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Turkey

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Aegean Adventure Cruise
-Turkey-
Detailed 14 Day Itinerary

Begin your Turkish tour by flying into Istanbul, the historic capitol city of the Byzantine and Ottomanempires. Hotel accommodations can be arranged in the center of the city near the famous Grand Bazaar. It is generally worth staying a few days to see the sites. The city’s famous mosques -the Süleymaniye Mosque and the Blue Mosque, with its six minarets, form an unforgettable silhouette. Many spectacular Palaces, built by successive Ottoman Sultans are open to the public. The most notable of these is Topkapi Palace, which was the official home of the ruling Sultan and his large entourage of wives and servants. It is now open to the public and houses priceless collections of porcelain, diamonds and jewelry and religious relics such as a lock of Muhammad’s hair and the hand of John the Baptist!

Other sites include the Hippodrome where chariot races and circuses were held. The Mosaic Museum and the Ibrahim Pasha Palace house Turkish and Islamic art. Ayasofya Basilica, built in 537 AD, was converted to a mosque in 1435 under Ottoman rule, and has been a museum since 1935. The Carpet and Kilim (flat woven carpets) Museum offers information about this fascinating traditional Turkish industry. Turkish carpets are big business and tourists are expected to carry samples of these wonderful woven rugs home with them.

A short flight from Istanbul brings you to the magnificent coastal town of Bodrum where you board the yachts or gulets. Bodrum is definitely worth a few days visit. The town is overlooked by the well-preserved castle of St. Peters built by the Knights of St.John (the famous medieval medical order based first in the Holy Land and later in Rhodes and Malta). Inside the castle is the Bodrum Underwater Archaeological Museum. Here on display are items from ancient and medieval shipwrecks. Most notable is the Ulu Burun wreck excavated by Dr. George Bass of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, which is one of the oldest (Bronze Age) shipwrecks ever uncovered. Another feature of archaeological interest is the remains of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Bodrum also offers excellent, hassle-free shopping in the bazaar, exciting nightlife, including ‘Halikarnas’, one of the biggest discos on earth, a popular beach, scuba diving and other water sports, and a number of great restaurants. For a great variety of traditional Turkish meat and vegetable dishes try the 06 Lokanta restaurant on the main bazaar road.

Day 1

The first night is usually spent at the marina with provisioning followed by a sleep over. There are good restaurants along the road towards Bodrum town center. The next morning sail southwest into the Gulf of Gökova Körfezi and explore the area known as the Yedi Adalari which is a group of seven islands. It can take the better part of the day to get there as it is 40 miles. Explore the islands and creek as there are a number of good anchorages. The wind is usually a westerly blowing into the Gulf.

Day 2

Sail east around the headland to the Amazon Creek which is a highlight. Anchor with a stern line to a tree or swing on anchor in the middle of the Creek. Explore the creek which extends 1 km inland by dinghy and make sure to do an afternoon and dinner ashore at the Amazon Campground. It is a rustic 'off the beaten course' location with a pool and has a great Turkish buffet served on picnic tables. Relax after dinner with a delightful Turkish apple tea or coffee served in the open-air tea lounge surrounded by campfires. There are also great Turkish massages for only E$20! These first days in the Gulf of Gökova Körfezi are excellent and you will see far fewer boats than you will further south.

Day 3

Motorsail all the way out of the Gulf early as the wind can come up hard from the west by noon. Roundthe peninsula at Cape Krio arriving at ancient Knidos where you can drop anchor in the bay or tie up to a wooden quay. After a swim, visit the vast ruins of this ancient Greek seafaring city. Knidos was renowned in antiquity for Aphrodite (4th Century), the first statue of a naked women, which scandalized the Hellenistic world (only male figures had been done up until this time). Excavations are on-going at Knidos, and so far, two amphitheatres, several temples, the agora or marketplace, city walls and gates and the ancient harbor have been uncovered. Watching a golden sunset you can feast on seafood at the charming Aphrodite Restaurant.

Day 4

The next morning after a refreshing swim and snorkel, you lift anchor and set sail on a spirited beam reach to the unspoiled bays near Bozburun (4-6 hours) in time for a late lunch and another swim. This splendid area is thickly forested with pine trees and the sweet smell of frankincense permeates the air. The evening is spent exploring the town of Bozburun which was known for sponge fishing but is now a center for boat building, specifically the Turkish gulets. Evening finds you at one of the open-air waterfront seafood restaurants looking out over the twinkling waters of the bay. An option on day 5 is to sail for the enchanting Greek island of Symi and moor stern-to in the narrow picturesque harbor. Turkish registered yachts must check in with port authorities and pay port fees at Symi. It is on course and is one of the most charming of all Greek harbor towns.

Day 5

From Simi or Bozburun sail around the headland at Karaburun to Buzuk Buku bay. This is a fantastic bay on the Turkish side with an ancient Crusaders Citadel running one kilometer across the top of the hill. It is a great overnight sheltered bay. There is good shopping from the boat sellers who have sea sponges, at half the cost they are elsewhere, among many other traditional items. Optionally, you could sail into the next bay east through the narrow entrance of Serce Liman for lunch and a snorkel. In the entrance of the bay archaeologists uncovered a Byzantine shipwreck (11th century), in 32 meters of water. After lunch you can check into Marmaris (back to civilization!) for some shopping, dining and nightlife. For dinner, we recommend Saray restaurant along the waterfront in Marmaris or one of the many restaurants in Netsel Marina.

Day 6

Sailing with the morning breeze we make for the secluded forested bay of Ekinçik (3-4 hrs). After lunchand a swim we board small, river boats, lined with Turkish carpets, for the fascinating Koycegiz river tour (4-5 hrs. US$15.00 / person). The river boats follow the coast and enter the delta at Turtle Beach (a sea turtle refuge), then follow winding channels lined with reed beds, which are home to grey heron, hawks, king fishers, sand pipers and fresh water turtles. The first stop on the tour is the settlement of Ancient Caunos. This early Carian site offers a Roman amphitheater with seating for 4500, baths, a market place, temples of worship and a Crusader fort. Moving on we pass the numerous Lycian tombs carved out of the cliff face en route for a lunch stop at the modern Turkish river town of Dalyan. After lunch those who wish can get muddy in the mud baths further up the river. These sulfur mud baths are apparently very good for both the skin and soul. After the boat trip we relax, explore, scuba dive or swim at Ekinçik. Crew mates eat dinner under the stars at Remo Restaurant. On the menu are spicy Turkish kabobs and seafood, along with many different vegetable dishes. After dinner learn how Turkish carpets are made, as they sell them at the restaurant, then lounge on the comfy carpets and sip Turkish coffee or apple tea in the open air tea room!

Day 7

Depart Ekinçik after breakfast for the fabulous islands and bays of the gulf of Skopea Liman (4-5hrs) The gulf is known for exhilarating sailing on flat water as the area is protected by islands to the east and mainland to the west. The yachts destination is the most interesting of all the tiny bays and inlets in the gulf, Wreck Bay. We tie up to a winding, contorted wooden dock (it looks straight out of a Salvador Dali painting) set against a rugged mountainous coastline covered in evergreens. This bay offers great swimming and snorkeling on the sunken ruins of an ancient village. Dinner is served at the rustic, Cleopatra Wreck Bay Restaurant, where we sit at long picnic tables under the stars and dine on exquisite fresh tuna or meat, wonderful salads and crisp French fries cooked in olive oil. Toast the day with the local lager Efes!


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