Fashion and beauty editor Helen Clemson set sail on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast for a week aboard an authentic gulet. She’s hooked on the Eastern Mediterranean region and this is why you should be too.
Bang in the middle of our winter I got to leave a (thankfully) rain sodden Cape Town and fly off to Gocek in Turkey, en route to a week’s sailing on the Turquoise Coast (Southwest Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean). Invited by ScicSailing, the experience is an elegant and genuine Turkish gulet holiday, a really super sailing trip and a Zen-lover’s dream – it’s utterly relaxing on board. However, for those wanting more than just a tan and a few good books ticked off their reading list, the itinerary is ideal for travellers chasing history-rich adventures. This season’s route (weather dependent) includes hiking Gemiler Island amidst the remains of several ancient churches. The island is also believed by archaeologists to be the location of the original tomb of Saint Nicholas (Father Christmas). We also had the privilege of being guided through Kapakli for a local family breakfast at Siir ev Kekova. One of the most authentic and connecting eating experiences I’ve ever had while traveling, we ate our way through freshly made – and incredibly delicious – breads, cheeses, salads, honey, olives and so much more. Do ask about this wonderful community experience. But perhaps the most visually arresting excursion – this being a yacht trip and all – is a visit to the sunken city at Kekova, in a sheltered bay. The waters are so pristine, you can clearly see the ruins just below the waters of this breath-taking cove, that you can only view in a boat, dinghy or sea kayak. While that may sound like a lot on the to-do list, there’s plenty of respite to be had. That and knock-out food! I completely overindulged. However since it’s all authentic Turkish fare (you ain’t going to be offered a burger and chips on this trip), beautifully prepared seafood, tasty vegetable dishes like garlicky tomatoes, grilled aubergine and red peppers infused with the region’s famous olive oil mean you won’t feel horribly rotund. Plus all that olive oil is really good for your skin!
Itchy feet? There are still a few months left of this year’s season to sail. In fact, September is one of the best months to do so, post the busy European summer holidays and still a time when our SA weather isn’t exactly warm. Check out https://scicsailing.eu for all the details or email firstname.lastname@example.org And, just remember my best fashion find for swimwear days (whether yachting or not), a kaftan by local label Gypsy Soul at Boho Boutique – I’m wearing their white and turquoise Santorini kaftan (R620, visit www.BohoBoutique.co.za ) above. It was a winner over a bikini (hid the wobbly bits I didn’t want my fellow sailors to see) and helped protect my shoulders and upper arms from the sun. Plus it’s rather fabulous to look at. Happy sailing!
Images by Eulanda Shead Osagiede / @dipyourtoesin (portrait) and Helen Clemson.