Daily 12 Islands Boat Cruise in Fethiye
Once you come to Fethiye, you have to go on 12 Islands Boat Cruise. The hundreds of double-Decker boats you see in Fethiye as you wonder around the marina and the harbour, are ready to take you to this tour. Each has a capacity from 50 up to 150 people and all of them has toilets and a self-service bar; and most of them are built in the dockyards in Fethiye. They depart between 10:00 – 11:00 every morning and come back to Fethiye harbour about 17:30 – 18:30 in the evening. The lunch is included in the tours which is usually pasta – meatballs (sometimes chicken or fish) – salad and fruit (water melon) (a good menu if you think that you’re on water!). If you want to enjoy the sun, then your place is upstairs; but be careful because, the sun burns you a bit too much and you don’t feel it since it will be quite windy on the sea. You’ll feel it at night after the shower, which usually ends up with the creams and lotions the doctor gives. But if you want to enjoy the tour in the shade and watch around, you’d better stay downstairs drinking your tea, coffee, or a cold drink (maybe playing backgammon with the crew!).
I suggest you to look around carefully in this tour. Because you have the chance to see the dolphins, flying fish, and even the sea turtles!!!
The tour is usually made up from five stops, which are nearly as the followings:
· Gobun Bay or Cavy Bay
· Cleopatra’s Baths
· Dockyard Island
· The Flat Islands
· Red Island or Samanlik bay
The first stop, Gobun bay, is placed in the south-western coast of the Fethiye Gulf, and is a very calm bay with the crystal clear water, 7-10m. depth, and the quietness of a lake; just like all the other bays in the Fethiye Gulf. In this bay. There is also a small cafe – restaurant which is run by a local family, and the bay is one of the certain places where the sailors stop for an overnight. Gobun has another alternative called the Cavy Bay which is just next to the Gobun Bay. Here is also a fascinating place with its pure waters, and calm sea which will charm everyone who sees. On the shore, there is a small cave in the rocks, and a stairway leading the cave the strange thing is both of them are natural. So, you can now understand why they called here the Cavy Bay.
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Cleopatra’s Baths, (actually The bay of Cleopatra’s Baths), is a large bay full of lots of pine trees, and has a dark blue sea which goes to light blue, as you reach the shore. In the south – western part of the bay, there are some ruins which came down because of the earthquakes in Fethiye. According to the myth, in one of the visits of Cleopatra to Anatolian coasts, her close friends decided to build a Roman Bath for Cleopatra as a present. Because, they found a hot water spring in this part of the bay. The water here was very good for the skin, with the minerals and elements it contained like Calcium, Magnesium, etc. Some say that the mystery which lies behind the beauty of Cleopatra is the water here.(however, it may be true… *8). The water here, was coming from a crater lake (dry now) which was behind the mountain you see at the northern side of the bay. Even today, if you look at the bottom of the sea, where the ruins are, before the wind starts very early in the morning, you can see the sands at the bottom are still a bit moving. This means that there is still a bit amount of hot water coming out today. If you want to try your chance to be as beautiful as Cleopatra and to look 10 years younger(!), you are allowed to swim around and in the ruins!!!
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The next stop, Dockyard Island, is the first Island you’ll see in the tour which is called the 12 Islands Boat Cruise (the ones before were semi-islands). Here is a shallow bay where the water comes towards the land, just like a lake, and you can not realize that there’s bay in the island unless you approach. On the land, there are some ruins which belong to the early Greek people lived here in peace during the Ottoman Empire times. The bay on the island was used to build ships by the people lived here (also Turkish), because the shallow waters were very suitable for this purpose. That’s why this island is called the Dockyard Island.
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Flat Islands, are a group of islands so close to each other, ocated just at the opposite of the Gocek town. The property here, is the salty lake in the middle of the long sandy part of the biggest island in the group. Here is also a charming place with the clear, dark blue, and very deep waters. But there’s a passing from the biggest island to the smallest, which you can easily walk (1.5m depth). On the biggest island, further to the north, there’s a long, sandy beach leading to the lake. On the shore, there are two families selling pan-cakes and pastries, who come every morning from the Gocek town, and leave in the evening. And there’s a big boat used as a restaurant on this island. And if you want, banana, ringo and water skiing is available…
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Red Island – Samanlik Bay
On the way back, your captain will choose one of the two suitable bays. If he chooses the Red Island, enjoy the clear sea and the clean shore of this red ground of the island. Anyway, you won’t be able to resist its attraction. here, you can swim to the shore, which is only a few meter to the boat; and after getting on again, you can enjoy the sunset with a Nescafe or Sunset Cocktail. If you go to the Samanlik bay, it won’t be more different than this. Again, you can jump (or dive?) from the top of the boat, and let the other watch you under the water just like an aquarium. Don’t forget that this one is your last chance to swim, and you’ll be back in the Fethiye Harbour 30 minutes later!