If Greece is home to the magic islands of the Mediterranean, then Turkey is the storehouse of it’s romantic past. Aside 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 learn. The legacies of ancient civilisations abound, making irresistible attractions.
Amphitheatres, sunken villages and rock tombs wait to get discovered and marvelled at. Turkey is actually the meeting host to the East and West. Considering that the days when Istanbul was Constantinople, Turkey has been a country astride two cultures, European and Eastern.
Turkey is the house of such unlikely historical and mythological companions because the town of Troy, Noah’s ark and Santa Claus. The nation is really a fortuitous combination of cultures, coupled with a wealthy history which comes alive within 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. Despite rampant development, Marmaris remains a charming town while offering the best facilities available to the cruising yachtsman.
A short sail in any direction from Marmaris and the modern marinas and high rise hotels give way to a peasant Turkey with impromptu restaurants set against ancient ruins in secluded bays. Here a 3-course meal will probably set you back the cost of a mixed drink as well as the warmth, colour and frankness from the local people provide truly memorable evenings.
The nearby fishing village of Datca furnishes the area with the freshest seafood imaginable, and dining at even the tiniest café is actually a culinary treat. Shops offer good buys on carpets, brass, silver and leather goods. The site of ancient Knidos – where one of the most beautiful sculptures of antiquity resides, the Venus of Praxiteles – reaches the tip in the Peninsula of Marmaris.
South of Marmaris, the small fishing village of Dalyan will be the starting point of river trips towards the ancient ruins at Caunus. Along the way, boats pass centuries-old Lycean tombs carved to the rocky cliffs of the river banks. At Caunus ancient remains add a well-preserved 15,000 seat theatre.
South of Dalyan – in the eastern gulf of Fethiye – will be the city of Fethiye, built on the 400 BC ruins of Telmessos. It is an area of great archaeological fascination: the ruins of 19 ancient cities are littered inside the surrounding countryside. One of 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 above the long-forgotten village, accessible only by yacht.
East of Fethiye is legendary Antalya featuring its Roman lighthouse overlooking the harbour. This coastal area is recognized for its many beautiful waterfalls cascading in to the sea. The epicentre from the famed Turquoise Coast, it offers among the best beaches and swimming anywhere.
Besides the bareboat option, Turkey offers a multitude of fully crewed charter yachts with Marmaris the crewed charter capital of 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 increasingly popular with Australians, particularly the Gulets and Caiques.
These vessels are incredibly roomy with as much as six double staterooms all with ensuites. The wide beams create excellent deck space while listed here 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 times of yore.
Travelling overland through Turkey is part of the adventure and romance of the 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 great thing of a week ashore. A trip to Turkey is surely an enlightening journey as those who have experienced it is going to testify. It thoroughly deserves its reputation as being among the finest cruising spots in the world.