Mid July through to mid September are the busiest and most expensive months to cruise the Turkish coast. Temperature can exceed 40 deg C. May and late September are a little cooler and cheaper. April and October see some rain but it is still pleasantly warm. From May to October this area experiences the Meltemi wind.
It blows from the N and NW and can make sailing in that direction hard work. Bodrum, Marmaris and Fethiye are the chief yacht charter ports. The following destinations are ordered from north to south.
Iskele is a lovely little village on the northern Aegean coast opposite the Greek island of Lesvos. A lot of the village's old stone houses now serve as inns, pensions and restaurants. A short distance away is Behramkale, although most people still call the town by its ancient name of Assos. It was founded around 700 BC by colonists from the island of Lesvos. On a hill nearby are the ruins of the Doric-style Temple of Athena (530 BC) surrounded by crumbling city walls and an ancient cemetery.
Close to is the 14th-century Ottoman Murad Hüdavendigar Mosque. The hill offers spectacular views of the island of Lesvos and the Aegean Sea. Ayvalik is a coastal resort in the northern Aegean. It is surrounded by olive groves that produce much of Turkey's best olive oil.
Ayvalik has an interesting history, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman Greeks of Ayvalik moved to Greece, and Turkish citizens of Greece moved to Ayvalik. The town has many old Ottoman Greek houses and orthodox churches that have now been converted into mosques. The harbour has many good restaurants. Ferries run daily in summer between Ayvalik and the Greek island of Lesvos (Mytileni), but the fare is extraordinarily high for the 2 hour trip. Alibey Island lies just off the coast opposite Ayvalik. It has good waterside restaurants and tavernas.
Izmir, formerly Smyrna, is a major port and commercial centre sitting on a large bay. The city was rebuilt after a fire, during the 1922 War of Independence, destroyed most of old Smyrna. Consequently the city is modern with little in the way of archaeological interest. There are perhaps other more rewarding places too visit if your time in Turkey is limited to a 2 week yacht charter. Kusadasi is a major Aegean resort town and cruise ship port. It also has a full service yacht marina.
From here it is possible to visit Ephesus, just 11 miles away, one of the best preserved Roman cities in the Mediterranean region. Other ancient cities such as Aphrodisias, Euromos and the Temple of Zeus, Priene, Miletus and Didyma can also be seen. Kusadasi is popular with holidaymakers from Western Europe; so expect to find the "Red Lion" serving the "all day English breakfast" and several outlets for Guinness.
Gumusluk has an attractive small harbour with good shelter There are several good restaurants around the harbour. Turgutreis sits on the end of Bodrum peninsula and yachts can find berths in the full service marina, a short distance from the town. There are good beaches at Aspat, Akyarlar and Huseyin Feneri Amazon Creek is a narrow bay lined with pine trees. Nearby is a campsite with swimming pool and small provisioning store. Bodrum is one of the main centres for yacht charter on the Aegean coast of Turkey. Here are the ruins of the original Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
And one of the world's foremost museums of Underwater Archaeology is located in the Castle of St Peter, a Crusader fortress. The beaches in town of Bodrum are small and get crowded, neither is the water particularly clean. There are better beaches along the Bodrum peninsula. Bodrum is known for its nightlife with many loud discos and clubs going through until the early hours.
You can take a ferry from here and visit the Greek islands of Kos and Rhodes. Datca harbour is divided into two halves by a thin causeway joining a small island to the mainland. In the summer months the harbour gets very crowded and a berth may be difficult to find.
The town is good for provisioning and has plenty of restaurants to choose from. Nearby are hot, highly pungent sulphur springs. Orhaniye lies at the eastern end of the Gulf of Hisaronu. A modern marina is situated about 1.
5 miles from the comparatively unspoilt village of Orhaniye. Ekincik can be identified by the light tower on its western headland. For a day trip, take on of the local boats for a guided tour of the Dalyan River. Watch for loggerhead turtles that can be seen on the long sandy beach at the mouth of the river. The beach is one of only two Mediterranean breeding grounds for this species.
The first stop is usually the caves just outside Ekincik. Once you enter the river mouth travel upstream amongst reeds and marshes before reaching the impressive ruins of ancient Caunos. These include Roman Baths, amphitheatre, library, temple and a medieval fort. Carrying on up river to Dalyan village you'll pass the Lycian rock tombs set high up in the cliff face and eventually reach the lake of Koycegiz Golu.
Marmaris is arguably the premier location for yachting on the Aegean Coast. It has a full service marina or yachts can try for a berth in the busy harbour. Take a stroll in the honeycombed streets of the old quarter.
Ferries cruise to and from the Greek island of Rhodes several times a day during the summer months. It is in the natural harbour of Marmaris that Nelson prepared his fleet in 1798 prior to the Battle of Abukir that saw the English triumph over the French. There is a museum in its small castle.
Make a stop at Kumlu Buku and explore the ancient ruins of Amos in the hills to the north. The stiff climb will be rewarded with a fine view. Ciftlik sits in a pleasant bay and is a good spot for basic provisioning. Gocek lies in a wooded bay at the northern end of Skopea Liman. It is protected from all but the strongest south and south westerly winds. Skopea Marina is located in Gocek town and a second facility; Club Marina lies just across the water.
There is a regular ferry service running between the Club Marina and Skopea Marina. Club Marina is set amongst landscaped gardens and pine trees; facilities include bars, restaurants and games areas for children. Gocek provides good shopping and many of the shops in the town will deliver to the boat. Restaurants offer a good choice of local cuisine Fethiye lies on a broad Mediterranean bay with some of Turkey's best beaches close at hand. The Çalis and Ölüdeniz beaches are within a few miles.
The bay itself is excellent for sailing. On the approach to Fethiye, pass through the navigable channel to the west of Fethiye Adasi. From here it is possible to see the prominent rock tombs visible in the cliffs above the town. A good day trip inland is a visit to Saklikent Gorge, set high in the mountains above Fethiye. Over thousands of years rushing torrents of water have cut a constricted channel through the mountains.
This gorge is 300 metres deep and 10 miles long. Because the walls of Saklikent Gorge are so high they cut out most of the sunlight and it a lovely refuge on hot summer days. Take a picnic or visit one of the rustic restaurants that overhang the river and try delicious fresh trout. In the summer months there is a ferry service from Fethiye to the Greek island of Rhodes.
Gemile Island, in Fethiye Bay, has many Byzantine ruins. Sail southwards and pass the Seven Capes. Gusts from the top of these capes can be very strong and yachts are advised to stay a good two miles off shore when passing. Kalkan is a lovely peaceful anchorage.
This town is attractive and a good base for heading out to explore the ruins of Letoon, Patara and Xanthos. Kekova Roads is the channel of water running between Kekova Island and the mainland. The roads are 6 miles long and offer many attractive anchorages and interesting ruins to explore.
Ken Jones runs a Crewed Yacht Charter Guide Follow this link for info on Turkey Yacht Charters And this link for info on Mediterranean Yacht Charter