The southwest coast of Turkey has been attracting visitors for hundreds of years, with good reason. Vivid blue waters off spectacular coastlines with ancient heritage are enough of a drawcard in themselves, but combined with the exquisite local cuisines of Turkey – ranging from delicious rural fare, to freshest of seafood, to the most sophisticated dishes with layers of flavour – this area becomes irresistible. Take a culinary cruise along Turkey’s beautiful southwest coast on a stylish gulet fitted with every comfort. Cruise from Fethiye, known for its natural harbour, blue waters and ancient rock tombs, to St Nicholas Island, Kas, Ucagiz village, Gokkaya Bay, Kalkan and Samalik Bay. Food experiences include a traditional BBQ dinner with local cheeses, a cooking class in Kas, meeting with local fisherman and a seafood dinner in Ucagiz village, a tour of a village known for its apples and farms, local wine tasting, learning to make a traditional meze and Turkish syle breakfast on a local farm with home made products.
There is also the option to join the pre cruise extension to Istanbul that will show you the many depths of Turkish cuisine and how it has changed over the centuries. With specialist local guides explore the beautiful city of Istanbul through its history and its food.
The yacht is a lovely mid-range gulet which has 10 air-conditioned double cabins that can cater for 20 guests. Each cabin comes with en-suite shower and toilet, portholes, wardrobe, mirror and hair dryer. The spacious sun deck area offers a lovely place to relax with sun mattresses, shade cloth and large table with deck chairs. The saloon also offers a comfortable area to rest with a dining table, music system, TV, DVD player and bar. Guests can make the most of the fishing and snorkeling gear on board.
John Lethlean is a food writer, journalist and restaurant critic with The Australian. Prior to News Ltd he plied his trade for Fairfax Media at The Age and as a Melbourne-based editor for Australian Gourmet Traveller. “Food is obviously something that’s very important to me, more as a conduit to joy and happiness than an intellectual pursuit,” says John, a Victorian based outside Melbourne in the foodie haven of Daylesford/Hepburn Springs. “I love travelling - who doesn’t? - but I travel to eat. To me there is little more exciting than listening to a society, a culture, through its food, both traditional and contemporary.”
Kate Lethlean is a Cordon Bleu (Paris) trained cook who has lived a culinary life in Europe travelling, cooking and writing for 20 years. She has contributed to numerous leading publications and cookery books and worked on the Formula One and Moto GP circuits, for the British Royal Family, and Skibo Castle. She also spent five years in the UK as senior teacher and demonstrator at the prestigious Leith’s School of Food and Wine, London. These days she is a cookery book publicist and rare-breed chicken fancier and assists John with research and vital eating support.
13 Sept (Fri) Fethiye: Arrive in Fethiye and check into the hotel. Afternoon at leisure. In the evening enjoy a welcome dinner with the group
14 Sept (Sat) Fethiye: Morning at leisure before transferring to the Gulet. Enjoy a welcome drink on board the Gulet before a walking tour in the late afternoon of Fethiye Old Town visiting local food shops and trying local spices and produce. Tour the fish market before dinner at one of the fish market restaurants. Return to the Gulet for your first night onboard
15 Sept (Sun) Fethiye/ St. Nicholas Island: Set off along the Fethiye Peninsular and cruise to Butterfly Valley where you can enjoy your first swim in the Mediterranean as well as time to explore the valley. Cruise to the famous Oludeniz, Blue Lagoon Beach for lunch and swim before cruising to St. Nicholas Island where you will explore the Byzantine settlement. This afternoon drive to the abandoned Greek Ghost Town of Kayako stopping along the way to visit a local farm and hear about what they produce and how they live off the land. Dinner that evening will be Kayaykoy, where you will experience a traditional Barbecue dinner at Yelchin. There will also be chance to taste some the of the local cheeses.
16 Sept (Mon) St. Nicholas Island/ Kas: Set off to reach Yesilkoy for breakfast surrounded by olive groves. Continue cruising to Kas a small harbour town with a bohemian atmosphere. Enjoy a cooking class with local women to learn about traditional recipes and cooking techniques. Lunch will be the delights of the cooking class before a tour of the old fishing town including the old amphitheatre and Lycian Rock Tombs. Dinner that evening will be in Kas
17 Sept (Tues) Kas/ Ucagiz Village: Head to Simena and walk up to the castle for spectacular views of the ancient city. Out in the bay, overlooked by a theatre carved into the rock, a single Lycian sarcophagus sits on its pedestal in the water. Taste some locally made ice cream on the way back down. In the afternoon cruise to Ucagiz village, a fishing village where you can meet with local fishermen to hear about their work and way of life. Seafood dinner at a local restaurant
18 Sept (Wed) Ucagiz Village/ Gokkaya Bay: A short cruise takes you to the ruins of Kekova, known as the Sunken City. Depart the Gulet for a tour to the mountain town of Elmali known for its apples and farms. Tour the greenhouses and meet with local farmers. See what they do with the apples and the products they make. In the afternoon visit Likya winery to try the local wine. Return to the Gulet for dinner
19 Sept (Thurs) Gokkaya Bay/ Kalkan: Sail to the hillside harbour town of Kalkan. Lunch will be at the Korsan Fish Terrace before heading back out onto the water
20 Sept (Fri) Kalkan/ Tarzan or Samalik Bay: Today start cruising back towards Fethiye as you relax on board. There will be short stops along the way with chances to swim and snorkel. While onboard the chef will demonstrate how to make traditional meze. Farewell dinner onboard the Gulet
21 Sept (Sat) Fethiye: Check out from the Gulet and head to enjoy breakfast at a local farm. Enjoy Turkish hospitality with locally made and home made products from the farm over a traditional village style Turkish breakfast. Enjoy the 20 plus dishes that will be served. Explore the farm before returning to Fethiye in the late morning. From here transfer to the airport for onward travel or extend your time in Fethiye