Welcome to a Sailing Paradise
Mediterranean, Aegean, and the Black Seas, as well as the
Sea of Marmara, surround Turkey to the north, west and south.
With over 8333 kilometers of coastline and four seas, Turkey
is a treasure chest of coves, inlets, bays and beaches from
which yachtsmen can choose a different and always private
anchorage each night.
The sailing paradise of Turkey is home to the Blue Voyage.This
idyllic cruise means sailing with the winds, into coves
and over the seas and becoming one with nature. It is also
an experience of the history of man from the perspective
of the sea rather than from the land, a journey which carries
you to the private beach of Cleopatra, the eternal fires
of Mt. Olympos and the myriad archaeological remains of
ancient civilizations. For lovers of the active life, sailing
in the clear waters provides the opportunity for swimming,
fishing, skiing, surfing and diving.
Sailing in Turkey also allows you to experience a truly
enriching cultural exchange with the hospitable and gracious
people of the coastal villages and towns. The tempered winds
which generally blow from the 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 sea level.
Fortunately, Turkey's modern facilities and comfort have
not overshadowed her ancient hospitality and slower pace
of life. The pleasure of yachting in Turkey will tempt you
back again and again, to explore yet another stretch of
coast and to relive the luxurious ease of life on the sea.
remains a popular activity for residents as well as visitors
to Turkey. Over the past 40 years the industry has grown,
and today a large number of marinas dot the coastline between
Istanbul and Antalya. These provide supplies, easy access
to the shore at major resorts, and safe harbours as well
as often becoming local entertainment venues in themselves.
In Istanbul, yachtsmen will delight in splendid natural
landscapes, 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 breathtaking Bosphorus and sailing under
the two enormous bridges which span Europe and Asia or meandering
along the mosque-lined Golden Horn or cruising in the coves
and bays of the Princes'Islands, you can return to one of
the two large marinas in the area. Ataköy Marina on
the European side and Kalamis (Admiral Fahri Korutürk)
Marina on the Asian side both offer 24-hour service. From
the North Sea through the European interior, yachters can
sail down the European channel system and the Rhine and
Danube Rivers into the Black Sea harbours and to the Istanbul
Bogazi ( the Bosphorus) and Istanbul marinas - a safe and
short way to go to the Turkish Meditterranean coast and
Marinas. The Black Sea coast provides yachters with a lush
green coastal band where the environment is protected and
virginal. There are frequent coves and fishing harbours
along this coast, and the weather is mild during the summer
Turkey's most established marinas lie on the southern Aegean
and Mediterranean coasts at Izmir, Çesme, Kusadasi,
Bodrum, Datça, Bozburun, Marmaris, Göcek, Fethiye,
Kalkan, Kas, Finike, Kemer and Antalya. In these well equipped
harbours, yachters can find the services and provisions
they require. Antalya, Dalaman, Izmir, and Istanbul airports
provide quick links to all of Turkey's marinas; after an
easy flight you can board your yacht and sail off all within
Gulets, Enjoyment on Traditional Crafts
singular design of the Gulets, Turkey's indigenous sea-
going vessel, blends practicality and tradition in a relaxed
style that embodies a Blue Voyage. Over the years Gulets
have evolved from traditional crafts for fishing and transport
into their present profile with a broad beam and wide deck.
Constructed mainly in shipyards in Bodrum, Bozburun, Marmaris,
and Istanbul, and along the Black Sea Coast, the boats are
equipped with motors as well as fully functional rigging.
The number of passengers a gulet carries depends on the
boat's size, although most of them accomodate between eight
and twelve people. These vessels offer their passengers
separate accommodation, and chartering one includes services
and entertainment. Modern Gulets are comfortably equipped
with all the amenities of home and encourage an environment
in which you are expected to do nothing but enjoy yourself.
The closeness of the small group of people on board promotes
an atmosphere of friendshipand sharing; relations among
passengers and crew tend tobe relaxed and casual.
Travel agencies can arrange charters and fixed tours for
a specific group of people or for you individually. Unlike
cruises in large ocean liners,on a Gulet you can explore
the secluded and often deserted bays and coves of the coastline.
The small harbours and settlements offer an intimate view
of coastal life which large ships can not replicate authentically.
In many ways a gulet is like a full-service hotel where
every room has a sea view and the scenery changes constantly.
Bare-boat Charter and Flotilla Cruises
Bare-boat charter has recently been introduced as another
form of yacht hire in Turkey. The Charters are undertaken
by representatives who are responsible for putting the passengers
on board, looking after them and seeing that they return
safely to port. Maintenance crews keep these yachts in optimum
condition, but it is the people who undertake the charter
themselves who crew the boat. Of course, an experienced
skipper accompanies the vessel, but once on board the people
who undertake the charter perform all of the tasks - the
handling of the sails, the seaman's chores, meal preparation
and housekeeping. For those want to escape all kitchen duties
on their holiday there is at least one restaurant at every
anchorage; eating out remains an option.
The more adventurous and experienced sailors can charter
and pilot smaller(9 to 10 meter) motor yachts. Before setting
sail, bare - boat companies generally brief their clients
on the navigational characteristics of the environment,
meteorological conditions, where and how to restock provisions,
how to act in an emergency and any other pertinent information.
Flotilla sailing, or sailing with a group of yachts led
by one boat, is another great adventure on the sea. Although
an experienced sailor skippers the lead boat, the navigation
of each individual boat is left to its crew.
From İzmir to Kuşadası
like Homer's Odyssey
Known in Turkish as "Beautiful Izmir", the city
lies at the head of a long and narrow gulf furrowed by ships
and yachts. The climate is mild, and in the summer the constant
and refreshing sea breezes temper the sun's heat. Behind
the palm-lined promenades and avenues which follow the shoreline,
the city, in horizontal terraces, gently ascends the slopes
of the surrounding mountains. A cosmopolitan and lively
city, galleries, theaters and cultural events give Izmir
its special vibrancy. The original settlement was established
in the third millennium B.C. and represented the most advanced
culture in western Anatolia at that time. Over the years
this thriving city and the surrounding area had come under
the suzerainty of the Hittites, Ionians, Lydians, Persians,
Byzantines, Seljuks, and Ottomans.
Levent Marina provides an excellent place to begin a yachting
adventure. Sailing in and around the beautiful Gulf of Izmir
will prepare voyagers for the wonderful sites that lie ahead.
At Urla Iskelesi, the small islands that dot the coast will
certainly charm you. Beautiful beaches and excellent moorings
with swimming, snorkeling and diving are all available in
From Urla Iskelesi sail on to the Karaburun Peninsula.
At Karaburun, pleasant hotels, tea gardens and fish restaurants
sit between the beautiful mountain backdrop and the clear,
clean water. Voyage out of the Gulf of Izmir around the
Karaburun Peninsula to the Cesme Peninsula, a spit of land
lapped by the waters of the Aegean Sea. Çesme , meaning
"fountain", derives its name from the many sources
of water found in the area. A 14th - centuary Genoese fortress,
restored and enlarged by the Ottomans in the 16th century,
dominates the small port of Cesme. Around Cesme, the large
Altin Yunus Setur Marina complex and the berthing places
of Ilica and Dalyan are all noted for their safety. In town,
the 16th century caravanserai built by Suleyman the Magnificent
near the fortress, has been converted into a hotel. Excellent
shopping s the finest quality carpets, leather goods, as
well as souvenir items - is available. At night, a lively,
fun atmosphere pervades, especially in the restaurants,
cafes , bars and discos along the promenade. In July, Çesme's
International Song Contest attracts world famous performers
who add glamor and excitement to the town. The thermal baths
in the area, along with the natural springs found right
off the coast and which mix with the sea water in Ilica
Bay, provide soothing relaxation.
Southeast of Çesme, beautiful bays offer splendid
scenery and tranquil night moorings in complete safety from
the winds and waves. Soon you will arrive at Sigacik, where
a picturesque marina rests beneath fortifications that date
from the Genoese period. From here, the antique site of
Teos, noted for its temple of Dionysus, the god of wine,
is conveniently close. It is also an excellent area in which
to sample some of Turkey's superb wines.
The Kusadasi Gulf opens to the south and southeast with
some of the most enticing beaches, bays and coves on the
Sailing from Kuşadası to Bodrum,
St. John's Heritage Rediscovered
Kusadasi is today a major holiday resort - center. During
the summer months it teems with swimmers, fishermen, sunslovers
and sightseers. Once known as Scala Nova, the town boasts
wonderful seafood restaurants, cafes, beautiful parks and
superb beaches. The shopping is also famous; everything
from beads and bangles to leather, jewelry and carpets is
The Kusadasi Turban Marina is one of the bestsequipped
marinas in Turkey, providing wintering for boats both afloat
and on shore. Scuba diving has become very popular. The
night life is renowned along the coast with excellent bars,
jazz clubs, discos and cabarets that promise evenings filled
with excitement, entertainment and possibly a little romance.
Not far from Kusadasi, the ancient site of Ephesus, an
important city of antiquity, remains a highlight of any
visit to Turkey. The city, whose whealth and patronage supported
its splendid architectural program, was dedicated to the
goddess Artemis. Her enormous temple, rebuilt several times,
dates in its latest form from the third centuary B.C. and
was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
The ancient theater has found new life as a major concert
venue. Close by is the site of St. John's Basilica and reputed
last home of the Virgin Mary.
South of Kusadasi, the unbelievably beautiful waters of
the Dilek Peninsula National Park welcome yachtsmen into
its serene inlets and coves.
Between Kusadasi's southern shores and Pamukkale lies the
valley of the Menderes River (the Meander), where several
ancient civilizations built major settlements, including
Priene, Milet, Didyma, Aphrodisias and Hierapolis.
The Temple of Apollo at Didim was one of the most sacred
places of antiquity. Many times looted and burned, the sanctuary
still impresses with its elegant beauty. Not far from this
archaelogical site, the beautiful beach of Altinkum tempts
all visitors and offers a great opportunity for sailing,
swimming and relaxation. It is the last stop before entering
the Güllük Gulf,
This gulf can provide a whole vacation in itself with four
large natural bays and numerous coves and inlets. The whole
area has excellent moorings, and scuba divers will be particularly
interested in exploring these waters. The fisherman's village
of Güllük has a pretty port and numerous guestshouses
and small hotels. The mythological Dolphin Boy is said to
have been born a little farther to the north at Kiyikislacik(Lassos).
As you sail out of this beautiful gulf, the Bodrum Peninsula
Sailing from Bodrum to Marmaris
Blessed with the Love of Aphrodite
on the north shore of the Gulf of Gokova, was the home of
the first "Blue Voyager", Cevat Sakir Kabaagac
or the "Fisherman of Halikarnas". It is the undisputed
"hot spot" of the Aegean Coast. This swinging,
singing, dancing town, with its bohemian atmosphere, gathers
together Turkey's artists, intellectuals and lovers of the
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 Bodrum Castle
now houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Known in
ancient times as Halicarnassus, Bodrum is the birthplace
of Heredotus and the site of King Mausolus's Tomb (4th centuary
B.C.), one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.
The yearly throng of visitors has encouraged small entrepreneurs
who have made shopping in Bodrum a delight. Souvenirs abound,
and on certain streets local artists gather to sell their
works - works that come in all forms.
The Bodrum Turban Marina is one of the loveliest and best
- equipped marinas in the region.
A yachting tour of the Gulf of Gokova starts in Bodrum.
The translucent and deep waters of the Gulf on the southern
shore of the Bodrum Peninsula vary from the darkest blue
to the palest turquoise, and the coastline is thickly wooded
with every hue of green. In the evening, the sea reflects
the mountains silhouetted against the setting sun, while
at night it shimmers with phosphorescence.
One of the best anchorages is the splendidly scenic Akbük,
hidden behind a forested promontory. The excellent cosy
restaurants are as good a reason as any to linger for a
tasty meal after an afternoon of snorkeling and diving.
Sedir Island (ancient Cedrai) boasts an incredible beach
with fine sand composed of fossils, and a splendid view
of Kiran mountains across the bay. As you sail along the
island's southwestern coast, forests stretch out to meet
the deep inlets of the bays. The jagged coastline, known
as the Bay of Sixty-Six Inlets, seems to have emerged from
the oft-told tales of pirates.
The waters of the Gulf of Hisaronu lap the breathtaking
shores that hold the legacy of both ancient and modern civilizations.
At the end of the Datca Peninsula stands the ancient Carian
city of Knidos, described by Strabo as "a city that
was built for the most beautiful of goddesses, Aphrodite,
on the most beautiful of peninsulas." Famous as a center
of art and culture in the fourth century B.C., the city
had two harbors: one on the Aegean and the other on the
Mediterranean. The remains of a circular temple dedicated
to the goddess of love overlook remains of the two harbors;
the arcaded way was built of white marble heart-shaped columns.
The legendary Aphrodite of Praxiteles statue, reputedly
one of the most beautiful sculptures of the antiquity, once
graced this temple.
The town of Datca has become a popular stop-over for yachtsmen,
and offers many colorful seafood restaurants, pubs and discotheques.
In the Gulf of Hisaronu is the peaceful Keci Buku Bay;
the Bay Marina is rich in natural beauty: the surrounding
mountains and forests, and the long "Kizkumu"
(sunken "pier"), a natural sand formation. Leaving
the Gulf of Hisaronu: hidden away in its own exclusive inlet
is the town of Bozburun, famous as one of the gulet-building
centers of Turkey. Loryma, at the tip of the Bozburun Peninsula
where the ruins of the ancient harbor and castle remain,
can only be reached by boat. Kumlubuk, a turquoise paradise,
lies on the southern side of the bay; on the north side,
above the water, stands the ancient Rhodian city of Amos.
At Turunc a natural harbor opens out into a wide expanse
of spectacular blue water. The next port is Marmaris.
Sailing from Marmaris to Fethiye
in the Steps of St. Paul
Bay resembles a calm lake and offers ideal mooring for yachts.
Ancient Marmaris, Physkos, was an important stage on the
AnatoliasRhodessEgypt trade route. In the 16th century,
Suleyman the Magnificent had a citadel built on a hill just
beyond the harbor; today, its remains house the Marmaris
Museum. Pine forests cover the mountains which surround
Marmaris; on shore a white line of sand and rock separates
green from blue. The beach areas sparkle, and provide visitors
with a perfect opportunity to dive, snorkel and swim in
Yachts and boats decorate the coast of this lovely tourist
center where thousands converge to enjoy a funfilled, self-indulgent
holiday. Those who surf and water ski will thrill at the
conditions in Marmaris. Energetic entertainment at a lively
bar, or dancing untill dawn at a sophisticated discotheque
can end an ideal day.
There are many good buys in Marmaris' boutiques, colorful
bazaars and markets. You can find excellent leather and
suede goods, copper and brass wares, jewellery and objects
carved of onyx. Turkish carpets, textiles and embroidery
make good handscrafted souvenirs, and the locally produced
pine-scented honey called "cam bali" is superb.
The Marmaris Netsel Marina, one of the largest and best-equipped
marinas in Turkey and the Marmaris Albatros Marina, one
of the best for winteringand maintaining yachts, make Marmaris
an excellent starting point for the Blue Voyage tour of
the Aegean Coast. In May, the Marmaris Yacht Charter Show
provides an opportunity to meet the captains and their crews.
With plenty of provisions aboard, you set sail in the craft
of your choice and languidly explore the spectacular beauty
of southern Turkey.
At Ekincik, a delightful yacht-mooring you can enjoy the
breathtaking beauty of this area and the friendly hospitality
of its people.
Delikli Island lies right off the coast, southeast of Ekincik.
Yachtsmen enjoy a change of pace when they anchor at the
island and take a smaller craft excursion into the Dalyan
Delta. The Delta, with a long, golden sandy beach at its
mouth, 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
harbor city of Caunos, magnificent tombs were carved into
the rock. From Delikli Island, sailing southeast, you arrive
at Sarigerme with its pleasent holiday complexes, nestled
in cozy pine forests. Yachtsmen will want to anchor at Baba
Island, across from the pristine sandy beaches.
The Gulf of Gocek, with the friendly Club Marina set in
a beautiful pine forest, is one of the Mediterranean's best
sailing spots. Dotted with islands and indented with many
coves, its land and seascapes are irresistable. 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 the Gulf of Gocek sail on into Fethiye.
A Lycian Dream from Fethiye to Kaş
A Dolphin's Playground
The secrets of the ancient gods of mythology still lie
hidden in the secluded coves and bays around the Gulf of
Fethiye. This is truly paradise for those who want to sail
through history. The resort town of Fethiye has an important
marina and overlooks a beautiful bay strewn with islands.
Above the town, called Telmessos in antiquity, numerous
Lycian rock tombs, reproducing the facades of ancient buildings,
were cut into the cliff face. Explore the Belcegiz Bay and
the beautiful Blue Lagoon (Olu Deniz), where the calm, crystal-clear
water is ideal for swimming and other water-sports. On Gemiler
Island, Byzantine ruins lie tucked among the pines.
Go ashore at Kinik (65 km from Fethiye) where the ruins
of Xanthos, the ancient Lycian capital,lie in a splendid
natural setting. At the holy Lycian center of Letoon, three
temples dedicated to Leto, Apollo and Artemis, familiar
gods of mythology, await the intrepid tourist. Mythology
records that Apollo was born at Patara, a principal harbor
of ancient Lycia, south of Letoon and Xanthos. The ruins
are of course numerous and fascinating. Its twentystwo kilometres
of pure white sand stretch as far as the eye can see, making
it a natural choice for all types of beach sports.
A short sail to the east brings you to Kalkan, a lovely
small hilltop town that overlooks a tiny bay. Narrow, winding
streets lined with souvenier shops lead down to the charming
marina. Every morning, boats busily take tourists to one
of the nearby beaches or small bays. As the sun sets, it
is Kalkan style to meet on the roof-terraces for a drink
before dinner, and enjoy the comings and goings of the yachts,
the business of the marina and the panoramic view.
A Lycian Dream from Kaş to Antalya
Coast of Light
Like most towns on the Lycian coast Kas lies wedged between
mountains and sea. Kas, once ancient Antiphellus, still
exhibits a few remains of the old settlement. An ancient
theatre on Kas'long peninsula is within walking distance
of the town.
Kekova, "home of the sun", is an island an hour
from Dalyanagzi by sea, as well as the name of a whole ensemble
of picturesque islands, numerous bays and ancient cities.
These bays provide natural harbors in all seasons, and yachtsmen
particularly enjoy exploring the unspoilt landscapes. Along
the northern shore of Kekova Island, at Apollonia, earthquakes
have disturbed the land causing some of the ancient houses
to sink under the clear water, creating a sunken city. Kalekoy
Castle (ancient Simena) offers a bird's-eye view of the
bays, inlets, islands and colorful yachts, sailing peacefully
on the glassy water. The colors in a Van Gogh painting,
blue skies, orange sunsets, starry nights,peace and tranquility,
playful dolphins, mythological mysteries, and the sparkling
sea- Kekova provides all this and more.
At Demre (Kale), the ancient Myra, (25 km west of Finike),
many splendidly carved rock tombs overlook the magnificent
Roman theatre. St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) was the bishop
of this Meditterranean city during the fourth century and
died here in 342. An official entryport, Finike is surrounded
by citrus trees and gardens. Thirty-two kilometers from
the Finike Marina lie the remains of the beautiful and ancient
Lycian city of Arikanda. This excursion inland, a mountain
trek, rewards you with superb views, fabulous ruins and
fresh mountain air.
Slipping around the Kirlangic Peninsula brings you into
the Gulf of Antalya. The first side you come to is the ancient
city of Olympos, on the southern side of Mt. Tahtali(Mt.
Olympos). Oleander and laurel bushes shade the Olympos Valley,
which you can approach by land as well as by sea. Nearby
at Yanartas (at a height of 300 meters), according to mythology
the Lycian hero Bellerophon, mounted on his winged horse
Pegasus slew the fire-breathing monster, Chimaera. Gas which
seeps from the earth burns brightly at night. The Byzantines
also considered this place a religious area.
Alexander the Great's favorite winter resort was at Phaselis,
the famous ancient commercial harbor north of Olympos. From
the south of the harbor, look up at Mt. Tahtali for a spectacular
view. Sail on to Kemer, a resort town carefully designed
to blend in with the surrounding scenery, that offers an
ideal environment for a wonderful holiday. The fully equipped
Kemer Turban Marina has facilities for all activities so
that yachtsmen can enjoy the unspoilt bays and beaches south
of the town. Shoppers will delight at the wonderful range
of high-quality souvenirs. April is the month of the colorful
Kemer Carnival. Also in the spring are the yacht races between
Kemer and Girne in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Sailing around this coast towards Antalya will give you
a glimpse of some of Turkey's most modern and luxurious
holiday villages. Antalya, Turkey's principal holiday resort
city on the Mediterranean, embodies the contrast between
the majestic coastline of beaches and rocky coves, and the
towering Taurus Mountains. The ancient Attaleia, named after
King Attalus II of Pergamon, Antalya was founded in the
2nd century B.C. Today palm-lined boulevards, beautiful
parks, historical buildings, monuments, museums and the
picturesque old quarter Kaleici, (with the Kaleici Turban
and Leisure Center, which has won several awards, is considered
one of the most beautiful marinas in Turkey; Setur Marina,
the other marina in Antalya, is, on the other hand, quiet
and peaceful; but both welcome yof after your unforgettable
voyage in the turquoise paradise of Turkey's water.