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.
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.
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.
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.
Motorsail all the way out of the Gulf
early as the wind can come up hard from the west by noon.
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
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.
From Simi or Bozburun sail around the
headland at Karaburun to Buzuk Buku bay. This is a fantastic
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.
Sailing with the morning breeze we make
for the secluded forested bay of Ekinçik (3-4 hrs).
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
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!
Depart Ekinçik after breakfast
for the fabulous islands and bays of the gulf of Skopea Liman
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