If Greece is home to the magic islands of the Mediterranean, then Turkey is the storehouse of it’s romantic past. Apart from the magnificent scenery, one of 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 be something exciting to explore. The legacies of ancient civilisations abound, making irresistible attractions.
Amphitheatres, sunken villages and rock tombs wait to become discovered and marvelled at. Turkey is often the meeting host to the East and West. Since the days when Istanbul was Constantinople, Turkey has been a country astride two cultures, European and Eastern.
Turkey is the home of such unlikely historical and mythological companions as the city of Troy, Noah’s ark and Santa Claus. The nation is a fortuitous blend of cultures, coupled with a wealthy history that comes alive inside the too-numerous-to-count archaeological sites. The jewel of Turkey’s southern coast is Marmaris, a clean, modern town with a festive promenade across the wharf beneath a 16th century citadel. Regardless of rampant development, Marmaris remains a charming town while providing the best facilities accessible to the cruising yachtsman.
A quick sail in any direction from Marmaris as well as the modern marinas and rise hotels give method to a peasant Turkey with impromptu restaurants set against ancient ruins in secluded bays. Here a three-course meal is likely to set you back the buying price of an assorted drink and the warmth, colour and frankness in the local people provide truly memorable evenings.
The nearby fishing village of Datca furnishes the town with all the freshest seafood imaginable, and dining at even the littlest café is a culinary treat. Shops offer good buys on carpets, brass, silver and leather goods. The web page of ancient Knidos – where one of the most beautiful sculptures of antiquity resides, the Venus of Praxiteles – reaches the tip in the Peninsula of Marmaris.
South of Marmaris, the small fishing village of Dalyan is definitely the starting point of river trips to the ancient ruins at Caunus. Along the way, boats pass centuries-old Lycean tombs carved into the rocky cliffs from the river banks. At Caunus ancient remains add a well-preserved 15,000 seat theatre.
South of Dalyan – in the eastern gulf of Fethiye – is the town of Fethiye, built on the 400 BC ruins of Telmessos. It is 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 from your shoreline for the crystal clear bay are ancient foundations; simply 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 featuring its Roman lighthouse overlooking the harbour. This coastal area is recognized for its many beautiful waterfalls cascading in to the sea. The epicentre in the famed Turquoise Coast, it offers the best beaches and swimming anywhere.
Apart from the bareboat option, Turkey offers an array of fully crewed charter yachts with Marmaris the crewed charter capital in the eastern Mediterranean. Europe’s finest vessels up 200ft line the quay making a French Riviera display of teak decks and polished brass. Charter World’s Brook Felsenthal says that the crewed charter options are becoming very popular with Australians, especially the Gulets and Caiques.
These vessels are really roomy with as much as six double staterooms all with ensuites. The wide beams create excellent deck space while below 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 a boat that might have carried sponges or oranges in events of yore.
Travelling overland through Turkey is portion of the adventure and romance of this interesting country. Local buses leave for anywhere almost hourly with places like Gallipoli, Capridoccia, Pamukkale and Ephesus to visit; you can easily spend the best part of the week ashore. Visiting Turkey is definitely an enlightening journey as those who have experienced it is going to testify. It thoroughly deserves its reputation as being one of the finest cruising spots on the planet.