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 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 really the meeting place of the East and West. Because the days when Istanbul was Constantinople, Turkey is a country astride two cultures, European and Eastern.
Turkey is the home of such unlikely historical and mythological companions as the city of Troy, Noah’s ark and Santa Claus. The nation is really a fortuitous combination of cultures, combined with a wealthy history that comes alive within the too-numerous-to-count archaeological sites. The jewel of Turkey’s southern coast is Marmaris, a clean, modern town having a festive promenade over the wharf beneath a 16th century citadel. Despite rampant development, Marmaris remains a charming town while providing the best facilities accessible to the cruising yachtsman.
A short sail in almost any direction from Marmaris and the modern marinas and rise hotels give method 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 price of an assorted drink and also the warmth, colour and frankness from 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 tiniest café is really a culinary treat. Shops offer good buys on carpets, brass, silver and leather goods. The web page of ancient Knidos – where probably the most beautiful sculptures of antiquity resides, the Venus of Praxiteles – are at the tip in the Peninsula of Marmaris.
South of Marmaris, the little fishing village of Dalyan is definitely the starting point of river trips towards the ancient ruins at Caunus. Along the way, boats pass centuries-old Lycean tombs carved into the rocky cliffs from the river banks. At Caunus ancient remains incorporate a well-preserved 15,000 seat theatre.
South of Dalyan – inside the eastern gulf of Fethiye – is definitely the town of Fethiye, built on the 400 BC ruins of Telmessos. It is an part of great archaeological fascination: the ruins of 19 ancient cities are littered within the surrounding countryside. One of many 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 featuring its Roman lighthouse overlooking the harbour. This coastal area is renowned for its many beautiful waterfalls cascading in to the sea. The epicentre from the famed Turquoise Coast, it provides the best beaches and swimming anywhere.
Apart from the bareboat option, Turkey offers a range of fully crewed charter yachts with Marmaris the crewed charter capital of the eastern Mediterranean. Europe’s finest vessels up 200ft line the quay creating a French Riviera display of teak decks and polished brass. Charter World’s Brook Felsenthal says that the crewed charter alternatives are becoming increasingly popular with Australians, especially the Gulets and Caiques.
These vessels are extremely roomy with up to six double staterooms all with ensuites. The wide beams create excellent deck space while here are carpeted mahogany interiors, efficient showers and toilets, lockers fimcji of snorkelling masks, windsurfers and backgammon sets. Even so, you can still make the discernable outline of any boat that might have carried sponges or oranges in days of yore.
Travelling overland through Turkey is area of the adventure and romance of this interesting country. Local buses leave for anywhere almost hourly with places like Gallipoli, Capridoccia, Pamukkale and Ephesus to see; you can easily spend the best part of a week ashore. Visiting Turkey is an enlightening journey as those who have experienced it will testify. It thoroughly deserves its reputation as being among the finest cruising spots on the planet.