Sailing from Izmir to Kusadasi :
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 sovereignty 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 the area.
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 Çesme Peninsula, a spit of land lapped by the waters of the Aegean Sea.
Cesme, meaning ‘fountain’, derives its name from the many sources of water found in the area. A l4th century Genoese fortress, restored and enlarged by the Ottomans in the l6th 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 l6th century caravansary built by Süleyman the Magnificent near the fortress, has been converted into a hotel. Excellent shopping – the finest quality carpets, leather goods, as well as souvenir items are available. At night, a lively, fun atmosphere pervades, especially in the restaurants, cafes, bars and discos along the promenade. In July, Cesme’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 Cesme, 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 south-east with some of the most enticing beaches, bays and coves on the Aegean coast.
Sailing From Kusadasi to Bodrum :
Kusadasi is today a major holiday resort center. During the summer months it teems with swimmers, fishermen, sun-lovers 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 on offer.
The Kusadasi Turban Marina is one of the best-equipped marinas in Turkey, providing wintering for boats both afloat and on shore. Scuba diving has become very popular. Nightlife 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 wealth 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 century 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. Nearby is the site of St. John’s Basilica and the 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 (Didim), Aphrodisias and Hierapolis (Pamukkale).
The Temple of Apollo at Didyma 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 archaeological 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 Gulluk 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 Gulluk has a pretty port and numerous guest-houses and small hotels. The mythological Dolphin Boy is said to have been born a little farther to the north at Kiyikislacik (Iassos). As you sail out of this beautiful gulf, the Bodrum Peninsula welcomes you.
The little village Torba is hiding in a charming little bay. Heading North of Bodrum Torba is the nearest village. It is only active during the summer months, but due to the generally high quality of the holiday home developments is a pleasant and relaxed place to visit. There are also the remains of a Byzantine monastery, and nearby is a small path leading to the next bay, which is ideal for a little light walking. Ferries to Didim (ancient Didyma) leave from Torba harbor across the Gulf of Gulluk.
We will mention the two fishing villages Türkbükü and Golkoy in one, because they are close to each other. You find them on the peninsula map east of Yalikavak. These delightful spots are the favorite retreats of many well-known Turkish artists, actors and entertainers who enliven the many small bars and restaurants at night. Several of the more popular restaurants are run by Istanbul couples who have fled the big city.
Gundogan, only a few minutes West of Yalikavak a place that can be really called peaceful. It is little village which is still more or less unspoiled despite the holiday developments on the surrounding hills. Here in the North of the peninsula a fresh breeze often comes. A reason why many surfers prefer this bay.
Yalikavak is a small, but busy, center and a harbor where visiting yachts and fishing boats moor cheerfully together. The restaurants in the town center and on the sea front are popular with locals and tourists alike. Here is little beach, but it’s more comfortable to sit in a waterside cafe and watch the world go by. Several buildings have been tastefully restored in the town; a former water cistern has become a small art gallery and a former olive oil press is converted into a kilim showroom where visitors are welcome.
Gumus is the Turkish word for Silver. Thanks to strictly enforced building prohibitions, the sea front of Gumusluk has kept its original appearance and photogenic fishing village charm. This is the ideal spot for peace and quiet, with the added advantage of many excellent fish restaurants along the small waterfront, where you can sit comfortably next to the gently lapping sea. Your feet are touching historical ground here, it is the harbor of ancient Myndos.
You find this little town at the western tip of the peninsula. Named after the famous admiral, Turgutreis, this is a *stroll* town in its own right and combines a compact town center with several long sandy beaches. This part of the coast is favored by professional wind surfers as the winds are generally strong. Regular buses connect Turgutreis with Bodrum, and in high season coaches for Istanbul and Ankara leave from the Turgutreis bus station. Kadikalesi, is next to Turgutreis and offers some of the finest holiday resorts.
Wind surfers find ideal surrounding in Akyarlar. The marvelous scenery of the Greek Aegean islands is just in front of you and it is perhaps one of the safest, sandiest beaches for children on the peninsula. There are several cafes and a tiny harbor. Camping facilities and a couple of small, inexpensive pensions for independent travelers. Still this place has its own tranquil charm.
Bitez lies 3 miles west of Bodrum, in the bay next to Gumbet. The winds here are particularly favorable for windsurfing and several water sports operators are based here. The beach is sandy, with plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas for sunbathing, Away from the beach it is possible to wander through mandarin orange groves where oxen plough and life continues as before. The village itself is a 15 minute walk, or short drive, inland and remains totally unspoiled by tourism. The only Turkish Delight (Lokum) to be made on the peninsula is made here. Dolmuses leave for Bitez every 20-30 minutes from the main bus station in Bodrum.
Only 2-3 km away from Bodrum Gumbet is the place recently became almost a resort unto itself. Gümbet (named after Kümbet – these numerous white-domed cisterns in the area) features one of the longest and most popular beaches on the peninsula. Gümbet is also one of the most popular water sports centers with water-skiing, windsurfing, para sailing, etc. available.The popularity of Gümbet has also generated serious nightlife and the streets of Gümbet vibrate till dawn with the music from numerous bars, discos and street side-cafes.
Sailing from Bodrum to Marmaris :
Bodrum, or Halicarnassus as it was known, was made the capital of the ancient Province of Caria by Mausolus, who is remembered today through the word Mausoleum. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, its site is now an Underwater Museum.
The Roman theater overlooks the town from above the mausoleum,and at sunset, past and present seem to merge in this romantic setting. When the Knights of St.John built the castle in the early 15th century, they used many of the stones from the already ruined mausoleum. These green tinged blocks may still be seen in the castle walls. The Knights stayed for over a century until they were driven out by Suleyman the Magnificent in 1523.
The castle gradually fell into disuse until the middle of this century when it was extensively renovated to become the home of the Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum. It is now a showcase for the marvelous finds of antiquity discovered in the area, and is recognized as a worldwide pioneer in the field of underwater archaeology.on the north shore of the Guff of Gökova, was the home of the first “Blue Voyager”, Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli 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 Turkeys 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 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 century 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 Gökova 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.
While one may sail directly from Bodrum to Knidos and Tekir cape in the course of one’s Blue Voyage, it is also possible to proceed by following the bay indented coastline of the gulf of Gökova. Vessels setting out from Bodrum to visit Gökova pass Karaada, famous for its hot springs and known in ancient times as Arkanessos, and then Pabuc Cape and arrive at Kargicik Bay. Before reaching here one sees a small island called Kistak that one may sail past on either side though care must be taken of a reef to its north.
Kargicik is a large and fine bay. Yachts may anchor on its southern side. Taking a swim in its crystal-clear waters is a special delight. Before Kargicik Bay is Orak Island on which there are two bays, one on the east and one on the north. The best anchorages are along the northwestern side. Leaving here one passes Karaburun and reaches Alakisla Bay before which is Yildiz Island. One should sail close by the island and the mainland. One may anchor off the southwestern tip of the bay. After leaving Alakisla Bay one passes Tekerek Limani, llgin Limani, and Kargili after which one arrives at Cökertme Bay, the best anchorage here. This place is surrounded by pine and olive trees and is sheltered against the winds. Inside the bay is Cokertme village, the western side of which is a good anchorage.
Leaving Cokertme, one arrives at Camalti Bay, the jetty for Ören where one may visit the ruins of Keramos. Keramos is 48 km from Milas and one can reach it by road as well. The modern town of Keramos is located on the ruins of Keramos. A city of Carian origin, the date of its foundation is unknown though we know of its existence from the 5th Century onward because it was a member of the Delian League. Ruled by the Persians and then Alexander and passed variously through the hands of Rhodes, Rome, and Byzantium.
At Keramos today one notices sound city walls and their gates remaining from Hellenistic times here and there. The ancient acropolis was between Mese Kayasi and Camtepe. Outside the village at a place called Bakicak is a marble platform surrounded by a wall. The three blocks visible are all that remains of the foundations of the temple of Zeus Khrsaoreus. There are also ruins of another temple, called Kursunlu today. This temple, located at the foot of the acropolis hill outside the city walls, is in a very ruined state. There are also remains of many Roman and Byzantine buildings at Keramos whose functions can no longer be discerned, though one of them was probably a basilica. On the southern side of the city is a Byzantine church.
There are the remains of a big structure on the east at a place near the city walls. To the south, outside the city are the remains of a many columned structure called “Akyapi” by the villagers today. Outside the city walls is a necropolis and in the cliffs there are rock tombs. Camalti Bay, where the modern jetty is, was the harbor of ancient Keramos.
Leaving Oren and proceeding about 10 km past Karaburun, one reaches Akbuk Harbor. Situated at the foot of thickly wooded mountains, Akbük Harbor is a very good harbor that is sheltered against the western and northwestern winds. There is a cafe and a restaurant here and one may anchor on the jetty before the harbor or else west of it.
From here one may proceed to Gokova Quay, the extreme end of the gulf of Gokova. Encircled by emerald-green mountains, one never tires of the beauty of Gokova. There are two concrete jetties here and one may anchor before the park. Proceeding from here overland to Marmaris, one has a magnificent view of Gokova.
Six hundred meters below Sakar rock on the Gokova highway we find the ancient city of Idyma. Descending by means of a winding road, the city walls of the acropolis are visible here and there on the steep slopes. Below them are the remains of a medieval castle. Among the cliffs on the slope one can see rock tombs that resemble temples from the 4th Century B.C.
Gasoline and water are available at Gokova jetty and the Forest Administration also has a number of facilities here. From Gökova jetty one may proceed to Sedir Island, which can also be reached by car. A road that branches off the Marmaris highway comes down to the jetty at the village of Gelibolu and from there you can get to Sedir Island in a rented boat. Boats are also available for rent in Tacbükü. On a hill east of Kizilkaya at the village of Gelibolu is the ancient city of Kallipolis, from which the present-day name of Gelibolu was derived. The ancient and medieval castles here reflect the lengthy past of this region.
At the southern most end of Karaca harbor, three or four miles from Sedir Island, one comes to Sögüt Harbor before which is an island called Karacaada. This pine covered harbor is a place of marvelous beauty. A stream called Incedere discharges into Sögüt Harbor and in the mouth of the creek is a jetty. To the east is another jetty. This harbor is connected by road to Marmaris.
After leaving this lovely bay surrounded by pine, laurel, oleander, and storax trees, we reach Canak Harbor. This place is enclosed by Andizli Cape and is protected against all winds. After this comes Degirmen Bükü, a much-indented bay inside Kara and Zeytinli Islands.
There are many places where yachts may take shelter here. The inlet behind the arm of land on the eastern side of the bay for example is a magnificent anchorage with jetties and a restaurant. Almost opposite it is another inlet called Ingiliz Limani (“English Harbor”) – According to local tradition, part of the British fleet concealed itself here during World War 1.
On the southern side of Degirmen Bay is another anchorage where one may secure some supplies. Drinking water is also plentiful here. Passing Camli and Kormen Islands and leaving Degirmen Buku, we enter Kargili Bay 2.8 miles to the west. After leaving this sheltered inlet, there is a salt lagoon surrounded by pine trees. One may tie up onto the pines on shore.
From here, one enters Tuzla Bay. There is a light at the mouth of this much-indented inlet, at the far end of which is another wooded lagoon. Some 800 m inside the inlet are the Karabuk reefs which one should watch out for because they are difficult to spot above the water. Vessels may anchor within the inlet and along the shore. Between Teke Cape and Taneli Cape are a group of seven islands, hence their Turkish name Yedi Adalar (Seven Islands). While the place is indeed a beautiful one, the numerous reefs here require caution. Pass Yedi Adalar is Dogu Bay located between Taneli Cape and the 4th island south of the eastern peninsula. Sakli Harbor is entered through here. On the northeastern side of the 4th island there is a inlet facing northeast. At its end is a concrete jetty. There are dangerous reefs 400 m northwest of the 3 islands counting from Teke Bay. After leaving Yedi Adalar we come to the lovely bay of Gökceler Bükü.
This thickly wooded bay is closed to all winds. However when entering here, one should sail at a distance from the two small islets west of Kücük Cati Bay. Kormen Harbor is about 5 km from Inceburun on which there is a light. There are two artificial harbors here created by breakwaters as well as a restaurant. Datca is 8 km away. The last calling place in the gulf of Gökova is Mersincik, which is located about 3 km from Mersincik Island. The bay is surrounded by forests.
After leaving here, one proceeds by way of Tekir Buku, Cape Iskandil, and Deve Boynu to the main harbor at Knidos. Thus have completed our tour of the gulf of Gokova. After reaching Knidos, if one wishes to continue the Blue Voyage and set sails for new marvels, should head for the gulf of Hisaronu to see the shores of the Datca peninsula.
As you sail along the island’s south-western 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 arcade way was built of white marble heart-shaped columns. The legendary Aphrodite of Praxiteles statue, reputedly one of the most beautiful sculptures of antiquity, once graced this temple.
The first stopping place after Knidos is Palamut Buku. Rounding the Cape of Divan, one enters Palamut Harbor located before it. The Triopium, the religious center of the Dorian Confederation, was located here. One may anchor off the island and along shore.
After leaving Palamut harbor and passing Cape Adatepe, we enter Adatepe Bay which should be approached keeping clear of the rocks at the end of the eastern cape and of the cliffs that divide the beach. There is a shelter here that is used by fishing vessels. One may anchor before the beach. If we leave this lovely bay and continue on our way we pass Cape Kargili Bük and Cape Parmak and arrive at the forest encircled Magara (“Cave”) Bay whose name is derived from the sea cave at the eastern entrance Passing Inceburun, we enter Kargi Bay just before Datca. One approaches Datca jetty from here through the channel passing Toparca Island.
Datca is a county seat and the name given to the entire peninsula. One may find whatever one needs here. Datca is the original site of the city of Knidos, which was relocated in 540 B.C. during the Persian invasions. Old Knidos is located 1.5 km north of modern Datca on a hill where there is an acropolis. On the southern side are the remains of an ancient harbor.
After Datca we come to broad Kuruca Harbor, which is located between the Adatepe peninsula and Ciftlik Island. Leaving Ciftlik Bay where there is a holiday village, we pass Adatepe Cape and arrive at Kuruca Cove. From here we pass Kuruca Island and Bozan Cape reaching Bencik, at the narrowest part of the peninsula. Bencik stretches inland 3 km, almost as if attempting to break through to the other side. It is a great pleasure to wander about these coves and inlets drinking in the loveliness of their blues and greens. The beauty of the scenery cannot be adequately told and must be experienced to be appreciated.
At the entrance to this bay is Dislice Island. During the Persian invasions in 540 B.C., the Knidians sought to dig a canal between Bencik and Kucukcati on the other side as a defensive measure against the Persian armies and turn their city into an island. An oracle was consulted who reportedly said “If the gods had wanted, they would have made your city an island. Do not pierce the isthmus.”
Where upon they surrendered to the Persians-After leaving Bencik, we enter Hisaronu harbor where the ruins of Bybasos are to be found. On the southeastern side of the gulf is Kecibükü Bay, inside of which there is an island. Kecibuku is the best anchorage. On the island are the ruins of a fort. A bit inland from this bay is the village of Orhaniye and the ruins of Bybasos are located on a hill above the village. The ruins of city walls, some from medieval, some from Hellenistic times can be seen here and there within the forest on this steep and rocky hill. At a place called Pazarcik on Eren mountain south of the village of Hisaronu was the ancient city of Kastabos.
After leaving Hisaronu Harbor, we enter Delikliyol Harbor and Selimiye Bay. In the bay is a section called Buruncuk that is suitable as an anchorage. A bit inland from this bay near the village of Selimiye is the ancient city of Hyda. Leaving Selimiye Bay we sail pass a number of small islands Kameriya, Koca, Uzun, Topan, and Kargi after which we reach the last of the inlets in the Hisarönü gulf, Dirsek. To enter this one needs to sail round Kargi Island.
On the southern side of Dirsek Cape are the underwater remains of an ancient quay. Leaving Dirsek and passing Agil Cape we reach Atabol Cape, the sea of which is full of rocks. Sailing carefully pass them one reaches the Sombeki (Yesilova) gulf. Passing between Kizilada and Zeytin Ada and leaving Kiseli Island to one’s port side, we enter Bozburun Harbor. Bozburun Is a famous for its boatyards and the ruins of ancient Tymnos are here. The eastern side of Kizil Island immediately before Bozburun as well as the southwestern side of Kiseli Island are both suitable as anchorages. One leaves here sailing pass Sogut Island and enters Sogut Harbor. There are many Islands here.
The presence of the ancient city of Tymnos is shown on many old maps where Sogut is now located. East of the harbor is a village called Saranda, where ancient Tyssonos used to be. From old records we learn that the ancient city of Ceresse was located opposite the Taclica Islands.
Continuing on our Blue Voyage we fill our sails with wind and rounding Karaburun come to Bozukkale, some two and a half miles beyond. Every yacht is sure to call at Bozukkale. In ancient times there was a shipyard here. Entering the bay, the citadel walls of the ancient city of Loryma that used to be here can be seen on the western side. The walls facing the entrance to the bay are 2.24 m thick and 320 m long and they enclose an area measuring 274 sqm. At one time there were two projecting towers at the corners of the citadel and nine rectangular towers as well. Today only the projecting tower on the north remains. Four of the five gates in the wall faced north. There are two cisterns here carved partially into the rock, one on either side of the wall. On the acropolis hill east of the jetty is another wall built of rectangular and multi-angular stone.
An inscription on the wall of a cave at the foot of the hill extending along the seashore announces that it is prohibited to remove offerings that have been dedicated to a sacred place. On some maps this harbor is called Aploteka.The harbor is sheltered against severe weather conditions. During the Peloponnesian wars, Athenian ships concealed themselves here for a while. The Athenian commander also used the place as a rendezvous point before the battle of Knidos in 395 B.C. In 335 B.C., Demetrios, son of Antigonos, built up his fleet here.
The harbor at Bozukkale was also used during Roman and Byzantine times and by the Knights of Rhodes as well. On the southern side of the Loryma peninsula there are heaps of stone consisting of four or five blocks set atop one another. They may have been the foundations of altars. Two miles after Bozukkale is Serce Harbor. The entrance to Serce Harbor is like a giant door made of huge boulders. The western side of the harbor consists of steep slopes and rough, rocky terrain. One should sail with the Catal Islands to one’s south or else between them: the passage between the mainland and Catal Island should not be used. Before the southern promontory of the bay is a small reef that is very dangerous and many ships have been lost throughout history on them.
In 1025 A.D. in the month of September, a two masted ship measuring 15 m. in length and 5.13 m. abeam and displacing 30-40 tons set out with a cargo she took on at one of the harbors in the rich Fatimid countries. Just as she rounded Bozukkale however she was caught in a storm and tried to take refuge at Loryma but hit a rock and sank in 32 m. of water. Between 1977-79, Professor George Bass and a team of Turkish and American underwater archaeologists excavated the wreck. Besides a cargo of pottery, a large number of works of glass were brought up.
These 11th Century finds are in 200 different forms and are now on display at the Underwater Museum in Bodrum. In 1953, sponge divers brought up a bronze statue of Demeter that they found in a wreck off the Marmaris coast. This 4th Century B.C. statue is now on display at the Izmir Museum.
After leaving Serce Harbor, we come to the lovely bay of Ince Island located north of the Ince Island Cape. Besides the extraordinarily beautiful scenery here one also notices medieval ruins. The olive covered hills afford protection against the winds. Leaving here, we come to the broad harbor of Ciftlik. One may pass along either side of the island before the harbor and drop anchor. There is a holiday village here.
Setting sail from Ciftlik Harbor we pass Kadirga Cape with its light and enter Kadirga Harbor. There are possible anchorages southwest of Kadirga Harbor and also in the inlet to its northwest. This bay is quite close to Marmaris, and the daily tour boats leaving Marmaris also call here so the place is always quite active. After this bay comes Kumlubük and we can tie up onto the jetty in this bay where the tour boats from Marmaris take out time for lunch.
In the crystal-clear waters you can swim together with those on a day’s excursion from Marmaris. On the hill immediately above the jetty are the ruins of the ancient city of Amos. After leaving Kumlubük we come to Turunc cove, with its numerous motels. Turunc cove is thickly wooded and green. The blues of the water, the whites of the hotels, and the greens of the forest present a picture that is poetic. Turuncis also connected to Marmaris by road and is a built-up, thriving place. One may anchor in the southern and northern part of the bay and enjoy this exquisite spot.
After leaving Turunc we enter Marmaris Harbor. On the west is the district of lcmeler where there are more hotels and motels. Before lcmeler is Keci Island. There are other islands in the bay including Nimara, which is actually connected to the mainland by a low isthmus called Yalanci (“False”) channel, and the islands of Yildiz and Cennet. Before the peninsula is tiny Bedir Island.
Situated on a bay, backed by rugged pine-clad mountains, Marmaris is one of the most attractive maritime parklands, ideal for water sports and sailing. It makes an excellent starting point for the “Blue Voyage” tour of the Aegean coastline. In May, the Marmaris Yacht Charter Show provides an opportunity to meet the yachts’ captains and crews. With plenty of provisions aboard, you set sail in the craft of your choice and languidly explore the spectacular beauty of southern Turkey.
In Marmaris, sample the typical Turkish cuisine in one of the marina restaurants and drink raki, anisette, the traditional Turkish way, over ice and diluted with water. Later stroll along the brightly lit and palm-lined promenade and indulge yourself at one of the ice cream vendors. Energetic entertainment at a lively bar or dancing until dawn at a sophisticated disco can end a perfect day.
There are many good buys in Marmaris’ boutiques, colorful bazaars and markets. You can find excellent leather and suede goods, copper and brassware, jewellery and objects carved of onyx. Turkish carpets, textiles and embroidery make good handcrafted souvenirs, and the locally produced pine -scented honey called çambali is superb.
Swimmers should not miss Ataturk Park, to the east of Marmaris, where a shallow beach, extending to the bay leads to safe waters. The clear sea is warm enough for swimming from early May until late September. Marmaris also has horseback riding and tennis centres for the sports enthusiast. This is one of the few places in the world where you can delight in the heady aroma of the frankincense tree. Weekly ferry lines run between Marmaris and Venice during the summer season.
Near Marmaris at Icmeler, the hazy mountains of the interior slope down to sandy beaches. Under blue skies, the clear sea is ideal for all types of water sports. Many find this area so irresistible that they stay longer than originally planned. And there are some excellent accommodations here, in which you can prolong your contact with nature.
Sailing From Marmaris to Fethiye :
The Marmaris Netsel Marina, one of the largest and best-equipped marinas 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. 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.
Delikadasi lies right off the coast, south-east of Ekincik. Yachtsmen enjoy a change of place 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 harbour-city of Caunos, magnificent tombs were carved into the rock.
From Delik Island, sailing south-east, you arrive at Sarigerme with its pleasant 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 irresistible. The ruins of Arymexa, 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.
Sailing from Fethiye to Kas :
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 centre 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 harbour of ancient Lycia, south of Letoon and Xanthos. The ruins are of course numerous and fascinating. Its 22 kilometer 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 souvenir 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.
Sailing from Kas to Antalya :
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’s 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 harbours in all seasons, and yachtsmen particularly enjoy exploring the unspoiled 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, starry nights, peace and tranquillity, 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 Mediterranean city during the fourth century and died here in 342. An official entry-port, Finike is surrounded by citrus trees and gardens. Thirty-two kilometer from the Setur 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 sight 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 favourite winter resort was at Phaselis, the famous ancient commercial harbour north of Olympos. South of the harbour, 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 Park Marina has facilities for all activities so that yachtsmen can enjoy the unspoiled 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 Turkeys 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 Marina) blend together to create an ideal holiday atmosphere. The Antalya Marina and Leisure Centre, which has won several awards, is considered one of the most beautiful marinas in Turkey; Antalya Setur Marina, the other marina in Antalya, is, on the other hand, quiet and peaceful; but both welcome you after your unforgettable voyage in the turquoise paradise of Turkey’s water.