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Boat on the Aegean | © Stew Dean/Flickr
Boat on the Aegean | © Stew Dean/Flickr
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Why Sailing Around Turkey is Absolutely Heavenly

Picture of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
Updated: 30 June 2017
Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean coasts are world famous for their pristine turquoise waters, remote beaches, and historic ruins. Of course seeing all this from the water is an absolute dream for all nautical enthusiasts. Whether you’re a captain, novice, or just a keen seafarer, here are some reasons why sailing in Turkey is exceptional.

There are so many different and stunningly beautiful routes

From Antalya all the way to Bodrum, Turkey’s cruising coast is full of beautiful bays and coves, remote beaches, and lush pine forests. Depending on how long you want to cruise, make sure to check out the routes between:

Fethiye and Demre: With the vast Taurus mountains as a dramatic backdrop, the route between Fethiye and Demre is full of Lycian ruins, beautiful rocky bays complemented by the turquoise waters, and small towns that make for great stops for some on-land discovery and a nice dinner.

Yacht in Fethiye Bay
Yacht in Fethiye Bay | © Chris Parfitt/Flickr

Datça and Bozburun: Not only will you discover the stunning Selimiye, Orhaniye, Bencik, and Hisarönü bays along the way between Daça and Bozburun, but you’ll also witness two of the coast’s most beautiful peninsulas. The Datça Peninsula can best be described as nature completely unspoiled with evergreen forests, mountains, and pristine waters as well as small villages in the shade of olive groves. The Bozburun Peninsula is situated at the convergence of the Aegean and Mediterranean and is also an unspoiled area where you’ll find plenty of remote beaches or a boutique hotel that blends in perfectly with its natural surroundings.

Turkey Sailing
Turkey Sailing | © Adam Baker/Flickr

Fethiye and Göcek: One of the most popular day cruises are the twelve gorgeous islands set between Fethiye and Göcek where remote beaches and bays await those who arrive by sea. Göcek is also a favorite among nautical enthusiasts because even though it’s a very popular collection of marinas, it has somehow succeeded in maintaining a peaceful vibe.

Bodrum to Gökova or Hisarönü: After leaving the high-energy atmosphere of Bodrum, the Gulf of Gökova is an utterly peaceful antidote. Cruise by the mountains and pine forests and reach the Seven Islands, the most famous of which is Sedir Island, where Cleopatra once bathed herself. On the route from Bodrum to Hisarönü, you’ll discover a more historic route with ancient and medieval forts as well as beautiful fir tree forests and quaint Turkish towns by the water, known for their excellent taverns.

Turkey Sailing
Turkey Sailing | © Joselu Blanco/Flickr

Turkey has excellent Marinas

With all these excellent routes, it’s also no surprise that Turkey’s marinas are pentiful and possess the latest technology and comforts. If you’re in Bodrum or Göcek, D-Marin is the best choice while Fethiye’s best spot is Ece Marina. You’ll find docks that are set in beautiful bays with a berthing capacity above 300, and full services including fuel stations, laundry, technical assistance, and environmental cleaning.

You can sail even if you don’t have a boat

If you’re not a boat owner yourself, Turkey’s beautiful coast is still a very viable vacation option with many boat tour services that cruise along all the best destinations. The famous Gulet Tours offer tours that leave from Bodrum, Marmaris, Fethiye, and Antalya and include the option of booking the whole boat for yourself or a cabin on a boat with other passengers.