When planning a Turkey itinerary that includes Mediterranean sea, there are three things to recommend: Spend some time getting lost; dive into the magical blue, learn the historical facts about this turquoise coast’s gulfs and bays.
1) Kas, Kekova & Kaleköy
Ancient Antiphellos is a charming town with palm-shaded promenades and its picturesque peninsula reaching out to a Greek Island on one side and hosting a new marina on the other. Lycian tombs intermingle with carpet shops, restaurants and lively bars. A Byzantine amphitheatre overlooks the sea and is only five minutes’ walk from the marina, providing a perfect sunset location.
The oldest shipwreck known to mankind lies on the way to Kekova from Kas. Kekova Island with its submerged ruins lies across from Kale Koy, the most picturesque fishing village on the Turkish coast. The view from the top of the hill through the arches of the ancient fortress is spectacular. Nearby attractions include St Nicholas Church and ancient Myra at Demre, and the small village of Ucagiz.
2) Göcek is ideal spot to start a yacht trip.
The Gulf Gocek is ideal sailing area, Gocek is only 20 minutes to Dalaman airoport provides excellent logistics to yachting people.. Starting from Gulf sailing West, Ekincik is an ideal place to leave your yacht while visiting ancient Caunos. One should plan on spending a day there, to admire the scenery and the many ruins and famous Caretta Caretta beach. There are baths, a small theatre, a temple and a market place, all of Roman origin.
Like a calm lake, the Bay of Marmaris offers excellent moorings. Marmaris was an important stage on the Anatolia-Rhodes-Egypt trade route. The citadel built by Suleyman the Magnificent in the 16th century sits on the hill behind the harbour. From a small fishing village it has rapidly grown into a bustling holiday resort. Yacht charters out of Marmaris has many alternative route options.
4) Hisarönü Gulf
The Gulf of Hisarönü is another area of breathtaking natural beauty. You will find medieval fortresses and ruins on the islets with trees going down to the water’s edge. Tiny coves and inlets, where only a few yachts can enter, are ideal for lunchtime stops and swimming. The pretty small towns of Bozburun, Selimiye and Datca, where you can pick up fresh supplies, and find restaurants, bars and craft shops, are well worth a visit.
5) Bodrum and the Gulf of Gökova
Bodrum, built on the sight of ancient Halicarnassos is a busy, sophisticated town with numerous restaurants and bars, as well as shops and bazaars. The harbour is overlooked by the 15th century Crusader castle, built by the Knights of St John of Rhodes. By day and night Bodrum is the liveliest town on the Turkish coast.
The Gulf of Gökova is located between Bodrum and the Datça peninsula, a combination of deep blue seas and peaceful, deserted bays. You can bathe in the hot mineral springs on Kara Island and explore the 4th century BC ruins on the Sehir Islands, where Cleopatra is believed to have lived and created the beach for her lover Anthony by shipping sand from Egypt. Knidos is famous for the 4th century BC statue of the first naked Aphrodite, goddess of love, reputed to bring good luck to sailors. Today only the pedestal ruins are left.