Best for: Great weather all year, balanced winds, underdeveloped coastline, cultural experience, isolated anchroages with tavernas, affordable Look out for: Very hot in peak season, short sailing legs close to bases
Noted for its underdevelopment, fine beaches and beautiful scenery, there's an abundance of islands, isolated bays and inlets with anchorages for you to 'throw the anchor' put your feet up, or hop ashore to visit a remote local taverna. Other than the three tourist centres of Gocek, Fethiye and Oludeniz, the Turqouise coast remains largely undeveloped. The area holds a few wonderful surprises as well - how about bathing in thermal mud baths, feeding loggerhead turtles, paragliding, visiting 'Pancake Island' for fresh local pancakes or snorkelling over submerged ancient civilisations? It's all right there.
Sailing Fethiye and Gocek at a Glance
Remarkably undeveloped, the Turquoise Coast offers sailors an intrepid experience, with many harbours and bays unreachable by road nor therefore by land tourists
Within the Gulf of Fethiye are numerous craggy coves, inlets, bays and islands that offer wonderful anchorages and 'hidden' authentic Turkish restaurants
Just outside the Gulf of Fethiye is Dalyan, where you can take a shallow draft tourist boat to see ancient tombs and experience thermal mud baths
Gocek and Fethiye Sailing Itineraries
A one week sailing holiday is typically centred on the Gulf of Fethiye, though can stretch to Dalyan in the west to Oludeniz in the east, though a visit slightly further east to Butterfly Bay is recommended (wind and weather permitting). While Dalyan is a must-see, where Lycian tombs, loggerhead turtles and thermal mud pools are located, we typically recommend doing it as a day trip via land from Fethiye. The beach resort of Oludeniz and it's surrounding bays, such as Cold Water Bay are also well worth the visit. Both are situated just outside the Gulf of Fethiye, though on opposite sides of the bay.
Stretch your legs with this two week itinerary that stretches from Marmaris in the east all the way to Kalkan in the west.
More about the sailing area
The Lycian Coast stretches from Marmaris to Antalya, but it is the area encompassing the Gulf of Fethiye that is most popular for sailing holidays. Remarkably undeveloped, you'll experience a wide variety of shorelines, from dramatic cliff edges, wooded hillsides and river mouth estuaries to pebble shored beaches.
Within the Gulf of Fethiye itself is another bay, known as Skopea Limani, which is encircled by a conglomeration of craggy edged bays, inlets and islands that offer lots of nooks and crannies in which to meander. Around the bays you can enjoy a number of short or long shore and mountainside walks through heavily wooded pathways and ruined cities.
For those wanting more miles, or on a two week sailing holiday, you can spread your wings by heading further south east to the beautiful Kalkan, Kas and Kekova Roads region.
Many of the most attractive bays and islands are still inaccessible to vehicular traffic, which ensures a truly unique sailing holiday experience. You won't go hungry though, a number of Turkish restaurants can be found tucked away in many of the scenic bays and inlets offering typical Turkish cuisine served as it would have been centuries ago, with most or all of their supplies being cultivated, fished, farmed themselves or brought in by boat.
In terms of your sailing itinerary there is very little between Gocek and Fethiye. Often the choice between Gocek and Fethiye comes down to the best yacht available.
Fethiye is more lively than Gocek, with a more touristy outlook. It has fantastic markets and all the conveniences that you would expect. Shop for supplies, visit tombs cut into cliffs above the town, explore the narrow streets or have a Turkish bath - there's plenty to do in Fethiye.
Gocek retains more of a village feel and is the closest base to Dalaman airport. Although modern, the town still retains much of the Turkish culture in the quality shops found along its high street. It has many excellent supermarkets and they will also deliver to your yacht. It sports a number of good chandleries, souvenir shops, several banks and an abundance of restaurants spread along the water front.
How to get here
Both Gocek and Fethiye are both accessed via Dalaman Airport. Dalaman is serviced by airlines from at least 10 airports around the UK, so it is very well served. Please be aware that Dalaman is one of the most ridiculously expensive airports in the world to buy anything, so its best to come prepared with a sandwhich!
Gocek is situated just 25 minutes from the airport, while Fethiye is 45 minutes from the airport.
The summer season is long hot and dry. During May and October expect temperatures already into the mid-20s, while during August temperatures average in the mid-30s. As temperatures can peak at around 40 degrees(!), we often advise that Turkey isn't the place to take children in the peak season.
Overnight Breezes: During the night, winds will normally be from the north. The wind speeds will be generally light breezes (Force 2 - 3 or light winds), however sometimes between the Dalyan river estuary and Dalaman Airport expect them to reach Force 4 (moderate winds). You will not suffer any real swell from these winds.
Morning breezes: Generally conditions are very calm early on. As the heat increases through the day, expect sea breezes to begin with generally from the south east. Wind speeds will be mainly light breezes (Force 2) but expect some gusts up to 10 knots (moderate winds).
Midday breezes: As the day progresses, the wind will begin to veer further to become southerlies and then swing further to become south south west. Wind speeds will probably stay much like the morning breezes, between 4 to 8 knots (Force 2).
Afternoon breezes: Generally the afternoon breezes will bring fresher breezes and they will come from the south west to west. The wind speeds are normally between 8 to 12 knots with gusts up to 18 knots (Force 3 - 4 and 5).
These will create swells of 0.7 to 1.5 m but on the headlands outside the gulf, expect up to 2 metres.