Standard-issue, multi-island, one-day boat tours from Fethiye cost about TL30 per person; just turn up at the quayside for daily departures between May and October, usually leaving at around 10am and returning at 6pm. Tours with Kardeşler, a reliable outfit (t0252 612 4241, wkardesler.com), depart daily 10.30am, and return at 6.30pm.
However, these one-day trips take in a set repertoire of relatively spoiled islands, with little time at each; it’s far better to charter your own crewed boat to stop at just one or two selected islands. If you’ve more time, sign on for one of the cabin cruises that depart at least five days per week in season. A typıcal four-day, three-nıght itinerary heads east, overnighting near or at Gemiler Adası, Kalkan and Kekova before a final minibus shuttle from Andriake to the backpacker lodges at Olympos. Shorter cruises take in Aya Nikola, Ölüdeniz and Butterfly Valley. Paying a bit over the cheapest option, and boarding only owner-operated craft, is recommended to ensure quality; also make sure you check the vessel carefully before paying, and talk to returning clients – complaints about everything from blocked toilets to abusive, non-English-speaking crew to hidden extra charges are common.
Before Lunch t0535 636 0076, wbeforelunch.com. A well-established, Australian/Turkish-run Fethiye outfitter that generates consistently positive feedback. Noted for good food, they’re at the high end of the price spectrum, and run a new 25m-long boat that has six double cabins, and one family-sized one. A leisurely four-day, three-night Fethiye-to-Fethiye cruise taking in the twelve islands costs €250 per person in low season, €275 in high season.
Big Backpackers t0252 614 1981 or t0532 235 2978, wbigbackpackers.com. This reliable Fethiye outfitter offers a four-day, three-night Blue Cruise, from Fethiye to Olympos, for €165 per person in low season, €195 in high season.