Looking for a different kind of vacation – one that calms the mind and rejuvenates the soul?

I highly recommend a week (or two) of sailing the turquoise waters of the Turkish Aegean with ScicSailing.

Along with a few other travel writers, I was invited to spend seven blissful days sailing around the beautiful south-western coast of Turkey. Home was an elegant Gulet – a traditional Turkish wooden sailing vessel. The Gulet’s in the Scic (pronounced chic) fleet can accommodate 6 – 16 passengers and have around 4-8 cabins, all with their own en-suite bathrooms.

Image: Guus van Lingen

Each Gulet has a professional crew consisting of the Captain, chef, and two stewards who take care of the boat and your every need.

Image: Guus van Lingen

Such a fan am I of sailing that this was my FOURTH time holidaying with Scic.

One of the many things I love about Scic is that they favour sailing with wind (when possible), rather than engines. And let me tell you, there are very few things that invoke feelings of calm and tranquility quite like the gentle rocking sensation of wind sailing.

Think of a sailing holiday as being in a chic hotel on the move. No two days are the same and your every need is catered for. One day you could opt for snorkeling, swimming and sunbathing.

Image: Guus van Lingen

I mean…just look at the colour of the water

Image: Guus van Lingen

On another, perhaps an on-land activity such as exploring ancient ruins, a visit to a quaint village market, a jeep tour through the countryside or an adventure on an island only accessible by boat.

Checking out the archeological ruins of the ancient city of Knidos that includes temples, an altar and the remains of a Byzantine church.

I just loved the bustling village atmosphere and abundance of the most delicious looking fruit and vegetables on offer at the market in Milas Ören

What a fun adventure with Difference Tours (organized by SCIC). We visited a vineyard that makes organic wine, made a wish at a famous “wishing Tree” and had a spectacular lunch at an olive farm where we also got to sample and buy some of the best olive oil I have EVER tasted.

Cleopatra Island is famous for its beach made from seashells. It is said that this organic sand was brought by ships from the Red Sea especially for Cleopatra.

We were treated to an authentic Turkish breakfast in the village of Etrim, which is renowned for producing intricate hand knotted carpets. While there, we got a chance to view and purchase some beautiful flat woven rugs and kilims.

The food onboard is fresh and utterly delicious with the chef preparing three meals a day.

Breakfast typically consists of fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses, breads, a selection of cereals and eggs.

Lunch could be anything from a traditional moussaka or a baked feta and spinach pie. Dinner usually consists of a protein like freshly caught fish, calamari, lamb chops or koftas (traditional Turkish meatballs). These are accompanied by scrumptious sides made using the freshest ingredients.

How To Book

You could opt to join a cruise individually – and might I add that this is a great option if you’re single and wanting to meet new and interesting people from around the world in a very safe, beautiful space.

Alternatively, you could round up a group of friends (like we did HERE in 2017) and charter the whole boat. I need to add that this actually works out to be VERY cost effective if there are more than 10 of you.

Choose Between Sailing in Turkey OR Greece

Even though ScicSailing is based in Bodrum, Turkey, they also offer cruises to the Greek Islands of Patmos, Kalymnos, Symi, Nisyros and Tilos (but be aware SA passport holders require a Schengen visa to visit the Greek Islands.)

Costs

The sailing trip itself will set you back between R16, 000 to R19, 123 per person for one week and includes breakfast, lunch and five dinners on-board and all snacks and drinks (including all alcohol).

Excursions and some activities (like waterskiing) aren’t included. I recommend you book to sail in May, June, July or August. September is one of the busiest months (end European summer) and even in October; sailing is wonderful (and there aren’t as many tourists). You can check out the prices to charter a boat HERE

I always fly Turkish Airlines and I have to say, they has seriously upped the ante with refurbished planes, really good food and a very attentive crew. The airline offers great deals if you book in advance. You’re looking at anything from R7, 000 to R13, 000 for a CT (or JHB) / Istanbul / Istanbul / Bodrum return. I would also suggest, if budget allows, spending a few days in Istanbul before heading home. I’ll be uploading a blog post this week about where to stay and what to do and see in Istanbul.

Turkey is one of the few European countries that’s affordable for South African travelers, with the Lira / Rand exchange rate being the same. A Turkish visa is free for South African passport holders, and the online application process is quick and easy. Turkey requires a vaccine certificate or negative PCR test on arrival and the wearing of a mask is NOT mandatory.

For more information, visit www.scicsailing.eu – You can also email: info@scicsailing.eu for enquires or call them on +31 6290 63180

3 comments

Sounds like the kind of holiday I need. Your pictures are great. Didn’t you spend time in Istanbul too and are re you going to write about it?

Sounds and looks amazing … and affordable. Thanks for sharing the info. Definitely moved this up on my travel list. Turkey has been a destination I have wanted to explore.

thanks to this information, so look amazing

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