A perfect fusion of ancient and modern Turkey – the Aegean coast has it all!
The main sailing attractions are located in the Gulf of Bodrum, between Bodrum and Marmaris, but you can also reach some Greek islands easily. At a first glance, you will be amazed by the luscious green scenery perfectly combined with clear turquoise water and long white beaches. What could be better than a view of the magnificent green pine woods and brilliant beaches while cruising the sparkling Aegean Sea?
*Bays of Bodrum
But Turkey is not all about the landscape. One of this country's greatest treasures is its rich culture and history. There are numerous ancient remains to explore, silent antique witnesses of past times that are inseparable from today’s culture. Many of them are visible from the sea, so you can admire them while cruising along the coast, or you can decide to make a stop and take a closer look.
Once you get tired of history, you can go to Bodrum and dive into modern culture, and vibrant streets filled with stylish resorts, bars, and restaurants. One of the most popular places for concerts and parties is Bodrum Marina Yacht Club, but there are many other interesting places, such as Club Catamaran (yes, like the name says it’s a floating nightclub), beach bars along the coast, rock city bar, Irish pub, clubs that offer live energetic gigs…
There are many things to do in Bodrum besides relaxing on its beautiful beaches and scuba diving as it is rich in cultural heritage. You can visit the Bodrum Castle, the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology is a popular tourist attraction in Bodrum. It is home to a collection of artefacts that were recovered from shipwrecks in the area, and it is a great place to learn about the history of sailing and trade in the region.
* Bodrum Theater
The Datça Peninsula is a long, narrow strip of land that stretches for about 100 kilometres along the western coast of Turkey. It is known for its beautiful beaches, charming villages, and stunning natural beauty. Some of the most popular beaches in the area include Kumluk Beach, Aktur Beach, and Palamutbuku Beach.
* Datça Seaview
* Kumluk Beach, Datça
Located on the Datça Peninsula, the ancient city of Knidos was an important port in ancient times. Today, the ruins of the city are a popular tourist attraction, and visitors can explore the remains of the city's theatre, agora, and temple.
* Ancient remains of Knidos
Located just a short distance from the ancient city, the Knidos Lighthouse is a popular tourist attraction. It offers great views of the surrounding area and is a great place to watch the sunset.
*Lightouse in Knidos
Modern culture intertwined with tradition, ancient landmarks surrounded by untouched nature, colours, smells, vivid sounds… After a week all of this will blend into a unique experience and you will go home with the desire to experience all of it once again.
If you decide to sail the Aegean area of Turkey, Bodrum will be a logical starting point as it is the largest charter base of this area and most of the fleet is based here. During the summer season, Bodrum is a city that never sleeps so it can offer everything to its visitors – bars, restaurants, markets, shopping centers, beaches, museums… If you rent a boat from Bodrum, it is recommendable to come at least a day earlier so you have time to explore the city.
There are several charter bases near Bodrum – marina Turgutreis (D-Marin), Yalikavak, and Milta.
Milta Marina is located in the town of Bodrum, while other marinas are on the Bodrum peninsula, but around 20 km from the city of Bodrum. The marina is one of the most elite marinas in the Mediterranean, but it is also at the center of various activities, such as historical remains and museums, Bazar, cafes, and restaurants, but there are also a lot of local artists and even an art gallery in marina… It can accommodate more than 400 boats and it provides excellent service and facilities – except for the standard power and water supplies and sanitary facilities, there is a laundry service, fuel station, full-fledged technical service, 7/24 security, and health care …
Marina Turgutreis is an award-winning marina village with more than 500 berthing capacities, located on a beautiful Bodrum peninsula, about 20 km away from Bodrum. Turgutreis Marina is a very modern marina with excellent services and facilities – except for 24/7 water and power supply, there are a fuel station, toilets, showers, laundry facilities, parking, and a heliport. Of course, there is a beach club where you can eat and drink, but the marina is also equipped with wellness and tennis & pool, so there is a lot to do while you wait for your boat to be ready.
Yalıkavak Marina (formerly known as Palmarina) – located on the northwest of Bodrum peninsula, about 20 km from Bodrum, this marina is in fact one of the top 10 marinas in the world. Yalıkavak Marina was the first Turkish marina awarded a 5 Gold Anchor Platinum rating by the British Yacht Harbor Association. It has room to accommodate more than 600 berths and it provides excellent service and facilities located in an idyllic location. Except for the hotel, spa & fitness center, pool, and gourmet restaurants, you can find a large open-air shopping mall there, with luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, Valentino, Bvlgari, Chopard, and many others.
The nearest airport is Bodrum and the transfer time is approximately 1 hour. If you are traveling from Bodrum, there are two kinds of direct bus transport from the Otogar center in Bodrum to Yalikavak's small otogar; a larger "municipality" bus and the small and regular Dolmuses (mini-buses). Either takes approximately thirty minutes.
Wind and sailing conditions
The area of the Aegean coast has almost perfect sailing conditions – the sailing season starts already in April and continues until November. The temperatures reach 22 DEGREES Celsius already in spring and July and August are incredibly hot, around 40 DEGREES Celsius. However, the Aegean coast is still exposed to strong Meltemi, the winds that blow from May to October, reaching their peak in July and August. It is not recommendable to go to the open sea if you are not an experienced sailor, but still, the Gulf of Golkova is relatively sheltered and there are so many secluded bays, so if you don’t sail too far from the coast, Meltemi shouldn’t be a problem.
How to get there
The Aegean region is well connected with the rest of Turkey, but also with the rest of the world. The main airport for this region is the airport Milas-Bodrum in Bodrum and the transfer time is about 1 hour, depending on which marina is your starting point. For example, to reach marina Milta in Bodrum you will need about 40 minutes, as it is the closest one (about 35 km), while you will need about an hour to reach Marina Turgutreis.
From Milas-Bodrum to Orhaniye it takes about 2 and a half hours.
The second airport is the one in Izmir, Izmir Adnan Menderes, but it is around 250 km far from Bodrum.
Another option is to take a ferry from the Greek island of Kos to Bodrum.
The Marmaris area is stretching approximately from around Marmaris towards the east and west, and it's full of peaceful bays and interesting places to visit. Marmaris is also a lively city with some interesting nightlife. Marmaris is a port city regarded in history as well as the literature and myths. Due to its turbulent history, the architecture of the city was influenced by both, Persian and Ottoman cultures. Due to its vivid nightlife, it bears the name of The City that Never Sleeps.
Sailing conditions are smooth and in general much less wind and waves than in the area around Bodrum. This area is kind of 'hidden' and protected from the Meltemi winds which blow from the north, so you can enjoy very peaceful sailing conditions and quiet bays.
Besides best-known places in this sailing region - Marmaris and Orhaniye, you can stop by some of these amazing smaller places while sailing from Marmaris to the West: Kumlubuk bay, Ciftlik bay, and Bozukkale, Bozborun town. Kumlubuk Bay Beach is reachable by taxi or Bay Daily Boat Trips. Just before reaching the beach, you can find the ancient city Amos which will leave you breathless with its view.
* Kumlubuk Bay
Ciftlik Bay is said to be one of the most ravishing bays in Marmaris. Pine trees around the bay will give you the needed shade if you want to spend your whole day bathing in the crystal blue waters of this perfect little paradise. When you get tired of swimming, you might choose to visit Bozukkale – which literally translates to the broken castle. The name refers to the remains of an ancient citadel. Nearby there is a yachting harbor where you can find a number of sail-up restaurants to bring you the flavours of Turkish cuisine.
Bozborun is an idyllic fishing village whose quietness will bring you peace of mind. With a number of charming restaurants, cafes, and shops this is a perfect add-on to your sailing tour, especially for families that sail together. You can feel the rush of participating in the Turkish bazaar on Tuesday mornings and enjoy the local's lifestyle in the small square that has become a traditional spot for people's gatherings. If you are lucky and your timing is right, you might get the chance to attend the annual local festival that celebrates the end of year-long work on traditional wooden Turkish Gulets. When proceeding with your journey, from Marmaris to the East, be sure to stop at Ekincik and Sarsala.
Ekincik is a little bay village that provides the perfect shelter from the winds. Though it is a small village, there are quite a few things worth seeing while you are visiting: Caunos, Lycian tombs, and a turtle beach Iztuzu. Caunos is an ancient town that dates back to five thousand years.
* Ekincik, Fishing village
* Iztuzu, Turtle beach
Sarsala Bay in Dalamar will give you a perfect shelter for standing still with your yacht for a night, or for enjoying a long swim because of its natural beauty. There is a long stretch of pebble beach and a number of coves to explore. Küçük Sarsala Restaurant is a family-run restaurant and the only one in this area, but it has a variety of starters and main courses, so it is bound to fulfil your appetite.
* Dalamar, Sarsala Bay
Küçük Sarsala is a village in the district of Büyükorhan, in the province of Bursa, in Turkey. It is located in the Marmara region of Turkey, which is known for its rich cultural and historical heritage. The village is situated near the Sea of Marmara, and is located about 55 kilometers northwest of Bursa, the largest city in the region. . The village is known for its agricultural production, particularly its production of fruits and vegetables. It is also a popular destination for tourists who want to experience the natural beauty and cultural traditions of the region.
Turuncpinari is a small village located on the southwestern coast of Turkey, in the Mugla province. It is a popular tourist destination, known for its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush green forests. The village is also home to several small hotels and guesthouses, making it a great place for those looking to relax and unwind. Here you can visit the Turuncpinari Mosque: a beautiful historic building located in the centre of the village. The Turuncpinari Market is a great place to shop for souvenirs, try local foods, and interact with friendly locals. You can find a variety of goods, including handcrafted items, locally grown produce, and traditional Turkish sweets.
* Streets of Turunç
From Marmaris, you opt to sail towards the west or towards the east. If you sail west, you will go in direction of Kumblubuk bay, Ciftlik bay, Bozukkale, and Bozborun. If you sail toward the east the route will take you toward Ekincik, Sarsala, Gocek, and Fethiye.
Kızılada is a small island located off the coast of Turkey, in the Aegean Sea. It is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters, making it a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. The island is also home to several small restaurants and cafes, offering delicious local cuisine. If you are a fan of cultural tourism, be sure to visit The Kızılada Lighthouse and Monastery.The Kızılada Lighthouse is a historic and iconic landmark on the island. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding region and is a popular spot for taking photos. This is a popular tourist attraction and a great place to learn about the local culture and history.
Butterfly Walley is a small village located in the Mugla province of Turkey.The surrounding mountains and forests offer great opportunities for paragliding. Join a guided tour or rent equipment and take to the skies for a thrilling and unique experience.The Butterfly Valley earned its name from the large number of butterflies that used to live there, but since the valley was discovered by tourists, butterflies have become increasingly rare. You can still catch sight of them early in the morning, especially if you go down by the butterfly cave by the waterfall, where they seek refuge.
* Butterfly Walley
Ekincik town is located about 30 kilometers south of Marmaris, a popular tourist destination known for its marina and nightlife. Located just a short distance from Ekincik, the ancient city of Kaunos is home to a number of historical sites, including the ruins of an ancient theater, a temple, and a harbour.
*Ancient City of Kaunos
With a population too small to even be called a village, Kabak is not an easy place to find on maps. Its scenery is divided into two dazzling sections: the mountain views with trails ideal for hiking and the Kabak Koyu canyon, which looks a lot like the Butterfly Valley in Faralya.
Gemiler (Gemile) Island is a small island located off the coast of Turkey, in the Aegean Sea. There are many water activities to enjoy here and you can even join a guided tour to explore the underwater world. The Gemiler Island Monastery is a historic building that will take you back in time. The Gemiler Island Lighthouse is an iconic landmark on the island. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding region and is a popular spot for taking photos. Both of the landmarks have a romantic vibe and are perfect for an afternoon walk followed by the sunset on the beach.
* Gemiler (Gemile) Island Monastery
* Gemiler (Gemile) Island airview
While Bodrum and Marmaris are lively cities with modern resorts, you will find something completely opposite in Orhaniye. It is located at the head of the Gulf of Hisaronu, on the Bozburun peninsula and it offers its visitors spectacular views in completely peaceful surroundings. If you start your sailing vacations from Orhaniye, you can sail around Bozburun and Datca peninsulas and as this area is relatively sheltered from Meltemi, the sailing conditions there are excellent. Except for that, you can find so many beautiful isolated coves, where you can enjoy swimming and snorkelling. The Greek islands of Simy, Rhodes, and Tilos are also relatively close.
Marmaris is a port city with rich history, which sites were written down by the great historian Herodotus, who claimed that the Marmaris castle, at the time known as Physcus, originated from 3000 BC. Due to its turbulent history, the city was influenced by both: Persian and Ottoman cultures. Marmaris also has some mystical history since Nimara Cave on Heaven Island used to be a place of worship for Goddess Leto. As if this fact wasn't mesmerizing enough, the very same place has become a shelter for trogloxene butterflies, which is why it was declared a protected area. Marmaris bears the name of the City that Never Sleeps, due to its vivid nightlife. This city is special by the black sand color of its long beaches that spread out to more than 10 kilometers. Marmaris is indeed a heaven for history and mythology buffs, as there is also a legendary Cleopatra island where she allegedly bathed. The diversity of this city is so great that everybody will find something soothing to their taste.
Marinas: Netsel Marina – closest to the center of town, Albatros marina, Joya del Mar Marina, and 3 marinas near Adakoy – Marmaris Yacht marina, Adakoy marina, and Cook's Club marina – all located very close to each other.
There are also three marinas in Orhaniye – marina Alesta, marina Palmiye, and Marti Marina, which is the biggest of these three.
How to get there
Dalaman airport is the easiest point to reach any of the starting marinas in the 'southern' part (Marmaris, Gocek, and Fethiye) of the Turkish sailing area. It's an international airport with two terminals. It is close to Marmaris, Gocek, and Fethiye, with every day flights to Istanbul and during the summer season direct flights to European cities.
Göcek is a small town settled in the Fethiye district. This place hides a mysterious secret – it is said to be the place of Icarus's fatal fall. It is rich in coves and islands, making it a perfect bay for yachting. If you are not a great fan of winter and cold, you should book a holiday in Göcek during the sweater-weather season, since the highest temperature during the winter months reaches up to 14 °C, which makes it a perfect destination for a spring break in the middle of December! You could even call Göcek a Turkish Provence, because of its lavender fields that hold the special species of Lavander called Lavandula Kariensis, which is widely used in the perfume industry. You can have a relaxing or active holiday in Göcek, as it is only a 60-minute drive away from several historical sites: Pınara, Tlos Letoon, Xanthos, Telmessos, and Patara, to name a few.
Marinas: Gocek Marinturk Village Port, D-Marin Gocek marina, Skopea marina Gocek, Gocek Mucev Marina
Although it is not a beach destination itself, this village is located near the Sea of Marmara, which has several beaches that are popular with tourists and locals. The beaches in the Sea of Marmara are known for their shallow waters and fine sand, and are popular for swimming and sunbathing. There are also a number of beach clubs and resorts located along the Sea of Marmara, which offer a variety of amenities such as restaurants, bars, and water sports. If you are interested in visiting the beach while in the Göbün area, you can consider travelling to one of the nearby beaches along the Sea of Marmara. The region around Göbün is known for its thermal baths, which are popular with both locals and tourists. These baths are believed to have health benefits and are a great way to relax and unwind.
The Bursa Citadel is a historic fortress that was built in the 14th century and is located just a short distance from Göbün. It is a popular tourist destination that offers a glimpse into the region's rich history.
Fethiye, a small hidden jewel that you might miss when travelling, is located on Aegean Coast. Its contents follow the must-haves of your travelling destinations. It is also a great option for travelling with kids because it has it all: restaurants, a great choice of activities, and seven beautiful beaches. You can even swim in the middle of the National Park, among the crystalline waters of Katranci. If you want to experience a different kind of sand beneath your feet, you may choose to visit Inlice beach. The contrast between the dark shore and clear waters is something you must see in your lifetime. From this point, you can also visit Rhodes by ferry to experience a little bit of Greece too.
Kalkan, Kaş and Kekova lay a little further from Fethiye. Those are beautiful places but note that fewer charter companies are operating in this area. The old towns of Kalkan and Kaş are worth visiting. Kalkan is a small town located in the province of Antalya, known for its picturesque harbour and charming squares and alleys.
* Kalkan, nightlife
Kaş is best known for its stunning natural beauty, with its turquoise waters and rugged coastline.
*Paradise Beach, Kaş
Kekova is a small island located near Kaş where you can explore ancient ruins. This area offers more chartering options. The island was once home to the ancient city of Simena, which was founded in the 4th century BC. The city was known for its trade and commerce, making it an important regional port. Preserved ruins of Simena that you can see today include an ancient castle, a theatre, and other smaller structures. With a number of small coves and beaches, Kekova is on the list of popular destinations for snorkelling and diving, as the island's clear waters are home to a variety of marine life. One of the most mesmerizing locations in Kekova is the Pirate Cave.
*Kekova, Pirate Cave
Darbogaz is surrounded by forests and mountains, and there are many hiking trails in the area that offer great opportunities to explore the local landscape. The town's main beach, Köyceğiz Plajı, is a long, sandy beach that stretches for several kilometers. It is known for its delicious seafood, and there are a number of restaurants in the town that serve traditional Turkish dishes. The local speciality you should try is imeze, which is a name for a variety of small dishes that are often served as appetizers and include grilled seafood dishes.
* Beach, Darbogaz
The Oludeniz National Park is a protected area that covers approximately 22,000 hectares of land. It is home to a variety of plants and animals, and there are several hiking trails in the park that offer great views of the surrounding landscape. The Lycian Way is a long-distance hiking trail that runs along the coast of southwestern Turkey. It passes through Oludeniz and offers great opportunities to explore the local landscape and see some of the beautiful natural scenery in the area.
* Oludeniz Airview
The sailing area around Gocek and Fethiye has plenty of well-equipped marinas, as well as some small ones. Gocek and Fethiye are situated practically in the same big bay and they are quite close to each other.
How to get there
If you are traveling to Gocek or Fethiye, Turkey from another country, the best way to get there will depend on where you are starting from and what your preferences are. Here are a few options you can consider:
Regardless of how you choose to travel, it is always a good idea to do some research and plan your trip in advance to make sure you have a smooth and enjoyable journey.