Situated deep within a large bay surrounded by pine-clad hills and just over an hour from the international airport at Dalaman, Marmaris is the ideal starting point for a Turkish coast cruise. Known as “Physkos” in ancient times, Marmaris was an important stage on the Anatolia - Rhodes - Egypt trade route and would have seen thousands and thousands of sailing vessels of every description over many millennia. The ancient citadel, built by Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent in 1522 during his preparations for the Ottoman army's assault on Rhodes, houses a small museum and is well worth a visit. With many fine restaurants, lively bars and clubs, Marmaris has plenty of colourful nightlife and is a shoppers' paradise.
Set sail for Kumlu Buku and find a quiet spot to anchor for the night. Dinner on board in Kumlu Buku.
Start the day with swimming and snorkelling on the southern side of Kumlu Buku, or a walk along Kumlu Buku;s beach. Move on to Kadirga. Kadirga is a well-sheltered harbour with the clearest of blue waters inviting hours of swimming, snorkelling and quiet drifting in a kayak. There’s a small pebble beach ashore and some low rocky hills to walk along. Relax on deck after lunch and allow yourself to drift off to sleep in the shade of the awning. . . this one of the Turkish coast’s jewels — only accessible by sea.
Overnight in Kadirga with dinner on board.
Bozukkale is a large, land-locked bay on the southern tip of the Loryma peninsula, close to the Greek island of Rhodes. In ancient times, this bay was heavily fortified and the well-preserved citadel and fortifications of Hellenistic origin bear testimony to the area's past. Today, the bay provides a spectacular setting for watersports and has a couple of small restaurants along the shore, catering to the passing yachts. Be sure to visit the citadel of ancient Loryma in the latter part of the day for a chance to witness the beauty of an Aegean sunset.
Overnight in Bozukkale with dinner ashore or on board.
Set amongst a multitude of inlets and islets, Bozburun is a definitive highlight on any southern Aegean itinerary. Bozburun was once the sponge-diving capital of Turkey but today most activity centres around yachting tourism and the building of traditional Turkish vessels. Bozburun has a sleepy charm, a quiet and relaxed atmosphere which encompasses the small harbour around which it is built and the surrounding farmland. There are restaurants, bars and small selection of boutiques to discover. The countryside around Bozburun is renowned for its wild beauty, with tall mountains, craggy cliff faces and thick groves of wild olive. The bay is also very well protected, so be sure to enjoy a swim or a spot of snorkelling around one of the islets.
Overnight in Bozburun Harbour with dinner ashore or on board.
Clear out of Turkish waters and into Greek waters today for a visit to one of the Dodecanese islands: Symi. Anchor in the bay and take a tender boat ashore to Yialos, a picture-postcard beautiful harbour where the pretty pastel shades of 18th and 19th century mansions are overlaid with bright bougainvillea and where stately superyachts co-mingle with traditionally-designed fishing boats. Symi has plenty of wonderful shops and restaurants, street cafes and eateries. The harbour area is busy and bustling with people coming and going on day trips and charter boats.
There’s much to see ashore, so take your time and really explore. Ferry back to the yacht in the late afternoon and get changed for dinner ashore in a hillside Greek taverna with views out over the port.
Overnight in Symi Harbour.
Take an early morning walk up to the church on the hill and photograph the surrounding countryside. There are other sights to see if you wish to hire a car and drive around the island. If you’d rather just relax, weigh anchor and move on to Nimborios Bay. Discover a true Greek paradise of sea and sun, music and gentle breezes as you sip on a cool drink or enjoy a typical lunch of Greek salad and mezze at the tiny taverna ashore. Overnight in Nimborios.
Early morning departure for Datca. Swim in the clear waters of Kargi Bay while your chef puts together another hearty breakfast. En route to Bodrum, 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. This afternoon is a crossing between Knidos and Bodrum, so grab your favourite book and head for the shady aft deck… the journey takes the better part of the afternoon, but is enjoyable.
Arrive into Bodrum in the early evening and once moored on the town quay, wander through the streets adjacent to the main harbour. If you happen to visit Bodrum Castle, built by the Knights of St. John during the crusades, be sure to see the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology — the best in the Mediterranean.
Bodrum is the undisputed ‘hot spot’ of the Aegean coast and boasts an abundance of good restaurants, bars and clubs. Enjoy Bodrum’s nightlife as part of your final night’s celebration.
Disembarkation in Bodrum after breakfast.