Marmaris is an ideal starting point for a holiday on the water. Heading west down the Datca Peninsula there are the Greek Islands, east heads towards Fethiye while the Island of Rhodes lies fairly close off the Turkish mainland. There is plenty of choice and much will depend upon how long you have to enjoy this great part of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Those deciding to start their holiday in Marmaris have two possible points of entry on the Turkish mainland. Dalaman Airport is east of Marmaris, around 90 minutes away. There are numerous direct flights from many regional airports in Europe and the Middle East. Bodrum’s Airport at Milas is to the north and is a similar distance away.
Taking to the Sea
The immediate vicinity of Marmaris is extremely interesting. Cleopatra Island, a nickname given to Sedir Island in the Gulf of Gokova, has Greek and Roman ruins. It has a great beach with the sand seemingly brought by Mark Anthony for the pleasure of his Egyptian lover, Cleopatra. It’s a great place to spend some time. Cennet (‘’paradise’’ in Turkish) Island is another place to visit. Marmaris Gulet Cruises are really ideal for doing this because the Island is only accessible by sea even though it is not actually an island.
Nearby there are resorts that attract visitors on a gulet; Icmeler, Turunc, Gokova are worth a visit while plans have recently been announced to build what will be the biggest yacht in the world at Bozburun. Its hull will be finished next year although it is not expected to be launched until 2020.
The route west down the Peninsula is stunning. While in some ways the Peninsula looks barren, this is an extremely fertile area and many would argue that Datca tomatoes compare favourably with any in the world. There is a host of places to drop anchor to swim or fish and diving into the warm sea each morning is a great way to wake up to a new day. Even though every passenger will have a cabin it is great fun to sleep on deck.
Four Days East
The journey from Marmaris to Fethiye is difficult to beat. A relaxing few days on a gulet offers beautiful bays such as Ekincik, the protected Iztuzu Beach and the Lycian rock tombs of Dalyan before the many islands off Gocek and Fethiye. There are great beaches, quiet coves and guaranteed sun.
A Turkish gulet to the Greek Island of Rhodes is a chance to sample Greece and its people. Locally relations are excellent and it is just a matter of hoisting the Greek flag to get a warm welcome to this island that has so much to offer the visitor.
Once you experience a gulet holiday out of Marmaris you are likely to want to come back for more. As you can see there is plenty of choice.
The warm and calm seas of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast are ideal for cruising. There are many alternatives from which you can choose and one of the most popular is to move between Turkey and Greece where local relations between the two countries are excellent. The inhabited islands off the Turkish Coast are all Greek but that does not detract from what is certain to be a great relaxing holiday.
Greece Turkey Blue Cruises allow passenger to get a flavour of both countries and one of the most popular cruises takes in the island of Rhodes that offers so much. The Colossus, one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, has long gone but the Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is just one of the many things to enjoy.
History and Culture
You will certainly enjoy walking around the Old Town though if you are holidaying in the middle of summer ensure you have plenty of water and your head is covered. If you have been cruising for a while before going ashore at Rhodes Town you will have realised that the sun can be intense.
The highlights of the island are:
- Palace of Grand Master of Knights (Rhodes Town)
- Archaeological Museum of Rhodes where you can see many exhibits from the time when the Crusaders lived on the Island.
- Kahal Kadosh Shalom Synagogue which is now a museum as well.
- The ruins at Lindos with the Acropolis probably the major attraction.
- Monastery Tsambika (Kolimbia)
- The Church of the Panagia (Lindos)
- Church of Our Lady of Filerimos (Rhodes Town)
The Island’s Beaches
There are several beaches on the island and those cruising around its extensive coastline can stop at any of them or anywhere else for that matter.
- St Pauls Bay is close to Lindos
- Lindos has its own beach and plenty of evening entertainment if you want a night ashore.
- Tsambika is a great sandy beach
- Anthony Quinn Bay in Faliraki ensures that the film ‘Zorba the Greek’ endures in everyone’s memory though of course Quinn was a Mexican.
- Agathi Beach is particularly good for those that enjoy snorkelling.
- Pefkos Beach is ideal for those staying in the resort of the same name.
And there’s more!
If you are enjoying Luxury gulets on your Turkey holidays you will enjoy the meals provided on board. Everything is fresh with the chance of catching fish for the evening BBQ. You won’t go hungry if you don’t catch anything but an experienced crew can usually guarantee something.
Rhodes has plenty of good restaurants and if you want to get a flavour of how the Greeks use the region’s wonderful fresh produce there is nothing to stop you going ashore for an evening meal before returning to your gulet.
Those wishing to combine the pleasures of sailing in crystal blue seas with a little history and culture need look no further than the stretch of Turkey’s Coast between Kemer and Fethiye. Just south west of Kemer there are the ruins of an ancient Lycian City, Olympos, in what has now become a National Park.
Olympos is close to the modern town of Cirali and is thought to date back to the 4th Century BC. It has had a rich history; Lycian, Roman, sundry pirates as well as Italian traders (Venetian and Genoese) before the whole region became part of the Ottoman Empire.
While the ruins are fairly overgrown they are worth seeing especially the sarcophagus which is the main evidence of the date of the city. Just above Cirali there is the Chimera, flames coming out of the rocks with no apparent fuel source. The flames are thought to have burnt constantly for thousands of years and are especially spectacular at night.
Olympos Blue Voyages then continue on with the option of stopping at several interesting places as well as simply somewhere quiet to swim or sunbathe.
- The modern town of Demre is the original site of the ancient city of Myra, the home of St. Nicholas, the origin of today’s Father Christmas. Myra retains some importance for pilgrims to this day.
- Kas which has become a very popular diving centre with several interesting sites close by. It is a bustling little tourist town which is well worth exploring.
- The Greek Island of Meis, just a short distance offshore from Kas where you might like to drop anchor and enjoy lunch on the harbour. You captain merely needs to raise the Greek flag as you enter and you will be more than welcome.
- Kalkan, a small town with a harbour that sits below the mountains. The view from the top are spectacular but take a taxi; the walk will be steep.
- Patara beach which is a stunning stretch of beach just west of Kalkan.
- Fethiye and the surrounding area
If you take a Blue Voyage Turkey then you can explore the immediate vicinity of Fethiye. That includes:
- Butterfly Valley which is best accessed from the sea. In the weeks of summer there are many species of butterfly and moth in a beautiful green canyon setting.
- The Blue Lagoon is one of the most photographed places on the Turquoise Coast.
- Tersane Island has been deserted since the Greeks left when the Turkish Republic was announced in 1923; a last chance to swim before arriving in Fethiye.
Fethiye itself is a growing town, full of bars, restaurants, shopping as well as history. It is well worth a little of your time before you head for the airport and home.
There are few nicer places to cruise in crystal clear warm waters than in the Eastern Mediterranean. The region commonly referred to as the Eastern Mediterranean includes the Aegean and its Greek Islands. There are regular direct flights into Bodrum in South West Turkey from most regions of Europe and the Middle East. It is just a short step to climb aboard one of the Blue Cruises from Bodrum to enjoy a relaxing holiday, swimming, catching the sun and savouring the fine cuisine.
There is no need to hurry. The whole point of a holiday is to relax and your port of embarkation has much to enjoy before you set sail. Bodrum’s history dates back centuries; it was a village settlement in the 5th Century BC and an ancient Greek City where one of the Ancient Wonders of the World, the Mausoleum of Mausolus once stood in the harbour. It is long gone but that does not mean that there are no examples of the history and culture of the region worth visiting. The Castle is an obvious example. It was built in the 15th Century from much of the stone from the Mausoleum by the Knights Hospitaller who ultimately surrendered as the Ottoman Empire was founded. However it remains one of the finest examples of Crusader Architecture in the Eastern Mediterranean.
When you take a Blue Cruise you are guaranteed an experienced crew that not only know the waters well but they will happily cater for your every need. There are some obvious places that you may want to visit. Forget the stories about Turkey and Greek relations at government level. There is no animosity between the countries at local level and the nearby Greek island of Kos is a chance to experience a little of Greek life during your holiday. The Island is very close and all your captain will do as you approach is to raise a Greek flag and you will be very welcome.
The Delightful Environment
One of the prime reasons for enjoying a holiday on a charter is the Ability to explore areas away from other tourists. There are quiet coves and beaches on this peninsula even in the height of summer. You can decide when you want to stop for a swim and even fish for the evening’s barbeque. Meals are a delight. The fresh fruit and vegetables, herbs and live oil from the Turkish mainland ensure you will enjoy healthy and tasty food, perhaps washed down with a beer or glass of wine? Your captain will happily sail to different parts of the peninsula as you wish:
- Gumusluk has grown from a fishing village to a small town which has an annual music festival. It has attracted sculptors and artists whose work you might like to investigate.
- The Saturday market in Turgutreis is atmospheric; a chance to stock up on fruit and vegetables as well as barter for local crafts.
- Bitez Beach is just one of many on the Peninsula.
- Yalikavak is a deep marina where you might like to drop anchor.
Once you decide on a sailing holiday in these wonderful seas you are guaranteed a holiday to remember. Many have enjoyed such an experience before and will do again.
The Turquoise Coast of Turkey has become increasingly popular with sailors in recent years and even those who have never had a holiday on the waves before have begun to realise the joys of such a relaxing holiday. There is no need for any expertise because the yachts and gulets that sail out of Fethiye harbour every day come with an experienced captain and crew intent on ensuring their passengers have an unforgettable holiday.
10 Compelling Reasons
Why a Fethiye Blue Cruise you may say?
- There are a host of attractions just minutes away. Even as you leave the harbour you will immediately begin to see the attraction of sailing in these waters.
- Tersane Island is a popular place to enjoy your first swim, and you last at the end of the trip. It was once an inhabited island but no one lives there full time anymore after the Greeks left when the Turkish Republic was founded in 1923.
- ‘’12 Islands’’ is a popular day trip for those staying on dry land; there are plenty of spots for swimming and even in high season there are never too many people around such are the alternatives.
- Butterfly Valley is close by, best accessed from the sea. In the height of summer there are many different species of butterfly and moth in this delightful natural valley.
- The Blue Lagoon and Oludeniz Beach are among the most photographed places in the whole of Turkey.
- Quiet Coves and Beaches abound when you head either east or west out of Fethiye.
- Guaranteed climate. Summers are hot with warm nights and rarely a cloud in the sky. Spring and autumn are extremely pleasant and a sun tan takes little effort.
- Warm, crystal blue seas that entice you to dive in. There are rarely waves of any consequence and any wind is warm and gentle.
- Great cuisine. Your boat can stop wherever you wish with obvious places to restock on the fresh fruit and vegetables for which the region is famous. Perhaps you can fish for your dinner as well? Red mullet are common in the waters and extremely tasty from the BBQ.
- Plentiful flights. Dalaman Airport is about 45 minutes away. There are direct flights to many regions of Europe and the Middle East as well as domestic connections with Ankara and Istanbul.
Fethiye as a Base
Fethiye has grown enormously in recent years to become the largest town in this part of the coastline. It has all the facilities that holiday makers would expect, accommodation, bars, restaurants and shops. Those booking a Blue Cruisewill find everything they might need for their trip as well as the souvenirs of Turkey before they finally return home.
The small town of Kas that sits on the coast below the Akdaglar Mountains in South West Turkey has rightly gained a reputation amongst divers as a town to head for. Kas has always had a small harbour but in recent years a new marina area has been constructed to cater for the increased numbers heading for this part of Turkey. They are never disappointed.
Fancy a Dive?
Kas is equidistant between two international airports. Dalaman is to the west with the coastal road hugging the coast from Kalkan onwards. Antalya is east of Kas with the road once again largely tracking the shape of the coastline. The road trip is worth it in itself before tourists reach Kas to start their holiday on the sea.
While diving is not part of a regular charter cruise facility that does not mean that you cannot arrange a day’s diving with one of the local scuba diving companies. Others on the cruise may decide to just lie in a quiet bay and do absolutely nothing. What better way to relax!
Kalkan and Patara West
Cruise Routes from Kas heading west along the coast offer passengers plenty of chance to relax but also to swim and even fish for dinner. There are a series of small bays and coves all the way to the next town, Kalkan which has a small harbour and which is a good place for stocking up on fresh fruit and vegetables.
There is not much in the way of sandy beaches on this stretch but fear not; Patara has a long and beautiful beach and is situated just a short distance further.
Demre and Myra East
Eastwards towards Antalya there is plenty of history and culture to enjoy as well as the obvious attraction of the climate and the sea. The region has been prominent since the time of the Lycians who lived here in the years before Christ. Demre is the modern town on the site of Myra, the original Lycian city which was the home of Saint Nicholas who is widely known these days as ‘Father Christmas.’
It is an obvious port of call on a Blue Cruise Turkey. Despite the mountains immediately behind this is a very fertile area that can provide your captain with all the things he will need to provide you with three meals a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pomegranates are particularly good here but it is an autumn harvest so you may miss out. However there are plenty of other fruit and vegetables and even greenhouses to extend the season for such things. The choice of where you drop anchor is yours with plenty of advice coming from an experienced crew.
It was not until the middle of the last century that a road was constructed to provide access to Kemer on land. All its visitors came by boat and today those that choose the option of the sea are unlikely to forget the wonderful setting and the warm blue sea. Kemer was once just a tiny fishing village; its population now approaches 20,000 and it has developed a tourist infrastructure to cater for everything a holidaymaker might want; accommodation, bars and restaurants as well as shopping. As a starting point for a holiday on the seas there are few better choices.
Launch at Kemer
Kemer is just under an hour from Antalya International Airport with the road rising out of the city and hugging the coastline. Setting sail on Kemer Blue Voyages and heading west it can be tempting to stop every few minutes such are the lovely bays and coves along this stretch of the Turkish Coast. Your captain will have stocked up with fresh produce, herbs and olive oil and after a morning departure the first decision may be a location for lunch. It will be prepared for you as you take in the sun or perhaps go for a swim?
The History and Culture of Olympos
The coastline heads south west from Kemer with Olympos being a significant place to put down anchor.
It is thought that the city of Olympos was founded in the 4th Century BC by the Lycians. The National Park of the same name includes ruins from two other settlements, Phaselis and Idyros and they lie just south of the modern town of Cirali. The Romans, including a young Julius Caesar too the region while in the Middle Ages it was an important port for the Venetians and Genoese who traded along this coastline. It was eventually abandoned but has become a popular tourist attraction in recent times.
That said you are unlikely to find huge crowds in this unspoilt area; anyone wanting to stay in the area has to live in wooden buildings because permanent stone buildings are not allowed.
Kekova and the Sunken City
While your Blue Cruise is not permitted to anchor above the famous sunken city on the island of Kekova that does not mean that you cannot get wonderful views of the buildings which were once above the waves. Kekova is further west near the town of Demre. An earthquake struck in the 2nd Century and although the town was rebuilt by the Byzantines, it was always under threat from Arab incursions and was finally abandoned. The area is a national treasure and well worth exploring during a relaxing cruise down this coastline.
Your captain will know the area well and guide you to the best bays with beaches and warm seas. By now you will have a suntan and a host of great memories. A cruise along this coastline is likely to be on your shortlist when you begin to think about what to do next year.
South West Turkey and the neighbouring Greek Islands have become increasingly popular with tourists since air travel became common place. There are plenty of flights coming from regional airports within Europe and the Middle East direct to Bodrum’s Airport in Milas and not surprisingly the result has been the development of a tourist infrastructure to cater for holidaymakers keen to enjoy the wonderful climate and warm seas.
The cuisine in this fertile part of the Eastern Mediterranean is exquisite. Fresh fruit and vegetables, herbs and olive oil all ensure that those on board a gulet will enjoy excellent meals prepared by an experienced crew. If you want to catch dinner yourself put a line into the sea though there will still be food even if you catch nothing.
The Bodrum Peninsula revolves around the town of the same name and a series of small towns and villages hugging the coastline and its lovely beaches and warm seas. Bodrum has grown tremendously and its harbour is popular with ferries, yachts and gulets. The Castle is the town’s major landmark; a fine example of Crusader architecture in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Greece is just a short distance away and Turkish Gulet Cruises to Kos are one way to experience a little flavour of Greece. Any concerns about the relationship between Turk and Greek at local level are dispelled immediately as there is a strong relationship between Bodrum and Kos. Boats in Greek waters merely raise the Greek flag and those in Turkish waters to Turkish flag. Indeed there is still a small Turkish community living and working on the Island.
Kos was the former home of Hippocrates whose name is still associated with medicine. He lived there in ancient times. Kos has a rich history and there is plenty on the island to remind visitors of its history and culture. Much centres on Kos Town itself but it is certainly worth exploring this long narrow island. It was part of the Byzantine Empire, spent a period of occupation by the Crusaders and four centuries within the Ottoman Empire before coming under Italian control just before the outbreak of the First World War. It did not become part of Greece until 1947.
Those on a Gulet Cruise can explore the coastline with its lovely beaches. Even though Kos is a popular island for holiday makers and it has its own airport, there is plenty of opportunity to relax away from the crowds. That is the beauty of being on a charter gulet; you can decide what you want to do and within reason where you want to go. There is always another time if you miss something. This delightful region will welcome you again in the future.