The stunning Mediterranean coastline is dotted with seductive cities and small villages, many offering breathtaking views. During summer months, this sun-kissed area becomes a true paradise on earth filled with diverse history, culture, foods and nature. From Turkey’s vibrant cities to Croatia’s thousand islands, there’s something undeniably alluring about the Mediterranean.
When planning a trip to the coast, travelers soon realize that there are a number of different ways to explore and visit these various destinations. Many choose to travel from city to city by plane, bicycle, bus or ferry, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. However, another approach that may be less familiar but is certainly worth considering for a Mediterranean adventure is sailing on a gulet.
What are gulets?
A gulet (pronounced goo-let) is a class of two- or three-masted wooden sailing boats that are common in Turkey and parts of the eastern Mediterranean. Because of the vessels’ low profiles and wide beams, gulets are a favorite among travelers who might otherwise be prone to seasickness.
Choices for tourists
If you’re planning a trip along the Mediterranean coastline, here are some options for getting from place to place.
Depending on where you’re going and how much time you have, flying around Mediterranean Europe is not only a good option but often a necessity. Luckily, you won’t have any problems finding a wide array of flights since there are more than 30 budget airlines as well as luxury flight options, too, that serve hundreds of cities across Europe and the Med .
By booking and planning in advance, you can snag some really good deals and start saving right at the start of your adventure. Just make sure to read the fine print so you know all the costs upfront and aren’t surprised with unexpected add-ons.
Also, in some cases, especially with budget carriers, airports can be located some distance away from your destination city. If you’re arriving late at night, make sure you’ve checked transport options to and from the airport to avoid unplanned and stressful surprises.
Bicycles aren’t as popular for everyday transport in Mediterranean Europe, unlike how ubiquitous they are in cities such as Amsterdam. Although cycling is a popular sport in a number of countries touching the coast, outside the few areas where there are dedicated cycle lanes, drivers tend to regard cyclists as an unusual sight to witness.
Since cycling is uncommon as a means of transport for locals, you might encounter poor road conditions, particularly in the Eastern European countries, which can be a major inconvenience and also somewhat risky. Many of these countries have mountainous terrain for which you have to have good stamina and be prepared. Moreover, everyone in your group needs to be a rider.
However, despite all the obstacles mentioned, this type of travel allows you to enjoy some of the most amazing views, rugged mountains, and sleepy valleys and see things up close. Of course, it is always advisable to carry a helmet, lights and a basic repair kit and make sure you don’t leave your bike unattended for too long.
For those who are not thinking about a dedicated cycling adventure as a way of traveling, you could rent a bicycle at a local rental outlet and go on a bike exploration for just a day or two.
By bus or rail
The least expensive way of exploring the Mediterranean is by traveling with local buses. Buses generally offer good connections to other cities within a country. The downsides of bus travel is that it may not be very comfortable nor very quick. You are also subject to the schedule of the bus lines.
However, for those who are not too demanding this is a great choice for transport. In some of the eastern countries, including Croatia and Montenegro, the rail networks are even more limited and buses are a better choice. City buses usually require you to buy your ticket in advance and validate it upon boarding. It is an overall simple system that is affordable and accessible to everyone.
By ferries or gulets
Although many locals in the region opt to hop on a ferry to get from place to place, one of the most relaxing, authentic and an increasingly popular ways to explore the beauty of the Mediterranean is by chartering a gulet cruise.
You can choose one of the many available routes and have your holidays planned according to the needs and desires of your group. Cruising on gulets allows you to see most of the coast and the country you are visiting in the shortest amount of time while simultaneously enjoying local food, customs and exploring history. In addition to seeing beautiful scenery, you’ll be lured to stop at beautiful beaches, something you would like miss while traveling on land.
Moreover, you will be able to enjoy your holidays in privacy with a smaller group of family or close friends, and be able to relax away from heavy crowds. Gulets are luxury sailing boats come with a crew on board so your cruise will be followed by great hospitality, marvelous dishes, concierge services, and the highest level of quality when it comes to comfort on board.
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Disclosure: This post was written and sponsored by Goolets a travel agency specialized on gulet cruises in Croatia, Turkey, Greece, Italy and Montenegro.