Combine a swim and a boat ride with a visit to the sunken city of Kekova & the remains of a city submerged through 4th and 5th century earthquakes. From here, you’ll visit the traditional village of Kale, with Lycian tombs and an ancient crusader castle.
Drive to the simple village of Ucagiz from where you will journey by boat to ancient Lycian city of Kekova. During the day your boat will be stopping at several times en route for a refreshing swim. A thoroughly enjoyable day.
The azure waters of the Mediterranean, Aegean, Marmara and Black Sea surround Turkey to the south, west and north, making a treasure chest of coves, inlets, bays and beaches in which yachtsmen can choose a different and private anchorage each night.
The sailing paradise of Turkey is also home to the Mavi Yolculuk, or Blue Voyage, an idyllic cruise which travels to the private beach of Cleopatra, the eternal fires of Mount Olimpos and the remains of thousands of ancient civilizations.
Sailing in Turkey also allows visitors to experience the hospitality of the people in the coastal villages and towns. The tempered winds blowing from west and northwest make the long summers ideal for yachting, and seem to encourage an appreciation of nature. From some of the turquoise coast s unspoilt and sheltered bays you can see mountain peaks rising to almost 3000 meters above the sea level
Turkey s most established marinas lie on the southern Aegean and Mediterranean coasts at Izmir, Cesme, Kusadasi, Bodrum, Ayvalik, Mersin, Datca, Bozburun, Marmaris, Gocek, Fethiye, Kalkan, Kas, Finike, Kemer and Antalya. These well-equipped harbours contain all the services and provisions any yacht would require. Antalya, Bodrum Dalaman, Izmir and Istanbul airports provide quick links to all marinas in Turkey, ensuring departure by yacht within a day of landing.
The singular design of the gulette, Turkey s indigenous sea going vessel, blends practicality and tradition in a relaxed style that embodies the Blue Voyage. Over the years gulettes have evolved from traditional fishing and cargo vessels into their present profile of a broad beam and wide deck.
Constructed mainly in the shipyards of Bodrum, Bozburun, Marmaris and Istanbul, and along the Black Sea Coast, these boats are equipped with motors as well as fully functional rigging. The number of passengers a gulette carries depends on the boat s size, although most of them accommodate between eight and twelve people. These vessels have separate accommodation for passengers, and chartering one will also include services and entertainment. Modern gulettes are comfortably equipped with most home comforts, and encourages a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for all the passengers with a friendly relationship with the crew.
Travel agencies can arrange charters and fixed tours for a specific group or individually. Unlike cruises on large ocean liners, a gulette can explore the secluded and often deserted bays and coves of the coastline. The small harbors and settlements offer an intimate view of coastal life which large ships simply cannot. In many ways a gulette is like a full-service hotel where every room has a sea view and the scenery changes constantly.
Istanbul and Surroundings
Sailors will love the wonderful natural landscape surrounding Istanbul, the open seas and magnificent sunsets, as well as a voyage through Byzantine and Ottoman history as they sail past the impressive castles, palaces and mosques. After navigating the Bosphorus and sailing under the two enormous bridges spanning Europe and Asia, meandering along the mosque lined Golden Horn or cruising in the coves and bays of the Princes Islands, it is easy to return to one of the two large marinas in the area. Both Atakoy Marina (on the European side) and Kalamis Fenerbahce Marina (Asian side) offer a 24hour service.
From the North Sea through the European interior, yachts can sail down the European channel system, the Rhine and Danube Rivers, into the Black Sea harbors and to the Istanbul Strait and Istanbul marinas, which is a safe and short way to reach the Turkish coasts.
From Izmir to Kusadasi
The city of Izmir lies at the head of a long and narrow gulf furrowed by ships. Art galleries, theatres and cultural events give this cosmopolitan city its special vibrancy. Levent Marina is an excellent place to begin, Between Urla Iskelesi (Urla Pier) and the Karabun Peninsulas small islands dot the coastline, with beautiful beaches and excellent moorings with swimming, snorkelling and diving available. Karaburun has pleasant hotels, tea gardens and fish restaurants, located between the mountain backdrop and the sea.
Around Cesme, the large Altin Yunus Setur Marina and the harbours in Ilica and Dalyan are all noted for their safety. In July, the Cesme International Song Contest attracts world famous performers, adding glamour and excitement to the town. The thermal baths in the area, and the natural springs that mix with the sea water in Ilica Bay, provide soothing relaxation.
The Kusadasi Gulf spreads south and southeast, with attractive beaches, bays and coves
From Kusadasi to Bodrum
Kusadasi boasts wonderful seafood restaurants, lively bars and cafes, beautiful parks and superb beaches. The shopping is rich with everything from beads and bangles to leather, jewellery and carpets.
Kusadasi Turban Marina is one of the best equipped in Turkey, with wintering facilities for boats both afloat and on shore. The town is also renowned for its nightlife, thanks to its numerous bars, jazz clubs, discos and cabarets.
South of Kusadasi, the beautiful waters of the Dilek Peninsula National Park welcome yachts into its serene inlets and coves. The Temple of Apollo in Didim was once a sacred site, and although looted and burned many times in its history, it still has an elegant beauty. Nearby, Alt?nkum s beautiful beach tempts visitors with sailing, swimming and relaxation.
The fishing village of Gulluk has an attractive port and numerous guest houses and small hotels, and a little further north in Kiyikislacik is said to be the birthplace of the mythological Dolphin Boy. The Bodrum Peninsula comes into view while sailing out of this gulf.
From Bodrum to Marmaris
The undisputed hot-spot of the Aegean Coast, Bodrum is a swinging, singing, dancing town and its bohemian atmosphere gathers together Turkey s artists, intellectuals and lovers of the good life.
An impressive medieval castle built by the Knights of Rhodes guards the entrance to Bodrum s dazzling blue bay, in which the Aegean and the Mediterranean Seas meet. The Castle of St Peter (Bodrum Castle) now houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
Shopping here is a delight for souvenirs hunters, and the Bodrum Turban Marina is one best equipped in the region.
One of the best anchorages is the scenic Akbuk, hidden behind a forested hill. Sedir Island (ancient Cedrai) boasts an incredible beach with fine sand scattered with fossils, and great views of the Kiran Mountains across the bay.
The town of Datca has become a popular stopover for yachts, and offers many seafood restaurants, pubs and discos.
In the Gulf of Hisaronu is the peaceful Kecibuku Bay. The mountains and forests surrounding the Korfez Marina has a rich natural beauty, and the long Kizilkumu has a natural sand formation. After the Gulf of Hisaronu, the town of Bozburun is hidden away in its own exclusive inlet, and famous as one of the gulette building centres in Turkey. Kumlubuk, a turquoise paradise, lies on the southern side of the bay, and above the water on the northern side is the Rhodian city of Amos. The natural harbour at Turunc opens out into a wide expanse of spectacular blue water, and Marmaris is next port.
From Marmaris to Fethiye
Marmaris Bay resembles a calm lake and offers ideal mooring for yachts. The Marmaris Netsel Marina, is one of the largest and best-equipped in Turkey, and the Marmaris Albatros Marina, one of the best for wintering and maintaining yachts, make Marmaris an excellent starting point for the Blue Voyage tour of the Aegean Coast.
Delikli Island lies on right off the coast, southeast of Ekincik. Dalyan Delta, has a long, golden, sandy beach at its mouth and is a nature conservation area and a refuge for sea turtles (caretta caretta) and blue crabs. At a bend in the river, high on the cliff face above the fascinating ancient harbour city of Caunos, magnificent tombs were carved into the rocks. Sailing southeast from Delikli Island, the next destination is Sarigerme.
The Gulf of Gocek is one of the Mediterranean s best sailing spots. Dotted with islands and indented with many coves, its land and seascapes are irresistible. The ruins of Arymaxa, an ancient city at the southern tip of the gulf, lie at the edge of the azure waters. Opposite on Tersane Island stand Byzantine ruins, including those of the ancient shipyards.
From Fethiye to Kas
The resort town of Fethiye has an important marina and overlooks a beautiful bay strewn with islands, and has a great historical interest with Lycian rock tombs cut into the cliff face, reproducing the facades of ancient buildings. Belcegiz Bay and Oludeniz are interesting to explore, where the calm, crystal clear waters are ideal for swimming, diving and other water sports. On Gemiler Island, Byzantine ruins lie tucked among the pines.
From Kas to Antalya
An ancient theatre on the long Kas Peninsula is within walking distance of the town. The island of Kekova is a one hour sail from Dalyanagzi (ancient Andriace), and there are many more picturesque islands with numerous bays and ancient cities. These bays provide natural harbours throughout the year.
Along the northern shore of Kekova Island, at Apollonia, earthquakes once disturbed the land causing some of the ancient houses to sink under the clear water and creating a sunken city.
Demre (Kale) is the site of ancient Myra, 25 km from west of Finike, with many interesting carved rock tombs overlooking the magnificent Roman theatre. St Nicholas (better known around the world as Santa Claus) was the bishop of this Mediterranean city during the 4th century and died here.
Slipping around the Kirlangic Peninsula into the Gulf of Antalya, the first sight is the ancient city of Olimpos, on the southern side of Mt. Tahtali. Oleander and laurel bushes shade the Olimpos Valley, which can be approached by land and sea.
The fully equipped Park Kemer Marina has facilities for all activities and yachtsmen can enjoy the unspoiled bays and beaches south of the town.
Today Antalya s palm lined boulevards, beautiful parks, historical buildings, monuments, museums and the picturesque old quarter of Kaleici, (with the Kaleici Turban Marina) blend together to create the ideal holiday atmosphere. The Antalya Marina and Leisure Centre, which has won several awards, is considered one of most beautiful marinas in Turkey. Setur Antalya Marina is quieter, but either makes a suitable break from a voyage around the Turquoise Coast.