Turkey will amaze you. The best yachting destinations along this rich and varied coastline start either in Kusadasi, Bodrum, Marmaris or Gocek.

Many yachts will also agree to a pick-up in one of the Greek islands like Rhodes, Kos or even Samos. You can travel North or South and you can visit Turkish ports as well as some of the adjacent Greek Islands like Symi, Rhodes and Kos. Even down to Kastellorizo if you have the time.

Cesme is another up and coming destination, perhaps the next Bodrum? While revelers continue to descend upon that seaside retreat, another corner of  Aegean coastline has begun to emerge as a stylish alternative: the once-sleepy villages of the Cesme Peninsula. The main draw is Alacati, a sheltered beach town that last summer was the site of the Professional Windsurfers Association Slalom World Cup.

We have to note here that if you are on a Turkish registered boat you have to pay Greek cruising taxes if you enter Greek waters and vice -versa. There’s a great Charter itinerary on this page, please take a look.

Visiting Turkey by Yacht

Turkey is not a place that immediately jumps into one’s mind when you think of a yachting experience. However, Turkey’s Aegean Coast is also called the Turkish Riviera, and for a good reason: not only does it boast an incredibly rugged and beautiful coastline but is also home to some of the great historical places and events, like Biblical Ephesus and ancient ruins and monuments from the time of the Roman and Turkish empires.

Why visit Turkey?

What has always impressed us most about Turkey is the natural warmth of it’s people, it’s a really enriching experience to visit the little towns and villages along your route and when you eat ashore (very reasonably, we may add) in the evenings. Turkish food is excellent, healthy and fresh. The Restaurant scene is exceptional from traditional to modern Turkish cuisine – a half-way house between Greek and Middle-Eastern flavors.

With its white-sand beaches and shop-lined streets, the city of Bodrum has long been the favorite seaside retreat in Turkey. But now this ancient fishing village, set against the blue waters of the Aegean Sea, has crashed the global party circuit. A glance at the megayachts, some of them straight from the ports of Capri or Monaco, hint at its new-found fame. Paparazzi photos of Uma Thurman canoodling with the trendsetting hotelier André Balazs further confirms it. In summer, when the population of 50,000 swells tenfold, Bodrum feels a bit like St.-Tropez, except perhaps for the belly dancers.

What’s the draw? Gorgeous scenery for one. Situated on Turkey’s southwestern coast, the peninsula is a painter’s tableau of white-washed stucco homes, purple bougainvilleas and olive-green hillsides. The city is also awash in historical attractions including the stumpy foundation of the Mausoleum, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Marmaris is a typical International seaside resort with an active boating and yachting community.  It has excellent clean and tidy beaches, great food and a fascinating marketplace – a great place to pick up your yacht. You will see a lot of Turkish Gulets here as well as in Bodrum. Gulets are large wooden motor sailing vessels that are designed and built in Turkey. We have a number of elegant private Gulets that can be chartered by the day, and by the week. They come complete with full crew and most serve excellent food that is cooked and served aboard.

I am an unabashed admirer of Turkey and things Turkish.  I’m hoping that your yacht charter along this coastline will only confirm my opinion. Turkey’s weather is typically Mediterranean in nature, the season starts in May and runs through October, best month in my book, is September when the waters are still warm and the summer crowds have gone home. May and early June are also nice but the water is still a little cold. July and August are the most poplar months but it can get pretty crowded in the hotspots.

How to get to the Turkish Riviera

There are three airports to choose from depending on which cities you wish to depart from: if you plan to visit Ephesus or Cesme, or if your yacht will be departing from Kusadasi, fly into Izmir (ADB). If you are planning to see Bodrum or if your yacht is departing from that location, fly directly into Bodrum (BJV) there are flights from Istanbul and also from various European destinations including the UK, France and the Netherlands.  If you plan to visit Marmaris or Gocek, fly into Dalaman airport (DLM) which is about half-way between these two cities. There are flights  from Istanbul and also from Rome and other European locations.

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