MDFV 2015: Part One

Early in June, myself and the Lady were lucky enough to be invited on a week-long fitness voyage across the Aegean Sea. Starting from Marmaris, our final destination would be the Greek island of Rhodes; seven days on blue seas, under even bluer skies, and with a lot of fun thrown in too. There was so much to do and see that there will be a number of blog posts dedicated to this trip, so watch this space and follow my journey. Don’t forget that I’ve also documented the trip on my Instagram too!

Mediterranean Delights Fitness Voyage, or MDFV, is an experience born out of a passion for fitness and travel. It involves a week on a 16-person Turkish gulet (think large wooden yacht) with healthy food, plenty of travel and a daily dose of yoga. Initially I wasn’t sure what to expect; previous lengthy trips on boats have been eventful and I’ll readily admit that I am better suited to land rather than sea. 

After arriving in Marmaris late on the previous evening, we spent the morning on the harbour front scoffing on local Turkish cuisine and trying to avoid the intense heat. After filling up on plenty of iced tea (so much better than water) we then met our tour guide Ali, who took us to the gulet. Needless to say, any fears on the sailing element and being ‘stuck’ on a boat were quickly alleviated…

The gulet was incredible. Hand-finished wood covered the huge deck space and there was even enough room for a 20-person dining table at the rear. Inside was equally as spacious. It is almost shameful to say that the en-suite in our cabin was bigger than our bathroom in London!

That evening, after a meet and great and plenty of conversation with our new crew, we set sail for the aptly named Paradise Island, located just off the coast of Marmaris. It was an evening of yoga, food, laughter and a few too many drinks, all whilst overlooking the tranquil waters. The scene for the week was well and truly set.

The next morning we woke at sunrise for morning yoga on the deck. I’ve yet to try yoga in the UK since returning from this trip but I can’t imagine a yoga studio comparing to the landscape around us in the Aegean Sea; it was simply perfect.

After a delicious fresh communal breakfast, we set sail for Bozukkale Castle; a two-hour sail south west of Marmaris. Unbelievably, the water became even more turquoise as the sun shone brighter. As the days became hotter, the water looked evening more appealing.

During lunch, the ‘floating market’ came up to our boat selling every thing from rugs to ice cream. It was a novel idea and a great spectacle to witness although I couldn’t quite work out how I’d get my Lira from the deck of the gullet down to the boats below!

After lunch, we hiked up to the castle itself which overlooked the cove in which we were moored. It wasn’t a particularly challenging walk, about an hour in total, but it gave us a chance to really stretch our legs on land and look out over the cove. Ali even threw in a great history lesson and we made a few more friends along the way back down. 

At this point, I should mention that the GoPro is optional (yes, I did look like a complete tourist), but trainers are definitely necessary. Your feet will thank you for it and you spend most of the trip barefoot on deck or in the water. Just a shame that I couldn’t continue the barefoot trend back in my office in London. The afternoon was spent diving from the gulet into the cool water below. 

That evening we moored up at a second cove, just a stones throw from Bozukkale. This was followed by some backgammon lessons (highly addictive), kayaking and fishing. There is so much to do and see in the sea, and the crew were fantastic in keeping us all entertained. The evening session of yoga provide the perfect wind-down from a very active day and then the chef/captain served up the most incredible dish of freshly caught fish and grilled chicken breast with local salad and sigara boregi. It was the perfect end to a perfect first day, and promised so much for the rest of the trip.

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