If Greece is home to the magic islands of the Mediterranean, then Turkey is the storehouse of it’s romantic past. In addition to 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 discover. 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 place of the East and West. Considering that the days when Istanbul was Constantinople, Turkey has become a country astride two cultures, European and Eastern.
Turkey is the home of such unlikely historical and mythological companions since the town of Troy, Noah’s ark and Santa Claus. The nation is actually a fortuitous blend of cultures, coupled 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 using a festive promenade over the wharf beneath a 16th century citadel. Regardless of rampant development, Marmaris remains a charming town while providing the best facilities accessible to the cruising yachtsman.
A brief sail in almost any direction from Marmaris and the modern marinas and high rise hotels give approach 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 buying price of an assorted drink and the warmth, colour and frankness of the local people provide truly memorable evenings.
The nearby fishing village of Datca furnishes the area using 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 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 is definitely the starting point of river trips to the ancient ruins at Caunus. Along the way, boats pass centuries-old Lycean tombs carved into 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 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 through the shoreline for the crystal clear bay are ancient foundations; just by 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 renowned for its many beautiful waterfalls cascading in to the sea. The epicentre from the famed Turquoise Coast, it provides among 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 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 alternatives are becoming increasingly popular with Australians, especially the Gulets and Caiques.
These vessels are extremely roomy with as many as 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 out the discernable outline of a boat that might have carried sponges or oranges in days of yore.
Travelling overland through Turkey is portion 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 best part of any week ashore. A trip to Turkey is an enlightening journey as those who have experienced it will testify. It thoroughly deserves its reputation for being one of many finest cruising spots in the world.