6 Things to Do on Your Yacht Charter in Turkey
Turkey’s unique history, cuisine and culture – combined of course with its superb weather and long, rugged coastlines – make it the ideal destination for your yacht charter. This post looks at six of the best excursions to take on your trip along Turkey’s beautiful Turquoise Coast.
Cleopatra’s Baths, on the south-west of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, is in fact only possible to visit by boat – meaning it would be a missed opportunity not to visit on your yacht charter! The site is said to be where Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt over 2000 years ago, bathed and visited. The ruins of the historic monastery are still present at the site, and many enjoy snorkelling and exploring the remains of the building. The difficulty in travelling to the site means it remains peaceful, and the benefit of having a yacht is particularly felt in the evenings, when tour boats are not visiting and the area is all yours. As well as having other ruins, the area is also great for hiking and provides scenic views across the bay.
Moving further east along the Turquoise Coast, a few hours sailing will bring you to Gemiler Island, affectionately known as ‘Pancake Island’ – but why? Well, several charming traditional boats sail around the island selling fresh pancakes to visitors, and by all accounts they are a must-try! But the island has more to offer than just pancakes. Archaeologists believe it is the site of St Nicholas’ original tomb, and there is an impressive array of 4th Century ruins to explore and imagine what island life may have once been like all those years ago.
The riverside town of Dalyan, just inland from Turkey’s south-western coast, is a haven of various Turkish delights. Perhaps the best-known attraction is the Loggerhead Turtles that nest on Iztuzu Beach. The Sea Turtle Centre protects the area but does allow visitors to help feed the turtles, in what is likely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Back in the town, the popular mud baths claim to make visitors look ten years younger! Lastly, finish your visit with a look at the stunning Lycian tombs, located in the cliffs above the town. These carvings, dating back to 400BC, are arguably best viewed by boat, making them an ideal excursion for your yacht charter.
No trip to Turkey is complete without experiencing the unique hustle and bustle of a Turkish bazaar. The Fethiye Bazaar is a great option for this. Located in the Old Town of the port city after which it is named, the Fethiye Bazaar offers a plentiful range of market stalls, street food sellers and restaurants. It’s hard not to splash out given the bargains on offer, but whether you spend any Lira or not, simply experiencing this historic, centuries-old market is a must-do.
Simply put, Butterfly Valley is one of the most scenic places in Turkey. Only accessible by boat, it also has protected status because, as the name eludes to, the valley is home to over 100 different species of butterfly. An idyllic white-sand beach greets you as you sail up to the valley and beyond that there is a green oasis of wildlife, free for you to explore and immerse yourself in. After a hike or perhaps just a sunbathe on the beach, watch the sunset from a hammock or while eating fresh seafood at the independent restaurant on the beach. Butterfly Valley is an unrivalled destination for rest and relaxation.
Obviously, this last one is not for the faint-hearted, but it would definitely be one of the most memorable. Particularly popular in the coastal town of Oludeniz, paragliding off Babadag Mountain offers an unforgettable new perspective – specifically, from 6500 feet - on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, while ticking another thing off the bucket list in the process! Those who are less brave can still enjoy the others’ experience, giving them a big wave from the yacht below. It could perhaps be the big climax of an unforgettable sailing holiday in Turkey.