tent. V-GO would supply shower towels (encouraged to bring your own towel), bedding, snorkels, flippers and foam noddles for you to float on while swimming.
You will get a room and it’ll be tiny, but it’s not like you’re going to spend the day in your room while cruising, right?
Otherwise, you’re free to sleep on the deck as there are beddings up there.
Other than that, the facilities around the boat were very nice and spacey, I’d say.
MEALS ON THE CRUISE
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are prepaid and included in the trip. However, you can purchase a beer for 9TL (~$3 US Dollars) onboard.
The meals they had in their cruise program were well-varied! Unlike my past experiences on other multi-day boat tours which would come with same meal everyday, i.e. chicken and rice.
Their from ranged from bread, coffee, pasta, chicken, and few more selections. They do have same selections of snacks but their meals always came in a surprise for me and that was what I appreciated the most. Definitely worth your money.
After an entertaining night by V-GO’s bar, I woke up to a big breakfast. I took the time to fill myself before before the take off.
A bonus to staying at V-GO Hotel & Guesthouse is that it’s just right across the street from the Fethiye Harbour. You won’t need a transfer as you can just walk over to your gulet when it’s time for your voyage to begin
Gulet at Fethiye Harbour
I was surprised to find a large group of young Australians (or Aussies) as I board the boat. Most of us were at around same group of age. Mostly in our mid-20’s or so.
As we began our venture, the tour leader communicated with us that we would be cruising down the coast for the day and evening and that we can do whatever we please.
It was quite awkward at first for me because everybody was an Aussie and it felt like all of them already knew each other. I decided to buy a beer to break the ice inside me, so I could be loose and start breaking the ice with rest of the passengers.
As we boated across the sea, the view was very pleasing and I could see many other gulets around the bay we were boating in.
After around an hour of boating, the leader anchored the gulet and some of us started jumping into the water to swim. We all had a few drinks and I had some decent conversations with few ladies.
Overall, I’d say it was kind of a kick back night for all of us. Then the boat cruised a bit more until it became dark and everything quieted out. I went to bed early as well.
When I was in bed thinking, I told myself that it was too surreal to be having this experience. I couldn’t believe that I was living up to my life like this. This was the life.
Boy, I was surely knocked out ’cause I woke up to a bright morning with the boat cruising already. I didn’t realize it already started heading out to our first attraction of the week.
Nonetheless, I was still the first person to get up. I always had been a morning person and I ended up being the first person up every morning. Everybody would sleep in until it’s time for them to get up. I’d get up early to grab the morning breeze where you can reflect on yourself.
It’s like taking a walk and you’d consume some thoughts alongside. I love doing that out on the sea. Especially this one because the water has the most remarkable blue colors passing through it at all times of the day. It’s hard to combine crystal clear and super blue, but the waters of this bay really pulled that off!
Waterfall at Butterfly Valley
This spot in Turkey can only be accessed by boat (or water taxi), and it is home to roughly 100 species of butterflies, including the endemic orange, black and white Jersey Tiger.
The Butterfly Valley is a large canyon that is considered to be one of the most picturesque and amazing places in Turkey.
As soon as we anchored in the bay, I spotted so many sea turtles. Several of them were enormous! Yes, that’s how blue and clear the water was!
Everybody else on the boat began chattering around and getting excited like kids seeing animals for the first time at the zoo. That got me chuckling for a minute, but I grabbed my GoPro and dived into the water before anyone did. And that wasn’t exactly the best idea because all sea turtles disappeared when I tried diving deeper into the water, haha.
I got on a smaller boat to shore up the beach where we would pay 5 TL (~$1.60 US Dollars) for the 1km hike up the Butterfly Valley. There was a man sitting under his umbrella waiting to charge us at the beach.
You’d find yourself trekking through tall bushes with butterflies flying across your path. It kind of felt like canyoning to me, but I didn’t get to see butterflies as it was late in the season but there were a few elegantly flying around while I trekked to the waterfall though. This landmark is now a protected wildlife sanctuary for over 25 different butterfly species.
While trekking, I was totally ahead of my group. I jumped into the waterfall as soon as it came out of its glory. I showered a bit under the waterfall and took few GoPro pictures.
“Do not got past! DANGER. DEATH.” A hand-painted sign on a huge rock that I spotted next the waterfall. I decided to be a rebel and pasted the sign regardless. I climbed up the vertical rock by pulling myself up a knotted rope.
When I was on the top of the rock, my group finally arrived and they were surprised to find me on the top of the rock. Some of them cheered at me. It was cool, and then I chilled a bit with a beautiful view of canyons and rocks in the landscape of the valley.
After a while, we all headed back down to the beach and hopped on the gulet to boat to the next attraction.
Blue Lagoon (Oludeniz)
The Blue Lagoon is a small inlet bay connected to the beach of Ölüdeniz. Located on the south western coast of Turkey. Let’s say it’s a resort village in Fethiye. It’s one of most popularly photographed beach with sapphire blue water. It’s like a combination of the colors aquamarine and turquoise in the water.
The beach and lagoon itself would be one of the prettiest I’ve seen in my travels so far. Only thing that ruined the scenery is the masses of tourists flocking all over the beach. That kind of turned me off, but it was still beautiful and I enjoyed every moment here. After all, it is one of the world’s best beaches.
Not only that, I couldn’t get over that endless amount of blue in the sky.
I found myself sunbathing alongside the rest of group at the beach.
Paragliding over the Oludeniz Beach
My tour came to my group and informed us that we could take up paragliding over the Oludeniz beach. I had to decline because of a sponsored tandem by Reaction Paragliding was already arranged to be done after the cruise. That was agreed upon before I went on the cruise.
Nonetheless, I still enjoyed my view of hundreds of paragliders coming down from the beach when everybody else on the boat took up the offer. It was quite pleasing and it surely got me psyched for my tandem.
While waiting, I jumped off a cliff nearby and swam for about an hour before leaving to the next spot where the rest of the group would meet us after they were done with paragliding.
St. Nicholas Island
Later in the evening, the group paid 8TL entry per person to take up a walk to the top of this island to explore the ruins, and watch the sunset. I didn’t join them on this one as I stayed in the boat. I was just so tired that I went straight to sleep. I kind of got that vibe from the group that this day was more of a kick back.
With an early start, our yacht dropped anchor in Simena bay, we had a breakfast and a swim in the bay before heading out for a free time to get lost for few hours.
It is a well-kept coastal town with a limited nightlife situated on the Southwest coast of Turkey. Kas is everything a Turkish seaside town should be. It is rooted as a traditional Turkish fishing village as well.
The tour guide communicated with us that this would be our best opportunity to do some shopping for the Pirate Party at Smugglers Inn on the next day. We were encouraged to dress up for the party as well.
Instead of staying with the group touring through the town, I decided to wander off from the group on my own. I took the time to explore the cobbled streets of this old town. Their presence in the architecture of brown, wooden balconies and window shutters made me felt like I was in the past Greek civilizations that occupied the area. Nevertheless, there used to be a huge Greek population until 1923 when there was an exchange of citizens between Greece and Turkey.
White washed houses, buildings, and narrow paths of Kas had been built around the old Lycian tombs and Hellenistic theatre. They were lined up with pink Bouganvillea flowers, independent gift shops and restaurants. A stroll alongside the harbor while the fishing boats dock in and unload their catch filled the air with the smell of fresh fish and naturally, restaurants surrounding this area took the advantage of this.
The town felt local, intimate and unspoiled by tourism; there is no high street mumbo-jumbo or fast food chains here. Kas is a pure, Mediterranean coastal resort.
Even if you don’t go on one of the cruises, this spot is still one of must-visit Mediterranean destination in Turkey. Definitely a great photo op for anyone who loves photography!
After a little over an hour in Kas, I went to Ucagiz , a small town nearby, with the group to get some Turkish ice cream, but I decided to hike up the hill behind the village house to reach the Simena Castle where I paid 10TL (~$3 US Dollars) entry to enjoy the panoramic view of the beautiful harbor and small islands surrounding the coastline.
Inside the castle there is a small natural theater carved into the rock, with a capacity of about 300 people, a sign that this was a minor settlement in Roman times. This is the smallest of theaters among the cities of Lycia. West of the theater there are rock tombs here and there.
This area would be the definition of small towns. Almost all towns here are so close by and they would be visible from a high surface. You’d see what I mean when you your chance.
After that, the group and I kind of traded places as they arrived at the castle when I was heading to the town for my well-earned Turkish hazelnut ice cream. Boy, was it delicious! However, I may be biased because I’m part Italy in my nationality, but I still think Italian ice cream is better.
Sunken City and Pirate Cave
When the group was done with the castle, we boarded the yacht to motor past the Sunken City and Pirate Cave. Unfortunately, this Lycian-Roman archaeological site is protected, so you can only look! Nope, swimming nearby isn’t allowed either, so I only could see the stunning ruins from the boat.
The Loneliness Begins…
I started to socialize with the Aussies on the boat as we cruised for the rest of the afternoon and night. I chatted with a few people that night, but then I began to realize that I was feeling lonely as the Aussies didn’t really make a full effort to make me feel included with them. Not only that, the dynamics of the groups was kind of very laid back, chill and quiet. Well, generally speaking for the most of the time as they did get wild later that night and another night at the pirate party on the next night.
Honestly, I clicked when I saw the eighth episode of America’s Next Top Model where Nyle got felt out of place because nobody seemed to be willing to communicate with him, especially after Devin took away his only way to keep up with most of their conversations, his Oppo phone.
Don’t get me wrong, the groups didn’t do anything like what Devin did, but I did feel left out because all of them were connected one way or another as they all were Australians and I was the only American. Also, being Deaf would be a whole different story.
It’s not a bad thing, but it happens sometimes to Deaf people in general, especially when they’re singled out as the only person with disability in a group of able-bodied people.
Party on the Boat
From there, I tried to be optimistic and started becoming aggressive with the group socially. Apparently, the group were up for a while night this night, so we all ended up going wild on drinks all night.
On the plus side, we were anchored beside two other yachts where we all partied together on one of the decks. All three boats had planks connecting to each other, so we all could get on any boats as we please.
Not kidding, these Aussies surely knew how to party! They pulled me into the thrill! We all soaped up the deck of the boat and slide down the deck into the water. I even took up few slides myself and I had a blast that night! Filled with good times.
It was like a club on the boat all night. Colorful lights were flashing all over the decks and bay. The group continue to party pretty much all night, but I was the first to go to snuggle up in my bed and sleep. It was about 1am at the time and the group continued to party for other few hours.
Waking up from an awesome and fun night partying with the Aussies, I went along with the flow of the group as we chilled out for the day out in the bay.
This day was actually another kick back day for us. I suppose it was a good rest before another crazy night at the Pirate Party at Smugglers Inn. We did dock up for some of us who needed some things from a convenient store near the harbor.
Other than that, we spent time chatting with each other and swimming in the bay by the boat.
Anyways, I tried to remain optimistic throughout the day, but I still felt that the dynamics of the group didn’t work out well with me as a person. That was when I knew it was time for me to end my time on the cruise and leave the group. Thus, I communicated that with the tour guide.
The guide was quite supportive and he did encourage me to stick with the group, but I declined as I explained that this cruise was too laid back for my taste. For me, I like non-stop activities and I wanted to experience more than what had been done.
Take my island hopping experience in Komodo for instance, it was filled with many activities and adventures. This tour was too much of chilling for me. I would get restless by that easily and being the only Deaf American there didn’t make it any easier either.
He understood how I felt and he generously honored my wishes by calling the V-GO Hotel & Guesthouse to arrange a change in my reservations with them after the whole 8-day sail. He made it so easy and told me that I would be able to take a bus from Kekova on the next morning and stay with them for two nights.
For the rest of the day, I crashed hardcore on the boat and the beach. I swam around a little. It was quite a nice opportunity for me to relax even more before getting back on the track with the rest of my trip in Turkey.
Pirate Party at Smugglers Inn
When the group was getting ready for the pirate party, they found out that I was leaving the cruise. They approached me to find out why. Then I explained how I felt about it.
As expected, they suddenly felt bad and tried encouraging me to stay with them, and they would try to include me more. I remained to decline, but they insisted that I join them to the Pirate Party. I was planning to stay in, but I went ahead and tagged along with them instead.
We were taken to Smuggler’s Inn in Gokkaya via a free water taxi and partied the night away. This spot was really cool as it gave me the sense of being in an authentic pirate bar. The bar was pirate-themed, pretty much.
Entrance to the party was free and we got to mingle with passengers from another V-GO boats. It was surely a blast as the Aussies dragged me to a night filled dancing and plenty of shots. I could tell that the Aussies felt bad, so they tried to end my last night with them with a bang! I ain’t gonna lie… They surely pulled off the night really well for me.
I had so much fun getting on the bar. It was like I was the center of the attention. Many of us would dance on top of tables. Luckily none had broken down, hahah!
Let’s say the party did get out of control. Many of Aussies were too wasted and I had to handle a few of them. I could see how bouncers were getting sick of us as the crowd grew wild. Many of us took turns surfing the crowd!
The rest of night was filled with madness where almost everybody went orgy with each other. When everybody were hooking up with each other, I snuck out and took another free water taxi back to the boat and slept the night away.
My Last Morning
I woke up to a pleasing morning when everybody were handing me their names, and contact information for me to send them pictures that I had taken in this trip.
I sat up on the front of the boat to absorb the scenery. Just like any other boat trips, I loved the feeling of the wind blowing against my face and through my hair as the boat cruised on the sea. I got lost into my thoughts and before I knew it, the boat anchored in the Tersane Bay for me to take a water taxi to the harbor where I took a bus back to the hotel for another two nights.
I’d be honest here and I did genuinely enjoy my experience with V-GO in whole, but being singled out as the only Deaf person here made it hard for me to enjoy it because I’m a man of conversations. I love making deep conversations with people and it was quite difficult to keep up conversations through written English on my notepad with the Aussies.
I personally think this would be great if I had another companion who could use sign language with me. Otherwise, this would be fun for any group of 2-3 Deaf people together joining the group. That way we all would enjoy the kickback feeling one way or another because we would have some company and conversations that would keep us sane.
Honestly, I really did try to be optimistic and started becoming aggressive with the group socially, but it became harder by the minute because the Aussies were getting more connected with each other as the time goes by.
Bottom line: the reason of me leaving the boat had nothing to do with the travel company. It had a lot to do with the dynamics of the group and I wasn’t feeling chilled out as I had to use up a little more energy to communicate and keep up with others as a Deaf person. 8 days of resting and chilling around water and beaches was too long for me. That was when I wished I took the 4-day cruise instead.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend V-GO Yachting & Travel Agency for any sailing experience on the Blue Cruise. Personally, if you’re Deaf and traveling solo, I’d recommend taking the 4-day cruise (Fethiye to Olympos) instead. That way it won’t be too long for you, unless you really want to have a long and good break to yourself. However, this cruise would be great for a full group of Deaf people or at least 2-3 Deaf people joining a group.
Be sure to book a cruise with them!