With a coastline of over 8000 kilometres, the Turkish peninsula offers a choice of four seas: the Mediterranean Sea, Aegean Sea, Marmara Sea and the Black Sea. Cruising in Turkey allows you to enjoy the warmth of local hospitality and traditional restaurants, while exploring an impressive tapestry of history and culture through the many ancient ruins that are found throughout the country. With the hot summer climate being the ideal time to visit, the coastline is dotted with idyllic bays, scenic harbours and deserted anchorages. Tranquil, blue waters and unspoilt coves provide an enchanting atmosphere, while busier ports offer cultural attractions and serious night life. Snorkelling, scuba diving and paragliding are all popular activities.
Essentials about Turkey: a 7 days sample itinerary
The journey from Dalaman airport to the Gulf of Göcek is memorable and you travel through the mountains before revealing the most breathtaking views. The forest-clad mountain range reaches as far as the eye can see, providing the dramatic backdrop to the plains, coastal towns, villages and beaches that are scattered throughout the region. Embark in Gocek – probably the most beautiful spot on the Turkish coast. Spend the morning at anchor in the calm waters of Gocek Bay relaxing and enjoying the variety of watersports. In the afternoon you could venture into the village and make time to take a traditional Turkish Bath before rounding off the evening with a fine Anatolian dinner and a stroll through the cafes and carpet vendors.
Gocek to Olu Deniz to Fethiye
Cruise to Olu Deniz, a spectacular, secluded bay, perfect for watersports with golden sands and high mountains. The lagoon has calm, crystal clear waters which makes it ideal for a variety of sports and a very safe place for children to swim. Part of the lagoon is now a protected area. In the late afternoon, cruise back up to Fethiye which lies on a semicircular bay protected by a ring of 12 islands. Fethiye is also a treasure trove of historical remnants. For those more interested in current times, the local market is a fascinating warren of shops and stalls, selling things, fixing things and making things of every description.
Fethiye to Dalyan to Marmaris
Steam along to Iztuzu Beach near Dalyan, and anchor off the beach. You could take a local boat up the river through the marshes to Dalyan, and visit the famous Kings tombs cut into the face of the cliff and also the Mud baths there from ancient Caunos. The beach at Iztuzu is a great spot on a calm day. Then make your way to Marmaris – a true gem of the Turkish Riviera with its more sophisticated and cosmopolitan feel. The coastline is ideal for the sun-worshippers and offers the most attractive coves and inlets for those who would like to swim, dive or fish. Along the promenade, adorned with palm trees, the Marmaris marina is a busy yachting centre lined with beautiful boutiques, markets and bazaars which provide a good deal of shopping opportunities. Do not forget to buy “Caam Ball” which is a tasty pine-scented honey, locally produced in this area of pine forests which surround the city in the hills above. Shopping is also especially good here for leather and gold.
Marmaris to Rhodes
The largest island of the Dodecanese, Rhodes lies at the southern end of the chain of islands stretching down the west coast of Turkey. Unlike many islands of the group, Rhodes is extremely fertile not only in the valleys and on the plains but also on the high hills. Spend the afternoon and evening settling in with either dinner onboard or ashore in one of the many lively restaurants.
It is certainly worth spending a day or two in Rhodes. The castle and walled city, which overlooks the harbour, has great shopping and places to explore. The Turkish Market on Soukratos Street is worth a detour, where you will find stalls selling rugs, ceramics, jewellery and bric a brac which is great fun if you enjoy a good haggle. The major sights are easily discovered on foot – visit the 14th century Palace of the Grand Masters and Hospital of the Knights of St John, the pink-domed, 16th century Mosque of Suleyman and the Byzantine Museum, housed in an 11th century church. As well as the many beaches to visit, there is the unique Valley of the Butterflies, a biotope, unique in the world surviving untouched in its own dimension. It is open from May to September.
Rhodes to Simi
The next stop is the remarkable Greek island of Simi – the ‘pearl of the Aegean’. This Greek island has a classic harbour with traditional houses, docks, taverns and very steep staircases leading to spectacular views. Simi also has a wonderful coast with lots of natural harbours. A visit to the monastery of Taxiarchis Mihail Panormitis might be of interest. The monastery is situated on the sea front of the tiny village of Panormitis, on the southern coast, protected by a narrow inlet that opens out into a wide harbour and small, empty beach. The inner courtyards are ablaze with exotic trees and plants and present a quiet sanctuary for those contemplative souls. Alternatively, the yacht could anchor by one of the few beaches, allowing for a swim in the warm shallow waters, followed by a visit of the town for the evening, soaking up the authentic Greek culture.
Simi to Bodrum
Cruise up to Bodrum today. Bodrum means underground prison or dungeon, but the town is anything but! The birthplace of Herodotus and the holiday Mecca for the Istanbul high society, the town is enchanting and thoroughly likeable, with a great combination of lively fun and history. Bodrum has a large modern marina, shop, bars and restaurants aplenty. For a quieter, less touristy experience, try heading out to Peter Castle with its fascinating museum of underwater archaeology. The castle is majestically situated next to the harbour and gives it a charming atmosphere. King Mausoleus mausoleum is just one of the historical sites to visit. The craggy Bodrum peninsular has several unspoilt backwaters with hidden bays and coves of aquamarine waters if you prefer to head out for a refreshing swim. The following morning enjoy your time on board with a farewell brunch before making your way to the airport.