A private superyacht charter is the perfect way to explore the mystical Turkish coastline, where contemporary elegance is met with quaint fishing villages and lush islands, all overlooking the inexhaustible view of the crystalline waters.
For escapism and relaxation, Turkey’s eclectic mix of ancient ruins and glittering marinas provides a perfect basis for luxury and discovery. This is a country steeped in history, hotly contested, and fought over for thousands of years at the centre of two antithetic continents. Her undeniable natural beauty and stunning landscape give a clue as to why this is such a desirable land. Nowadays, Turkey hides treasures both on land and in her waters that are just waiting to be uncovered by the adventurous traveller.
The southern coast of Turkey is a yachtsman’s dream. The rugged stretch of coastline is sprinkled with individual experiences, from quaint coastal towns to secluded islands and luxurious hideouts. Tying all of this together are the cheerful tones that resonate from the country’s vibrant culture. There is plenty to enrapture all of your senses in an area where the Mediterranean, Black, Marmaran and Aegean seas come together in an alluring centre of culture and natural beauty.
The yachting capital of Turkey, Marmaris is the jewel of the Turkish Riviera and rests on one of the world’s largest natural harbours. Marmaris encapsulates the diverse range of experiences available in Turkey.
With roots as a quiet fishing village, Marmaris has developed a cosmopolitan city centre and a thriving harbourfront where a hive of activity all year round generates an energy that will lift you on arrival. Here, you can savour the tastes and smells of traditional cuisines in the bazaars, browse unique shopping and enjoy evening cabaret in a lively nightlife. It isn’t all buzzing bazaars in Marmaris, as there are plenty of pristine beaches where you can enjoy peaceful days soaking up the sun.
The most enthralling of all these beaches is no doubt Cleopatra Beach, an exquisite stretch of beach and azure blue waters which is believed to have been given to Cleopatra by Mark Anthony as a wedding gift.
There is an enchanting bohemian air that flows through this quintessential yachting harbour. Kalkan is an elegantly rural town laced with delightful pebble beaches and glittering turquoise waters, perfect for an indulgent superyacht escape.
The spectacular fishing port of Kalkan has both Greek and Turkish heritage, and now attracts luxury travellers eager to unwind in its dulcet shores and old-town charm. Away from the fast-paced environment of modern cities, Kalkan offers contemporary standards of luxury in a quiet and authentic town environment, where an array of historical and ancient sites are waiting to be discovered.
Patara Beach is an untainted and secluded treat, with an 18 kilometre stretch of pristine sand and glorious crystalline waters. Patara is sparsely populated, with just one diminutive café and a few residents. More beach delights can be found at Kaputaş Beach, which lies as a surprise wonder at the bottom of a steep set of natural stairs.
Gulf of Gocek
For those with a passion for sailing and who take pleasure from the sheer adventure of the water, Gocek is the ultimate superyacht destination. As well as being the base of four of Turkey’s principal marinas, the Gulf of Gocek is a registered area of special protection for its sublime natural beauty.
There are no towering metropolises hanging overhead to disrupt the peace, here there is only the rustic charm of the traditional fishing villages to fall into. The luscious coastline imposing mountain scenery provides a stunning backdrop when exploring via superyacht. The Gulf’s tranquil waters host a flurry of glorious islands, where explorers will find idyllic settings such as the sandy stretch of Sarigerme or the forest island of Inclice.
The four superyacht marinas in Gocek have helped to make the destination a regional superyacht hub, where world-class infrastructure blends in perfectly with the protected natural environment. A diverse range of nationalities, both visitors and residents, contributes to a vibrant patchwork culture. There are a plethora of adventures and opportunities, from opulent resorts to vacated island retreats, all in this pocket of Turkish southern coast.
Blissful Beaches and Cultural Marvels in the Mediterranean (8 Days Bodrum – Istanbul)
For a superyacht charter that will treat you to utter relaxation in the luxurious confines of secluded bays and picturesque harbours, look no further than this 8-day journey through Turkey. Departing from the enchanting Turkish gem of Bodrum, you will set sail for Istanbul via a delightful collection of quaint towns and fascinating relics.
Day 1: Bodrum – Didim
You will begin your adventure in the bohemian town of Bodrum, dominated by the castle of St. Peter and enthralling remains of the Ottoman Empire. Bodrum flourished as a safe haven for dissident artists and writers, which has contributed to its flourishing culture and intriguing history. The medieval fortress which makes Bodrum such a picturesque location is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and with this inspiring backdrop you will explore the town’s numerous bays and hidden luxuries.
From Bodrum, you will have your first taste of sailing the Aegean as you head towards the small town of Didim, where you will find the perfect balance between historical discoveries and indulgent luxury resorts. This is an ideal stop off for a superyacht charter, with Didim surrounded by fascinating destinations within just a short cruise. To the east is the whitewashed Ottoman city of Mugla and the secluded bay resort of Akbuk, while a trip north is recommended to experience the extraordinary natural beauty of Lake Bafa and the National Park.
Day 2: Didim – Kuşadası
Kuşadası is both one of Turkey’s most stunning cities and thriving holiday resorts, located on the west coast just 90km south of Izmir. Your itinerary will cater to your personal preferences and wishes, whether that be to immerse yourself in the historical sites of Ephesus, Didyma and Miletos, or to simply soak up the peaceful atmosphere and gorgeous Mediterranean climate. Kuşadası is certainly not short of inviting sandy beaches to bask in the sun, and for those who are eager to add some high-octane thrills to their charter, Kuşadası has ideal cruising grounds to delve into your yacht’s arsenal of toys and tenders. All along the beaches you will find activities such as windsurfing, water skiing and beach volley. Blissful days spent sunbathing can be topped off by a stroll through the city against the superb sunsets, on your way to try the flavoursome restaurants along the palm-lined boulevard. Here, you will be treated to a variety of fresh fish seafood and Aegean specialities to spark your senses before heading down to the vibrant Kuşadası nightlife.
Day 3: Kuşadası – Chios – Cesme
On day three it is time to embrace the barefoot beach escape as your superyacht takes you to the captivating Chios Island. To say Chios is well-endowed with beautiful beaches is an understatement. Though this is the fifth largest of the Greek Islands, Chios remains a quaint destination perfect for exploration by superyacht. Across the Island and the Chios Strait, you will uncover glorious beaches and a fascinating history that dates back to the Neolithic Age, with the opportunity to immerse yourself in stories of Saracene pirates and the Greek Revolution. You will leave Chios satisfied having explored the treats of the Aplotaria market and Vounakio square, and arrive at the resort hotspot of Cesme.
This is a chance to engage in one of the most popular stops of the superyacht charter, where you will swim in crystal clear waters and truly embrace the best of the Aegean Sea. Cesme has everything to quench your thirst for adventure. Continue your journey through history by exploring the 14th century Genoese fortress which stands proudly in the centre, or let loose in the lively bars and discos. Cesme is surrounded by many idyllic islands perfect for a day spent exploring via superyacht, finding anchorages from which you can enjoy the luxury amenities available to you.
Day 4: Cesme – Foca
The pleasant port town of Foça is situated on the site of ancient Phokaia (Phocaea) at the northern entrance to the Gulf of Izmir. Less than 70km from the city centre of Izmir, Foça is a delectable seaside town where you will experience complete exclusivity on your superyacht. There are plenty of historical ruins and relics to discover in this 8th century settlement, which was inhabited by many wealthy citizens of Phokaia after the city fell to the Persians in 540 B.C.
Your superyacht provides you with an opulent base from which to explore the six uninhabited islands which make up the Foça Islands. These consist of Orak Island, Incir Island, Kartdere Island, Fener Island, Hayirsiz Island and Metalik Island. After spending the day exploring the awe-inspiring landscapes of the surrounding islands, you will return to the peaceful Foça town and relax in front of the sumptuous sight of the Aegean Sea.
Day 5: Foça- Dikili – Ayvalik
Your next stop along the Turkish coastline is Dikili, a tranquil and picturesque coastal town which is brimming with wonders of the ancient world. Dikili is the port for the ancient mountain citadel of Pergamum, and here you can visit Asklepeion, where psychiatry was first practiced. More than the enriching historical experiences, you can immerse yourself in Dikili’s abundant natural beauty, including thermal springs and enchanting pine forests. Olive groves, vineyards and cotton fields make up the region’s wonderful scenery, which will leave a lasting impression as you sail into the port.
Ayvalik epitomises the idea of a hidden gem. Its treasures are not imposing, but once you step inland from the coast and discover the traditional Greek village with colourful terraced houses, you will feel as though you truly belong in the Aegean. The culture and lifestyle will quickly filter into your spirit, as you dodge horse carts on your way to historic cafes. Taking a gentle stroll through this quaint town will give you a fresh and unique perspective on life before you head for familiar beach comforts.
Day 6: Ayvalik – Eceabat
On the southern shore of the Dardanelles is Eceabat, ancient Maydos. This seafront town is a gateway to uncover the Gallipoli battlefields that will give you an insight into the First World War. The exclusive atmosphere of the Maydos restaurant is the ideal place to soak up the best views across the Gallipoli straight, and the peaceful waters will provide a sublime setting to enjoy a day well spent on board your superyacht with complete and utter privacy.
Day 7: Eceabat – Marmara Island
Marmara Island is the second largest island of Turkey, located in the Sea of Marmara. Guests will be able to make the most of their superyacht’s swim platform as they take to the exquisite sea, enjoying the full superyacht experience and exclusivity. More than half of the surface area of Marmara Island is covered with forestland, perfect for adventurous walks and hikes through a different scenery than you will have seen so far. There are plenty of inviting beaches found along the island, with a selection of fantastic coves and bays where you can set up for the day.
Day 8: Marmara Island – Istanbul
Your final stop brings you to the exhilarating melting pot of Istanbul, a worthy end to what will have been a fascinating and unique experience so far. This is a magical and diverse city which will meet any requirements and has something exciting for every taste. The city itself is truly spectacular, a living historical artefact where East meets West, divided by the Bosphorus strait. Istanbul boasts wonderful art and architecture, owing greatly to Byzantine and Ottoman influences which endowed the city with exquisite mosaics and frescoes. By now you will be well-accustomed to the high level of luxury and service of a superyacht charter, however that should not stop you from delving into Istanbul’s renowned culinary scene where you can try anything from exotic Asian dishes to Italian classics. The mesmerizing Istanbul twilight will leave visitors with long lasting memories, while days can be filled by browsing speciality stores, savouring local flavours and immersing oneself in the generous and unique culture.