Gulets: Another Way To Explore The Mediterranean Coast

A large Turkish yacht also called "gulet" in Marmaris, Turkey

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, sailing on a gulet is another approach that may be less familiar but is certainly worth considering for a Mediterranean adventure.

Turkey on the Mediterranean Coast
Turkey on the Mediterranean Coast

What are gulets?

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. 

By air

Many short-haul flights are available on the Med
Many short-haul flights are available on the Med

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 more than 30 budget airlines and luxury flight options 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 by unexpected add-ons. And you may need to be prepared for airline delays and cancellations.

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.

By bicycle 

To travel by bicycle, you'll need to pack light
To travel by bicycle, you’ll need to pack light (Credit: Pixabay)

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 many countries touching the coast, outside the few areas with 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 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, have bicycle lighting, bring along 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

Before you decide on taking a bus, be sure to check the schedule
Before you decide on taking a bus, be sure to check the schedule (Credit: Pixabay)

The least expensive way to explore the Mediterranean is by traveling by local bus.

Buses generally offer good connections to other cities within a country. The downside of bus travel is that it may not be very comfortable or very quick. You are also subject to the schedule of the bus lines.

However, this is a great transport choice for those who aren’t very demanding. 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 a simple system that is affordable and accessible to everyone.

By ferries or gulets

A two-masted gulet moored on the Med
A two-masted gulet moored on the Med (Credit: Goolet)

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 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 plan your holidays according to your group’s needs and desires.

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 and customs, and tracing 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.

Gulets offer Comfortable seating on the deck to watch the passing scenery
Gulets offer comfortable seating on the deck to watch the passing scenery (Credit: Goolet)

 Gulets are luxury sailing boats that come with a crew on board so your cruise will include great hospitality, marvelous dishes, concierge services, and the highest level of quality when it comes to comfort on board. 

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 also offer the convenience of packing and unpacking once and avoiding the hassles of finding hotel accommodations
Gulets also offer the convenience of packing and unpacking once and avoiding the hassles of finding hotel accommodations (Credit: Goolet)

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Gulet in Croatia pin


Disclosure: This post was written and sponsored by Goolets a travel agency specialized on gulet cruises in Croatia, Turkey, Greece, Italy and Montenegro.

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