Gulet Cruises in Greek Islands
Gulet Charter in the Dodecanse.
The Dodecanese Islands of Greece have proved very popular and it is easy to see why. The closest of those island is Kos which is easily visible from Bodrum. Many, many centuries ago, it was the home of Hippocrates whose name is still mentioned in modern medicine. These days, it is an island that welcomes many holidaymakers to its lovely beaches. As you approach Kos, your captain will take down the Turkish flag and raise the blue and white of Greece. As a local level, the Greeks and Turks are great friends and boats go backwards and forwards between the countries sharing this coastline on a daily basis.
Kos Town is the largest on the Island and it has an impressive harbour. The 14th Century fortress overlooks the harbour with the Ancient Agora close by. Your yacht charter includes all meals but if you want a snack and a beer, there are many bars and restaurants close to the sea in Kos Town.
Kos has the second largest population in the Dodecanese, including a Turkish community, with Rhodes being the largest. The Colossus of Rhodes has long gone but the main island in the Dodecanese still has much to see; the Old Walled City has seven gates with the Palace of the Grand Master the most impressive building for you to visit after berthing. The Archaeological Museum is certainly worth a visit while just walking the old streets taking in the atmosphere is an experience in itself. The beauty of a gulet charter is that within reason you are your own master so there should be time to explore Rhodes Island. The UNESCO World Heritage Old City can be busy in high season but the Island offers plenty of chance to get away from the crowds to many of its beaches; Rhodes coastline measures around 200 kilometres.
Kalymnos is the next most populous of the Dodecanese after Rhodes and Kos and although it is not the most fertile of the Islands, it has made its name for its sponges. It is popular with rock climbers, being fairly mountainous. There are many other small islands in the Dodecanese; only 150 people live on Pserimos and while it may be a place to buy supplies for your luxury yacht charter, it is a lovely place to go swimming. Lipsi is known for its honey, cheese and wine while Patmos is thought to be the island where John had his revelation. As a result, it is a much-visited Christian pilgrimage site.
Symi, just off the Datca peninsula, is a delightful little island. The harbour is inviting and behind the mountains make it a great setting. The resident population is only about 2,500 but that is boosted by tourist numbers in the holiday season. The old Greek Monastery is interesting and if you are lucky, you may arrive when there is a music festival. Symi is a regular overnight stay on some itineraries.
The beauty of a gulet charter is that it can offer you the chance to visit such small islands, and there are more in the Dodecanese. You are free to relax, enjoy the fine cuisine on board and explore places that are largely out of reach for those choosing a land-based holiday.
Gulet Charter in the Cyclades.
The Cyclades get their name from the shape they create in the Aegean Sea, a circle around the sacred island of Delos. Greek Mythology says that Poseidon, the God of the Sea was angry with nymphs whom he then turned into islands. They are fairly barren but to compensate there are lovely sandy beaches with the blue and white houses, standing out in the bright summer sunshine. Add the warm blue sea and it is difficult to imagine a better setting.
It would be wrong to think that there are no fertile parts and indeed, the streams on some of the islands ensure that the land is never arid. Other than Delos, the best known of the Cyclades are probably Mykonos and Santorini.
The Cyclades lie north of Bodrum and the Dodecanes and there are more than 200 islands within the Group. Many of them are the peaks of submerged mountains though Milos and Santorini are volcanic islands. The majority of them are uninhabited including Delos which was once a very important trading port back in ancient times. They are mentioned in Greek history and mythology since the 4th and 5th Century BC.
Naxos is the largest of the Islands and the most fertile. It has a population of 20,000, quite a contrast to those with few people living on them all year round. Naxos was the home of Zeus and the place where Theseus left Ariadne after he had slain the Minotaur. Mount Zeus is the landmark visible from anywhere on the island; it stands at over 1,000m. The clouds that gather at its summit bring the rain that farmers need to grow their crops.
Delos, Greek mythology says, was where Apollo and Artemis were born. Its UNESCO World Heritage status is based upon its importance as a site of Greco-Roman architecture. Extensive excavation work has been done over the years. It has suffered a troubled past with its friendship with Rome a reason why enemies sacked it in ancient times while more recently, its various conquerors from the Venetians and the Ottomans having a negative effect on its priceless historical remains.
Nearby Mykonos takes the name of Apollo’s grandson and is home to around 10,000 inhabitants, the majority in the town of the same name. A gulet cruise in the Cyclades will always stop on Mykonos to enjoy its beauty, and the lovely sandy beaches. The churches and the museums in the town are fascinating and do not be surprised if you come across the mascot of the town, and island, a pelican. The first pelican was saved during a storm in the middle of the last century. There was widespread grief when it died, and a replacement is found each time the previous one dies. During your yacht charter, you will get plenty of time to swim. If you want something a little more active, Mykonos is known for its water sports, diving, jet ski and windsurfing; one of Mykonos’ nicknames is the ‘’Island of the Winds.’’
Santorini is actually a series of islands, formed by volcanic activity, the last 3,600 years ago. Santorini is regarded as a romantic ‘’getaway’’ and that sits extremely well with a luxury gulet charter. The caldera appears on photographs taken by everyone of its visitors. Few sunsets are better than the one visitors see each evening during the hot months of summer.
The views from the highest point at 340m across the island and the Aegean Sea are stunning while time visiting the many small villages and archaeological sites of Santorini make this island one to include on any bespoke itinerary on a gulet charter in the Cyclades.