If Greece is home to the magic islands of the Mediterranean, then Turkey is the storehouse of it’s romantic past. Apart from the magnificent scenery, probably 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 host to the East and West. Because 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 since the city of Troy, Noah’s ark and Santa Claus. The nation is really a fortuitous blend of cultures, combined with a rich history which comes alive inside the too-numerous-to-count archaeological sites. The jewel of Turkey’s southern coast is Marmaris, a clean, modern town with a festive promenade along the wharf beneath a 16th century citadel. In spite of rampant development, Marmaris remains a charming town while offering the best facilities accessible to the cruising yachtsman.
A quick sail in every direction from Marmaris as well as the modern marinas and high rise hotels give method to a peasant Turkey with impromptu restaurants set against ancient ruins in secluded bays. Here a three-course meal will probably set you back the cost of a mixed 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 smallest 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 from the Peninsula of Marmaris.
South of Marmaris, the small fishing village of Dalyan is the starting point of river trips towards the ancient ruins at Caunus. In the process, 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 – within the eastern gulf of Fethiye – will be the city of Fethiye, built on the 400 BC ruins of Telmessos. It is really an area of great archaeological fascination: the ruins of 19 ancient cities are littered within the surrounding countryside. Among the nearby spots most interesting to charterers is Ruin Bay. Running from your shoreline to the crystal clear bay are ancient foundations; simply 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 recognized for its many beautiful waterfalls cascading into the sea. The epicentre in 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 from 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 states that the crewed charter alternatives are becoming very popular with Australians, particularly 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 portion of the adventure and romance of the interesting country. Local buses leave for anywhere almost hourly with places including Gallipoli, Capridoccia, Pamukkale and Ephesus to see; you can easily spend the great thing of the week ashore. A trip to Turkey is definitely an enlightening journey as those who have experienced it is going to testify. It thoroughly deserves its reputation to be one of the finest cruising spots on the planet.