Sail in Turkey: Finike to Bodrum weekly yacht route

Sail in Turkey: Finike to Bodrum

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DAY 1: FINIKE - KEKOVA

Board your gulet in Finike, and take a cruise along Kekova island, stopping at the cove known as Tersane for a swim and a walk along the beach to the ruins of the Byzantine church.

To Tersane island to view the " sunken city “ from a glass-bottomed kayak before proceeding to the lunchtime anchorage of Gokkaya — a charming natural harbour indented with many inlets and dotted with islands.

From here, take a taxi to ancient Myra and marvel at the Lycian rock tombs and Roman theatre for which the site is famous. In the nearby town of Demre, there is the church of St. Nicholas (who became known as Santa Claus ).

You may also want to visit Kale, for an opportunity to explore the ruins of ancient Simena: the battlements of Simena's Medieval fortress stand dramatically over the village and within the castle walls is a small theatre. The view from the castle of Kale and the entire Kekova Roads is breathtaking. Photograph the sarcophagi which are dotted over the slopes of the hill.

Overnight in Kekova with dinner onboard.

DAY 2: KEKOVA - KALKAN

An early morning departure for Kalkan, passing Oludeniz, the “Dead Sea” - famous for its long white pebble beach - and the Seven Capes.

Anchor in the small harbour of Kalkan, the focal point from which rises a network of narrow winding streets that service the town’s historical quarter. Here you can wander at leisure amid Ottoman-Greek style whitewashed houses, their wooden balconies adorned with colourful bougainvillea and their shuttered windows open to catch the breeze. Browse through tiny shops sitting side-by-side with cafes and mingle with the friendly locals. Kalkan is picturesque; unique in that its “Greek-ness” is still so tangible.

No trip to Kalkan is complete without an evening meal under the stars: dine out in one of many excellen terrace restaurants high on the hill overlooking the harbour and an island-studded bay.

Visit Kas while on a Finike to Bodrum weekly yacht route
Visit Kas while on a Finike to Bodrum weekly yacht route
Visit Kas while on a Finike to Bodrum weekly yacht route

DAY 3: KALKAN - GEMILER ISLAND

Gemiler Island was a famous pirate hangout in its day and even boasts pirate-ship parking, which have since subsided into the sea, so you may require mask and flippers to see these docks and supply stores properly. The island is literally covered with Byzantine ruins! In the city district of the island, there are hundreds of houses - some of them quite well preserved - along with three churches and a large graveyard. Separated from the city district, beyond a wall, there is the upper part of the island where it is possible to see a large church - decorated with floor mosaics - thought to be the Church of St. Nicholas, along with tombs, a huge cistern and a long covered corridor connecting this church with another on the east of the island.

The summit of Gemiler island affords a most magnificent view out over the Aegean sea and your climb is celebrated with champagne and a heavenly view.

Move on to Cold Water Bay (Bestas Limani) and dine out tonight at the quaint “lokanta" ashore.

DAY 4: GEMILER ISLAND - EKINCIK

After breakfast, sail for the bay of Ekincik and take a small river boat up the Dalyan River to the ruins of ancient Caunos. Join a local guide here and spend an hour or two walking around this fabulous Carian site. Make a stop in Dalyan town for refreshments and souvenirs before returning to the yacht at Ekincik.

Overnight in an Ekincik anchorage with dinner ashore at ‘My Marina’, with its world class restaurant perched high on the hill overlooking the bay.

DAY 5: EKINCIK - BOZUKKALE

Bozukkale is home to one of the most fabulous ancient sites on the Aegean coast, that being ancient Loryma. Be sure to wear some sturdy shoes as the journey up to the ruins of ancient Loryma follows a rough path over rocky ground. The view from the top, where you, the climber, finds yourself standing atop the walls of a Hellenistic citadel, is just perfect! Below, you will see where an ancient naval base once provided protection for trading ships, and as you walk around, you can admire the workmanship that created walls to last forever.

A night to enjoy al fresco dining under the stars.

DAY 6: BOZUKKALE - BOZBURUN

A morning sail around the peninsula brings Sogut Harbour into sight. This is one of the most peaceful anchorages on the Turkish coast cruise and after a leisurely breakfast, enjoy a walk ashore through the village, meet some of the locals and try some local pine honey. A truly beautiful setting, backed by tall mountains resonating with the area's long history of at least 4,000 years. Back on board, move on to Kizil Island for lunch. Enjoy the serenity of an island laying just off the coast nearest Bozburun, the main port in the Gulf of Yesilova.Take a kayak or paddle board and explore the island at leisure. If you are keen to see more, a tender ride past some of the numerous interesting ruins that lie near the water’s edge is well worth doing.

Dine ashore in Bozburun at a quaint harbour-side taverna.

Visit Bozburun while on a Finike to Bodrum weekly yacht route
Visit Bozburun while on a Finike to Bodrum weekly yacht route
Visit Bozburun while on a Finike to Bodrum weekly yacht route

DAY 7: BOZBURUN - DATCA - KNIDOS

After breakfast, sail for Datca, stopping for lunch in a small bay home to the only date palm native to the Mediterranean, the "Cretan" date palm. It is a rare sight as it grows only on the island of Crete and on the Datca Peninsula. Later moor on the town quay at Datca and take a short overland tour to the "Olive Farm”. Wander about the olive groves, see the on-site olive mill and vinegar house and sample some of the local wares. There are some wonderful, all-natural products available in the gift shop. On the way back to the yacht, take a stroll down the cobblestone streets of Old Datca Town and perhaps stop for some homemade lemonade in a local cafes.

Returning to Datca, be sure to visit “Cinar”, the local ice creamery on the main town quay which boasts 30 varieties of ice-cream and some local favourites, including "mandarin”, "honey and almond" and "mastic gum”.

Then anchor at Knidos and explore the ancient Carian city of Knidos. Famous as a centre of art and culture in the fourth century B.C., Knidos had two harbours, one in the Aegean and one in the Mediterranean! The remains of the temple of Aphrodite overlook these harbours and there are countless other archaeological remains to enjoy.

DAY 8: BODRUM

Disembark in Bodrum after breakfast.

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