What does gulet mean?
While we are organizing gulet tour in Türkiye, we feel the spirit of Mediterranean and ancient times. Although when you say “gulet” that means vacation on Mediterranean A La Turca, the word gulet is a loanword from Venetian gołéta (Italian goletta), itself a loanword from French gouëlette (present-day spelling goélette), meaning “schooner”. Gulet may be a loanword, but it is a fact that this type of wooden sailing boat has been used by the ancient Carian sailors.
Gulets are also called “Bodrum boats”, because Bodrum (ancient Halicarnassus) is where it started and the best gulets were built since the ancient times. Now Marmaris, Bozburun, and Fethiye are also major gulet building centers.
What is Blue Voyage in Türkiye?
In the 1950s gulets were sea-vessels used by fishermen, octopus hunters, and sponge-divers long before gulet tours in Türkiye became popular. It all started when Cevat Şakir Kabaaağaçlı, who was known as Fisherman Of Halicarnassus, a Turkish writer of novels, short stories and essays, as well as being a keen ethnographer and travelogue, invited a bunch of intellectuals to explore the Turkish coast by sea. They hired a fishing boat called Macera (Adventure) for their quest and their captain was Kabaağaçlı’s friend, octopus hunter Paluko. Their boat had no fresh water, modern toilets, and proper cabins, which was a bit rugged for the sophisticated urban guests who were painters, writers, poets, and politicians. Apparently, they all took the challenge to pursue their curiosity and sail to deserted coves to hike off the beaten path, learn about myths and ancient civilizations of Anatolia.
Sabahattin Eyüboğlu, a Turkish writer, essayist, translator, and film producer, becomes the regular of these trips and he invents the name “Blue Voyage”, which later becomes the trademark of gulet tours in Türkiye.
And finally, Azra Erhat, a Turkish author, archaeologist, academician, classical philologist, and translator. A pioneer of Turkish Humanism becomes the first woman to join these adventure tour lovers and writes the famous books of Blue Voyage.
Gulet Tour in Türkiye
Erhat’s books brought popularity to the concept of Blue Voyage and gulet tours in Türkiye. This led the gulets to evolve into the gulets we know today by adding private cabins, bathrooms, including freshwater tanks, water closets, etc.
These pioneers have been our inspiration to develop our version of “adventure travel”. When we are designing our hiking and sailing tours in Türkiye, and Greece, gulet tour in Türkiye we aim to bring back the spirit of these pioneers.