Yalikavak in Turkey has everything that you could wish for in a great holiday resort; beaches, gift shops, restaurants and bars. It also happens to sit on one of the most stunning coastlines in the world (in my humble opinion.) So what better way to explore this than going on a boat trip from Yalikavak old harbour that takes you to all the most beautiful places along the coast and allows you to truly appreciate the beautiful scenery all around you?
I was in Yalikavak with my sister and 3 other friends so we decided to hire a boat privately. Group trips are available and they can be a cheaper option but you have to share your space with strangers so a private trip makes for a more relaxing day. We booked our trip while we were out one evening eating by the harbour; there is a desk there where you can discuss what you need with the organiser and you even get to view which boat you will be going on before you pay your deposit. I would recommend booking at least a few days in advance, more if you are going in July or August as they get booked up.
As with most things in Turkey, never accept the first price offered to you, we were told our trip would be 700TL and we eventually got it for a very reasonable 550TL (about £183 at the current exchange rate.) This may not sound cheap but between 5 people that is just £36 each for a full day out at sea (fuel is very expensive in Turkey so they have to cover these costs), a very tasty lunch (more on that later!) and you own private sun lounging areas on board so it really is pretty good value.
The trip leaves at 10:30am and a tip for you is to remember to take lots of sun cream and bottles of water. There is no escape from the sun out at sea and whilst this is great for tanning it really can be very misleading with the sea breeze. I have seen many people (Turkish locals included) coming back from boast trips looking like lobsters so you have been warned!
Setting off out of the harbour you get great views of the town and the restaurants that line the front. We cruised past the new marina which gave us a good chance to admire the super yachts moored up and gives you a great view of the new ‘Lotus Beach Club’ with its impressive infinity pool overlooking the shore. There are many little islands dotted off the coat of Yalikavak and our first stop was over near the shore of one of these, not too far from neighbouring Gumusluk. I have been on trips before that take you into Gumusluk so if you wish to do this just ask the captain.
The sea is an absolutely stunning turquoise colour once you get into the shallower waters near to the shore and it is a great place to snorkel and spot colourful fish. You can swim right up to the edge of these little islands and even clamber ashore, just watch out for sharp rocks that can really hurt your feet! One of our group also took along a fishing rod and the boat’s captain was fine about this. The catch was pretty measely but I think that had more to do with his technique than the fishing conditions!
Liquid refreshments are available on the boat for a fee. You can get soft drinks or Efes beer at a reasonable price. The bill comes at the end of the trip so just don’t go too crazy on the drinks! We all had at least 2 or 3 drinks each and the bill was only 75TL which is about £25. If you take your own water just try and keep it in the shade as it can get pretty warm out in the sun!
Lunch was served at our next stop and the most amazing thing about this is how they manage to cook such good food in a tiny boat cabin! We were chicken schnitzel, chips, bread, pasta (yes, it’s pretty carb heavy!), salads, and Turkish sides like roasted aubergines in a garlic sauce and beans with a lemon and herb dressing. It really was very tasty and they kept bringing out more and more food! You won’t go hungry that’s for sure. You sit around a dining table at the back of the boat to eat which is also a good place to get a bit of shade if you need to throughout the day.
We made 5 stops in total and we got good view of the fashionable ‘Xuma Beach Club’ on our last stop. As well as the lovely lunch we were served fresh fruit plates on the sun bathing deck and then Turkish tea with cakes and cheese rolls (a Turkish speciality which is cheese fried in a light pastry a bit like filo.) We headed back to shore with very full stomachs, more than a bit of a glow and salt in our hair from diving off the boat.
I would highly recommend going on a boat trip in Yalikavak. It makes a nice change from lazing by the pool but you still get to chill out. The Aegean Sea is just amazing, both to look at and to swim in, and it gives you a glimpse of the stunning coastline. I can’t wait to go again next year!