Sailing the Turkish coast is one of the most unforgettable experiences. Also named the Turquoise coast, it stretches over almost 1600 km of coastline with the most stunning and varied scenery.
There are several destinations along the coast to reach by either ferry from Greece or by plane to one of the four major international airports along the coast, Izmir, Bodrum, Dalaman and Antalya. Overland transport from the airports to the yachting centers are also very well structured. The development of new Marinas in recent years has given sailors a wide choice for home berthing and winterizing. In the Mediterranean regionTurkey’s marinas have a very good reputation for service, infrastructure and cleanliness.
However, for sailors favouring more laid back places, there is a wide selection of town harbours along the coast, offering the basic facilities and often located in the middle of charming towns, with a wide selection of restaurants, souvenir shopping and cultural or sporting activities.
And not to forget to mention the most attractive side of cruising in Turkey, the beautiful bays and anchorages. There are few countries in the Mediterranean who offer this kind of special cruising.
Turkey’s sailing market has expanded in recent years and with it came a boom of marinas and facilities for yachts in all cities and towns along the south west coast. You can find technical services, boatyards, sail makers, charter companies, good shopping facilities, sailing schools, ships chandlers, basically everything the yachtie’s heart desires.
What makes the south west of Turkey so attractive for yachting, is its stunning landscape, untouched nature and very different landscapes and vegetation from region to region. There are parts of rocky coastline, mountains covered with pine trees reaching to the sea and sandy beaches stretching along beneath the beautiful backdrop of the Taurus mountains. Many of the bays have no road access and have therefore kept their authentic feel for the past 2000 years. The beautiful colour of the crystal clear water on this stretch of coast has resulted in it acquiring the name of The Turquoise Coast.
Whatever kind of yachting holiday you have in mind, the south west coast of Turkey has something to offer everyone. Whether you like to enjoy peace and quiet in one of the bays or have a party night out in one of the bigger towns.
There is also a huge variety of ancient sites along the coast for the ones who have an interest in cultural and historical subjects.
You can follow the Lycian coast in the footsteps of Alexander the Great or visit St. Nicholas’ birth town of Patara or his famous church in Myra / Demre.
Secluded places like the magic Kekova, with its Lycian sarcophagus rising up out the sea and its sunken city to discover. The remains of a Byzantine settlement in Gemiler Reede allows you to anchor right in front the ruins of an ancient baths….
Whichever part of the coast you are sailing, there will be a historical site to discover almost everywhere.
But it is not only the huge choice of interesting anchorages and moorings, which attracts thousands of sailors every year, it is also the well known hospitality of the Turkish people. There is a genuine friendliness and helpfulness wherever you may set foot on the coast. The locals never seem to get tired of tourism and will always welcome you with a smile.
The bay restaurants which are stretching all along the coast, often even in secluded bays, will always lend you a hand while mooring on their jetties and assist with anything possible. You rarely find the opposite, doesn’t matter if you are arriving in a Marina, small town harbor or at one of the wobbly wooden jetties in the bays.
Over the years, with yachting increasing, people started setting up restaurants in the bays to cater for the visiting yachts. The Turkish kitchen offers a healthy selection of fresh vegetables, salads, meats and fish, usually very fresh and a fine example of Mediterranean cuisine. While you are sailing from one beautiful destination to the other, the food will play a main role on your yachting holiday. The perfect combination!
When it comes to the weather condition, Turkey is in the fortunate geographical location to enjoy a long season, starting in mid-March, lasting until November, depending on the area you are choosing to visit. Generally it is a very safe cruising ground with steady winds. You can get strong winds but there are many bays, which offer you a secure anchorage or mooring in any kind of wind condition.
It is a recommended sailing ground for people who have less experience and wish to improve their yachting skills.
The numerous charter companies are located in the more secure and sheltered parts of the Turkish coast and all offer good access from the international airports.
If charter or private boating or mega yacht cruises, there is nothing lacking in this beautiful part of the world.