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 often the meeting place of 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 as the town of Troy, Noah’s ark and Santa Claus. The country is actually 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 having a festive promenade across the wharf beneath a 16th century citadel. In spite of rampant development, Marmaris remains a charming town while providing the best facilities accessible to the cruising yachtsman.
A brief sail in every 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 will probably set you back the cost of an assorted drink as well as 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 tiniest café is really a culinary treat. Shops offer good buys on carpets, brass, silver and leather goods. The website of ancient Knidos – where probably the most beautiful sculptures of antiquity resides, the Venus of Praxiteles – are at the tip of the Peninsula of Marmaris.
South of Marmaris, the tiny fishing village of Dalyan is definitely the starting point of river trips to the ancient ruins at Caunus. As you go along, boats pass centuries-old Lycean tombs carved into the rocky cliffs in the river banks. At Caunus ancient remains include a well-preserved 15,000 seat theatre.
South of Dalyan – within the eastern gulf of Fethiye – is definitely the town of Fethiye, built on the 400 BC ruins of Telmessos. It is really an part of great archaeological fascination: the ruins of 19 ancient cities are littered in the surrounding countryside. Among the nearby spots most interesting to charterers is Ruin Bay. Running through the shoreline for the crystal clear bay are ancient foundations; just by donning a mask and snorkel, visitors can float higher than 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 in to the sea. The epicentre of the famed Turquoise Coast, it offers among the best beaches and swimming anywhere.
Apart from the bareboat option, Turkey offers a multitude of fully crewed charter yachts with Marmaris the crewed charter capital of the eastern Mediterranean. Europe’s finest vessels up 200ft line the quay creating a French Riviera display of teak decks and polished brass. Charter World’s Brook Felsenthal says that the crewed charter options are becoming extremely popular with Australians, especially the Gulets and Caiques.
These vessels are incredibly 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 your discernable outline of the boat that might have carried sponges or oranges in events of yore.
Travelling overland through Turkey is part of the adventure and romance with this interesting country. Local buses leave for anywhere almost hourly with places such as Gallipoli, Capridoccia, Pamukkale and Ephesus to visit; you can easily spend the good thing of a week ashore. A trip to Turkey is definitely an enlightening journey as anyone who has experienced it can testify. It thoroughly deserves its reputation as being among the finest cruising spots on the planet.