A day cruising along the north Cyprus coast aboard a traditional wooden Turkish gulet (wooden sailing yacht) with frequent stops for swimming, watersports and food; a fabulous lunch on deck and an enticingly equipped bar is the best £12 you will spend on holiday. A favourite day for us in Cyprus.
The ancient harbour of Kyrenia is packed with gulets of all shapes and sizes. It’s a big part of its charm. There are a couple of large party boats equipped with waterslides and full music systems. Most are smaller, maybe taking 20 – 30 people, often much less. They all tend to offer similar trips, just delivered in different ways. Pick carefully to get the “flavour” you want. Music filled or quiet? Large or small? Action packed or lazy? Ask the captain who will be happy to show you aboard and pictures of the day.
The basic pattern is this: you get on-board about 10am and find yourself a comfortable spot in the saloon, or up on deck lying on padded mattresses under a sun shade. Coffee and tea will be available as you set sail and cruise along the coast dipping into bays and coves for swimming stops. If you want you can fish and they’ll even supply the equipment. Can’t promise you’ll catch anything but….. Around lunchtime the yacht will pull into one of the larger bays: often Escape Beach, and anchor up. Lunch will be a spread of salads, grilled fish, chicken, bread, dips, rice, dessert, fruit. Wine and beer can be ordered as can soft drinks.
If you feel adventurous after your lunch has settled, the beach water-sports people will be glad to take you water skiing or paragliding, rent you a jet ski or a canoe. Most of us are just content to float in the glassy blue sea…..
After a while we get back on board and the boat heads off to the next bay. There will be snacks and drinks and more swimming, more sunbathing. Perhaps a bit of fishing….. the afternoon drifts on….
Before you know it, it’s five o’clock and the yacht is edging its way past Kyrenia Castle, back into the harbour again. It’s been the most relaxing day and you feel lazy and relaxed and….. on holiday…..
Some boats offer a sunset cruise. Haven’t tried one of those. Maybe you will, and if so, you can tell me what it’s like. I can’t imagine a holiday in north Cyprus without a day out on the water.