Turkey is an incredible country of contrasts, and here you can safely rent a yacht for a week or two or even a month. After all, the incredible waters of several seas at once – the Mediterranean, the Aegean, the Marmara and the Black – allow you to organize completely different holidays. In Turkey, Western and Eastern cultures meet at the same time, where everyone will find something for themselves.
Yachting in Turkey is a trend that is gaining momentum with an incredible scope. Here you can find both quiet bays and stay in a noisy party city. It is not surprising that recently this country has been on a par with the top yacht destinations in Europe, not particularly inferior to Greece in this matter. So why is Turkey so attractive?
First, the yachting season runs from late April to mid-October. The sea here warms up to 25-28 degrees, and the air temperature is 35 degrees. On especially hot days in July-August, the thermometer shows 40 degrees, while a light favorable wind blows throughout the high season, and storms are extremely rare.
Secondly, the coastline of Turkey is a picturesque nature, historical fortresses and castles. There are about 2,000 islands in its water area, and their coastline is incredible caves and stunning beauty of bays. In addition, Turkey is easy to navigate, so it is also suitable for those who want to independently manage their yacht and have minimal experience.
And thirdly, the infrastructure in Turkey is one of the best today. You can moor at the waterfront restaurants, which often have their own pier or pontoon, and some even replenish fresh water and electricity. And what is important, marinas and other services in Turkey are several times cheaper than similar ones in France, Italy or Croatia.
A special feature of sea travel in Turkey is that the route runs along the coast. Therefore, you will most likely have to walk twice along the same places. However, the presence of an incredible number of small towns and picturesque parking lots allows you to plan your trip in such a way as to stop in different places.
The best option for a sea cruise will be the coast of the country from Istanbul to Antalya. It is here that the nightlife is in full swing in Marmaris, from which you can go to the town with history – Fethiye and explore the heritage of Lycia. Or, for example, head for the Teke Peninsula from Antalya and go along the way to the picturesque places of Finike, Demre or Kekove. And if you want to combine a Greek-Turkish journey, then from Bodrum you can go to explore the Greek Dodecanese archipelago. Whichever destination you choose, great weather, light breezes, marinas with excellent infrastructure and mesmerizing nature await you.
The main marinas from which it is always recommended to start exploring yachting Turkey are Bodrum, Marmaris, Gocek and Fethiye. As a rule, the majority of yacht charter offers are concentrated in these regions.
Bodrum is Turkey’s unspoken tourist and yacht capital. It is also called the Turkish Riviera and for a reason: excellent infrastructure, great climate and unique nature. Here you can not only taste local cuisine in the best restaurants, but also enjoy active water sports. From Bodrum, you can make transitions to the Gokova Bay, reaching Marmaris, Knidos or Finike, as well as transitions to the Gulluk, Göcek Bay or the Datca Peninsula.
Once the town of Marmaris was just a fishing village, and now the city and the bay of the same name is a major tourist center. This bay is considered an ideal starting point as it lies between Bodrum and Fethiye. The coastline is made up of pebbly beaches and promenades, and many marinas are located in a more secluded corner a little away from the bustling city center. Although here you can find a lot of entertainment – nightclubs, restaurants and bars.
Gocek is located just 22 kilometers from Dalaman Airport. It has many anchoring spots to offer, as it is located on one of the largest bays of the same name in Turkey. In addition to its impressive size, the bay is an ideal water area for relaxing yachting: many small picturesque islands, which are replaced by caves and an unusual coastline, cozy villages and restaurants in lovely bays.
Interestingly, Gocek is encircled by a thin strip of land, where the trees drop their crowns directly into the turquoise waters, and the foliage reflects and plays with the azure waters, creating landscapes of extraordinary beauty. After a modern marina with a developed infrastructure was built here, the town turned from a fishing village into a yachting center. In addition to recreation, there are as many as five marinas with excellent service, and even a shipyard.
Turkey as a Mediterranean destination was one of the first to open for yacht charter during the COVID-19 pandemic.Also, for a long time, special permits were not required to enter Turkey, but today, when crossing the border of this country, you must have a fresh test for the absence of coronavirus with you.
Coming soon, read more about Turkey’s popular yacht destinations in the new issue of YR.