10 day sample Itinerary
Keci Buku to Fethiye
is an example of a typical itinerary on our Keci Buku
to Fethiye trips. However, no two trips are ever exactly
the same; one of the greatest things about being on
a sailboat is the flexibility to change our minds
and our route to suit personal preferences, prevailing
wind conditions, etc. The start and finish points
are fixed, of course - but all else is changeable
according to the whims of the wind gods and those
on board !
Your yacht will be awaiting you at 11am in Keci Buku -
30mins drive from the main town of Marmaris. A wonderful
contrast to the buzzing metropolis, Keci Buku is described
as a "gem" in the Turkish Waters Pilot - and
it truly is. A wide, sweeping bay surrounded by pine forests,
with a fascinating old fortress perched on the top of
an island guarding the entrance; a view which is well
worth the scramble up!
having gotten everyone settled in, we'll set off for our
first destination of Dirsek - an even quieter, very pretty
little bay, with just one taverna nestled in a corner.
Wonderful swimming, great chillout spot; and a shortish
sail on the first day to get everyone's sealegs working
Enough of the quiet, relaxing evenings to recover from
jetlag - tonight, we are heading for a night of belly-dancing
! We'll be heading for Bozburun; usually very leisurely
sail around the corner. Bozburun is a small, very traditional
Turkish town; full of gulets (wooden motor sailors), but
not many yachts, and certainly not many tourists. A great
discovery of last year (2000) for us was a family-run
pension/restaurant right on the waterfront, just outside
the town; their little wooden jetty seemed purpose-built
to fit our yachts, and the family delightfully warm and
friendly. It is a shady, tranquil little spot to hang
out in - and we even get to borrow their fun kayaks plus
a windsurfer or two to go explore the bay in! Most importantly
of all is the evening's entertainment - for our groups,
they will invite along local friends who play traditional
Turkish music - and even a belly-dancer to teach us all
how it is done !
Sail to Boyuk Buku, usually a gentle, relaxing downwind
leg of around 2-3hrs. Boyuk Buku is scenically a total
contrast to the other places we visit - the softer, pine-forested
hills suddenly change into dramatically towering cliffs,
arid and desolate as any desert. The ancient city of Lorimer
used to be situated here, and the fortress walls which
surrounded the entire bay can still be seen. Great for
hiking, amazing views.
A fairly early am departure, and 4-5 hour sail to Eckincek.
This is a beautiful, pine-clad bay, the scenery is just
stunning. The restaurant overlooking our anchorage has
totally most spectacular views; one of the few somewhat
"upmarket" spots we sometimes visit on our travels.
It is also the place to anchor whilst visiting the famous
Lycian cliff tombs, mud baths, etc of the Dalyan River.
For those who would like to do the Dalyan River trip -
our Turkish guide, Mesut will pick us up after breakfast,
and - we'll motor round to the entrance of the river mouth.
This in itself is something travel photographers would
hock their best lens for; a tiny sandy islet protecting
the mouth of the river, pine trees lining the beaches
surrounding the entrance; the river winding inland around
tall reed banks. As we pass over the sandbar and into
the narrow, reed-clad channels, it feels like the "African
Queen" revisted ! This image is quickly dispelled
as the river opens up further on, and the Lycian cliff
tombs come into view. These amazingly complex carvings
date from around 3rd & 4th centuries BC - this is
now most definitely a journey into the ancient world.
ancient city of Caunos is the centrepiece of the river
trip (though just the scenery and fun in the mudbaths
are a large part of it !). Even people who've claimed
little interest in "piles of old rocks" have
emerged well and truly impressed with the sense of history
that emanates from this place; the extent of the remaining
ruins still creates a strong impression of the city that
was once a lively and bustling seaport.
in the little town of Dalyan, followed by a visit to the
hot springs and mud baths - a chance to be a total kid
and completely cake yourself in mud, just like your Mom
always told you not to! Then hang out in the hot springs
for a while - and if you feel in need of cooling off,
jump into the more refreshing waters of the river running
alongside! The boat will then take us up to the freshwater
lake at the head of the river - another chance to swim.
On the return, we'll also stop at Iztuzu (a protected
turtle reserve); a walk along the sandy beach, lie out
for a while, or swim more in the ocean.
the evening, we can either choose a) stay on the little
jetty in Eckincek; a) anchor out in a little bay opposite;
or an hour's sunset sail to another tiny, tucked away
spot around the corner; a more traditional Turkish taverna
hidden away ona little beach.
Sail to Kapi Creek; a beautifully tranquil little anchorage.
This is where we found Murat and his family - his wife
and sister-in-law weave those amazingly intricate Turkish
carpets right there in their tiny village homes. If you
are interested in buying a Turkish carpet, it's well worth
waiting until you get here. Not only do you get a very
personal, first-hand experience of where and how your
carpet was made; but you also know that your money is
going direct to the family who put so much time and effort
into it - not getting lost in several middlemen's pockets
Sail to Gemiler Adasi - an isolated and wild-looking little
island just outside the bay. Tradition says that it was
a pirate stronghold in centuries past - certainly the
vantage point it offers from up on the high hills, overlooking
ships sailing up or down the coast - would make it a perfect
spot. There are some good-sized remains of a Byzantine
settlement on the island, including still-intact mosaic
floors. Look out for the "pancake lady" - she
makes the most amazing pancakes, fresh off the hotplate
of the little boat she and her husband row out to our
Sail to Gocek . It's a friendly, pretty little town, no-one
hassles you to buy anything as you walk along the street
(unlike the bigger towns!) It is developing a reputation
as the "upmarket" place to be, the locals actively
discourage all the package-tour operators from moving
in. Rumour has it that it is being quietly adopted by
some of the rich n' famous as one of their get-away-from-it-all
hideaways; this past summer, several shopkeepers were
just totally delighted and proud to show us their photos
of some very well-known personalities who had patronised
their establishments recently! The marina also has a wonderful
haman - the traditional Turkish bath, an exfoliating body
scrub, full massage, hot towels and marble slabs, apple
tea - all for a mere $25 or so !!
Sail to Laundry Bay for swim n' lunch stop. Laundry Bay
is supposedly named by some yachties of many years ago
who found a hot spring here and passed the word around
that this was the place to do one's laundry! Well, so
the Pilot book says - we have looked and looked and not
found them. Raki is on us for the first person to find
them ! In the meantime, this bay is a real gem despite
the lack of hot springs - it's a deep, deep hue of green,
both the water and surrounding pine trees, and totally
that afternoon for Ruin Bay - supposedly the site of "Cleopatra's
Baths". Whether this claim-to-fame is true or not
is open to question - but snorkelling around the semi-submerged
remains of this little bathhouse is quite the time-warp
experience anyhow! There is just one tiny taverna in this
bay, owned by Regep - a real character! From the modern-day
feel of Fethiye, this is quite the contrast; Regep still
has to carry all the water his family (and the taverna)
needs by little fishing boat from a natural spring source,
half an hour away. Regep also bakes the most amazing bread
Sail to Fethiye. This is largest town in the bay, and
only an hour from Dalaman airport, which is a big bonus!
It's a lively, fun town, with dozens of traditional wooden
gulets (motor-sailors) lining the waterfront, numerous
bars and tavernas scattered amongst the lanes of the bazaar.
If you have an extra day or two, it's well worth spending
here. Be sure not to miss the Turkish baths if so
an exfoliating body scrub, full massage, hot towels and
marble slabs, apple tea.. a totally Turkish experience
- all for a mere $25 or so !!
time from the boat(s) is 4pm. We can arrange transportation
from Fethiye to either Marmaris (ferry connections to
Greece) or Dalaman airport (domestic connections to Istanbul).
For those wishing to stay longer in Fethiye, there are
several hotels which we can recommend.
connection info: We can help arrange transportation from
Keci Buku to Marmaris that afternoon/evening, or directly
to the airport at Dalaman, for those who need to catch
a flight right away. Alternatively, we can highly recommend
a little family pension in Keci Buku for an extra night
to chill out; or a hotel in Marmaris for those in need
of a more lively evening / a shopping fix! Ferries run
from Marmaris-Rhodes (Greece) twice a day; approx 9am