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 get discovered and marvelled at. Turkey is actually 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 as the town of Troy, Noah’s ark and Santa Claus. The nation is actually a fortuitous mixture of cultures, combined with a rich history which 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 offering the best facilities accessible to the cruising yachtsman.
A quick sail in almost any 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 three-course meal will probably set you back the cost 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 using the freshest seafood imaginable, and dining at even the tiniest 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 – are at the tip from the Peninsula of Marmaris.
South of Marmaris, the tiny 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 to the rocky cliffs of 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 section of great archaeological fascination: the ruins of 19 ancient cities are littered inside the surrounding countryside. One of many nearby spots most interesting to charterers is Ruin Bay. Running from your shoreline towards 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 known for its many beautiful waterfalls cascading in to the sea. The epicentre in 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 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 choices are becoming very popular with Australians, particularly the Gulets and Caiques.
These vessels are really 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 the discernable outline of any boat that might have carried sponges or oranges in events of yore.
Travelling overland through Turkey is part of the adventure and romance with this interesting country. Local buses leave for anywhere almost hourly with places including Gallipoli, Capridoccia, Pamukkale and Ephesus to see; you can easily spend the best part of the week ashore. Visiting Turkey is surely an enlightening journey as anyone who has experienced it can testify. It thoroughly deserves its reputation to be among the finest cruising spots in the world.