What Is A Gulet?

The singular design of Turkey's indigenous sea vessel, the gulet, blend practicality and tradition in a relaxed style that embodies the Blue Voyage. Over the years gulets have evolved from traditional fishing and cargo vessels into their present profile of a broad beam and wide deck. Constructed mainly in the shipyards of Bodrum, Marmaris, Bozburun and Istanbul, and along the Black Sea Coast, the boats are equipped with motors as well as fully functional rigging.

The number of passengers a gulet carries depends on the boat's size, although most of them accommodate between eight and twelve people. These vessels offer passengers' separate accommodations, and chartering one includes the services of the crew.

Modern gulets are comfortably equipped with of the amenities of home and encourage an environment in which you are expected to do nothing but enjoy yourself. The closeness of the entourage on board promotes an atmosphere of friendship and sharing; relations between passengers and crew tend to be relaxed and casual.

Travel agencies which have responsibility can arrange charters and fixed tours for a specific group or for you individually. Unlike cruises on large ocean liners, on a gulet you can explore the secluded and often deserted bays and coves of the coastline. The small harbors and settlements offer an intimate view of coastal life which large ships simply can not. In many ways a gulet is like a full-service hotel where every room has a sea view and the scenery changes constantly.

Life onboard

It is hard to imagine a more totally relaxing holiday than one aboard a traditional Turkish gulet as it sails or motors along the heart-stoppingly beautiful Turquoise coast. Days are spent in unashamed indolence and indulgence as the crew take care of the sailing and navigation and present you with three delicious meals and as many drinks as you care to order each day. The major daily decisions are whether to swim, snorkel or windsurf, go ashore and visit an inviting archaeological site or pretty beachside village or just drift and dream on your comfortable deck mattress.

With vessels ranging from 3 to 8 cabins, we can cater for groups of between 6 and 16 people on a single boat. Most of the cabins have double berths, but some have two singles for floor plans and technical data or as per the request of the individual gulets. Please refer each different gulet on our fleet.

In addition, each gulet has a communal lounge with TV, a dining area and a galley where your crew will prepare your meals, using fresh fish and seafood amongst other local produce (if you have any special dietary requirements, please advise us at the time of booking). Naturally, most guests choose to spend most of their time on deck, relaxing on comfortable mattresses and watching the beautiful coastline slowly drifting past.

When you are anchored in one of the countless bays, you can make use of the boat's fishing equipment, enjoy a spot of wind-surfing, or be transferred to the shore by dinghy, whilst those wishing to occasionally up the pace a little can choose to incorporate one of the larger ports in their itinerary for shopping, a spot of sightseeing or maybe even to sample the local nightlife. Whatever your interests are, a cruise on a traditional gulet allows you to enjoy them at the most leisurely and relaxing of paces. . 




Once a sleepy fishing village, Marmaris has ballooned into one of the largest resorts on the Aegean coast of Turkey. Little of its history remains, as the town is now a modern development with tourism at its heart and soul. The population swells to a massive 200,000 in the summer, with most hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and shops catering to low-cost package holidays, although there are facilities for all budgets. Despite the development which reaches around 10km along the west of the bay, Marmaris is also well-known for its expanse of green, present the whole year round thanks to the pine-covered hills which surround the town. There are many beaches around the bay, and there are ancient cities and seaside villages close by for day trips. The yacht harbour is the biggest and newest in Turkey, and therefore the busiest charter port especially for trips along the Turquoise Coast. In addition to the climate, beaches and facilities of the town, the transportation infrastructure is a definite plus for attracting visitors. It has easy connections to the nearby airport Dalaman, ferries to Rhodes, and on the road to Datca and Fethiye. The harbour has attracted by private boats from around the world, with yacht maintenance and production in the workshops on the Yalanci Strait. With the climate being comfortable even in winter, and the nearby impressive mountains and pine forests, Marmaris is likely to remain a popular and practical holiday spot for a long time.
Nearest Airport: Dalaman International Airport / 1hr 15mins to Marmaris


Homer describes Bodrum as "The land of eternal blue" and the words of another resident of Bodrum, Cevat Şakir, who said "The heavenly bliss of life in Bodrum is better than any eternal bliss that may await us" were not without foundation in reality. Throughout history of Bodrum, known as Halicarnassos in ancient times, has always been fought over and people have been unwilling to share its beauty with others. Built on a peninsula formed by the meeting of the eastern and western harbours, Bodrum, with its narrow streets winding down to the sea, is famous for its castle, its world-renowned yachts, its shipyards and the dazzling white houses and tombs lining the shores of its two harbors. Bodrum, has the all facilities to meet the expectations of tourists from all income levels, ranging from the rich yacht owners to the penny counting tourists who just want a reasonable room to make his vacation last all summer. It is also known as the most popular destination of Turkey for local tourists and holiday makers.
Nearest Airport: Bodrum Milas International Airport / 30mins to Bodrum 


Fethiye with its cultural wealth, natural beauties and geography, is among the important touristic centres of Turkey. It is famous for its works of art belong to Persians, Lycians, Carians and Romans. This charming county is in a bay within Fethiye Gulf where both large and small islands are scattered. The rear of the bay is surrounded by pine forests.
Nearest Airport: Dalaman International Airport / 45mins to Fethiye


Göcek one of the indispensable stops of sea journey is a small heavenly bay whose fame transcends the borders of the country Göcek located on the west coast of the Mediterranean, (it is established on the village Kalimche between Fethiye and Dalyan) is a cute bay and resting place hiding obscure retreat of the Kapı Mountains. It is a harbour to which people want to come by escaping from cities, speed and uproar of city.
Nearest Airport: Dalaman International Airport / 20mins to Göcek 


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is not only a web site address, but also is the brand of our company Ekmar Tourism and Trade Ing. 

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Company Profile:

Ekmar Tourism is listed in Ministry Of Culture And Tourism as a A-Class traveld agent and is regulated by TURSAB (Association Of Turkish Travel Agencies). Ekmar Yachting is a leading charter and brokerage company specialized on gulets.
Our International brokers are regarded as the best experts in the industry - which is probably the reason why Ekmar Yachting's greatest source of business is through satisfied customers. It is our experience that different countries and nationalities have different needs for the same destination and such structure helps us to fulfil the expectations of our valued clients. Meticulous handling of each and every request file whether for a group or an individual is the hallmark of Ekmar Yachting.
Our main business focus is making returns by providing a diversified range of services to clients. Founded in 1987, Ekmar Tourism has long been at the forefront of the travel and yachting industry in Marmaris. Since 1987, we are known and trusted to inform, introduce and entice our clients with new ideas, information and innovations in every aspect of gulet charter and sales.

Management Approach:

Ekmar Yachting's strength lies in its unique structure and management style which enables businesses to exercise significant operating freedom balanced by limits on risk and observance of professional standards. Ekmar Yachting's management approach fosters an entrepreneurial culture among staff. Strong prudential management is fundamental to this approach. The focus of central management is on risks to Ekmar Yachting arising from market and industry influences and issues of medium and long-term significance.

Other core elements of Ekmar Yachting's approach are:
* Encouraging high ethical and professional standards
* Commitment to clients
* Commitment to boat owners
* Recruiting, retaining and motivating quality staff
* Transparent and comprehensive contracting and reporting 



 Traditional Sailing Yachts

The Gulet is handcrafted by master boat builders in Bodrum and Marmaris area. Since the time of King Mausolos Turkey has been an important center for wooden boat building. Ptolemäus from Egypt had his warships made in Bodrum in 300 BC. The gulet is a miraculously survived relic from the days of Christopher Colombus. It is a compromise between tradition and twentieth century hedonism. The modern version of a traditional craft built in southwest Turkey for centuries, and used originally for plying their trade around the Mediterranean. The classic Gulet, best known for its rounded aft, low profile in the water, and roomy hull, was once used by fishermen and sponge divers to transport their catch. Todays version comes complete with 21st century comforts and technology, but still all hand built as they have been for hundreds of years.
Gulets have mostly two masts, a strong engine (or two) for motoring long hours a day. In general, gulets vary in length between 14 and 45 meters (46- 148 feet) hence varying passenger capacity. Large sundeck, in/outdoor space, lounge for meals, cabins with WC/showers provide comfort while on the sea.

Blue Voyage

The Blue Cruise, this most popular "Mavi Yolculuk" (as it is called in Turkish) began with the writer, Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli, who was exiled to Bodrum for 3 years publishing a political story in the 20s. He fell in love with Bodrum which was a small fishermen's village then and he settled down there after his 3 years punishment.  There he adopted the name, "Halikarnas Balikçisi" ("Fisherman of Halicarnassus"), writing stories about the town and its locals - in particular, the fishermen. On his regular outings with fishermen, he gradually got to know the various coves and bays in the Gulf of Gokova. When visiting intellectuals like Azra Erhat, Sebahattin Eyüboglu, Bedri Rahmi Eyüboglu from Istanbul dropped in, he took the opportunity to introduce them to the fisherman's way of life. Together they constructed a theory of culture which embraced the cultures of all the people who lived in Asia Minor in the 50s. Sakir's trips based on simple life with a load of watermelons, cheese, water, local drinks and fishing lines to catch fish. So the Gulf of Gokova became famous and this journey were given the name, "Mavi Yolculuk" means "Blue Cruise". Bodrum paid his honour by a monument to the man who inspired this voyage of exploration - the source of enjoyment for many thousands of people for almost 60 years. In fact Cevat Sakir has made Bodrum popular as a tourism center.

Good sailing, good food and friendly company in a healthy and happy environment that is what Blue Voyage is all about. Wherever you come from, and how old you are, after a week or two aflot in this scenic wonderland you will become one heart with the beauty and serenity of nature. On a crewed yacht, all your daily needs are attended by the professional crew and your days are filled with panoramas of coast and sea, fascinating ancient ruins and quaint fishing villages. During the day, the boat cruises for a few hours and sails if wind and sea conditions allow. Closer to lunch or dinner the boat approaches the land or drop anchor in a solitary bay, alongside a small village or off an island. At every stop which will be at least two per day, there is the opportinity to swim, fish, snorkel, windsurf, sunbath, take a shore trip or just read under the shade of the sun awning. The focus of this holiday is on relaxation and recreation. It can be as relaxing or as energetic experience as desired. Turkey is also a dream for the avid shopper with many places to sanp up beautiful hand made rugs and carpets, stunning jewellery and traditional herbs that help make Turkish cuisine mouth-wateringly delicious. Your friendly and attentive crew consists of a captain, a cook and either one deckhand or two. Their job is to ensure that you are comfortable, well fed and entertained. A crewed yacht charter holiday gives you the opportunity to see and enjoy the best of the Turkish Aegean and Mediterranean coast. 



 “Experience and Personalised Service in Yacht Charters”

Gulet4charter is a brand of Ekmar Tourism & Trade Inc.  which is based in Marmaris  providing private gulet and motor yacht charters.

"Blue Cruise" and "Blue Voyage" are the most common names used for a cruise on local wooden yachts (gulets and tirhandils) along the Turkish coast for the last 50 years.

Chartering a gulet is the the best and most enjoyable way to visit and learn Turkey's cultural and natural delights and explore the finest cruising areas of the Aegean and Mediterranean coast.

You can start and finish your charter in Bodrum, Marmaris, Göcek or Fethiye which are the most popular ports for yacht charters in Turkish waters. Your routes can also include the Dodecanese Islands.

Proffessional customer service and outstanding personal attention are our standards in business.

Ekmar Yachting is at your service for a private charter on a selected deluxe yacht with an experienced and attentive crew of 3 or more, promises a memorable time for you, your family and friends.

It's also a great opportunity to have quality time including leisure, fun and learning, as well as to enjoy the world-famous delicious Turkish Cuisine. 



 Introducing Turkey

General Information

The Republic of Turkey, which is located in an area where the Asian and European continents come very close to each other, is surrounded by Georgia, Armenia, Nakhichevan (Azerbaijan) and Iran to the east, Bulgaria and Greece on the west and Syria and Iraq on the south-east.

Turkey is a passageway for the old Asian Turkish cultures to reach Europe due to its location and is at the same time the window of the west opening to the east.

Turkey's coastlines, which encompass her on three sides with the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Black Sea to the north and the Aegean Sea to the west, make the country not only a neighbor to the nearby regions, but to the entire world as well. Turkey has become the center of the great trade and migration routes due to these long shores and her place as a bridge between continents.

The area of the Republic of Turkey is 814,578 km2. 3 percent of the area is located in Thrace on the European continent. The remaining 97 percent, which is located on the Asian continent, is usually called Anatolia.


In spite of Turkey being located in a moderate climate belt, due to the fact that the mountains are parallel to the coasts and the diversification of the surface morphology, differences in climate are observed among the regions. The coastal regions have a moderate maritime climate while the internal regions surrounded by mountains have a continental climate.

The Mediterranean Region which is under the influence of the Mediterranean climate, has hot and arid summers and mild and rainy winters. The Mediterranean climate also manifests itself in the Aegean Region and in the south of the Marmara Region.

The Black Sea Region is dominated by a more moderate and rainy maritime climate. In the interior regions, the summers are hot and slightly rainy and a steppe climate is observed in the winters, which are cold and snowy.

In the Eastern Anatolia Region, the summers are cool and the winters are very cold and snowy. In the Southeastern Anatolia Region, while the summers are hot and arid, the winters are not very cold.


The mountains in Turkey cover an extensive area, but in contrast to this, there are also many areas where there are various plains, plateaus and depressions.

This characteristic varies the climate on the one hand, and influences settlements and economic life, on the other. Three sides of Turkey are surrounded by seas. For that reason, Turkey is connected to the oceans with the seaways in spite of the fact that the country is at the center of several continental masses.

The Marmara Sea and the Straits are very important water passages which open the Black Sea to the outside world. The Marmara Sea, which is located completely within the national borders, opens to the Black Sea via Bosphoruss and to the Aegean / Mediterranean Sea via the Çanakkale Strait (Dardanelles). Especially, the Aegean and Western Mediterranean shores in Turkey are indented and numerous bays are located in these regions. This attribute of the coasts decreases towards the east of the Mediterranean.


Turkey has been separated into seven large geographical regions by taking into consideration the factors such as climate, natural plant cover and distribution of types of agriculture:

* Marmara Region
* Aegean Region
* Mediterranean Region
* Blacksea Region
* Central Anatolia
* Eastern Anatolia
* Southeastern Anatolia  



Heavenly Turkish Delights at Marmaris

 Travel Newsletter by Deirdre Conroy

Detailed article about Marmaris and around published at, Ireland’s number one news website.

Turkey: Heavenly Turkish Delights at Marmaris

When my feet sank further into the warm slime and the bubbling mass began to rise towards my neck, the giddy frolic started to seem like a very bad idea.

The photographers mimed instructions, laughing their heads off.
Who could blame them, a fair-skinned Irish woman, covered in mud, trying to maintain a vestige of modesty. While I could be rescued, my dignity might not be so easily retrieved, nor indeed my bikini, which was sagging beneath the weight of sludge.

I was on my first visit to Marmaris in Turkey, and the sulphur baths at Sultaniye on Lake Koygeciz would become a highlight of a great week. It was October, at a time when Turkey was very much in the news for anything but a welcome winter break. But I was to discover the country is a vast area of disparate peoples and while the far eastern border with Syria was, and still is, in the middle of controversy, I was on the beautiful Mediterranean coast.

Marmaris is within a 50 minute ferry ride to the island of Rhodes in Greece, and is a well-developed tourism region.

On the four-hour comfortable flight to Istanbul, I was pampered courtesy of Turkish Airlines. The airline has a particularly civilised mid-morning departure from Dublin. I then flew from Istanbul to Dalaman and was whisked from there by car to my hotel in Marmaris, about an hour and half transfer, arriving around midnight at the Grand Azur Hotel. Top travel tip, always ask for a sea view, they can only say no, or charge, but off-peak most hotels will oblige, I'm so glad I did.

I awoke in a capacious room with a panoramic view of the Aegean, a lush garden of palms below lay between me and the sea. Cheating our mid-winter damp climate with breakfast outdoors in gentle sunshine is a treat that never fails to make me want to pinch myself. If you are lucky enough to be able to travel to warmer climes in October, it gives you a healthy boost for the cold months ahead.

With school terms dictating the cost of travel, it has been over 20 years since I'd been away in October, making it all the more thrilling to try out Turkey. From the first breakfast of fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, smoked fish and excellent coffee, every meal was memorable for its middle-eastern variety, taste and colour, and the variety of lacations - beaches, mountains, lakes, pine forest or vine-covered pergola.

I spent my first day in Marmaris exploring the bay by boat.

There are several tours available along the quayside which depart at regular intervals and will take you to a lagoon where you can swim before having a simple salad and pasta lunch on board. The lower deck of the boat had fixed seating and tables, while on the deck above, we could sunbathe and admire the coastline. It was an active way to become orientated and to swim safely out at sea. Whether diving or sliding into the water, this is a good ice-breaker if you like to meet people on holidays; for a start, it's hard not to laugh as you splash and take in the breath-taking coastline.

I was the only native English speaker among a motley bunch, mainly Russian, some Bulgarian, Icelandic, Austrian, German, and Turkish of course, and also the only mottled one, having long abandoned the spray tan.

Back ashore, the sun was still shining and there was time to visit the marina, 8km from the centre. This is the largest marina in the Mediterranean with moorings for 1300 boats. If you're sailing along this coast, it is an impressive and very efficient place to tie up and reprovision, while enjoying a few nights ashore. There's even a library where you can exchange the on-board reading material.

One of the most attractive aspects of the town is the continuous 11km promenade that extends along the beach-front hotels and leads to the quayside, where you will find a warren of back streets. For a very Turkish welcome, try Yunus Cafe and Friends Cafe. The late-night clubs are on the quaintly named Bar Street. This is the old quarter and the atmosphere pulsates around the castle, which was built by the Ottomans in 1522. It is now a museum and well worth a visit just to see the views from its garden. My new Icelandic friends and I strolled one evening in search of a typical Turkish restaurant. We had strict criteria, there should be no English version of the menu outside, they should not advertise the next football match and the waiter should not try and entice us in. Feeling faint with hunger, I was relieved to find a fantastic place called Dost. It's on the beach, it's very hip, the meze is freshly prepared, aromatic, wonderful and inexpensive.

To cool down and take a break from the culture trail, I like a lounger at the water's edge, a parasol and a book. The D-Resort Grand Azur has a very comfortable beach bistro, where you can enjoy tapas as an alternative to the extensive cold buffet at the poolside restaurant. I'm by no means a sun-worshipper but I could have stayed on that beach for a whole week. The stretch of sand to the sea is quite short so there is no overcrowding. The Aegean Sea was crystal clear, none of the viscous surface you find along the Cote d'Azur, no yachts anchored close to shore and best of all no traffic pollution, as the main road lies inland beyond the row of hotels.
It's worth tearing yourself away from the beach for at least one day, to explore some of the local villages, either by hiring a car or booking a group tour. You will discover quiet little hamlets by the sea or in the mountains where you can lunch in the shade, and swim afterwards. One village we visited was Selimiye, which is situated on the water and has a tranquil quality with small timber houses lining the beach. We had a great seafood lunch on the terrace of Sardunya restaurant, where we were joined by an expat Englishman, a David Niven type, who told us he had travelled all over Europe to find the best place to retire and having sailed into Selimiye bay, he knew he'd found it.

Though Marmaris is well known as a sun destination to British holiday-makers, within an hour's drive there are historic sites and rural villages worth visiting. Aside from my foray into mud-baking, I really enjoyed the visit to the Gokmen honey farm and museum at Osmaniye, and the produce. This region produces 92pc of the world's pine honey. You can also see how authentic Turkish Delight is made, with all natural ingredients and it tastes delicious. Further afield there is a day-trip for horse-riding through the woods and streams in Datca, the climate in October is perfect for this. The local tourist board is keen to encourage more visitors in the autumn. With competitively priced flights to Istanbul, it is quite possible to tailor-make your own trip with the help of the local specialists. I would certainly recommend the climate and pace at this time of year.

After all those exertions, it is good to know the hotel spa is open until 10pm, and it has a very good beauty salon. The blow-dry travel test came in at a very affordable €13, and the manicure cost €15.

You can't leave Turkey without at least one night of local music and dance. We were entertained by a vibrant dance troupe whose finale is best described as Riverdance meets Bellydance, and really good actually. Without going far from your hotel there is plenty to do, particularly getting on to a boat and drifting into the rural hinterland. The local tourist board is keen to promote the area as an artist's or writer's retreat during the winter months. It definitely has the light, the climate and a wide horizon where your imagination can take flight, or indeed where your mind can be at rest, and you can read to your heart's content. I would certainly go again at the same time of year, and lengthen my stay to visit Istanbul en route. For my first time, it was a great time.

Take Three

The boat gliding across Lake Koycegiz provides an hour to indulge in serenity, before immersion in the mud baths at Sultaniye. These are a natural wonder, located on the fissures of a volcanic fault line. I on the other hand am not a natural wonder. But I cannot resist a natural beauty treatment and so I found myself immersed in sulphuric eruptions. Ferries to the Thermal Springs leave regularly from Koycegiz town.


The ancient ruins of Kaunos date back to the 4th century BC. The Acropolis is built on a 152m high rock with a great view of the ancient city, Dalyan, the estuary and Iztuzu Beach. There is an amphitheatre on the slope of the acropolis, built to hold 5000 spectators and is still occasionally used for performances. Nearby, carved into the side of the mountains are six incredible royal tombs based on a full-scale classic temple front.

Food and Drink

Turkish dishes combine influences from the Lebanon, Greece and local fresh produce from land and sea. At Joya Del Mar Hotel you can dine on a terrace overlooking the bay. In Datca and Koycegiz you can have a late lunch and evening swim. Ekincik Inceler Hotel has a lovely courtyard which backs on to a sandy beach. At Kosem, the owners grow all their own food and you can lunch in the shade of a pergola. Rose wine is served everywhere.

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