The City of Bodrum has been growing quickly. It is the major port in South West Turkey and has been strategically important for many centuries. It is located on Bodrum Peninsula’s southern coast. In Carian times, it was known as Halicarnassus and was home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Mausoleum of Mausolus. That has long gone, replaced by the impressive Bodrum Castle that looks out towards the Aegean. It was built by the Knights of St. John in the 15th Century and within the grounds today there is the Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
Akvaryum Bay with its lovely sea and sea life is a regular stop for Blue Cruise boats in the Bodrum Region. The indentation close to Aquarium Cove is known as Small Aquarium Cove. There is an Inner Island just across the bay where a hut houses ducks and geese. If you visit you and go swimming, you are likely to have these birds as companions.
Knidos is at the extreme South West tip of Turkey on the Datca Peninsula. It is commonly regarded as one of the most impressive ancient city ruins in the whole of what was Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey. There is an ancient harbour with a theatre close by. There are two churches just a short walk away. They were built in the Byzantine period and there are extensive excavations that have been going on since 1960. The Statue of Demeter was one of the best discoveries while the lion statues which stood protecting the harbour are in the British Museum in London. The Temple of Aphrodite is a major attraction for visitors as is the necropolis. While Knidos is remote, it is a place that all yacht charters are easily able to visit.
Palamutbuku is regarded as having the best beaches in the whole of Datca Peninsula in South West Turkey. The beaches are small but very nice, with the mountains behind. Gardens are colorful and the whole setting is calm and tranquil. It is a great place to get away from crowds and relax. Palamutbuku is at the end of the Peninsula, close to the ruins of the historic city of Knidos; it is just 12 kms away. The warm clear waters are full of fish and you can expect to be able to sample the day’s catch for dinner in the restaurants. It is said that you can see a shiny object on the sea bed it is so clear. There is no need to do anything other than relax and the pace of life is slow. The locals are very hospitable and help make your time in the area even more memorable. It has been described as paradise and it is certainly a place where many yachts sailing in the Dodecanese stop for a while.
Datca is a town on the southern shore of the Peninsula of the same name in South West Turkey. It is around 75 kms west of Marmaris and has become a popular spot for yachts heading south down the Aegean and then turning east, or vice versa. There are many small coves on the Peninsula, small farming and fishing communities as well as beaches. It is famous for its tomatoes and olives and despite not having the greenery of some other parts of the Turquoise Coast, it is extremely fertile.
In a country filled with beautiful bays, to win an award as the best in Turkey is some achievement. It is something that has been awarded to Aktur on the Datca Peninsula. This bay with its pine trees on the slopes has become an important tourist attraction. It is situated between Datca and Kurucabuk with Hisonaru also nearby. This is the narrowest part of the Peninsula, separating it from the Gulf of Gokova. It was an important defensive position in 550 BC when the Persian army was attacking. A long tunnel was built at that time creating a small island between the Gulfs.
Dirsekbuku lies between the Gulf in the Aegean and the Gulf of Hisonaru, an excellent stopping point for anyone sailing from Bodrum to Marmaris. There are a number of sheltered bays that are ideal for anchorage. The region is so nice it is often difficult to move on from a lovely place with its small islands.
Bozburun, a small town with a marina, 45 kms to the west of Marmaris, has made a name for itself as a place for building quality wooden craft, yachts and gulets. It is well-known to yachtsmen if less visited by others. That said, the lovely winding road by the sea to reach Bozburun is a very pleasant drive. It is not a place for tourists seeking great nightlife but there are many compensations for visitors staying in its small hotels and pensions. There are restaurants by the sea serving the freshest possible seafood.
Serce has become a regular blue cruise stop. It has a sheltered harbour with the clearest of water. Underwater excavations have found many valuable pieces from ancient times, glassware that is now housed in Bodrum’s Museum of Underwater Archaeology. There are two abandoned villages close by, Kirkkuyular and Sindilli where stone houses are evidence of previous times. In the former, which is thought to be the older of the two, there are 40 cisterns which provided the population with water in those days. Saline water is of little use for both animals and agriculture so houses needed wells for their domestic water and to grow their crops.
Arap Islet is Turkish territory. It is uninhabited, located between the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. There is a rough pathway coming up from the beach and leading to the village of Taşlıca around 3.5 kms away. It has a completely rural feel which you will experience as you walk.
Kadirga Harbour is a pretty bay not far to the west from Marmaris. It is sheltered and has been awarded the blue flag because of its marvelous waters.
Ekincik is a nice bay between Marmaris and Dalyan with its lovely Iztuzu Beach. It is never busy with just the occasional yacht mooring there. The beach is fairly small and gravel/sand while the waters are fairly shallow. There are places to get food and drink during a stopover. One of the most popular activities from Ekincik is to head a little further east to Iztuzu Beach though it is off limits at night as a valuable nesting site for the loggerhead turtle (caretta caretta). Behind the beach is the Dalyan Delta which winds down to the small town of Dalyan with its impressive Lycian Tombs and the ancient ruins of Kaunos. Alternatively, there are some water sports that you can enjoy within the Bay itself or why not trek up the surrounding slopes? There is interesting flora and fauna though you are unlikely to see wild boar by day. There is a road that takes you along the western banks of the Delta if you are feeling energetic.
Gokgemile Bay is just a short distance from Oludeniz and when you are at the very top of the island you will see 360-degree views across the whole area and its coves.
The twin bays of Aga Limani are a tempting place to drop anchor. They are close to the tip of Kurtoglu Bay within the Gulf of Fethiye and as a Network Port, you are able simply to relax, swim, try your luck at fishing or take even a long walk along the beach. The sea is extremely clean it and water is cooler than elsewhere as a result of the underwater source near the beach. If you follow the path to the bay for around an hour you will arrive at the ancient Lycian city of Lyda.
Tersane Island or Shipyard Island, is the biggest in the Gulf of Fethiye. There is a deep, 100 m long channel which provides entry and the ‘’Shipyard’’ name comes as a result of that because it was home to the Ottoman Navy. There are plenty of coves and sheltered bays to the east side, which is known by some as summer harbour. The west side is subject to strong winds so it is largely ignored. There are some ancient ruins of a settlement called Telandria visible from the sea, and worth exploring on land. It was used by the Byzantines centuries ago.
The Yassica Islands in the Gulf of Fethiye are visited on a daily basis by trippers as well as yachts that move up and down this coastline. They are uninhabited with no buildings on any of them but they provide great opportunities to anchor and swim. Many have small beaches as well. The vegetation is pine and olive and the shallow waters are ideal for a number of water sports. Certainly, they are very safe for children and hence popular with families. Some of the islands are very close together and it is easy to swim between some of them. If you want to explore it is advisable to have strong footwear with you because the ground is fairly stony. The nearest port to the Islands is Gocek which is the starting point for day trips into the Yassicas. You will get some great photos while you are among these islands and if you stay as the sun goes down, the sunset shot may be the best of the lot.
Gocek is a starting point for the local 12 Islands Tour and an island of the same name is closest to the harbour, perhaps 10 minutes sailing? Those not wanting to sail can visit its beach where many will stop during their tour of the islands. There are refreshments available on Gocek Island throughout the sailing season. If you wish, you can camp perfectly safely under the trees ans simply spend a relaxing time.
Your blue cruise ends mid-morning after breakfast and you are likely to already have some lovely memories of your time in the stunning waters of the Turquoise Coast. Gocek is fairly small but interesting. The main shopping street runs parallel to the promenade and there are plenty of shops catering for visitors. If you still have time before you are flying home then Gocek deserves some of it, whether you simply want to sit, relax and gaze out to sea or whether you have last-minute shopping.