Are there any better ways to explore the Turkish coastline in the Mediterranean Sea than living on board a traditional Turkish Gulet for an 8 Day Sail Turkey cruise? Well we didn’t think so when we first booked our trip and hopefully our Busabout Sail Turkey review will help you choose your next adventure too.
Busabout Sail Turkey Review
Before we booked we did hold a few reservations. We had heard stories from friends about how Sail Croatia, which we were tossing up whether to do or not, can be a real booze cruise. While we love having a few cold ones as much as the next Kiwi we were not that keen on blowing all our money on booze. Plus we didn’t want to spend our days hungover not being able to enjoy some travel adventures.
So when we booked we expected that this would be quite similar. Especially considering we had just been to ANZAC Day in Gallipoli and knew there would be lots of Kiwi’s and Aussies heading to the Turkish coast to lap up some sunshine.
Busabout Sail Turkey Pre-departure
This is the first year that Busabout have run the Sail Turkey adventure and so at the moment it is really cheap.
We were on the first trip of the season as well so £299 per person is great value in our opinion considering that you get 7 nights of accommodation and all of your meals included.
Booking through Busabout proved to be really easy and they were wonderful to deal with. We especially like that you can go on the Busabout website and see who else is on your trip through their MyTrip tab. It allows you to send messages to the other travellers to arrange things like airport transfers or meet ups before your trip if you want.
They also have options through their partner, V-Go, in Turkey. Although we stayed elsewhere in Fethiye which worked out a bit cheaper. It seemed like most people stayed there before their trip although we met a bunch of travellers before we went at our accommodation too.
The trip is from Saturday afternoon to the following Saturday morning. With the last night actually parked at the docks in Fethiye harbour so you really only have 6 nights along the Turkish coastline.
The Busabout Sail Turkey Trip
We met up with everyone at 4pm at the Busabout headquarters in Fethiye and they split our group of 35 into two groups. Each Turkish Gulet, which is a traditional two-masted wooden sailing vessel, has a crew of three and sleeps 18 guests on board. As a couple we were lucky that we had our own double bed in a room while some rooms had to share with three people on bunk beds.
Every room comes with an ensuite. Just be careful that you don’t flush your toilet paper down the loo because just like on land in Turkey the system cannot handle it. You have to place everything in the waste bin next to the toilet.
The rooms are tiny but who wants to spend time in their rooms when you are on a boat in the Mediterranean Sea?
Every night we expected to park up next to the other boat and tie up together. This didn’t happen though and instead we would park about 100m apart. I guess for safety reasons but it would have been nice to be able to mingle with the other boat properly every now and then.
However it was probably for the best because we definitely were on the quieter boat. Sure we enjoyed a few beers every night and had a couple of bigger party nights but we didn’t go overboard (excuse the pun). In comparison, the other boat drank up a storm. There were a couple of dudes crushing beer cans at the breakfast table!
The mornings would usually begin slowly with the Captain getting an early start driving us to another bay along the Turkish coastline. As we would all slowly emerge on to the deck into the bright sunlight we would be dropping anchor somewhere new for our breakfast usually around 8.30am.
For a couple of hours we would lounge around on the decks playing backgammon or cards. Or just relax with a good book in hand. Once it got too hot for us to lie out in the sun we would spend the time diving off the boat and cooling off in the pristine turquoise waters.
The afternoons would be spent visiting one of the small villages dotted along the coast or again go exploring the shoreline from the water. Evenings would again bring us all together over a few beers. We couldn’t get any more relaxed if we tried!
The Food onboard
Simple but delicious is the only way to describe the food on the boat. We were just stoked it was mostly traditional Turkish food. For example the breakfast would be cheeses, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggs, bread, honey and jam. Not to mention the tea and coffee on demand.
Lunches and dinners were fairly similar and would usually be rice and pasta with really tasty roast vegetables or stews. Stuffed roasted capsicums and couscous! My mouth is watering just reliving the meals. We were also lucky to have fresh fish a couple of nights which was awesome.
All our meals were served around the huge dining table at the back of the boat. It was one of our favourite times as we would all come together every few hours and jokes would fly and shit-talked.
As we said, this was definitely one of the best trips we have ever done so far on our adventures around the world however it wasn’t all smooth sailing:
- We wish there had been more information about the optional excursions. Nearly every day we were offered the chance to visit small villages, try adventures like Para-sailing or explore Turkish historical sites. Unfortunately with the limited English from the crew we had no idea the costs of the activities or what was involved.
Note: At least Busabout has assured us that following our feedback they have now included more information on each boat about these activities.
- As before, we wish we had a chance to socialise with the other boat a little bit more. Not every night but a few nights during the trip would have been good.
- “Sail Turkey” should probably be called “Motor Turkey” as there is not a lot of sailing involved. Didn’t really bother us as the crew couldn’t handle it. But it would have been great to do a bit more than the two hours we did.
- The final negative is that on the second-to-last day our Captain was fired. We still don’t know the reason why or what happened but it sucked as we all thought our Captain was awesome. Not really Busabouts fault either as it wasn’t their decision but actually the company they lease the boats from.
Like we said, not too many negatives!
Make sure you check out some of our favourite Busabout Sail Turkey photos from our trip here as well to check out the sights. And if you want to book a Sail Turkey trip or any other Busabout adventures then click our affiliate link below.
Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the Busabout Sail Turkey cruise, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.
5 Unmissable Northern Ireland Attractions
Northern Ireland is a beautiful part of the world, yet one which often lies off the usual tourist track. However, there are many great places to visit and things to see and do in this region – offering the perfect getaway from packed tourist destinations and a chance to see a largely unspoiled natural landscape.
Despite this, there are still many different attractions within the area that are well worth a visit. From city scenes to geological wonders, the sheer versatility means that there is guaranteed to be something for everyone in the region.
If you are thinking of paying Northern Ireland a visit, here are five of the best attractions that the area has to offer – just waiting for you to arrive!
Instantly recognisable and famed across the world, the Giant’s Causeway is a definite must-see. Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO world heritage site, the Causeway is a unique example of natural beauty and wonder. Take time out of your schedule to explore, clambering over the rocks and discovering the science, myths and legends behind this ancient monument. A Giant’s Causeway tour also makes the ideal way to learn about the Causeway and get to know the area, as you are shown around by a knowledgeable tour guide.
Northern Ireland’s capital, Belfast is a city steeped in years of history. Boasting plenty of varied attractions, there is guaranteed to be something to suit every taste in Belfast. Spend some time wandering the streets and exploring the city’s shops and eateries, or instead, head out and visit one of the dedicated tourist attractions. As the birthplace of the ill-fated Titanic, history buffs are sure to enjoy a visit to Titanic Belfast, the museum which commemorates the ship and the tragedy that followed her maiden launch. Alternatively, a visit to Crumlin Road Gaol is another favourite on Belfast’s tourist trail. Explore the gaol and learn all about its rich history, right through to its eventual closure as a working prison in 1996.
Murlough National Nature Reserve
For those who prefer a taste of the great outdoors, head out to the stunning landscape of Murlough National Nature Reserve and spend some time getting back to grips with nature. Ideal for a fun-filled family day out or a relaxing day spent exploring, the reserve offers the perfect example of an unspoiled wilderness situated in the picturesque Irish countryside. There are plenty of walking routes and trails dotted across the reserve, so pick your favourite and head off to explore more of the beautiful scenery!
Brooding and full of a unique atmosphere, Dunluce Castle is a perfect example of cultural history and architecture. Located on the coast, this impressive ruin offers stunning views across the water and is also an understandable favourite among budding photographers. A must-see landmark along the Antrim coast, the castle offers a real mix of Irish history and different time periods.
Perfectly combining tradition and history with a quirky, contemporary twist, Derry is Northern Ireland’s second-largest city – a city with something to suit everyone. From its vast array of quaint cafes and eateries to the traditional architecture, history buffs are sure to want to pay Derry a visit. If you do decide to head down to Derry, make sure not to miss the historic city walls. Striking and memorable yet also enlightening, a walk around the walls is sure to help you step back in time and discover Derry’s past and rich history.
Are you feeling inspired? These are just a few of the many exciting places to visit on offer within the region. Northern Ireland truly is a hidden gem – why not discover the beauty of this area for yourself on your next trip?
Worlds’ Best Surfing Breaks: Lanzarote’s El Quemao
Lanzarote plays host to some serious, world-class level surfing. The volcanic island rises straight up through the water, and because it lacks a continental shelf the waves it gets from the Atlantic are completely unobstructed. With low precipitation, balmy winds and endless sunshine, this laid-back island is every surfer dude’s dream.
In the northwest, El Quemao is a commanding left and right-hand reef break. You can experience colossal swells of up to five metres high, rivalling those in Hawaii. This area is meant for the expert. The waves continuously form quick tubes with vertical descents, perfect to enter, descend and ride the tube.
Seven of the Best Restaurants on Lanzarote
Table Arrcife Known for their burgers, tapas and their large selection of beer.
Casa de la Playa, Arrieta Go for authentic Canarian seafood cuisine overlooking the beach.
El Mirador, Playa Blanca Enjoy seafood by the ocean!
Cofradia de Pescadores, Playa Blanca Specialising in seafood; ask for the fresh fish of the day.
Restaurante del Diablo, Timanfaya This lunch-only restaurant utilises volcanic heat to cook their various meat dishes.
El Tenique, Tiagua They offer delicious meat fare. Their popular Cabra is served on Sundays.
El Chupadero, La Geria Situated in wine country, enjoy a glass of vino, tapas and live music.
Hippy Holidays – Low Impact Lanzarote
Pack a lunch and explore former Hippy Heaven, Papagayo, by bike. There is a family-friendly beach with calmer waters to paddle in and swim. There are also out-of-the-way places for older children to explore.
Visit Timanfaya National Park. It is 50 km² of expansive plains, volcanic ash, fossilised lava, geysers and boulders. Amp up the exotic by joining a Camel Train to explore this region.
Consider getting around by bicycle to get exploring areas off the beaten path, as well as beaches, finding smaller towns and farmers’ markets.
Fancy a Holiday in Malta? Now You Can Fly from Southend
As of October 29, 2017, EasyJet is scheduled to fly twice weekly from London Southend Airport to Malta year-round. London Southend has its own train station that runs up to six trains per hour to and from central London. This will carry passengers from Essex to the South End.
Malta, south of Sicily, has grown in popularity. The weather is great year-round (19 to 30 degrees). It is also the home of three World Heritage Sites.
Inland from Alicante: Seven Out-of-the-Way Places
Alcoy Here you will find Barchell Castle, the convent of St. Augusti and church of Santa Maria. The Moors and Christians festival is a must see.
Le Romana See cave houses; there are some cave properties currently in use.
Aspe Grapes grown in this region are tied to a custom of eating 12 grapes at New Years.
Cocentaina While at the village of La Villa, visit the Comtat Palace.
Ontinyent Archaeological finds around the area date back to the Bronze Age and Iberian period.
Bocairent Cobbled streets and architecture allow you to see what life was like many centuries ago.
Guadalest Go see the castle of San Jose. Access to this fortress is via a natural tunnel through the rocks.
Benidorm by Drone
Viewing Benidorm by a drone shows the magnificence of this area. The ocean is a stunning blue-green; the eye never tires of it. Numerous apartments and hotels hug the beaches of Playa Poniente and Playa Levante. In between these seafronts lies the Canfali vantage point with the majestic Mal Pas cove at its foot. You can also see the energetic lights of theme parks. Benidorm has five of them. The Las Vegas-style Benidorm Palace can also be seen. The beautiful Villaitana golf course looks smaller than its actual two 18-hole golf courses. These landmarks invite you to come and play.
Responsible Travel – Surfing in Lanzarote- https://www.responsiblevacation.com/vacations/lanzarote/travel-guide/surfing-in-lanzarote
Surfing in El Quemao http://www.hellocanaryislands.com/surfing/lanzarote/surfing-el-quemao/
Surfinglife.com (by Rich) http://www.surfinglife.com/surfing-in-lanzarote-canary-islands-3/
Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel
Trekking through the valleys of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with Middle Earth Travel feels more like the set of a Star Wars movie than a historical region once carved out and lived in by humans. Churches, homes and pigeon houses are scattered throughout the valleys, all waiting to be explored. The best part is, Middle Earth Travel know all the hidden secrets.
Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel
On the 26th of July (which just so happens to be my birthday!) Middle Earth Travel took us on their private and guided Top of Cappadocia day trek. From Pasabag, along the top of Cappadocia and down through the Gulludere Rose Valley to Goreme, we trekked 15kms in one day! (We recommend getting your bearings with this map)
Upon arrival to the Middle Earth Offices, we were warmly greeted by our new friend Atil whom we had met a few days earlier while mountain biking through the Kizilcukur Red Valley. We were then introduced to our guide and given a briefing regarding the day. Normally, the Top of Cappadocia tour would start from Çavuşin, however, since we had already explored Çavuşin Castle, they adapted our tour to compensate ensuring we would explore new terrain!
With charged cameras, plenty of water and our running shoes on, we were driven to our starting point of Pasabag. We wandered through the fairy chimneys, coming across camels and markets – then the true hike began.
It was a slow and gentle incline. With no trees to provide shade, I quickly realised why our tour guide had chosen to wear fully covered clothing! As the sweat quickly set in (a waterfall in Moss’s case) we snapped away with our cameras and enjoyed the entertaining shapes of Imagine Valley and the amazing view. We also passed a lot of rock piles, which according to our guide mean ‘father’ and are built to help lead the way.
The higher we trekked, the more breath taking the views became! As we walked along the summit of Bozdag mountain (the Top of Cappadocia) we could see EVERTHING – Pasabag, Çavuşin Castle, Kizilcukur Red Valley, Gulludere Rose Valley and Goreme. We were on the Father of Valleys! After a quick nod of agreement to the guide, we pushed ourselves the extra distance and made our way to the flag, as this HAD to be the highest point and was definitely worth a photo and a selfie or two!
From the flag we looked down upon Aktepe Hill which is known as a popular destination for watching the sun set and could spot Kizilvadi Restaurant, our destination for lunch! Kizilvadi Restaurant is an attraction of its own. With its own historic winery and Grape church, plus some Middle Earth Travel treks even stay there for the night! After having a massive feed of soup, salad and pasta plus a surprise birthday cake, we made our way down into Gulludere Rose Valley.
The scenery is amazing, with strong colours visible in perfect layers on the chimneys, you would wonder what an artist was thinking, had it been a painting. Also, hidden to the side of the track we walked across a little bridge and not expecting anything to be there we were wowed by the massive church carved. It was absolutely huge and hard to believe that its most recent use has been as a pigeon house!
Middle Earth Travel Review
- The team at Middle Earth Travel were extremely knowledgeable and certainly know Cappadocia’s hidden secrets. They have friendships with local tea garden owners which is also of benefit as it gained us entry to locked churches and hidden rooms that we would not have otherwise seen.
- We covered a lot of ground, however we did not feel rushed. The whole day focused on showing us the region, therefore we had as much time as we needed to explore each church and to take ‘just one more photo’.
- It wasn’t all about trekking. With a whole day and 15kms to cover, there were a few silly poses (especially in Imagine Valley), and we learnt a lot about the myths, legends and way of life in Cappadocia.
- In conclusion I highly recommend Middle Earth Travel if you wish to go trekking or mountain biking in Cappadocia.
- Cost: Day treks with Middle Earth Travel range from 50-90 euro, depending on the number of people taking part. This includes lunch, guide, vehicle transfers and entrance fees to historical sites, but excludes alcoholic and soft drinks.
- Middle Earth Travel are outdoor enthusiasts and offer multi-day over night treks, mountain biking, abseiling, or custom made itineraries, in multiple regions throughout Turkey.
Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the trek with Middle Earth Travel, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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