The Turquiose Coast of Turkey
Almost every charter client must fly into Istanbul. Try to plan on at least 1-2 days to explore this unique ancient city. All connections to Izmir and Marmaris begin and end in Istanbul so it is a perfect spot to spend some time to ease the jet lag before a yacht charter. The Turkish Bazzar is a great place to pick up local goods such as Turkish carpets and other locally made products.
The third largest, and one of the most beautiful provinces of Turkey, is Izmir, extending on the shores of an attractive bay, filled with ships and yachts. Backed by mountains and facing the sea, this site offers a fine appearance, both with its natural panorama and its modern and orderly view. Lovely palm trees decorate the promenades and avenues, where new and impressive buildings stand. Walking around this charming city, one can see a lot, ranging from the oldest remains, to the most recent establishments scattered around. A side trip to Ephesus is always worth the extra effort.
Bodrum is the South Aegean’s prettiest resort, with a yacht harbor and a port for ferries to the Greek island of Kos. Palm-lined streets ring the bays, and white sugar-cube houses, now joined by ranks of villas, crowd the hillside. Boating, swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving are prime Bodrum activities. At night Bodrum’s famous discos throb, boom and blare, keeping much of the town awake until dawn. Both Turkish and foreign visitors complain about the ear-splitting cacophony, but the local attitude seems to be, ‘If you wanted peace and quiet, why did you come to Bodrum?’
Marmaris was a Carian city of which history goes back to the 3500 BC. Its ancient name was Physkos of which antique ruins can be seen at Asartepe (1.7kms north). A wonder of nature in itself, in this wonderful country, is the town of Marmaris greeting the Aegean, as well as the Mediterranean, on a dreamlike bay. Here, where the pine-clad mountains form a beautiful backdrop to the beaches of clearest waters, the medley of green and blue tones are fascinating. Along the promenade, adorned with palm trees, the Marmaris marina is a busy yachting center and also a pretty sight. The “Yacht Charter Show” organized here every May, is an enjoyable event with captains and. crews coming together to sail with nature-lovers, among the impressive southern coasts of Turkey. One also may take the famous “Blue Voyage” from here, and make a fascinating trip along the elegant coastline of the Aegean. Marmaris is a yachting heaven with vast facilities for yacht owners.
ITINERARY FOR TURKEY/GREECE
The Lycians are believed to have been an indigenous Anatolian race. They appeared in this region about the second millennium B.C. and quickly established a number of cities with Xanthos as the capital. Perhaps tempered by the wild region, they became renowned for their skill in battle. Alexander the Great conquered the region although not without difficulty and Lycia was declared an independent state under Roman rule in 167 BC. When the early Greek settlers arrived, the Lycians incorporated Greek cultural elements into their lifestyles which are reflected in their rock tombs that have Ionic columns, pediments and porticoes in the manner of Greek Temples. The area declined under the Byzantine Empire to become the haunt of pirates and was well known along with Pamphylian and Cicilian shores as the Pirate Coast. Today the memorials to the Lycian dead, the rock tombs and massive sarcophagi remain intact and this is primarily attributed to the inaccessibility of the region.
Arrive in Gocek. Your captain will greet you upon arrival The first evening will be spent in Cleopatra’s Bay. The setting is a tiny cove and is exquisite with thick pine covering the slopes right down to the water’s edge engulfing everything except the ruins. A razor-back ridge and high red cliffs form what can only be described as a fantastic and savage landscape.
Arrive in Fethiye for clearance and shopping by mid-morning. Lunch ashore just 10 minutes away in Battikaya, Buku. This is the most attractive of the anchorages in Fethiye Bay with a sandy beach and wooded fore-shore. After lunch, it is 1-1/2 hours to Gemiler Island anchorage. On the slopes of Gemiler Island there are the extensive ruins of what must have been a sizable Byzantine community. It is interesting to wander around the remains where there are numerous mosaics in and around the buildings. The anchorage is a good area for playing with toys.
Depart in the morning for a 3-hour run to Kalkan. We will pass Seven Capes and a long sandy beach with guaranteed dolphins to entertain us. Kalkan is the nearest safe harbor from which to visit Patara and Xanthos. Patara was the port for Xanthos but its heyday was during the Roman occupation when it served the whole Lycian coast. It was here that Bishop Nicholas of Myra, our present day Santa Claus, was born. The island of Kalkan itself used to be a Greek Village until 1922 when it was resettled with Turks. The 1958 earthquake caused considerable damage and it was decided to resettle the villagers in the new settlement above the old village. Some years ago most of the old village was purchased by an entrepreneur from Istanbul and he has evidently managed to sell various buildings to others from the big city. Hence, the number of sophisticated restaurants and bars. One hour run to Kas for the night.
Kas is a small green oasis under the scrub- covered hills is one of the most enchanting places along this coast. A short distance west of the village is a Hellenistic theatre with superb views over the bay. Depart mid-morning for Kekova Roads and have lunch en route. Anchor in Castle Bay where it is a short walk up to the castle from which there is a view right out over Kekova Roads. Looking down to Kale Koy you can get a proper perspective of the sunken parts of the ancient city. The sunken quay that the restaurants are built upon can be clearly seen and a lovely sarcophagus still stands half submerged on the western side of the bay. We will spend the night here.
Water sports in morning followed by lunch. Depart mid-afternoon for Greek island Kasterllorizion, a Greek anachronism 3 miles south of Turkish Kas, and 90 miles east of the rest of Greece. Almost a ghost town with only 180 permanent residents, the population is paid to remain there by the Greek Government. There is a fascinating history preserved in a mosque, now turned museum. 60,000 people lived there before the war but most migrated to Australia. This is an unbelievably beautiful island with a lively little Australian/Greek owned pub provides amusing evening entertainment.
Departing early for a four hour trip to Gemiler. A 14th Century medieval ruin tumbled from the island into the sea. The devastation was caused by an earthquake. It is great fun to dive over the sunken section. Upon our arrival, lunch will be on the island followed by an afternoon trip to Olu Deniz. Olu Deniz is one of the most photographed places in Turkey because of its natural beauty an inland lagoon surrounded by huge mountains and a beautiful white beach. For the energetic, a day hike along a donkey track will bring you to a remote mountain village which seems to have remained unchanged since the 12th Century. The walking track is its only link to the outside world. The people are very friendly.
Depart from Gemiler after lunch for Fathom Cove. This is a wonderfully secluded bay due to the depth of water. On the slopes about the bay the rock has been weathered into jagged columns that poke up among the olive trees to create a novel landscape. Anchor for the evening or tie stern to the trees.
Depart early for Marmaris which is a picturesque castle town. “Marmaris” means Alabaster in Turkish and the castle in Marmaris is constructed of alabaster. The setting is a gorgeous land locked bay with white washed stone buildings and date palm lined fore-shores. There are many excellent restaurants and fabulous shopping for leather, carpets, brass, copper, onyx, alabaster, clothing and shoes with modern sophisticated designs. We will make a night departuret for Ekinick.
Ekinick is a beautiful deep bay surrounded by heavily wooded craggy scenery, prolific with bird life. It is a lovely tiny logging village with a very friendly peasant population. Ekinick is also the best place from which to visit the ancient city of Caunos which is located on the border between Caria and Lycia. The ruins of ancient Caunos are not as spectaculars at Ephesus but there is a small theater, a temple and a marketplace. A medieval fort crowns a steep knoll and the adventurous can climb up to if for a spectacular view toward the Dalyan village. We will depart for Tomb Bay after returning from Caunos.
In Tomb Bay there are several Lycian rock tombs with fresh water springs nearby. The trip from Tomb Bay to Gocek only takes 40 minutes so guests can spend the day relaxing on the vessel before returning to Gocek for transfer to the Airport.