Turkey , with a label like “cradle of civilisations”, has held a special fascination for travellers throughout history. The turquoise coast, stretching from Kusadasi to Antalya, adorned by nature with numerous bays and inlets, is ideal for yachting vacations. These wonderful bays, where mythological legends had taken place, offer ancient tombs carved high into cliffs, sunken remnants of ancient Greek and Roman civilisations, and deserted coves awaiting your discovery. 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 civilisations.

Did you know that Turkey…

  • Is known as the Cradle of Civilisation – in fact, many civilisations have been here since before 9000 BC.
  • Is central to Europe, to Asia, to Russia, and to the Middle East.
  • Is a long-time member of NATO (since 1952).
  • Borders 3 major seas – the Black Sea, the Aegean, the Mediterranean.
  • Was known as Asia Minor; the Asian side of Turkey is known as Anatolia.
  • Witnessed the first known Human Rights Declaration, in 1463, 485 years before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Is where Alexander the Great cut the intricate Gordian knot – literally a phrase used for shortcut to “solving difficult problems”.
  • Is the birthplace of King Midas, who turned everything into gold.
  • Is where state insurance was first provided for tradesmen who suffered losses before the 13th century.
  • Has 70% of its population under 35.
  • Is the original destination of the most celebrated and romantic train, the Orient Express.
  • Was the center of two of the major empires in history, the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.
  • Provides 70% of the world’s hazelnuts: probably the nut in your chocolate bar was grown in Turkey.
  • Has a 650-year old covered shopping mall of 64 streets, 3,500 shops, 22 entrances, and 25,000 workers, – the famous Grand Bazaar.
  • Is the birthplace and home of St. Nicholas – popularly known as Santa Claus.
  • Is the origin of the names of Paris, Philadelphia and Europe.
  • Was founded as a modern republic in 1923 by one of the greatest leaders in history, Ataturk.
  • Is where Noah’s Ark landed – at Mount Agri (Ararat) Eastern Turkey.
  • Witnessed the first recorded international treaty-in 1284 BC.
  • Is the originator of the fabulous Iznik ceramic tiles, which were created at Lake Iznik, northwestern Turkey, from the 15th century, Many of the designs were inspired by the wall paintings from the Roman period.
  • Was inhabited from the 11th century AD by Turks from Central Asia, whose origins date back to 4000 BC.
  • Is the location for two of the Seven Wonders of the World-the Temple of Artemis and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
  • Has 3,500 periodical publications, 1,056 radio stations, and 280 TV channels.
  • Has historical relics pertaining to three of the world’s major religions- Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
  • Has the most valuable silk carpet in the world, in the Mevlana Museum, Konya with 144 knots per sq. cm. In the 13th century, Marco Polo wrote “The best and handsomest of rugs are woven here, and also silks of crimson and other rich colors”.
  • Is said to have provided the water for the Garden of Eden from its 2 greatrivers – the Euphrates and Tigris.
  • Is the birthplace of St. Paul: for centuries, the sick have drunk from the well of St. Paul in Tarsus.
  • Used its navy to rescue the Jewish people from persecution in Spain in 1492
  • Is uniquely in two continents – Europe and Asia.
  • Gave the English language many words, including turquoise, parchment, yogurt, meander, angora.
  • Is the location of the city of Troy in the west of the country, where the Trojan War was fought for ten years.
  • Had the world’s first female Supreme Court Judge, and gave women the right to vote in 1934.
  • Is the location of the first known beauty contest, judged by Paris, with Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena as leading participants.
  • Became a member of the UN as early as 1945.
  • Has a city, Mardin, which is one of the few places where you can hear the native language of Jesus Christ – Aramaic. The final home of the Virgin Mary, to which she traveled with St. John, is located nearby.
  • Was producing wine as early as 4000BC.
  • Has the first church ever built (St Peter’s) in Antioch, southern Turkey. It is also the site of the oldest temple at Urfa, dated between 8500 and 9000BC.
  • Receives children from around the world each year on 23rd April to “honour and cherish the freedom and independence of all people”.
  • Was where the cherry was first found, by the Romans who planted it throughout the world, at Giresun (also known as Kerasos), in the stunning Black Sea region.
  • First introduced tulips to Holland, and today still supplies tulips to the world
  • Has the earliest landscape painting, dating from 6200BC.
  • Reputedly has one of the world’s 3 greatest cuisines.
  • Has the beautiful Bosphorus waterway dividing Europe and Asia with two great bridges and masses of ferries, permitting access to Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Russia.
  • Has 9,000 species of flowers. It is also 80% mountainous; has an abundance of rivers and lakes; and has clear, turquoise blue waters on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts.
  • Is modern and sophisticated, yet has more ancient sites than any other country.
  • Was the first to produce and use coins 2,700 years ago.
  • Is the location of the Seven Churches of Asia.
  • Is one of the safest countries in the world, according to comparative statistics.
  • Is technologically well advanced with almost 100% of its transmissions digitised.


Turkey , with a label like “cradle of civilisations”, has held a special fascination for travellers throughout history.  The turquoise coast, stretching from Kusadasi to Antalya, adorned by nature with numerous bays and inlets, is ideal for yachting vacations. These wonderful bays, where mythological legends had taken place, offer ancient tombs carved high into cliffs, sunken remnants of ancient Greek and Roman civilisations, and deserted coves awaiting your discovery. 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 civilisations.

Away from the genteel tranquillity of the tiny hamlets dotted along the coastline, Bodrum has captured a microcosm of Western life-and is enjoying every minute of it! Bars and bazaars buzz with activity. For Bodrum has evolved from its early days of boat building and fishing to a vibrant centre in tune with the twentieth century. Overlooked by the magnificent 15th century crusader Castle of St Peter, which now houses a fascinating museum of underwater archaeology, the Bodrum of today thrive son a truly cosmopolitan atmosphere. Regarded by many as the St Tropez of Turkey, it offers a wealth of shopping facilities and kaleidoscopic nightlife. Beautiful yacht marina and harbour side square. In all, a spectacle and an experience not to be missed.

The Gulf  of Gökova
As you head into the Gulf of Gökova, you will discover an almost deserted coastline, which agreeably manifests itself into beautiful anchorages and sleepy fishing villages. Remote and largely unblemished, you will seldom fail to find a deserted bay. The hamlets around the Gulf are virtually isolated, unlike ancient times when this Gulf boasted numerous great cities near the water. Among the specific points of interest within the Gulf are places like Kara Adasi, a large island south east of Bodrum. Here you can anchor and make your way ashore to investigate the hot mineral springs, said to be beneficial for those ailing with rheumatism and arthritis. Along the coast to the east, call into the tiny hamlet of Çökertme. A small cluster of houses, a couple of restaurants and a cottage industry of traditional carpet making provide yet another idyllic setting. As is often the case with these villages, the locals are incredibly friendly and you are likely to be treated as a guest rather than a tourist. Cruise eastwards to Snake and Castle Islands. Here you will find the ruins of an old amphitheatre complete with a friendly guide to show you round. On the far side of Castle Island is the beautiful Cleopatra’s beach. Legend has it that Cleopatra imported the sand from Egypt to make a beach on which she and Anthony could sunbathe. Fascinatingly, no similar sand is found in the area and recent analysis indicates that is does in fact come from Egypt. Towards the head of the Gulf lies  Karacasöğüt, a land locked tree-lined bay, providing a stunning setting for yachts. Should you go west, you will be drawn in to the enchantment of the Yedi Adalar, (Seven Islands), where the numerous anchorages virtually guarantee you your own private bay for the night.

The Hisarönü Gulf
Cruising the Hisarönü Gulf is an experience to behold. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty. Scented pine covered mountains and an inky blue sea invigorate the senses and the glaring white cliffs rising out of the shoreline lend a majestic appearance to the whole area. There are literally hundreds of little inlets and anchorages along the way: some just large enough for one or two boats to snuggle into. Small and large settlements are dotted along the coastline where the locals eke out a living from the gifts of nature. The villages of Palamut, with its fine beach and crystal clear waters, and Datca with its warm and friendly inhabitants are well worth calling in to. Further south you can enjoy some great sailing around the Greek islands of Simi. At the eastern end of the Gulf there is a large bay, (Turkish:’bükü’), which holds all manner of secrets. Keçi Bükü is a favourite retreat with many yacht charterers. For fine examples of local traditions, cruise into Bozburun. The local boat builders are normally hard at work making their traditional craft and it is an opportune moment to restock with fresh supplies. Between Bozburun and Marmaris there are a number of bays and inlets to explore.

Marmaris Fjord offers over 20 square miles of sheltered water and the town itself is a truly international sailing centre. At the quayside and anchored off in the bay you will see large ocean-going yachts from all over the world. A bustling resort, Marmaris is a cheerful blend of ancient and modern. The Ottoman castle built by Sultan Suleyman I in 1522 overlooks panoramic views of the vibrant and colourful activity below of many worlds at leisure. In the town and along the quayside you will find numerous restaurants and cafes where you can sample every taste of Turkish cuisine and watch the East go by.

Ancient Caunos and Dalyan River
A trip up to the Dalyan River to Ancient Caunus is a must if you have not had the opportunity on a previous cruise. Leaving your own yacht at anchor at the tiny village of Ekincik, you travel up the Dalyan River on a local shallow draft boat. The river meanders for several miles through ten-foot high reed beds and you can easily lose your sense of direction as your boat twists and turns between the banks. Suddenly, the river gives way to high cliffs. Set in the steep cliff face are several Lycian rock tombs dating back to the 4th century BC. They are believed to have been carved by stonemasons suspended on ropes from the cliff top. Ashore you can explore the ruins of the ancient city of Caunus. It was once a port, but inexorably the sea receded together with its inhabitants. Today, you can see that remains of the old city walls, the roman baths and a Greco-Roman theatre capable at one time of seating 20,000 people. For the more adventurous, there’s an opportunity to take a dip in the nearby sulphur mud baths, believed to cure a long list of ailments, followed by a refreshing swim off the boat in the fresh water lake before returning back down river to your yacht.

Göcek and Fethiye Bay
Gocek’s pretty waterfront, with its incredible backdrop of high mountains and pine forests, is a popular base of yachts cruising the Gulf. There are a number of good restaurants ashore and the local shops are well stocked to provide you with fresh provisions. Göcek is only 20 km away from Dalaman International Airport. Fethiye Bay is a yachtsman’s paradise with numerous islands and inlets to explore. In the bay itself you can quietly explore places with names like Four Fathom Bay, Tomb Bay, Twenty Two Fathom Cove, Ruin Bay and Wall Bay which make for cruising as fascinating as their names suggest. The whole area is literally littered with ruins, above and below the water. It is perfect place to get your snorkelling gear out and explore the relics of the Byzantine and Lycian era. Cruising in this area would not be complete without mooring off Gemiler Island and absorbing the splendour of Olu Deniz. It is the very picture of a holiday in Turkey. The white sandy beaches, which embrace a deep blue lagoon, continue to attract sun worshippers. Cruising on from Olu Deniz you enter the Eastern Lycian area.

Nettling at the head of a large bay, the village of Kalkan, boasts a well-sheltered harbour with a number of quite sophisticated bars and restaurants along the shore. Climb the steps behind the village and you will find even more restaurants shaded by Eucalyptus trees. Kalkan is the nearest safe harbour from which to visit the fascinating archaeological site of ancient Patara and Xanthos. 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 kilometres of pure white sand stretch as far as the eye can see, making it a natural choice for all types of beach sports.

The area is steeped in history. Further along the coast and sheltered by the Greek island of Kastellorizon, the very pleasant town of Kas lies at the foot of the steep hillsides. It might not appear much from a distance, but boasts several waterside restaurants, an open-air market with all types of fresh vegetables and two bakers’ shops nearby. Behind the town square, shaded by tall pine trees, are a multitude of shops selling carpets and Turkish clothes.  Kaş, once ancient Antiphellus, still exhibits a few remains of the old settlement. An ancient theatre on Kaş’s long peninsula is within walking distance of the town.

For some of the best cruising waters in the whole of Turkey you need look no further than Kekova Roads. You arrive at Kekova not as a tourist but as a traveller, for you will be absorbed into the remains of an ancient Lycian civilization. Much of the city sank beneath the sea in an earthquake and you can still see the stone sarcophagi just above the water and steps leading down to buildings beneath the waterline. Kaleköy Castle (ancient Simena) offers a bird’s-eye view of the bays, inlets, islands and colourful yachts sailing peacefully on the glassy water. The colours 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.

Demre – Finike
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 kilometres 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.