Turkey

A sailing or yachting holiday in Turkey is like taking a journey back in time as you cruise the many bays and gulfs of the much indented Turkish coastline.

Turkey is situated in the south-eastern corner of the Mediterranean and Europe and borders the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Georgia, and the Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria. This fantastic sailing area offers charterers the best of Turkey’s sights, scenery, culture, and history.

Turkey forms a geographical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia where the East meets the West - from small villages and bustling resort areas to great archaeological sites and historical ruins.

The sparkling crystal clear waters offer endless possibilities for the visiting yachtsman. Restaurants offer amazing dishes with delicious mezes, freshly caught seafood, shish kebabs, köfte (spicy meatballs) as well as numerous local specialities. Pick up some local bargains from the bazaars and markets offering a large variety of local crafts from Turkish carpets and leather goods to handmade jewellery and ceramics.

Turkey combines stunning scenery with local tradition and cultures. Modern Marinas, fabulous local cuisine, friendly people and beautiful sailing conditions.

Four regions of coastline split the sailing area up and provide dieffernt options and highlights for your yacht charter.

The Ionian Coast spanning from Izmir, Kusadasi, and Güllük down to Bodrum offers perhaps the best climate, and a rich culture and history.

The Carian Coast from Bodrum to Marmaris is the most popular sailing area and is home to the majority of embarkation ports, bases and marinas.

The west Lycian Coast from Marmaris to Fethiye offers a more rugged and wild mountainous shore with numerous inlets, secluded bays and hidden coves.

The east Lycian Coast from Fethiye, through Kas, Finike and down to Antalya offers rock tombs, ancient ruins and some amazing scenery.

Archaeological sites and ruins, mostly Greek and Roman, remain from a vast and varied history including civilizations such as the Persians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Ottoman Turks, and Ataturk. The ancient ruins of Asia are amongst the most picturesque in the Mediterranean. Wherever you choose to sail in Turkey you will always find exciting places to visit and explore.

Bodrum

Bodrum is the furthest north embarkation port in Turkey and has its own airport just 30 minutes from the port with excellent access from London, Manchester and a large number of European and international countries. It is an ideal starting point for a sailing holiday along Turkey’s Aegean Coast. A yacht charter from Bodrum offers beautiful beaches, ancient historical forts and ruins, picturesque towns and stunning coastal scenery.

The Carian coast has over recent years become one of the most popular yacht charter and gulet charter destinations in Turkey. With superb sailing conditions, an incredibly rich past, secluded bays, sandy beaches, and amazing local historical sites the area has a great deal to offer.

A yacht charter holiday from Bodrum makes the most of the superb sailing conditions Turkey has to offer and is suitable for all levels of sailor. Cruise the coastline at your own pace or anchor off beautiful local beaches, stop at small villages or enjoy an evening out in a lively town.

There are good facilities and excellent local restaurants all along the coast with Bodrum itself offering everything you would expect from a busy tourist centre including exclusive restaurants, good shopping opportunities, markets and local crafts.



Marmaris

Historically an old fishing village, Marmaris has grown into one of the largest resorts on the Aegean coast. The resort area stretches around 10 kilometres of the bay, with beautiful expanses of green, thanks to the pine-covered hills surrounding the town. It has easy flight connections to the nearby airport Dalaman, ferries to Rhodes, and on the road to Datca and Fethiye. With beautiful beaches, ancient cities and seaside villages.

Marmaris has excellent marine facilities and many places to visit – it is a very popular charter start and finish port. There are many beaches around the bay, and there are ancient cities and seaside villages close by. The yacht harbour is the largest in Turkey, and therefore the busiest charter port especially for trips along the Turquoise Coast. The warm climate, which is comfortable even in winter, and the nearby impressive mountains and pine forests mean Marmaris is likely to remain a popular charter destination.

On a charter out of Marmaris you can sail either west or east offering two very different itineraries. Heading west you will encounter more predictable conditions and will enjoy some steady and consistent sailing winds while exploring countless small bays and secluded anchorages. Heading east the conditions are calmer and Fethiye and Göcek offer beautiful bays and some stunning scenery popular with the large traditional wooden charter Gulets.

Göcek

Set at the north-west end of the Gulf of Fethiye, Gocek is blessed with magnificent scenery. Backed by majestic mountains and substantial pine forests it looks out over the Twelve Islands, which provide shelter for Gocek's almost circular bay that has made the village such a perfect, natural harbour. Lured by such perfection, the yachting community has long made Gocek a favourite, and it is also a popular stop for gulet cruises.

Perhaps this explains Gocek's impressive range of facilities for a place that remains so blissfully unspoiled: there are only a handful of small hotels, yet all along the wide, landscaped promenade that fringes the quayside, there are plenty of eateries, from simple cafes to excellent restaurants specializing in delicious fresh fish. In the back streets and around the old village square by the mosque, there is a surprising array of interesting craft shops.

Gocek Bay, or more correctly the Gulf of Fethiye covers some 60-70 square miles, with numerous enchanting anchorages, where you can cast anchor, either for a swim, a lazy lunch, or for the night. Most of the bays have a restaurant, where you can get lunch or dinner, and some of them have basic provisions. With a large natural harbour Gocek has grown up to cater to the needs of yachtsmen. One of the pleasures of a visit here is a stroll around the Marina to admire the array of boats of all shapes and sizes moored here. The waterfront is lined with bars and restaurants. Inland life revolves around the pretty market square which is lined with little shops selling antiques and crafts as well as the more usual carpets.

» Easily accessible (Direct flights from Europe)
» Varied and interesting sailing areas
» Breathtaking Scenery
» Several itinerary options
» Combine with a city stay
» Welcoming firendly people
» Picturesque harbours to historical ports

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Example Itinerary

Please note that more itineraries are available - please let us know your requirements.

Turkey Sailing Itinerary – One week - GOCEK:

Gocek - Sping Bay - Tersane/Kapi Creek - Wall Bay - Tomb Bay - Gemiler Island - Deep Bay - Gocek


Gocek

Set at the north-west end of the Gulf of Fethiye, Gocek is blessed with magnificent scenery. Backed by majestic mountains and substantial pine forests it looks out over the Twelve Islands, which provide shelter for Gocek's almost circular bay that has made the village such a perfect, natural harbour. Lured by such perfection, the yachting community has long made Gocek a favourite, and it is also a popular stop for gulet cruises.

Spring Bay

There are many bays to visit in this enormous gulf. A short sail will bring you to the very peaceful 'Spring Bay'. Enjoy a swim, relax and unwind. Witness the first of many, memorable sunsets before enjoying an evening meal on board 'al fresco'. Should you wish to go ashore there is a charming restaurant, set under the trees at the water's edge.

Tersane / Kapi Creek

Early morning swims are delightful here as the water is perfectly still until about 11.00 am. After breakfast a leisurely sail across to the ancient boat building yard/settlement of Tersane. Drop anchor with stern lines ashore in this small anchorage. There are only a few interesting ancient ruins that remain here, but they are worth investigating. Walk to the top of the hills for panoramic view of the area.

Take advantage of the afternoon breeze for a sail to Kapi creek. Arrive early evening and enjoy some cocktails as the sun goes down behind the hills. At this anchorage there is a small delightful restaurant nestled between pine and olive trees and a few scattered ruins from centuries gone by.

Wall Bay

Breakfast is followed by a short cruise/sail around to Wall Bay. Anchor in this quiet bay with spectacular views. A small restaurant is located at the water’s edge and kept cool by the pine forest covering the surrounding hill side. The water is crystal clear and perfect for swimming, snorkelling and all other water sports. The heat of the sun disappears early here due to the high ground flanking this bay. Cocktails before your meal on board or ashore. Plenty of stars in the sky and if you are lucky, sit back and watch a full moon rising above the hills.

Tomb Bay

Depart late morning for a cruise to Gocek village for shopping and browsing around the local market and shops. Lunch while under way, maybe reel-out some fishing lines to try your luck with the shoals of Bonito and small Tuna in the area.

Pleasant sailing winds in the afternoon will make your journey to Tomb bay most enjoyable. Tomb bay has some very interesting ancient tombs cut out of solid rock in the cliff face and two charming restaurants offering good food.

Gemiler Island

Early start after breakfast heading across the Gulf of Fethiye to the town of Fethiye. Approaching the town quay you will notice the large cluster of rock tombs cut in the mountain side. This area is worth a visit - by foot or taxi. After lunch, take advantage of the breeze and sail to Gemiler Island for the evening. The restaurants are very good here and often will have a Turkish belly dancer to entertain you.

Deep Bay

This interesting Island is said to be where St.Nicholas originated from. Ancient Greek and Roman ruins literally cover the island and there is a guide to show you around. Colourful mosaics still decorate some of the temple floors. A good pair of walking shoes is required to access the beautiful vantage point at the very top of the hill. Take a swim before lunch and then sail across the gulf to Deep Bay. This is a perfect place for a barbecue.

Deep Bay - Gocek

Awake to the sound of bells with the goats grazing in the hills! Sail to one of many bays. Enjoy some water sports or just simply relax before returning to the base.

Highlights

Bodrum

There are several highlights to see in Bodrum including the Castle of St Peter with its many towers and the stunning Museum of Underwater Archaeology.

The most prominent feature of Bodrum must be the Castle of St. Peter. Whether entering the town by land or sea you cannot help but be struck by the Castle's presence. One of the world's best preserved monuments from medieval times, it stands as a solid testament to the Bodrum area as a place worth defending. The Castle's origins go back to the Knights of St. John, a group of expatriates who drew their ranks from Europe. This "Order of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem" began in the Eleventh Century with a church and hospital set up for pilgrims in Jerusalem.

In 1962 the Turkish Government decided to turn the castle into a museum for the many underwater discoveries of ancient shipwrecks in the Aegean Sea. This has become the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, with a vast collection of amphoras, ancient glass, bronze, clay, iron items. It is the biggest of its kind devoted to underwater archaeology. Most of its collection dates from underwater excavations after 1960.

Ekincik and Dalyan

Some distance west of Gocek along Turkey’s famous Turquoise coast is Ekincik, one of the most idyllic anchorages along this stretch of coastline. The village is scattered along and above the beach – a stretch of golden sand that is a haven for egg-laying loggerhead turtles. At Maden Iskelesi, on the far eastern end of the beach near a system of submarine caves, there is good snorkelling and scuba-diving.

Those who fancy stretching their legs on land during their Ekincik yacht charter will enjoy the walk to Candir village along a trail which affords magnificent sea views – be warned though, it takes about three hours.

Ekincik is the best place from which to visit the ancient site of Kaunos, with its spectacular fourth century BC ‘temple’ tombs in the west-bank cliffs of the river Dalyan, which flows down from Koycegiz Lake to the sea. The river itself is a hive of activity and the focus of the resort of Dalyan.

Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in Bodrum – it was built by Artemisia II in honour of her husband King Mausolos. It became one of the wonders of the ancient world, Mausoleum still is the general term for a large tomb. The entire structure stood at over 50 meters in height. The first reliefs from the Mausoleum reached the British Museum in London in 1846, these included frescos and other objects.

Fethiye

Fethiye is the oldest resort and largest town on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast and is well suited for those with an interest in the ancient history of Turkey who wish to explore the spectacularly sited ruins at Oenoanda, Kadyanda and Tlos, all of which occupy dramatic mountain locations nearby. Fethiye itself is a lively market town with a population of 70,000 – the transportation and marketing of oranges and tomatoes is the main business activity.

The town occupies the site of ancient Telmessos and there are impressive rock tombs above the bazaar within a short stroll of the centre. The Amyntas Tomb, an imposing tomb with Ionic columns dating from the 4th century BC, is the most notable. There is also a Hellenistic theatre and fortress known as the Knight’s Castle, the views from which are magnificent.

One of the most enjoyable things to do in Fethiye is to head for the central courtyard of the fish and produce market, select the fish of your choice and take it to be cooked at one of the grills around the perimeter. The market is a terrific place to stock up on provisions too. There are a good few bars in the old bazaar along with a smattering of Turkish music venues, should that be of interest.

Fethiye manages to combine the best of the old with the new and is an attractive town in which to stop over on a Fethiye yacht charter. Those in search of retail therapy will enjoy unearthing the eclectic treasures on offer in the fascinating small shops and stalls of the bazaar. Fethiye is also a good place from which to make an excursion to Saklikent Gorge. High in the mountains above Fethiye, thousands of years of rushing torrents of icy cold water have cut a narrow channel 300 metres (985 feet) deep and 16 kilometres (10 miles) long through the mountains – it’s a breathtaking sight.

Meaning ‘Hidden City’ in Turkish – the walls of the gorge are so high that they block out most of the sunlight – this is a popular picnic spot and there are also a number of rustic restaurants overhanging the river serving locally caught fresh trout and other regional dishes.

Weather Conditions

Climate

General weather for Turkey

In summer, temperatures can reach 32 C (89 F), making the cooling sea breezes most welcome. Winds are generally calm in the mornings, getting stronger in the afternoons, in the range of 10 to 20 knots (11 – 23 Mph).

With blue skies, consistent warm weather and perfect sailing conditions, Turkey is the perfect place for a bareboat sailing holiday. During the cruising season, water temperatures average 22 C (71 F). The climate of this region is a major contributing factor to its popularity. The sailing season stretches from April to October. June, July and August are the warmest months with May and September being somewhat cooler and quieter. April and October still offer warm temperatures and up to 8 hours of sunshine a day meaning very comfortable conditions for some land based exploration as well as some wonderful sailing.

The winds generally prevail from the north, north-west. During early and late season the winds shift slightly to the west with fresher days also more prevalent.

In summer the normal wind is the Meltemi that blows from the NW to WNW. In July and August it can get up to Force 6-7, which is keenly felt around the headlands and channels.


Average Conditions - Central Dalmatia:


  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

High Temperature ( C )

15

15

17

21

26

31

34

34

30

26

20

16

Low Temperature ( C )

8

8

10

13

17

21

24

23

21

17

13

10

Precipitation (mm)

72

69

80

32

11

14

10

7

7

26

79

108

Average Sunshine Hours

5

6

7

9

11

13

14

13

11

8

6

5


Current Forecast:

Bodrum Marine Forecast
Day Temp Wind Wave Vis Weather
Wed
22nd
16°C
NNW

15 kts

0.8 m 8 km
Thu
23rd
18°C
NW

9 kts

0.3 m 5 km
Fri
24th
19°C
NW

9 kts

0.2 m 5 km
Sat
25th
19°C
NNE

2 kts

0.1 m 1 km

General Information

Time difference:
Time difference between the UK and Turkey is + 2 hours

Airport:
Dalaman International Airport
Bodrum Airport
Istanbul Ataturk International Airport (IST)
Antalya International Airport (AYT)
Izmir Adnan Menderes International Airport (ADB)
Esenboga International Airport (ESB)

Transfers:
Dalaman airport to Gocek base: 22 km. The transfer takes approximately half an hour.
Costs: Taxi 1- 3 persons – 45 Euros,
Mini-bus 4-12 persons 60 Euros,
Midibus 13-19 persons – 100 Euros.
Bodrum airport to Gocek base: 180 km. The transfer takes approximately 3 hours.
Dalaman Airport to Marmaris Base. Transfer takes approximately 1hour 15mins.

Luggage:
We would highly recommend packing prescription medicine and essential clothing (swimsuit, t-shirt and shorts) in your hand luggage as occasionally your luggage may arrive at the base after you do.
Please pack using soft-sided bags, as these are easier to store on your yacht.

Passport and Visas:
You will be required to pay £10 in English Sterling on arrival in Turkey. Please ensure you have a £10 note with you.

Please ensure your passport is valid for the period of travel and for six months after you return.  Your passport name must match the name on the flight ticket otherwise you may not be able to travel and insurance may be invalid.

If your child is not already included on a valid British Passport they are required to hold their own passport.

EU Passport holders do not require a visa.
Non-British passport holders should check with their local Consulate direct.


Customs and Immigration:
Before leaving the airport you will have to clear Customs and Immigration.  Customs and Immigration do work on a spot check basis.

Gocek base: Gocek is not an entry harbour. To clear out of Turkey you must to go with the boat to Fethiye (12 NM from our base) and do the formalities yourselves. When you come back to Turkey please clear customs again in Fethiye or in another entry harbour in the area: Datca - Marmaris -Bodrum - Turgutreis.

Turkish charter permits do not allow you to enter Greek waters unless you have followed the legal clearance procedures.

Sailing Licences:
The Turkish Port Authorities require all skippers to be ICC qualified or hold the equivalent RYA qualification.

If you have not already done so then both the Skipper and 1st Mate will be required to fill in a Sailing CV to confirm that you have the necessary skills to sail in this region.

Please bring any RYA certificates or other sailing qualifications with you.

Cruising Permits:
These are charged to bareboat and flotilla clients for sailing in Turkish waters and are approximately €85 per yacht. This cost may change.

As a guide price only to sail in Greece and Turkey the cost is as follows:

In Turkey
Clearing out formality    €75
Clearing in formality      €75
Port tax (per person)    €14

In Greece
Clearing in formality      €115
Clearing out formality    €60

If you wish to sail between Greece and Turkey then please inform the base or the UK office in advance as original boat papers need to be obtained for the Greek Authorities.

Mooring Fees and Taxes:
Mooring fees are charged in marinas and harbours, not in bays, and range from about €8 to €40 per boat. If you stop free of charge at a private jetty, it is expected that you will eat at that restaurant. Shower facilities are available at most restaurants for a small charge.

Charts & Pilot Book:
All the charts and pilot books you will need for the sailing area are on board the yacht. Charts and pilot books can be purchased from the UK chandler Force4 by contacting them direct on 0845 1300 710 or www.force4.co.uk

Fuel:
Cost Guide                       £1.35 per litre

Currency:
The local money is the Turkey New Lira (TRY).

Banks:
The banks are open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 12:00 am and from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. On Saturday from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Due to the constantly changing exchange rate, we would not recommend that clients change currency until they are actually in Turkey.

There are no limits on the amounts you can take in and out of the country, but the exchange rates are often more favourable in Turkey. Please note there are very high charges applied when changing traveller’s cheques in Turkey. It is possible to change money at the airports.

Credit Card Information:
Major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are accepted throughout Turkey for making transactions and payments, but may be subject to a surcharge. Credit cards can be used for cash withdrawals at ATM machines, but expect to incur a charge for this service. However, small retail outlets and private restaurants may not accept credit cards.

In addition, most ATM cards can be used at all Ziraat Bankasi and Common Point ATMs. The shared ATM network for all banks in Turkey is the Tel Nokta ATM network, which is similar to the Link Network in the UK.

Credit cards are not widely accepted in smaller villages and towns. Please be aware that Debit Cards are not accepted at the base for security deposits/deductible or any other transaction. Only credit cards can be used at the base – they accept MasterCard or Visa but do not accept American Express).

Please Note: Bases are unable to accept personal cheques and cannot give cash back on credit or debit (Switch/Delta) cards.  

Language:
The official language is Turkish, but you will also hear people speaking Kurdish, Armenian and Aramaic. In the tourist resorts you can usually get by with English and/or German.

Cost of living in Turkey:
The cost of living in Turkey has risen in recent years and is now comparable to that of the UK. Service charges in Turkey are generally not included, but check when paying your bill.

Tipping:
Tipping is standard and expected in all restaurants / bars and for other services undertaken during your holiday. The rule of thumb is generally 10-15% of the amount charged. Some establishments automatically add this onto the bill.

Shopping:
When shopping in Turkey you may be offered receipts in shops far lower in value than the amount paid. Shops do this so that they can declare less tax. The Customs Officers at your home airports are well aware how much carpets, leather goods, and copperware are worth. If you declare a lower value, you may have the goods seized and a heavy fine imposed.

Shopping in Turkey is great, with open-air markets, covered Turkish bazaars and chic boutiques everywhere.  To name a few worthwhile purchases, brass, copper, ceramics, carpets, jewellery, leather apparel, meerschaum, silk and inlaid wooden items. Turkey produces a lot of wool and cotton, and manufactures a lot of excellent clothing from it.

Electricity:
The standard voltage on all yachts is 12 volts. Electricity in Turkey is 220 Volts, and uses the standard European 2 pin plug. In order to use electronic equipment that is 220v you will need an inverter suitable for use in a cigarette lighter.

Mobile phones:
Mobile phone coverage is excellent on the Bozburun Peninsula but calling the UK from a UK mobile phone is very expensive. Three companies have GSM mobile phone networks in Turkey - Turkcell, Vodaphone and Avea.  All three companies have nearly complete signal coverage of the country. You will need to activate international roaming on your contract.

Internet Connectivity:
Broadband ADSL (DSL) and WIFI is available. Most cafes and restaurants offer free wireless internet and there is also a free Wi-Fi service near the marina.

Car Rental:
For those wanting to explore the interior of Turkey, cars may be hired in some of the larger towns, namely Bodrum, Marmaris and Fethiye. For those wishing to explore famous archaeological sites, cars can also be hired in Kalkan and Datca. Generally speaking, car hire is not cheap, prices being similar to standard European prices.

Watersports:

Fishing: Fishing can be done without a license in non-prohibited and non-military areas as long as you’re amateur using amateur equipment.

Scuba Diving: The Lycian region has some splendid scuba diving due to its warm, calm, tide-free sea and clear waters with great visibility. This makes the area ideal for both beginners and more experienced divers. Ask at the base where the best place is to hire equipment.

Walking: There are some very popular trekking routes in the area with high plateaus, mountain ranges and spectacular views.

Provisioning:
Provisioning is available in this location.

 

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