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 always be something exciting to explore. The legacies of ancient civilisations abound, making irresistible attractions.
Amphitheatres, sunken villages and rock tombs wait to be 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 because the town of Troy, Noah’s ark and Santa Claus. The country is a fortuitous blend of cultures, combined with a rich history that comes alive in the too-numerous-to-count archaeological sites. The jewel of Turkey’s southern coast is Marmaris, a clean, modern town with a festive promenade over the wharf beneath a 16th century citadel. In spite of rampant development, Marmaris remains a charming town while offering the best facilities accessible to the cruising yachtsman.
A brief sail in every direction from Marmaris and also the modern marinas and rise hotels give approach to a peasant Turkey with impromptu restaurants set against ancient ruins in secluded bays. Here a 3-course meal is probably going to set you back the price of an assorted drink and also the warmth, colour and frankness of 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 smallest café is really a culinary treat. Shops offer good buys on carpets, brass, silver and leather goods. The site of ancient Knidos – where probably the most beautiful sculptures of antiquity resides, the Venus of Praxiteles – is at the tip in the Peninsula of Marmaris.
South of Marmaris, the small fishing village of Dalyan is the starting point of river trips for the ancient ruins at Caunus. In the process, boats pass centuries-old Lycean tombs carved in to the rocky cliffs of the river banks. At Caunus ancient remains add a well-preserved 15,000 seat theatre.
South of Dalyan – inside the eastern gulf of Fethiye – is the town of Fethiye, built on the 400 BC ruins of Telmessos. It is really an section of great archaeological fascination: the ruins of 19 ancient cities are littered within the surrounding countryside. Among the nearby spots most interesting to charterers is Ruin Bay. Running from the shoreline towards the crystal clear bay are ancient foundations; by simply donning a mask and snorkel, visitors can float higher than the long-forgotten village, accessible only by yacht.
East of Fethiye is legendary Antalya with its Roman lighthouse overlooking the harbour. This coastal area is recognized for its many beautiful waterfalls cascading to the sea. The epicentre in the famed Turquoise Coast, it has some of the best beaches and swimming anywhere.
Besides the bareboat option, Turkey offers a range of fully crewed charter yachts with Marmaris the crewed charter capital from the eastern Mediterranean. Europe’s finest vessels up 200ft line the quay developing a French Riviera display of teak decks and polished brass. Charter World’s Brook Felsenthal states that the crewed charter choices are becoming very popular with Australians, particularly the Gulets and Caiques.
These vessels are really roomy with up to 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 the discernable outline of the boat that might have carried sponges or oranges in days of yore.
Travelling overland through Turkey is portion of the adventure and romance with this interesting country. Local buses leave for anywhere almost hourly with places such as Gallipoli, Capridoccia, Pamukkale and Ephesus to go to; you can easily spend the best part of any week ashore. A visit to Turkey is definitely an enlightening journey as anyone who has experienced it is going to testify. It thoroughly deserves its reputation to be among the finest cruising spots on the planet.