Are you looking for a different kind of travel experience with your girls in 2019? Consider a Mediterranean yacht cruise along the Southwest coast of Turkey with ScicSailing. In this article, I share some practical information to help you and your girls with planning!

 

Why a Girls Trip?

My husband and I love travelling together. There’s nothing quite like exploring new destinations together and learning more about one another along the journey.

However, I’m a huge advocate of pursuing balance within our relationship, and this often translates into spending time apart. I not only find it healthy, but necessary.

Sailing onboard the Nemesis is the best way to see Southern Turkey!

This means that I’m constantly on the lookout for cool travel experiences that I can take solo or with a few of my closest girlfriends.

In 2016, Omo and I went on a Mediterranean cruise, and although I enjoyed it, I’ve always wanted to take to the seas in a smaller, more intimate vessel.

ScicSailing Gulet Cruise in Southwest Turkey

When looking for ideas for my most recent girls trip, my friend, Andrew Forbes, highly recommended ScicSailing (pronounced chic sailing), a privately owned yacht holiday company based in Southwestern Turkey.

I had the joy of sharing a ten-stop experience over seven days with my girl Nicola. She was completely sold when she heard that we’d only be onboard a gulet yacht with twelve other passengers.

The following topics should help you get started with planning your very own girls sailing trip.

 

Luxury on a budget?

I have (in many ways) become a purveyor of luxury travel on a budget (affordable luxury). I look out for incredible 4 and 5-star experiences that are friendly on the pocket. Some of these, like yacht cruises, require advance planning.

Exploring SW Turkey onboard the Nemesis

I looked at the price tag for a seven-day ScicSailing cruise along the Southwest coast of Turkey and was surprised to find the starting price at €951pp for a place on a fully skippered and crewed yacht.

This includes all meals cooked by a personal onboard chef, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), onboard amenities, taxes, and harbour fees.

It is also important to note that yachts allow access to ports that regular cruise ships are unable to access. They also afford access to areas (island and coastal alike) that few on land explorers can access.

 

Pre-departure & arrival

Prior to departure, our friendly cruise liaison personally emailed us to introduce herself. She attached a packet of essential information we’d need for planning, departure, and arrival. She also briefly described the other guests, their interests and age ranges (late twenties through forties).

The details she shared were extremely helpful in making us feel comfortable about our shipmates. I must point out that this is not the kind of service you’d typically receive on a large scale commercial cruise, where hundreds or even thousands of people might be on a ship.

Exploring Gocek, Turkey with ScicSailing

My ScicSailing departure port was Gocek, a picturesque town situated in the Fethiye/Mugla province in a part of Turkey commonly regarded as the ‘Turkish Riviera’.

As part of the arrival protocol, ScicSailing arranged a transfer to my hotel in Gocek. Gocek was the perfect departure port for the start of our cruise as the town itself – with its beautiful cafes and warm ambiance – is worth exploring.

 

Cabin and luggage advice

Our cabin was exactly as the pre-boarding information had described – compact and cosy.

As is typical with traditional two or three masted Turkish gulets, the cabins are outfitted in floor to ceiling wood (Teak, Ebony, Mahogany or Iroko), with each one having its own small bathroom, containing a shower and toilet.

Exploring SW Turkey onboard the Nemesis

Copyright ScicSailing.eu

Scic Sailing inner cabin

I’d brought a medium-sized suitcase due to being on the road for two weeks. However, I won’t make that mistake again in the future. Gulet cruises are more suited to small pieces of luggage; i.e, carry-ons.

The crew was kind enough to store my case elsewhere on the boat, but it’s a hassle I’d soon avoid on a return experience.

 

What about sea-sickness?

Although the crew is fully equipped to handle seasickness, pack your own seaband or seasickness medication if you’re prone to the condition.

The clinical definition or reason for motion sickness “is caused by repeated movements when travelling, like going over bumps in a car or moving up and down in a boat. The inner ear sends different signals to your brain from those your eyes are seeing. These confusing messages cause you to feel unwell.”

Exploring SW Turkey onboard the Nemesis

Other than wearing a seaband or taking medication, the NHS suggests several ways to decrease chances of motion sickness. These include taking ginger supplements, looking straight ahead, and focusing your breathing to name a few.

It’s important to note that the sails onboard the Nemesis were not hoisted every time we headed to our next stop. Wind quality and quantity is a major factor in the captain’s decision to set the sails.

Nemesis crew hoist sails onboard the Nemesis in Southern Turkey
Nemesis crew hoist sails onboard the Nemesis in Southern Turkey

We had very little wind on our trip, so the Nemesis was only at full sail three or four times throughout the seven days; often for no more than an hour. The captain used the diesel motor all other times, as is typical with vessels of its kind.

No one onboard the Nemesis experienced sea sickness when we were motoring. However, there were a few people who experienced it only once while at full sail.

 

What does the itinerary look like?

Nicola and I spent seven days freestyle sailing and enjoying a ten-stop itinerary. Stops included Ölüdeniz, Kaş, Gemiler Island, Gombe plateau, Fethiye, Demre, and Kalkan.

Every two stops along our itinerary, there was an organised excursion that ranged from picturesque hiking, 4×4 jeep safariing, touring historical sites of interest, to beautifully crafted foodie experiences.

Foodie experiences in Southern Turkey

The itinerary was created based on the interests of the attendees, however, we were able to choose which activities we wanted to attend. Nicola and I tend to go all in, and so participated in every activity on offer.

Cooking class onboard the Nemesis
Cooking class onboard the Nemesis, hosted by the onboard chef

Being the consummate foodie she is (also a professional food stylist), Nicola was especially elated to see that the itinerary included a Turkish cooking class with the onboard chef.

 

Physical Activity onboard and off

If you’re used to being physically active whilst on holiday, the opportunity for heart rate increasing activities is available daily. Onboard the ship, there is deck space to practice yoga and pilates. There are also several opportunities per day to swim, snorkel and kayak in whichever bay you’re currently anchored in.

Physical activity onboard the Nemesis
Physical activity onboard the Nemesis

Additionally, you can ask your ScicSailing liaison to add optional hiking or cycling onshore excursions. There is full flexibility in activities, so make sure to enquire when booking.

Lounging onboard the Nemesis

 

Alternatively, If you’re looking to have a lounge-style holiday ScicSailing also has you covered. If you prefer, you can occasionally take a dip in the sea, but spend most of your time soaking in the Turkish sun, whilst sipping on a cocktail.

 

The food situation and important allergy advice

Both Nicola and I have food allergies, which we informed the crew of well in advance. Our onboard chef seemed to have no problem accommodating our food restrictions. Oftentimes, our shipmates asked to try several of the special dishes he’d prepare for us.

Eating onboard the Nemesis in Southern Turkey

It is important to inform your ScicSailing liaison ahead of the trip of any dietary restrictions. This is also useful for helping to plan onshore gastronomic experiences such as cooking and dining with locals.

The food served onboard is extremely healthy and fresh. Having so many port stops allows the crew to collect fresh ingredients daily. Each meal exposes you to an array of colourful Turkish mezzes, and delicious delicacies of the region.

Eating onboard the Nemesis in Southern Turkey

As several of our shipmates were wine connoisseurs, our liaison arranged a Turkish wine tasting experience onboard the Nemesis. Kavaklidere Çankaya, Kavaklidere Lal Rosé, and Doluca Kav Narince are all Turkish wines worthy of mentioning.

Turkish wine experience

The smooth and elegant white Çankaya contained hints of fresh citrus notes (peach and apricot), a light mineral character, and ended with a surprising finish. Wine tasting experiences can be requested and booked through your liaison.

 

Security & Safety

Many tourists have concerns about visiting Turkey due to the terrorist attacks that have previously plagued the region.

Turkey is unique in that its geographical borders span across Europe and Asia, so having correct advice is essential.

Turkish flag blowing in the wind

Is Turkey unsafe? No. However, there are several cities that you should avoid based on the FCO’s advice.

As always, be vigilant, follow the advice of local authorities, monitor media reports and keep up to date with travel advice. Also, avoid political rallies and demonstrations.

The tourism market was hit quite hard following the coup in 2016. However, Turkey is ready with open arms to welcome visitors back.

 

Disclaimer: We were guests of SCIC Sailing, for the purposes of reviewing their seven night Southwest Turkey gulet cruise. Although, all photos and thoughts are my own. Prices start at €951 per person, based on double or single accommodation. Alternatively, the entire yacht can be booked for private groups. Enquire directly for pricing. Sailing season runs from April to October; departing from Göcek, Bodrum or Marmaris.

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What to expect on a seven day yacht trip in Southern Turkey

Co-Founders & Curators at HDYTI

Eulanda & Omo Osagiede are London-based freelance writers and award-winning social influencers who run the popular travel, food, and lifestyle blog HDYTI (Hey! Dip your toes in).