Generally the yachts are based either in Marmaris, Gocek or Bodrum. All are accessible by international travellers via Dalaman International airport – Marmaris being 75 minutes and Gocek being 20 minutes drive away and Bodrum Airport, 30 minutes from Bodrum port.
Bodrum – the ancient Halicarnassus, an extremely popular resort is at the north-western end of the gulf. Bodrum has the bohemian marks of the exiled artists and poets who once lived here. And renowned for its nightlife as well! The castle of St. Peter, built by the knights of St. John, houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, reputedly the best in the entire Mediterranean area. Bodrum was also the site of the tomb of Mausolos, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Unfortunately nothing remains of the tomb today but from the King’s name were derived the word ‘mausoleum’ which is still in use today. Bodrum is a popular resort for windsurfers with the bay of Bitez and its prevailing winds.
The harbour that you anchored in Knidos you will see above, The solitary ruins of city scattered about the slopes. The view is delightful and the ruins, only partly excavated, are an epic overgrown mess of huge rock blocks and pottery sherds. This was one of the Dorian hexapolis, the six cities of the Dorian Confederacy. The city was a rich one as its inhabitants being industrious and the harbour well placed to handle passing trade.
Knidos was renowned for two things: its statue of Aphrodite and the scientist Eudoxos. The statue of Aphrodite has been made by Praxiteles, one of the greatest Greek sculptors. The statue was one of the first naked woman, in the world of only male statues being naked until this time in the 4th century B.C.
The sexy Aphrodite was believed to bring good fortune to seafarers-it certainly brought large number of tourists in this early age to show it. The scientist, Eudoxos of Knidos, was an astronomer and mathematician who lived in the fourth century B.C. and is considered one of the founding fathers of Greek geometry. He spent his time here watching and mapping the night sky in his observatory at Knidos in his declining years.The architect Sostratus, who designed the Pharos lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was also a native of city.
The lovelycontrast with the green valley behind the harbour and bare rocky slopes further back. A few tourists come here for the fine beach and the crystal clear water of this unspoiled coast.
Perfect for who looks for serenity and swimming in crystal clear waters.
A popular stop with a blissful harbour with shops and restaurants. The whole Datça Peninsula is famous for being one of the few places in the whole world for having the optimum humidity.
GULF OF HISARONU
When you enter the Hisaronu Gulf you’ll find many anchorages with beautiful view. Keci Buku, surrounded by pine covered slopes has a small island with remains of a Byzantine church perched on top, one of the most pleasant stop.
Along the peninsula, and heading to the south-east, lies the bay of Serce – a large bay hidden behind steep cliffs. It was here that George Bass discovered a shipwreck, and its artifacts are now on display at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, in Bodrum Castle.
Loryma, with an ancient citadel guarding the entrance to the bay is just along the coast from Serce.
Get lost and explore the lively Marmaris bazaar, getting the feeling of being in Asia Minor. Marmaris in these years has spread out with new hotels and apartments but the old centre still keeps its village atmosphere. Marmaris has a great choice of shops and restaurants many with an international taste. Visit the Ottoman castle of Suleyman the Magnificent, built in 1522 as a base for his assault on Rhodes against the knights of St. John. Anchor on the south side of Marmaris Bay, about 2 miles from the town, enjoying the first of many swims.
Arrive at Ekincik Bay, about 18 miles East of Marmaris. This bay is covered by pine trees and spectacular sheer cliffs.Perfect for windsurfing. The small village of Ekincik is a short walk from the bay.
DALYAN RIVER / CAUNOS
From the bay you can board a local river boat and be taken up the Dalyan river to the ancient city of Caunos, passing the famous turtle breeding beach. Dalyan literally means ‘fish trap’. Mullet and bass swim up the river to spawn and on their return are caught in a trap stretched across the river. In Dalyan village there are several restaurants by the river specializing in mullet and bass dishes. The first known reference to Caunos was as far back as 1000 BC. Caunos is a most attractive site with mainly Roman ruins, though there is clear evidence of the former Greek presence.
This popular village has grown over the past years to a popular centre for yachting. Even though its growth it has managed to keep its distinctive Turkish village atmosphere. Explore this pleasant little village with excellent fish restaurants.
GULF OF FETHIYE
Sail to the peacefull bays of the gulf and spend a few days relaxing and visiting some of the beautiful anchorages. Ruin Bay – where you can swim in the clear waters inside the ancient bath house of Cleopatra. Wall Bay – A cove with several places to anchor around its perimeter. A remarkable square rock sits in the water near the head of the cove. Like Ruin Bay, thick pine forest overhangs the water except on the Northern side which is planted with olives.
Sarsala – A large bay. But this is not the best stop as itself, but in a cove on the South side where the slopes dips dramatically down to the sea. As you enter the cove be ready to be impressed with an old marble column on the point. Deep Bay perfect stop to swim in the clear waters or snorkel around the rocks. Tomb Bay – This bay is a delightful anchorage under the wooded slopes with a small restaurant ashore. Explore the ancient tombs high up in the rocks.
A pleasant bustling town, this is an ideal place to replenish supplies whilst exploring the market and interesting stores. Anchor at one of the surrounding islands before heading East. Above the town of Fethiye (Ancient Telmessus) can be seen several Lycian tombs carved into the rock. 30km from here visit the hidden Valley of Sakli Kent, a beautiful valley with an ancient settlement.
Sail on to this charming small town harbour. Kalkan was devastated by the same earthquake as Fethiye but the government decided not to repair the houses of the old village but to build an entirely new village above it. In the 1980’s rich entrepreneurs bought up most of the old village and many of the houses have been restored. Visit the ancient sites of Patara, Xanthos and Letoon which are only accessible by road.
Xanthos was always preeminent of all the Lycian cities and indeed the term Xanthian was often synonymous with Lycian. It was the capital of Lycia, the richest and most powerful of the cities, and a city with a sad history. It lies right on the main road through the Xanthos valley at the little agricultural village of Kinik.
Kas is one of the most picturesque and quite stylish ports along the coast. On the hills behind the town can be seen Lycian rock tombs, especially at night when they are floodlit. Kas has a wonderful market. After Kas sail through a chain of islands, some Greek and some Turkish, past Olu Burun, the site of the oldest known shipwreck where Prof. George Bass is still recovering artifacts.
Onshore there are Lycian, Roman, Greek and Byzantine ruins. The gulf of Kekova offers a spectacular place to explore the remains of the sunken city and Lycian tombs, and climb the ruins of the Kekova castle for a breathtaking view over the bay. The maze of islands and bays around this area is unforgettable. It is studded with ancient ruins and one can swim in the large cave.
Anchor at the mouth of the Myra river where you will be greeted by a small boat to take you ashore. A driver and guide can take you on an excursion to see the rock tombs and Roman theater at Demre and the church of St. Nicholas, the original Father Christmas. A trip to Myra is well worth the effort.
The theatre here is well preserved and there are a group of easily accessible rock-tombs behind it. As you go into the theatre there is a stall space with an inscription above it reading ‘Place of the vendor Gelasius’, where friend Gelasius would have sold whatever the inhabitants of Myra munched on as they watched the show. Close to the theatre are a group of remarkable house-tombs, the best examples around, and easily accessible up a narrow path.
Finike is located after the Inlet of Kokar and it is a place easily entered and left safely night and day and protected by a breakwater. You can see the ruins of Limyra in Turunçova near by and also the ruins of Arykanda in Arif, situated a little higher. After you leave Fethiye, you go on forward towards the cape Taslik Burnu which is 982 m high. The ruins of Gagai are on a hill 200 m high, above the Harbor of Karaöz covered with pine trees in the inlet of Finike. Since the sea is rough around Cape Taslik in the afternoon.
It is better to pass through here is a place where many ships have sunk in ancient times too. The underwater work here concerning a ship that had sunk in 1300’s BC, continued for one year and was completed in 1994. The works of art which were found have began to be displayed at the Museum of Bodrum. Let us pass through here rather carefully and enter the Harbor of Çavus.
The small old town harbour is overlooked by the medieval castle and surrounded by the castle walls. The old part of Antalya with its Ottoman houses is undergoing a successful program of restoration and the area offers a number of restaurants and cafes. There is also an interesting bazaar situated just above the port. Antalya also boasts an excellent museum of archaeology which should not be missed. Sites near Antalya :- Termessos – A Lycian city fortress in the hills to the N.W of Antalya.
Perge – 18km N.E of Antalya. The birthplace of mathematician ‘Apollonius Perge’ whose work enabled Kepler to work out the laws of planetary motion. Ruins include a main street, Agora, theatre, stadium, city walls and gates. Aspendos – 46km East of Antalya. Remains of a Roman aqueduct and the agora. Also an impressive theatre. Karain Cave – 30km from Antalya is a cave from the Paleolithic age (50,000 BC) and the site of the oldest settlement in Turkey. Waterfalls – The Upper Duden waterfalls (14km to N.E) are unique because you can walk behind the cascade. The Lower Duden waterfalls plunge straight into the sea and offer an excellent view.
While you may sail directly from Bodrum to Knidos and Tekir cape in the course of your Blue Voyage, it is also possible go ahead by following the bay indented coastline of the gulf of Gökova. Vessels setting out from Bodrum to visit Gokova pass Karaada, famous for its hot springs and known in ancient times as Arkanessos, and then Pabuç Cape and arrive at Kargicik Bay. Before reaching here you will see a small island called Kistak that you may sail past on either side though care must be taken of a reef to its north.
Kargicik is a large and fine bay. Yachts can anchor on its southern side. Taking a swim in this crystal-clear waters is a special pleasure. Before Kargicik Bay is Orak Island on which there are two bays, one on the east and one on the north. The best anchorages are along the northwestern side. Leaving here you pass Karaburun and reach Alakisla Bay before which is Yildiz Island. You should sail close by the island and the mainland. You may anchor off the southwestern tip of the bay. After leaving Alakisla Bay you pass Tekerek Limani, llgin Limani, and Kargili after which you arrive at Çökertme Bay, the best anchorage here. This place is covered with pine and olive trees and is sheltered against the winds.
Leaving Çökertme, you arrive at Çamalti Bay, you may visit the ruins of Keramos with the jetty of Ören. Keramos is 48 km from Milas and one can reach it by road as well. The modern town of Keramos is located on the ruins of Keramos. A city of Carian origin, the date of its foundation is unknown though we know of its existence from the 5th Century onward because it was a member of the Delian League. Ruled by the Persians and then Alexander and passed variously through the hands of Rhodes, Rome, and Byzantium. At Keramos today one notices sound city walls’ and their gates remaining from Hellenistic times here and there.
The ancient acropolis was between Mese Kayasi and Çamtepe. Outside the village at a place called Bakicak is a marble platform surrounded by a wall. The three blocks visible are all that remains of the foundations of the temple of Zeus Khrsaoreus. There are also ruins of another temple, called Kursunlu today. This temple, located at the foot of the acropolis hill outside the city walls, is in a very ruined state. There are also remains of many Roman and Byzantine buildings at Keramos whose functions can no longer be discerned, though one of them was probably a basilica. On the southern side of the city is a Byzantine church.
There are the remains of a big structure on the east at a place near the city walls. To the south, outside the city are the remains of a many columned structure called “Akyapi” by the villagers today. Outside the city walls is a necropolis and in the cliffs there are rock tombs. Çamalti Bay, where the modern jetty is, was the harbor of ancient Keramos. Leaving Ören and proceeding about 10 km past Karaburun, one reaches Akbük Harbor. Situated at the foot of thickly wooded mountains, Akbük Harbor is a very good harbor that is sheltered against the western and northwestern winds. There is a cafe and a restaurant here and one may anchor on the jetty before the harbor or else west of it.
From here you may go ahead to Gökova Quay, the extreme end of the gulf of Gökova. Encircled by emerald-green mountains, you never believe the beauty of Gökova. Proceeding from here overland to Marmaris, you have a magnificent view of Gökova. Six hundred meters below Sakar rock on the Gökova highway we find the ancient city of Idyma. Descending by means of a winding road, the city walls of the acropolis are visible here and there on the steep slopes. Below them are the remains of a medieval castle. Among the cliffs on the slope one can see rock tombs that resemble temples from the 4th Century B.C. Gasoline and water are available at Gökova jetty and the Forest Administration also has a number of facilities here.
From Gökova jetty you may proceed to Sedir Island, which can also be reached by car. A road that branches off the Marmaris highway comes down to the jetty at the village of Gelibolu and from there you can get to Sedir Island in a rented boat. Boats are also available for rent in Taçbükü. On a hill east of Kizilkaya at the village of Gelibolu is the ancient city of Kallipolis, from which the present-day name of Gelibolu was derived. The ancient and medieval castles here reflect the lengthy past of this region.
At the southern most end of Karaca Harbor, three or four miles from Sedir Island, you come to Sögüt Harbor before which is an island called Karacaada. This pine covered harbor is a place of marvelous beauty. A stream called Incedere discharges into Sögüt Harbor and in the mouth of the creek is a jetty. To the east is another jetty. This harbor is connected by road to Marmaris. After leaving this lovely bay surrounded by pine, laurel, oleander, and storax trees, we reach Çanak Harbor. This place is enclosed by Andizli Cape and is protected against all winds. After this comes Degirmen Bükü, a much-indented bay inside Kara and Zeytinli Islands.
There are many places where yachts may take shelter here. Almost opposite it is another inlet called Ingiliz Limani (“English Harbor”) – According to local tradition, part of the British fleet concealed itself here during World War 1. On the southern side of Degirmen Bay is another anchorage where one may secure some supplies. Drinking water is also plentiful here. Passing Çamli and Körmen Islands and leaving Degirmen Bükü, we enter Kargili Bay 2.8 miles to the west. After leaving this sheltered inlet, there is a salt lagoon surrounded by pine trees.
There is a light at the mouth of this much-indented inlet, at the far end of which is another wooded lagoon. Between Teke Cape and Taneli Cape are a group of seven islands, hence their Turkish name Yedi Adalar (Seven Islands). While the place is indeed a beautiful one, the numerous reefs here require caution.
Körmen Harbor is about 5 km from Inceburun on which there is a light. There are two artificial harbors here created by breakwaters. Datça is 8 km away. The last calling place in the gulf of Gökova is Mersicik, which is located about 3 km from Mersicik Island. The bay is surrounded by forests.
After leaving here, you go ahead by way of Tekir Bükü, Cape Iskandil, and Deve Boynu to the main harbor at Knidos. Thus have completed our tour of the gulf of Gökova. After reaching Knidos, if you wish to continue the Blue Voyage we will go head for the gulf of Hisarönü to see the shores of the Datça peninsula.