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, just about 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 be something exciting to learn. The legacies of ancient civilisations abound, making irresistible attractions.
Amphitheatres, sunken villages and rock tombs wait to become discovered and marvelled at. Turkey is often 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 house of such unlikely historical and mythological companions because the town of Troy, Noah’s ark and Santa Claus. The nation is a fortuitous mixture of cultures, along 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 across the wharf beneath a 16th century citadel. Regardless of rampant development, Marmaris remains a charming town while offering the best facilities available to the cruising yachtsman.
A brief sail in every direction from Marmaris and 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 likely to set you back the buying price of an assorted drink and the warmth, colour and frankness from the local people provide truly memorable evenings.
The nearby fishing village of Datca furnishes the city with all the freshest seafood imaginable, and dining at even the littlest café is actually 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 – reaches the tip from the Peninsula of Marmaris.
South of Marmaris, the tiny fishing village of Dalyan will be the starting point of river trips towards the ancient ruins at Caunus. In the process, boats pass centuries-old Lycean tombs carved to the rocky cliffs from the river banks. At Caunus ancient remains include a well-preserved 15,000 seat theatre.
South of Dalyan – inside the eastern gulf of Fethiye – is 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 in the surrounding countryside. One of many nearby spots most interesting to charterers is Ruin Bay. Running from your shoreline for the crystal clear bay are ancient foundations; just by 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 renowned for its many beautiful waterfalls cascading into the sea. The epicentre in the famed Turquoise Coast, it has 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 making a French Riviera display of teak decks and polished brass. Charter World’s Brook Felsenthal says that the crewed charter alternatives are becoming extremely popular with Australians, especially 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 a boat that might have carried sponges or oranges in events of yore.
Travelling overland through Turkey is part 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 visit; you can easily spend the good thing of the week ashore. A visit to Turkey is surely an enlightening journey as those who have experienced it will testify. It thoroughly deserves its reputation as being among the finest cruising spots in the world.