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.
The Dodecanese Island of Kos has become one of the most popular islands in the region, arguably second behind only Rhodes. Its rich history includes the impressive fortress, the Castle of the Knights of Saint John close to the Town harbor, the ancient plane tree under which Hippocrates taught students and the Asklepion (his ancient sanatorium). Old Corinthian columns still gather weeds by the roadside. The purpose- built marina is just a short distance south of the ferry port. Kos Town has numerous restaurants, tavernas, cafes and shops and ‘’night owls’’ will find things stay open until late.
As you sail north of Kos, you will encounter the gorgeous island of Pserimos. This is a small island, and only about 100 residents inhabit the island. The islanders main source of revenue is from fishing; however, tourism is on the rise. Most of the local tourism comes from day trippers out of Kos or Kalymnos and provides organized beach trips and parties. Since you are sailing in a yacht, you can enjoy visiting Pserimos any day of the week and join in on the local fun. The harbor has few berths, and the town offers lovely local dishes made from fresh produce and seafood. Apart from a short visit for beachside entertainment, a local dish in the port, you will find that the island also provides some secluded spots to anchor. There are plenty of taverna sotted along the coastline, so you will always find a place to visit no matter in which location you decide to anchor.
Agia Marina, Panteli and Platanos combined together form the capital of Leros. The harbour is particularly picturesque. The setting is traditional with the houses typically Greek and some mansions extend up the hillside. At the entrance to the harbor, the Byzantine fortress of Bourtzi stands impressively while there is also a castle on the top of the hill overlooking the town from where the views are stunning in all directions.
Lipsi in the Dodecanese has yet to get much tourism, and what there is often comes from nearby Leros. The result is a real feel of Greece. It is a relaxing place, fairly quiet and with beautiful beaches and clear waters. Lipsi has some tavernas and shops but it is not really a place for stocking up.
Skala is the main town of Patmos island. Built around the harbor, it grew rapidly in the 19th Century with wealthy families deciding to make it their home. Two landmarks to look out for while you are there are the ancient acropolis and the Church of Agia Paraskevi.
Towards the northeast of the Aegean Sea lies the beautiful island of Ikaria. This island is situated between the islands of Samos and Patmos and is the birthplace of Icarus, the legendary son of Daedalus, who built wings coated in wax and flew too close to the sun, plummeting to his death drowning in the sea. There is much to find on Ikaria, including the 11th century Byzantine castle of Koskina, it sits on a strategic prominence at the summit of a mountain peak, overlooking all trade routes. Another fortress found on this island is Drakano, which was built by the Athenians sometime during Alexander the Great’s reign. This fortress was built to act as a sentry over the sea and watch out for possible invasion fleets and pirates. Its 44-foot limestone walls still remain in place. In Kampos you will find a Byzantine Odeon that was used to entertain the local noblemen with feats of dance, drama and music. The Romans also touched this island, and there are baths at Therma that provided curative properties for their patrons. However, an earthquake stopped the water from reaching the baths and caused a lot of the city to crumble into the sea. Today there is an underwater museum, where you can snorkel and see the ancient underwater remains. There is one location nearby where the hot spring water flows into the se creating a warm sea water bathing experience, and this attracts many seekers of curative properties while enjoying bathing under the sun and moon. In Nas you will find the ancient Greek temple to Artmeis, which is dated back to the 6th century BCE, and on the way to Nas you can enjoy the pine woodlands and wonderful natural trails that are so predominant on these Aegean islands. There is no doubt that Ikaria island is a must stop for any traveler and visiting the sites as well as enjoying the hot spring-se water is an experience to remember for life.
Mykonos is among the best-known places in Greece, famous for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, stunning architecture and of course its nightlife. It is included in many popular yachting itineraries around the Cyclades Group of Islands. ‘’Little Venice’’, so called because of the Venetian architecture, and the beaches are popular places to spend your time on the island.
Paros Town has a population of about 3000 and it is the commercial and cultural centre and capital of Paros. The town has built around the port, typical Cycladic architecture with white washed flat roofed houses. There are plenty of bars, restaurants, tavernas and cafes on one side of the coast road with the beaches on the other. The port’s entrance has a large whitewashed windmill which is very much the trademark of Paros.
Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades Islands and acts as such. The main city is Hora which offers many shopping chances and tourist facilities. The cobbled streets are steep so wear comfortable footwear if you start to explore. Away from Hora, there are still quiet beaches, quaint villages and ancient gems. Agriculture remains important on Naxos where you will never be short of something to do.
Agios Georgios on Irakleia is the Island’s biggest village but has just over 100 full-time inhabitants. It owes its name to the Chapel of St. George in the village itself. There is also an ancient castle while the sandy beach is also an attraction. There are some shops and tavernas though it may not be the best place for re-stocking.
Koufonisia is actually two islands: Pano Koufonissi which is the inhabited one with tourist facilities, and Kato Koufonissi totally uninhabited but worth a visit for the beach. They lie between Naxos and Amorgos and offer is a great place to relax. Walking and cycling are popular activities for exploring the fantastic beaches some of which are actually nudist areas. Chora is the main settlement for tourists to find accommodation, taverns and shops.
The white windmills of Katapola are an easily recognized feature of this is port on Amorgos. Katapola is in the northern of the island and is typical of the region; traditional blue and white houses and a major landmark, the old Venetian castle. Other ancient ruins of the City of Minoan are located above the port. There are plenty of tavernas and shops in the town.
The town and Astypalaia Island take the same name. The settlement stretches inland up the slopes from the port and the old Venetian Castle stands dominantly over the Island; it is certainly its major landmark. A member of the Cyclades Islands, the architecture is typical of the Group; white washed houses of course. Windmills take advantage of the breezes, located on the top of the hills.
Vathi stretches from the port area up the hills behind. A traditional small fishing port, the colourful boats dock in the harbor when not at sea and there are also boats available for day trips out into the Aegean. The region is fairly dry and vegetation limited but the cuisine, often with fresh fish, is wonderful. Tourists will find tavernas and shops in the village.
Turgutreis, the second largest city on the Bodrum peninsula, and a fantastic coastline town offers a lot of attractions. Due to its westerly facing location, Turgutreis has some spectacular sunsets, combine that with its amazing bay feature, sit on the waterfront and just enjoy the most exotic and relaxing sunsets in the Aegean. There is a lot to find in this exceptional city, including a plethora of restaurants, shops, boutiques and hidden cafes all waiting to provide you with every smell and taste of local cuisine.
Turgutreis is about an hour drive from Bodrum international airport and is the second largest city on the peninsula. Just south of the city center lies the pristine beach Karaincir. This lovely spot offers action and excitement while enjoying the long sandy beach. There are many sea sport options, ranging from banana boats to pedaloes, as well as a lazy time lying on the beach enjoying a cool drink.
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.