6 reasons to sail Turkey’s Turquoise Coast in 2020

Turkey’s Turquoise Coast is less popular than Greece and Croatia but has all the qualities you need for a Mediterranean yacht charter holiday to remember next year.

22nd Oct 2019

Turkey’s Turquoise Coast is famous for its dazzling sapphire blue sea, ancient cultural and mythological relics and fantastic snorkelling opportunities.

The warm hospitality of the Turkish locals will also delight you – let alone the delicious food!

Lynn, one of our Yacht Charter Brokers, has been to Turkey numerous times so has some fantastic tips to share with you. 

Here are six reasons why you should add Turkey to your list when considering a yacht charter for 2020.

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Maria Soleil, Senior Marketing Executive

Oludeniz is one of the most recognisable sights of the Turkish Riviera. Sapphire blue waters lap white sand beaches at this picturesque site, with the National Park lagoon on one side and the 6,500 ft high Mount Babadag on the other. 

Oludeniz lagoon
The Blue Lagoon at Oludeniz

Known worldwide for being one of the best spots for paragliding, it is well worth a stopover on a Turkish bareboat yacht charter. Yachts and dinghies cannot enter the lagoon at Oludeniz but you can anchor at the Point Yoğun cove and take your tender to the dinghy dock. It costs 7TL per person (approximately £1) to enter the lagoon.

We recommend spending the day on the beautiful beach before having dinner and drinks in the small town.

Lynn

Lynn's tip

“There is lots to do in the scenic Blue Lagoon of Oludeniz and it is a useful place to stop over. 

“There are restaurants – I recommend the Sunset Lounge (formerly Cawa Cawa) – water sports (non-motorised), toilets and you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas.”

2. Explore natural wonders

If you like to explore some of what the land has to offer on your yacht charter holiday, you are spoilt for choice in this part of Mugla province. Whether you enjoy hiking, archaeology, or want to see the landscape from above while paragliding, there are plenty of excursions and tour guides available.

Pamukkale
Pamukkale

Visit the fascinating Unesco World Heritage site of Pamukkale thermal springs on a day or overnight trip from Marmaris. Translated as ‘cotton castle’, Pamukkale is a natural site with terraces of white carbonate material forming a cascade of flowing warm water.

If you’re not afraid of heights, soar over the mountains in a tandem paragliding experience off Mount Babadag, (literally ‘Father Mountain’). The thermals and incredible views make this one of the best places in Europe for paragliding.

3. See the stunning marine life

If you prefer staying in the water, the west Lycian coastline is a haven for marine life. PADI-accredited dive centres can be found easily in Marmaris and Fethiye.

Loggerhead turtles roam Turkey's waters

Expect to see seahorses, octopus, rays, groupers, moray eels, loggerhead turtles and if you’re lucky, dolphins. Turkey’s ancient history means there are amphorae and other relics dotted on the seabeds. 

Famous diving sites include Baca Cave near Marmaris and the old coastguard ship the TSCG-121 in Fethiye. 

Snorkelling is easy – just anchor in a safe cove and jump in. 

4. Eat delicious food and enjoy the welcoming atmosphere

Fresh seafood is the order of the day in the traditional Turkish restaurants lining the marinas in Marmaris, Fethiye and Gocek, where they serve typically local delicacies such as grilled calamari and bream.

Enjoy vibrant Turkish food

Other things to try include pide – long pizza made with Middle Eastern flavours – particularly in Fethiye. Mezze, baklava, zleme and kebabs are all musts to try when sailing in Turkey.

Often you’ll spend the night moored to a wooden jetty alongside a restaurant – where the owner may come to greet you with a warm welcome and a smile. 

Lynn

Lynn's tip

“At Cold Water Bay, located just west of Oludeniz, walk up the steep hill for dinner to the family-run restaurant where the food is local, fresh and the atmosphere is great.

“You must also go back again in the morning for a Turkish breakfast to take in the views.”

5. Relax on quiet beaches and in hidden coves

For some peace and quiet go to Asi Beach – known as Asi Koyu in Turkish (pronounced Ashee) – which is hidden between Sarigerme and Dalyan. There is a nice restaurant here for lunch, showers and water sports facilities.

Sarsala Bay
Sarsala Bay

Less than 10km south of Oludeniz is the quieter Butterfly Valley – a remote, unspoilt but breathtaking sheltered bay lined by cliffs on either side. Home to around 100 butterfly species, and two small waterfalls, it’s ideal for an overnight stop when sailing Turkey’s Turquoise Coast. 

Spend an afternoon enjoying a drink over the sparkling waters of Sarsala Bay. It is popular with sailors as it has just one restaurant only accessible by boat – Gozde Restaurant – and a pier built especially for visiting yachts. 

6. Get more for your money with the good exchange rate

Sailors are lured to the Turkish Riviera for more reasons than just its beauty.

Make your money go further on everyday items in Turkey

The paltry Pound to Euro exchange rate means our customers are making the switch from Greek, Italy or Spain charters to Turkey.

Lynn

Lynn's tip

“A huge plus point for Turkey is how far your spending money goes. 

With an exchange rate of roughly 7 to 8 Turkish Lira to the Pound, food and drink is very good value for money.”

Here’s how prices compare to another popular charter base, Volos in Greece. (All prices are approximate).

 

Three course meal for two, inexpensive restaurant 

90TL (£12)

Local beer (0.5l)

15TL (£2)

Water (0.33l bottle)

2TL (30p)

Loaf of bread

2TL (30p)

Cappuccino 

10TL (£1.30)

 

Three course meal for two, inexpensive restaurant 

30€ (£26)

Local beer (0.5l)

3.5€ (£3)

Water (0.33l bottle)

0.5€ (40p)

Loaf of bread

0.9€ (80p)

Cappuccino 

3€ (£2.60)

Useful information

Charter bases

Marmaris

Marmaris is a busy holiday resort so it has everything you’ll need to provision for your charter. From the main marina on the east side of the town you can travel south out of the bay, and east towards Göcek or south west down to the Gulf of Hisaronu or Dodecanese Islands.

Göcek

Situated between Marmaris to the west and Fethiye to the south east, this small town is ideally positioned to explore the many islands in the Gulf of Fethiye.

Fethiye

The city of Fethiye is a bustling port for cruise ships and superyachts. The closest base to popular Oludeniz, sail south to Gemile Islands from here or wile away an afternoon in a Turkish bath.

Orhaniye

Orhaniye is the largest marina apart from Marmaris on the Bozburun Peninsula. There are several supermarkets, restaurants and places to stay overnight.

When to visit

We recommend visiting in May, June or late September or early October. October will be quieter and will bring slightly cooler weather and warm seas. In the popular summer months, the meltemi winds will bring a cooling afternoon breeze.

Get in touch

Lynn

With a combined 50 years of experience, our team knows all there is to know about the world of sailboat chartering.

With many Turkey trips under her belt, Lynn is our Turquoise Coast expert. Give her a call now on 01227 479900 to ask about yacht charters or use our price comparison tool to search now. 

We love being on the water and it’s our ambition to enable others to share our love of sailing.

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