If Greece is home to the magic islands of the Mediterranean, then Turkey is the storehouse of it’s romantic past. Aside from the magnificent scenery, just about the most striking characteristics of Turkey is the friendliness and honesty of its people. Wherever you sail in Turkish waters, particularly along the southern coast, there will always be something exciting to discover. The legacies of ancient civilisations abound, making irresistible attractions.
Amphitheatres, sunken villages and rock tombs wait to be discovered and marvelled at. Turkey is actually the meeting host to the East and West. Considering that the days when Istanbul was Constantinople, Turkey has been a country astride two cultures, European and Eastern.
Turkey is the house of such unlikely historical and mythological companions because the city of Troy, Noah’s ark and Santa Claus. The country is really a fortuitous blend of cultures, coupled with a rich history which comes alive inside the too-numerous-to-count archaeological sites. The jewel of Turkey’s southern coast is Marmaris, a clean, modern town using a festive promenade across the wharf beneath a 16th century citadel. In spite of rampant development, Marmaris remains a charming town while offering the best facilities available to the cruising yachtsman.
A brief sail in almost any direction from Marmaris and the modern marinas and rise hotels give way to a peasant Turkey with impromptu restaurants set against ancient ruins in secluded bays. Here a 3-course meal is probably going to set you back the buying price of an assorted drink and the warmth, colour and frankness of the local people provide truly memorable evenings.
The nearby fishing village of Datca furnishes the area using the freshest seafood imaginable, and dining at even the littlest café is really a culinary treat. Shops offer good buys on carpets, brass, silver and leather goods. The web page of ancient Knidos – where probably the most beautiful sculptures of antiquity resides, the Venus of Praxiteles – is at the tip in the Peninsula of Marmaris.
South of Marmaris, the small fishing village of Dalyan will be the starting point of river trips for the ancient ruins at Caunus. Along the way, boats pass centuries-old Lycean tombs carved to the rocky cliffs in the river banks. At Caunus ancient remains add a well-preserved 15,000 seat theatre.
South of Dalyan – within the eastern gulf of Fethiye – is the town of Fethiye, built on the 400 BC ruins of Telmessos. It is really an area of great archaeological fascination: the ruins of 19 ancient cities are littered inside the surrounding countryside. One of the nearby spots most interesting to charterers is Ruin Bay. Running from the shoreline towards the crystal clear bay are ancient foundations; by simply donning a mask and snorkel, visitors can float above the long-forgotten village, accessible only by yacht.
East of Fethiye is legendary Antalya using its Roman lighthouse overlooking the harbour. This coastal area is known for its many beautiful waterfalls cascading to the sea. The epicentre from the famed Turquoise Coast, it offers the best beaches and swimming anywhere.
Aside from the bareboat option, Turkey offers an array of fully crewed charter yachts with Marmaris the crewed charter capital from the eastern Mediterranean. Europe’s finest vessels up 200ft line the quay developing a French Riviera display of teak decks and polished brass. Charter World’s Brook Felsenthal states that the crewed charter choices are becoming very popular with Australians, especially the Gulets and Caiques.
These vessels are extremely roomy with as much as six double staterooms all with ensuites. The wide beams create excellent deck space while here are carpeted mahogany interiors, efficient showers and toilets, lockers fimcji of snorkelling masks, windsurfers and backgammon sets. Even so, you can still make out the discernable outline of the boat that might have carried sponges or oranges in times of yore.
Travelling overland through Turkey is area of the adventure and romance of the interesting country. Local buses leave for anywhere almost hourly with places like Gallipoli, Capridoccia, Pamukkale and Ephesus to visit; you can easily spend the great thing of a week ashore. A trip to Turkey is an enlightening journey as whoever has experienced it is going to testify. It thoroughly deserves its reputation as being one of the finest cruising spots on earth.