When departing from Bodrum its best to start with something sensational to kick off the vacation, that why sailing to the Gulf of Hisonaru and onwards to Kos, which is due east and clos by will be a wonderful way to whet your appetite for all the wonderful mysteries that lie ahead. Imagine the Odysseus and look down into the clear blue sea as your yacht sails over horizons that have served mankind for millennia. What was once the garden of Neptune is now your grazing ground.
At the tip of the southern coast of the Datca Peninsula of Turkey nestles the lovely town of Palamutbuku. This amazing quiet town, close to the historic ruins of Knidos, is home to some of the most desired long and quiet beaches, green streets, and walled gardens. Like a fairytale town come to life, as you walk along the seaside and look down into some of the clearest waters in the Aegean. In fact, you can walk well into the sea, and be able to see every stone and fish around your feet even when the waters reach head high. The sea is full of fish and many a dinner is caught just moments before it is on your plate, served alongside exceptionally tasty local produce. What is still wonderful is that this coast is still virgin from all the expected tourism, and the town hosts many wonderful taverns and restaurants, as well as the amazing residents that make your stay even more memorable.
Aktur bay in the Datca peninsula has received an amazing accolade as the best bay in Turkey. This is some achievement and should not be discounted. Aktur is located between Datca and Kurucabuk and is the narrowest part of the peninsula. Two spheres of water held at bay by a slim slice of land. The Persian army back in 550BC (Xerxes and the 300) built a tunnel so he could connect directly to the Gulf of Gokova to speed up his fleets attacking capabilities. Today Aktur bay is a vision of beauty that many try to emulate, perhaps that is why it is awarded so highly.
Just across from Selimiye on Hisaronu Gulf is the small bay of Bencik. This is just around the gulf of Gokova and is well worth the visit, even if you can’t really enjoy the site due to the lack of facilities. The natural beauty of this location provides a lot of memorable photo shoots.
Named after the famous Turkish singer, Emil Sayin bay is an amazing crystal clear aquamarine bay that is contrasted against thick pine trees covering the land around it. The bay was named after her beautiful blue eyes, and is a memorable place for a lovely cool swim and brunch.
Orhaniye is in the Bozburun peninsula near Marmaris and is home to one of the most attractive beaches in all of Turkey, Kizkumu beach. Orhaniye provides you with access to the fames castle of the black night, as well as a lovely village filled with a deep cultural heritage. The village is also renowned for its amazing variety of food that draws tourists from far and wide. The dock is always busy and the bay is always full of yachts coming and going from this world class resort.
In the Gulf of Hisaronu lies the village of Selimiye. What can be added to the already pantheon of words praising this amazing location. One of the most prominent and distinctive natural phenomena occurs during sunset, when the villages color changes into a deep red. There is an ancient Hellenistic castle south of the village and there is a tomb situated around 100 meters off shore. The tomb has been a guide for shipping for centuries. Selimiye offers a lighthouse, theater and monastery as well as its pristine waters and amazing local cuisine. The village is a farming town as well, and the local produce is collected and served alongside the freshly caught seafood. All prepared and provided alongside a great local wine.
Bozburun is a lovely small town 45kms west of Marmaris. It is home to a small but modern marina and the town is famous for its shipbuilding industry. This is where some of the worlds finest wooden boats and Gulets are fabricated. This is a quite port town, and the way to reach it is as picturesque as the town itself. Boxburun is great for a relaxing evening, this means you will not find night life here. What you will find are amazing hotels, cafes, bars and restaurants all serving local cuisine using the freshest sea food and locally farmed produce.
Nestled between the Gulf of Hisonaru and the Aegean Sea is Dirsekbuku. This area has a lot of sheltered bays and hidden coves and is a great spot for a stop over while sailing from Bodrum to Marmaris. There are quite a number of small islands to sail by and anchor off for a swim, or just to laze away the time relaxing with a perfect view.
One of the popular coastal stops is Datca, a small southern shore yachting stop over 75kms west of Marmaris. Datca is located in an area that provides you with many small covers along the peninsula, so you can anchor along the coastline and enjoy a swim in the privacy of your own cove. The coast is dotted with small fishing villages and farming towns, and the local tomatoes and olives are famous for their depth of taste. While visiting Datca, enjoy some local produce and maybe even ask your chef to use it as a staple ingredient.
At the extreme southwest of Turkey, along the Datca peninsula, sits the small archeological town of Knidos. This is one of Turkeys finest historical legends preserved in amazing condition. You find the Statue of Demeter in one location, and in the ancient harbor there were two Lions that stand guard but are now in the British Museum in London. The main attractions are the temple of Aphrodite and the Necropolis. Excavations are ongoing, and have been unearthing more and more amazing finds for over half a century. Since Knidos is considered to be remote, the best way to reach it is by yacht. This is a must stop for all yacht charters, and one site that will provide a lot of great memoires as well as photos.
Approximately 5kms from Bodrum is the amazing Black Island, known locally as Kara Ada. Kara Ada is famous for its Sulphur springs and mud paths, which are considered to have healing properties. Take note that the water is around 29oC to 32oC and it flows into the sea creating a warm bathing opportunity and mud baths that you can cover your skin, let dry and then wash off for maximizing its therapeutic properties.
Orak Island has become famous for its marine life, and of course the crystal clear water. The Island is just 10 miles from Bodrum, heading east. Yachts and blue cruises regular pass by and often stop, even if they have an alternative destination. There are a number of lovely coves that sit below the many olive groves. Orak is not inhabited but it certainly enjoys a temporary population on yachts anchoring overnight.
After an exceptional yacht charter, you come sail back to Bodrum and prepare for your flight home. This is a perfect time to visit this wonderful city and enjoy your last (but not final) taste of Turkey. Bodrum is a jewel surrounded golden sunsets and azure waters. You really should partake in all the local cuisine, cultural attractions and visit the waterfront outside the famous Bodrum Castle, built from the stones of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. It houses an amazing underwater archeology museum and is a must see when in Bodrum.