Turkey Yacht Charter Guide
Caught between the east and west, Turkey’s captivating coastline is enticing, enchanting and mystifying
Promising more history, culture and scenic anchorages than one could hope for, this is the Mediterranean at its most exotic. Between the Bodrum peninsula and the Gulf of Fethiye, the Aegean Sea reflects every shade of green and blue, justifying its nickname of the “Turquoise Coast.” Sailing the clear turquoise waters is a pure delight, while those who venture inland will be rewarded with an enormous wealth of archaeological and historical sites as well as a contemporary Turkey with colorful bazaars, fabulous cuisine and chic bars – all just waiting to be enjoyed and explored.
DAYS 1 & 2
BODRUM TO KNIDOS (25 NAUTICAL MILES)
Life in Bodrum centers on the two ports, where cafés, bars, restaurants and tavernas make it easy to slip into a lazy pace of life. While in the city visit the Castle of St. Peter, which overlooks the harbor, and head to Cumhuriyet Caddesi (aka Bar Street) for shopping and nightlife. Setting sale is the perfect opportunity to snap photographs of the stunning city backdrop as you head out on a charter to Göcek via Knidos, Datça, Bozburun and Marmaris.
DAYS 3 & 4
KNIDOS TO DATçA (35 NAUTICAL MILES)
Cruise towards the culturally rich harbor of Knidos, taking in the dramatic peaks of the Taurus Mountains as you go. The ancient town of Knidos is famed for its art and culture – step ashore to discover the remains of the circular temple dedicated to Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. Enjoy more stunning cruising along the largely uninhabited Datça Peninsula. Home to the town of the same name, the marina in Datça Harbour is a hub of activity, with shops, bars and restaurants open way into the night inviting post-dinner browsing. You can spend hours sifting through carpets, ceramics and textiles, bargaining with the store-keepers – a Turkish tradition.
DATçA TO KEçI BüKü (22 NAUTICAL MILES)
Cruise towards Keçi Bükü, dropping anchor to swim in secret coves along the way. As there are so many intricate bays and coves along the coastline, it is a nice idea to take a tender ride to access some of the smaller fishing towns rarely visited by tourists. Enjoy a plate of meze in a rustic waterfront restaurant, then swim in a secluded cove or laze around on one of the beaches that dot the coastline. Spend the evening in the natural deep-water anchorage of Keçi Bükü.
KEçI BüKü TO MARMARIS (66 NAUTICAL MILES)
Anchor in the pine-clad bay of Marmaris and enjoy an afternoon of watersports. Stroll along the waterfront, where, as with many Aegean towns, most of the social action is to be had. Browse the traditional Grand Bazaar, wander the winding streets in the older Kaleici district, catch an open-air concert in the amphitheater or simply watch the world go by from the huge array of restaurants and cocktail bars.
MARMARIS TO EKINICIK (17 NAUTICAL MILS)
Cruise east to Ekincik. It is worth setting aside a day to visit Dalyan, with its fourth-century BC Lucian rock tombs carved into the cliff face. There also are local mud baths in ancient Kaunos where you can wallow in mineral-rich bliss. Factor in a few swimming stops at the breathtaking beaches and waterfalls along the way, and step ashore for lunch at a local eatery.
There is no other cruising ground quite like Turkey. Its coastlines and landscapes echo with the memory of ancient civilizations. A bridge between east and west, it is truly laden with natural and man-made treasures waiting to be found. Bodrum is one of the most popular yachting hubs on the western shore. Boasting a cosmopolitan character with a trendy bohemian vibe, its nightlife now gives St. Tropez and Ibiza a run for their money. Added to this its strategic coastal position and Bodrum is the ideal place to begin or end a cruise.
Cruising south and east along this deeply indented coastline the landscape is more and more verdant the further you go. The towering Taurus Mountains rise up behind the bays and pine-forest inlets crowd down to the shoreline providing perfect sheltered anchorages. East of Göcek, the Turquoise Coast enchants even the most experienced charterers. From the stunning lagoon of Ölü Deniz (closed to yachts but accessible by kayak) to the twelve islands with their bays and inlets, the whole coast is dotted with gem-like anchorages and sleepy villages. But it’s not all peaceful; the bustling ports of Fethiye, Kalkan and Kas all have plenty of bars and restaurants with something for every taste.
Promising more history, culture and scenic anchorages than any yachtsman could hope for, the Turquoise Coast is a magical destination for a superyacht charter.
- Step ashore to the rose gardens and citrus groves at the Mehmet Ali Aga Mansion, Datça
- Dine at Kurochan by Ioki at the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum
- Book a treatment at the Mytha Spa located in the stunning D Maris Bay, Marmaris
- Steal away on an evening trip to the ancient site of Olympus
- Visit the picturesque lagoon of Ölüdeniz
- Embrace Bodrum’s bohemian lifestyle
- Shop for genuine Turkish rugs in the traditional bazaars of Marmaris
- Experience a real Turkish Hamman bath
- Explore the caves of Nimara Magarasi
Turkey is by far a favorite yachting location for those who have visited. From the rocky coastline to the bustling bazaars, this amazingly beautiful country offers unsurpassed culture. Take a quick trip by car into the hills to see a few of the wonders of the world – stroll through Ephasus or check out Halicarnassus and the Temple of Artemis. Back on board, take a dip in the deep blue waters of this incredible destination.