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 really 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 home of such unlikely historical and mythological companions since the town of Troy, Noah’s ark and Santa Claus. The land is a fortuitous combination 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 along the wharf beneath a 16th century citadel. In spite of rampant development, Marmaris remains a charming town while supplying the best facilities accessible to the cruising yachtsman.
A brief sail in every direction from Marmaris and also 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 three-course meal is likely to set you back the buying price of a mixed drink and the warmth, colour and frankness in the local people provide truly memorable evenings.
The nearby fishing village of Datca furnishes the city using 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 – are at the tip in the Peninsula of Marmaris.
South of Marmaris, the little 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 – in the eastern gulf of Fethiye – is definitely the town 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. 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 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 in to the sea. The epicentre of the famed Turquoise Coast, it has 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 in 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 choices are becoming very popular with Australians, particularly the Gulets and Caiques.
These vessels are incredibly 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 a boat that might have carried sponges or oranges in times of yore.
Travelling overland through Turkey is area 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 go to; you can easily spend the great thing of a week ashore. A visit to Turkey is surely an enlightening journey as whoever has experienced it will testify. It thoroughly deserves its reputation for being one of many finest cruising spots on the planet.