Thoughts of a sailing vacation often evoke images of Greece and Croatia, but there’s another country in the region with impressive beaches and idyllic shoreside towns waiting to be explored–Turkey. And for more than 40 years, Zephyria Yachting has treated travellers to the trip of a lifetime with private, totally customisable charters. By Jessica Poitevien
Founded by brothers Mehmet Ali and Halil Furat, Zephyria Yachting doesn’t offer your typical yacht or catamaran experience. The company specialises in Turkish gulet yachts, a traditional wooden vessel native to the southwestern region of Turkey where Zephyria launches most of its trips.
The classic wooden yacht hearkens to earlier days of sea travel, adding to the romanticism of the experience, while the high-level service brings the luxury. With each trip, travellers can choose one of Zephyria’s pre-planned routes or create their own completely customisable journey. Even with the pre-planned routes, guests work with the Zephyria team to add or adjust stops to fit their interests and desires.
The original Blue Cruise route, for example, starts in the historic marina town of Bodrum before making its way through ancient Caria, Gökova, the Seven Islands, Söğüt, Knidos, and the Datça Peninsula. Along the way, passengers have the chance to wander through whitewashed villages, feel the sea breeze in picturesque harbours, and explore ancient ruins.
Between all the stops, there’s plenty of time to relax on or below deck, jump off the yacht to cool off in the crystal-clear waters, or participate in water sports such as kayaking and snorkelling. While onboard, the chefs and other staff members ensure guests have everything they need to enjoy their trip, including five-star meals every day.
Beyond the personalised service, guests can also choose the vessel they sail on. Zephyria has three categories — luxury, deluxe, and classic — each defined by the size of the yacht and onboard features and facilities. No matter which option guests choose, each vessel is fully staffed with a captain, chef, and crew.
Turkey has one of the longest sailing seasons in the world — from early May to late October — so there’s still time for travellers looking for a last-minute vacation this fall. For more information and to start planning your own Turkish adventure, visit the Zephyria Yachting website.
Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but she’s always on the lookout for her next adventure. Besides travelling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.