For luxury yacht charterers wishing to expand their horizons outside of the much-loved Western Mediterranean, a luxury yacht charter in Turkey offers a bounty of ancient historical sights, spectacular anchorages and a taste of the exotic. Stir in a longer, warmer cruising season than much of the Western Med, fewer crowds, and the piercing-blue bays and blonde sands of the Turkish Riviera (also known popularly as the Turquoise Coast) and charterers will find that Turkey is the ultimate Eastern Mediterranean cruising destination. This brief Turkey Luxury Yacht Charter Guide is intended for boaters looking to charter a sailboat, a motor-yacht, a Superyacht or the more typical traditional Turkish Gulet in this spectacular destination.
TURKEY YACHT SEASON WEATHER
The charter season in Turkey runs from late April to October, with mid-season months of April, May and October still enjoying warm, sunny weather and blissfully quiet cruising grounds.
Summer temperatures average between 26°C and 30°C but can soar well above 30°C during the peak months of July and August. Sea temperatures remain above 20°C from May to November, peaking at 26°C, making it a haven for yachting, watersports, snorkelling and scuba diving.
TURKEY YACHT CHARTER ITINERARIES
Yachts usually depart from Istanbul, Göcek, Bodrum or Marmaris due to their convenient proximity to sizeable airports.
Göcek has six marinas with Skopea Marina accommodating yachts up 110m and D-Marin accommodating vessels up to 70m, while Netsel Marina in Marmaris has moorings for yachts up to 90m. Milta Marina in Bodrum has moorings for yachts up to 75m.
Cruise 15nm from bustling Marmaris to the serenity of the Ekincik nature reserve, where clear cyan waters are backed by vertiginous slopes for a tranquil first stop. Take the tender up the Dalyan Çayı river to see the extraordinary Lycian tombs, the mud baths and the ancient ruins at Kaunos before cruising 25nm to one of Turkey’s most picturesque anchorages at Tersane Island.
A short hop from Tersane, the neighbouring bays around the chic harbour of Göcek offer plentiful heavenly spots to drop the anchor. Charter yachts can moor in Göcek or overnight in the hidden paradise of Yassica Adalari, a necklace of emerald islands that lie off the glittering Göcek coast.
Cove-hop around Yassica Adalari before making the 10nm trip to the traditional town of Fethiye, where the ruins of the ancient city of Telmessos await. Fethiye’s Ece Marina can accommodate yachts up to 60m. The famous sapphire lagoon of Olu Deniz lies 15nm south and framed by vertiginous mountains. The trendy, bougainvillea-clad fishing harbour of Kalkan and historic Kas lie further south.
Alternatively, culture lovers may want to begin in the north at Kuşadası Setur Marina (moorings up to 120m), just 10nm to Ephesus and the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the world. From Ephesus, make the 90nm overnight passage to Didim’s long sandy beaches and the nearby ruins of the Temple of Apollo. D-Marin Didim offers berths up to 70m.
For a change of pace, the upmarket port of Türkbükü, synonymous with Turkish elite and celebrities, lies 20nm across the azure gulf. Departing Türkbükü, charterers can explore the Turkish Riviera, cruising 30nm to fun-filled Bodrum and on to the secluded coves of Datça, the Greek island of Symi, and the dive sites and cruising havens of Fethiye, Göcek and Olu Deniz.
5 STUNNING ISLANDS TO DISCOVER ON A TURKEY LUXURY YACHT CHARTER
Kekova: Also named Caravola, Kekova is a small Turkish island near Demre district of Antalya province which faces the villages of Kaleköy and Üçağız. Kekova has an area of 4.5 km2 and is uninhabited, historic treasures lie just below the surface of her crystalline waters.
Bozcaada: Formerly called Tenedos, Bozcaada is an island of Turkey in the north-eastern part of the Aegean Sea. With an area of 39.9 km2 it is the third largest Turkish island after Gökçeada and Marmara. The island is famous for centuries for its grapes, wines and red poppies.
Tersane: Is a must-see picturesque treat with beautiful anchorages in the vicinity of Göcek. It is separated from Domuz Island by a narrow channel to the west. The triangular island has a surface area of about 2.5 km2. There are three small bays and the bay at the north west corner is well protected. The northeast part of the bay has a very shallow harbour. There are ruins from the Lycian era and during the Ottoman Empire age the island was probably a ship building and repair harbour. Although the island is currently uninhabited there is a large famous restaurant with a quay for yachters.
Gökçeada: Formely known as Imbros, Gokceada is the largest Aegean island of Turkey, famous with its own protected and untouched natural resources. This heavenly island of perfumed forests is located in the Aegean Sea, at the entrance of Saros Bay and is also the westernmost point of Turkey (Cape İncirburnu). She has an area of 279 km2.
Gemiler Island: Also known as Saint Nicholas Island since archaeologists believe it was the location of the original tomb of Santa Claus, is an island located off the coast of Turkey near the city of Fethiye. On the island are the remains of a dozen half-ruined Byzantine churches built between the fourth and sixth centuries AD, along with a variety of associated, the island is a historical wonderland where you’ll find fragrant and feral wilderness that only the Aegean can offer: carob trees, sticky figs and almond blossom. You can also experience stunning dives off the uninhabited sister island Karacaören, only a mile offshore.
While the Istanbul Atatürk Airport is the main international airport serving as a hub the whole country, commercial airlines and private jets operate to and from Izmir, Antalya, Dalaman and Milas-Bodrum airports. Göcek is a 25-minute drive from Dalaman airport.
Luxury yacht charters may also use Turkey as a jumping off point to explore the Dodecanese archipelago and the south-eastern Aegean Sea.
Despite its political situation, Turkey is a safe and welcoming country for tourists.
When arriving in or leaving Turkey, yachts must report to an official port of entry. These include all ports around Istanbul, Bodrum, Marmaris, Datca, Fethiye and Kas.
So, if you’re planning to book a luxury yacht charter in Turkey, let YACHTS INVEST’s charter brokers assist you in choosing the perfect boat and the most appropriate itineraries. YACHTS INVEST features the advantage of having an agency in Turkey that will assist you throughout your cruise.