If your bucket list is anything like ours, swimming with turtles in Turkey’s crystal clear waters with ancient ruins nearby, will be somewhere on that list! And what better way to explore the coast than on a V-GO Sail Turkey Cruise, with more than a dozen new friends and a great crew!
V-Go Sail Turkey cruise – Fethiye to Kekova in 8 days
We arrived at the V-GO office in Fethiye at 4pm and as expected, could hear a high majority of Australian accents. However, we were pleasantly surprised to also discover a large group of kiwis (New Zealanders) plus a few Italians. It was V-GO’s biggest week ever, with over 90 people getting on board 5 boats and setting out for 8 days of sailing! A lot of the tourists had booked through V-Go’s partner Busabout, and we were all looking forward to the week ahead.
With no idea as to the size of our boat or of what to expect, I was wowed as I clambered aboard the large, 26m dark wooden Gulet (sailing boat) and was shown to our room with a double bed and ensuite. However, I did not admire the room for long, as being peak season, the temperature was also peaking somewhere above 30 degrees.
We quickly began making friends and as there were 19 of us on board, there were a lot of names to learn. Our tour leader Ekin, with his impressive moustache was the easiest to remember. Because, as he pointed out – his name was Nike spelt backwards! Ekin was extremely helpful, keeping us all informed about what activites were available, playing his ukulele to us, plus we even convinced him to show us our path on a proper map!
What gear is supplied by V-Go Sail Turkey?
We felt ridiculous, lugging our large bags on board. All we really needed was togs (bathers), towel, sunnies, sunblock and jandals! V-GO supplied shower towels, bedding (which, due to the heat we used for sleeping on the deck under the stars each night), snorkels, flippers and foam noodles for swimming. Some of the boats even had stand up paddle boards and kayaks.
V-Go Sail Turkey Meals and Desserts
All meals are prepaid for and included in the trip. However, you will need to pay for any drinks you consume on the boat eg a beer is 9TL. Our desserts were amazing and certainly not the norm. We were extremely spoilt by Captain Sunny whose hidden talent is also designing desserts made of fruit!
Our favourite swimming and snorkelling locations with V-Go Sail Turkey
Blue Lagoon (Oludeniz): Here everyone was very quick to jump into the water. Just be careful of your cameras, sunnies and any loose items as the water is fairly deep and unless you have a free diving friend on board (like Moss), you will never see your beloved possessions again. While we were there, Moss became a treasure hunter and found Turkish money, some snorkels, deck chairs, a watch, bracelet and a go pro!!
Shark statue bay: This is not the bay’s actual name, however the location will be obvious once you see it. There is a concrete shark just over 7 meters underwater, plus there were turtles swimming about which was awesome to see! However, Moss noticed one turtle behaving a bit too friendly and discovered fishing line tangled around its fins and neck. At that moment Moss gained his new nickname – Moss Grilles (after Bear Grilles) and caught the turtle so the fishing line could be cut free.
Sunken City Bay near Kekova Island: After playing cards and having drinks as we motored to our overnight destination we then proceeded to have party in the water. The water was crystal clear and the perfect temperature! (Note: we made sure no litter was left behind, hope you will do the same!)
V-Go Sail Turkey Day excursions
On most of the days, extra activities are on offer for an additional cost. Plus, our V-Go boat was often approached by locals offering sea biscuiting, and items for sale such as ice creams and jewellery.
- Waterfall at Butterfly Valley: Once the boat has anchored in the bay, everyone has the option of paying 5TL each and venturing on a short walk of less than 15 minutes to the waterfall. If you are game enough (and strong enough) there is also a rope leading up the cliff next to the waterfall which enables you to climb even higher and to see a lot of butterflies. For more details you can read about Coles Butterfly Valley Adventure a few years ago.
- St. Nicholas Island (Santas Island): In the evening you can pay 8TL per person to explore the ruins, walk to the top of the Island and watch the sunset.
- Paragliding at the Blue Lagoon (Oludeniz): You can go paragliding off the top of the hill which is nearly 2000m (6000ft) high. It costs 225TL per person. Paragliding photos cost 80TL and the videos cost 80TL, however, if you want both they will cost 140TL. Please note that most pilots do not let you use your own camera during the gliding. Tip: Take your camera and money with you. That way if you are like us and refuse to pay for photos that you could have easily taken yourself then at least you will get some of your own pictures before take off, plus if you do as many spins and flips as I did, you will be wanting an ice cream to sweeten your stomach at the finish 🙂
- Simena Castle: A few of us braved the heat and paid the 10TL entry to the castle. The views from the top were amazing and certainly worth the sweat! Plus the path leading to the Castle has lots of women and children selling bracelets and items they have made, and yes I got sucked in and purchased some from a cute little girl!
More towns and attractions we visited with V-Go
As well as all the amazing snorkelling locations and day excursions, we also visited Tarzan Bay where all the boys swung from a rope – like Tarzan! We also stopped in at a couple of towns including Kalkan, Demre and Kas, plus we motored past the Sunken City and Pirate Cave as unfortunately swimming is not allowed.
Putting up the sails with V-Go Sail Turkey
Unfortunately, sailing is not a huge part of the trip but we did sail long enough to get a photo!
The V-Go Sail Turkey Pirate Party
The pirate party took place at Smugglers Inn in Gokkaya Bay. Everyone improvised with what ever sailor/ pirate themed clothes they happened to have and it was a great night! Entrance to the party was free and it was great to mingle with all the other V-Go/Busabout boats.
V-Go Turkish Night
On the final night of the trip we moored in Fethiye harbour, had dinner on board and then made our way to the V-Go hotel for a complimentary Turkish night. To my amusement our tour guide rigged the selection of belly dancing candidates and picked two people from our tour – one of them being Moss! The night was a good laugh and a great way to end the trip.
Accommodation in Fethiye
If you require accommodation in Fethiye before or after your boat cruise, there is plenty of accommodation to choose from. However of the four places we happened to stay at in Fethiye, we highly recommend the V-Go hotel.
V-Go Yatching & Travel Agency Review
- The team at V-Go Yatching were extremely knowledgeable as they have been sailing the route since 1997. They know all the best locations for anchoring so the water is always tempting for a swim and a splash.
- We visited all the main towns and attractions, however it was all done at a nice pace and we did not feel too rushed.
- It wasn’t all about being on a boat and drinking the entire time. Even though some people on other boats did drink their fair share of alcohol, everyone was generally interested in having a good time and not being too hungover – except for after the Pirate party of course!
- In conclusion I highly recommend V-Go Yatching if you wish to explore the coastline of Turkey.
- Cost: 8 day sail Turkey trips range from 285.00 € – 485.00 € depending on the time of year. This includes breakfast, lunch and dinner each day, but excludes drinks and extra activities such as entrance to Simena Castle and Paragliding. Note: it is also recommended to tip 3-5% of your trip cost to the crew at the end of the tour.
- V-Go are a Yatching & Travel Agency who offer many types of boat trips, private boat trips, daily tours and activities, plus they have a hotel in Fethiye.
- You can also read Coles review from 2012 about the first ever Busabout Sail Turkey adventure cruise and see how much the tour has progressed and improved over the years.
Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the V-Go Yachting Sail Turkey cruise, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.
Medieval Towns with German Castles Near Munich & Frankfurt
Our favorite castles in Germany near Frankfurt and Munich:
We were crazy enough to visit Neuschwanstein Castle on a public holiday. This meant that along with all the Asian tourists, there were an awful lot of Germans. Plus, even though we arrived by 11 am, the soonest tickets we could buy were for the German tour at 2.30 pm, as the terms in English were sold out until 4 pm. So, if you don’t have German friends at hand to translate the tour for you, we recommend booking in advance online. The castle was impressive, and the time was undoubtedly fascinating! Don’t worry, I won’t spill the beans, but the manmade Grotto room made my jaw drop!
Mespelbrunn Castle is located on a pond between Frankfurt and Wurzburg. Unfortunately, we arrived 30 minutes after its closing time of 5 pm, but it looked cool from behind the fence!
Lichtenstein Castle is located on a clifftop near Stuttgart and costs 6 euros per person for a tour in German; however, they did give us a very informative written guide in English. This castle is small compared to Hohenzollern castle, but its story is fascinating. Tanks shelled it in World War II, and today you can still see the cracked mirror from where a small fragment of a tank grenade ricocheted!
Hohenzollern Castle is not too far from Lichtenstein Castle. It is located on a hilltop near Hechingen, and we enjoyed the guided tour. Along with getting to wear GIANT slippers, make sure you explore the casemates and secret passages. One sign made me want to learn more. It read, “Exactly where these steps lead to is unknown. More casemates and secret passageways are likely waiting to be discovered in the heart of the mountain”!
Heidelberg Castle was a lot larger than we expected! Unfortunately, we had spent far too much time at the Auto & Technik Museum in Sinsheim, so we did not have time to explore this castle. But if we get the chance, we will explore the town and its castle next time in Germany.
On our drive from Munich to Frankfurt, we also loved:
The beer garden at Andechs Monastery was just like Oktoberfest but amongst trees and more family-friendly. The beer was cheaper, and the food was great, including the giant pork knuckle, which Moss could not finish. It was also fun walking up multiple flights of stairs to the tower’s very top.
Three hours in Rothenburg was not enough to explore this wonderful medieval town! We recommend getting your hands on a city map from the tourist information office. We enjoyed Roder Gate, walking along the wall and exploring the 17th-century spital bastion, plus Moss lost me in the Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop for over half an hour, and I didn’t even buy anything!
The average person would Google Munich to Frankfurt and see that it only takes about 3 ½ hours depending on how fast you wish to drive on the autobahn! However, we are NOT typical. We took one look at train prices and decided that hiring a car wouldn’t cost too much more.
We aren’t going to tell you our exact route. Still, after surviving Oktoberfest in Munich, we did a giant zigzag to see as many castles and medieval towns as possible. So to save you doing so much driving, we have picked our favorite cities and castles. First of all, ‘Ausfahrt’ is not a destination accessible from every off-ramp! It means ‘Exit’! Another word of wisdom to keep in mind is that the autobahns with speed limits do have speed cameras… and the flash is blinding!
Running with the Bulls Video
Our shaky Running with the Bulls Video footage from the Festival de San Fermin in 2012. Experience it first hand in Pamplona. Enjoy.
We recently wrote about our life or death experience of Running with the Bulls this year at the Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona. On that run, I carried along with our GoPro video camera and tried to shoot some footage for our running with the video of the bull.
All our travel video shooting techniques went out the window when the bulls’ hooves started to shake the ground beneath our feet.
Once we had lined up for the running with the bulls, there was no escape from it as we were walled in by apartment blocks, shopfront windows, and 3-meter high wooden barriers packed with photographers along the entire length. At one end lay the relative safety of the bull ring pulsating with the cheers of the crowd who were still partying from the night before. Behind me, a dozen wild bulls pawed the stony ground looking for freedom.
Unfortunately, I was standing in their path.
What we ended up with is below. However, I think what we filmed for our running with the bull video captures the chaos, craziness, and complete madness a lot better than if I had stood my ground.
Enjoy it and watch for the guy that nearly gets trampled to death near the beginning!
Running with the Bulls Video
Would you ever consider running with the bulls?
While we are very aware that not all people agree that the San Fermin Festival should be allowed to go ahead mainly due to animal cruelty, we think there are two sides to every story. We wrote a post about the controversy surrounding Bullfighting in Spain and the Festival de San Fermin.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the Festival de San Fermin and whether you would ever consider running with the bulls.
Outdoor Activities in Bangkok – Adventure City Guide
Find out how you can explore the streets, canals and local markets within minutes of Bangkok with our Outdoor Activities in Bangkok Adventure City Guide.
Are you looking for an insider’s adventure travel guide for the best outdoor activities in Bangkok?
Why visit Bangkok for adventure?
Bangkok is one of the world’s largest metropolises and a gateway for most of the world to access the rest of South East Asia. With numbers surpassing 14 million people in the Greater Bangkok Region, this is no small player in the world’s super-cities. Of course, having such a long history with foreign visitors, the city has become incredibly established in the world’s tourist sector.
This has allowed it to grow many facets of adventurous activities – making access to something for everyone!
Outdoor Activities in Bangkok
Exploring the Klongs
Klongs are canals that used to feed the entire city with life-giving water, branched off from the city’s main artery – the Chao Phraya River. Today, the locals wouldn’t drink the water if you paid them, but there is still a fascinating life along the Klongs’ banks. There is so much to explore, from floating markets to old houses on stilts, and it gives insight into this ancient way of life!
What’s it cost, and how to get to the Klongs?
You can usually arrange the Klongs from the pier “Saphan Taksin” along the Chao Phraya River. This is conveniently a stop on the Skytrain, making it very easy to access. Usually, you will be renting the entire boat for the day (about 1000 THB, or USD 35) and not paying a per-person rate. So if you can find a few people to go with, the price will drop significantly per person.
Rickshaw City Tours
If you’ve never been to Asia before, Rickshaws are one of the most fun ways to get around. Although they can often be a little more expensive than metered taxis, you get an experience (and a view) that is unparalleled, especially in the busy streets of Bangkok.
What’s it cost?
Occasionally, you can even haggle a deal for a city tour for next to nothing (50-100 THB or $1.50-3 USD), as long as you visit a couple of affiliated ‘custom suit tailors’ throughout the day, as they’ll get a kickback from the shops just for bringing you there… No purchase is necessary.
You can often find Tuk Tuk drivers willing to do this standing along the perimeter of the Kings’ Palace. It may take a few attempts of asking for a ‘special city tour,’ but you will be bound to find someone ready for a cut of this business.
Local Secret Spot
Though most people wouldn’t consider going to a market an adventure, they probably have never experienced the likes of Chatuchak (also known as JJs). This is one of SE Asia’s LARGEST outdoor markets. It’s so prominent that you can find maps of the market to help navigate. It’s roughly the size of 4 city blocks and is divided into various sections.
You’ll find everything under the sun here, from clothing to handicrafts, food, mobile phones, and even puppies and other cute critters for sale!! It’s bonkers. If it gets too much for you, you can take a break in one of Bangkok’s most famous parks (Chatuchak park), located next to the market.
How to get there?
You can get here via Skytrain (BTS), subway (MRT), taxi, bus, you name it – it’s very accessible! But it’s only open on weekends, from about dawn until 5 or 6 pm at its peak. Some shops stay open longer, but most will be closed by dusk. It’s free entry and a perfect place to buy ANY souvenirs at the end of your time in Thailand.
Suppose you can coordinate to be here on the weekend. I generally hate shopping for ‘stuff,’ but I love this market and its energy!
Best time of the year to visit Bangkok for adventure?
Bangkok is in the tropics and quite close to the Equator. Of course, this means it’s hot on a year-round basis.
It’s considered the rainy season from May to October, though showers can happen at any time of the year. This is generally a less busy time for tourists, though the rains are not quite as bad as expected and often only last 30 mins-1 hour, cooling the city’s heart. Peak season is in December-January when temperatures are at their most astounding ad driest… though it’s still pretty hot!
And if Bangkok isn’t to your taste, the luxury Koh Samui will be. Endless sandy beach, beautiful clear waters, and nightlife that could be lived in forever. The luxury rental properties are stunning, and we recommend Tempston Luxury villa rentals.
Finally, the reason I love Bangkok for adventure is that…
It’s never-ending. This city is SO BIG that you could get lost in a new neighborhood almost every day. Single. Day. And still find new, exciting things to explore. On my list for the upcoming weeks, I’ve got the Scala Cinema, the Thai Air Force Museum, Papaya Vintage Shop, and the Erawan Museum – to name a few. Every time I explore one place, I learn of 3 more!!
From a young age, Ian was always a wanderer. He’s since travelled to all 7 continents, and has spent the majority of his life pursuing this passion. You can follow him in his off-the-beaten-path adventures and discoveries on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and his travel blog Where Sidewalks End.
Have you been to Bangkok? What were your favorite outdoor activities in Bangkok?
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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