The sea side city of Fethiye is located half an hour’s drive from Dalaman Airport. It is a well-known tourist center in the South West of Turkey, and has a lot of bars, restaurants and many different day and night entertainment spots. Fethyie in itself is steeped in history with a number of exciting archeological sites and the area is steeped in layered culture, built over centuries. Th city has three marina’s, all with modern facilities. Fethyie is a great spot for starting or finishing a yacht charter and has quite a few islands dotting its coastline adding spice to an already colorful city with a lot of local cuisine to whet your taste buds.
Quite close to Fethiye is Samanlik Bay, this small bay is considered to be a great location for anchoring, even when Fethiye is close by. The slopes leading down to the bay are covered with trees and the waters are cool and inviting. This is a regular anchor location for many yachts, and is if you want to visit Fethiye, its just a short sail away.
Gemiler island is an uninhabited island near the city of Fethiye. It has a lot of restaurants and cafes located near the famous ruins, but the owners don’t live on the island, they come every day for as a tourist business. Gemiler is considered to be the resting place of St. Nicholas, or what we all now as Santa Claus, who is also the Patron Saint of Sailors. During the early Christian era this was a very active island with a lot trade and commerce. It his home to some Byzantine ruins and St. Nicholas’ tomb. The island is now a pilgrimage site, as well as a favored day stop for yachts. The local cuisine is exceptionally tasty, and they are located in a nice relaxing spot with wonderful views. Blue Cruises have a license to stay overnight, but the rest of the island empties at sunset, and it becomes quite desolate. There is no commercial site to restock, so if you need supplies its best to sail onwards or restock in Fethiye.
Ölüdeniz is Turkish for Dead Sea, which it derives from the calm waters that seem to shine like a pane of glass all year round. Ölüdeniz is a small village in the Fethiye district in the Muğla Province. It is one of the most visited and popular tourist spots on the Turquoise Coast of southwestern Turkey. The blue lagoon sits within a pebble beach enclosure, and the waters are crystal clear, aquamarine and differing shade so of blue. Behind the town is Mount Babadağ, that sets the pace for the paragliding community. This is considered to be one of the best and most beautiful paraglide locations in the world. It is also part of the Ultramarathon called the Lycian Way Marathon. For visitors arriving by yacht, this is a great place for snorkeling and scuba diving, since the lagoon has plenty of small underwater caves and a lot of interesting fauna and sea life. Apart from the activities found here, there is a tourist center that has a number of restaurants, cafes and shops to restock if needed.
Between Kas and Kalkan sits the beautiful cove of Kapoutas beach. This cove is pictured a lot in national and private tourism advertising printed brochures and online magazine. This is where beauty and the beast meet up and become on, the beach itself is not recommended for families with children since it is quite deep, and the waters tend to be rough most of the time.
Kas was once a small fishing village, today it is a growing tourist town with a nice marina and perfect conditions for scuba diving. In fact, Kas is considered to be one of Turkey’s main diving centers and it delivers in every sense. The contract between the clear aquamarine waters and the dark rocky cliffs, make this a truly magnificent place to berth and enjoy. Quite close to the harbor is an ancient amphitheater, and around the harbor are plenty of small restaurants and tavern providing fresh seafood meals. This is also a preferred restocking location for Blue Cruises, so while your crew is stocking up, you can either relax in town, or take a scuba diving moment. You will also be able to see the Greek island of Meis, just off shore. The town is linked by modern roads and is also a great base for exploring the local archeological sites and regional history.
The inlet of Gokkay is close to kekova. This amazingly beautiful location sits opposite three islands, Asirli island, Kiseli island and Kasirli island. Entering the harbor of Gokkaya usually happens when coming from Kekova, and is made by sailing between the islands of Asirli and Kiseli. The deep channel provides ample protection from the rocks of Martini Kayagligi. What is amazing about this bay is the cold spring waters that filter down from the mountains and flow int the bay. This cause the waters to have two temperature levels, a cooler upper layer and a warmer lower level. Apart from the sea and the islands, you also get access to the ancient Acropolis found in the ancient city of Istlada, which sits beside the town of Kapakli. There are sarcophagi and stele shaped tombs, some with inscriptions from the 4th century, the most famous tomb is that of Hoyran.
Along the southern Teke province coastline of Turkey, within the Antalya region, lies the historic town of Demre. What makes Demre popular are its Church of St. Nicholas and the Myra Rock Tombs, nestled in the mountain, craved out of the mountain side. This is a great spot to anchor and marvel at the sights, as well as a great spot for reaching the sunken city ate Kekova. The Taurus mountains behind Demre give it a contrasting green and brown against the clear blue sky and the twinkling azure sea. There are many archeological finds dotted around this peninsula, so if you are interested in the ancient legends of Turkey and Greece, this is one area you will want to study closely.
East of Kas is the island of Kekova. The Kekova region is 100 square miles and includes the island of Kekova, the villages of Kaleköy and Üçağız and four ancient towns of Simena, Aperlae, Dolchiste and Teimioussa. Kekvoa is a protected region and is uninhabited. You will most probably anchor off the island, and you can visit the area to enjoy the amazing views, clear turquoise seas and ancient ruins. Close by you will find the sunken city of Apollonia underwater, which slipped into the seas after an earthquake. You can see this amazing underwater city clearly from your yacht.
Just below the Taurus Mountains sits the town of Kalkan. This amazing town is built on the slopes of the mountain, so you get a multi-layered white washed view against a dark mountain backdrop. This town has both a small harbor as well as a thriving olive business, and they make a special olive soap unique to their town. Since this site is so beautiful, many properties are owned by foreign residents that come to stay for a few weeks during the year. The rest of the time the property is either empty or rented out to visitors through sites such as Airbnb. The view of this town is magnificent, with overflowing colors from the multiple storied terraces on one side, and the clear bay waters shining under the sunlight during the day.
Close to Fethiye nestles Butterfly Valley. This valley is only really accessible by sea, since it is surrounded by Rocky Mountains. During the summer, and only for a few weeks, the valley fills with butterflies, hence the name. The largest species found here is actually a moth, it’s the white colored Jersey moth. The valley has a stream running through it, so even when the place is devoid of flying colors it is still an amazing place to visit. If you want to stay inland overnight, you can do so, but there are strict rules for camping that need to be adhered to.
Cold Water Bay, or as its known locally Bestas Limani, is aptly named after the many cold water springs that flow into the bay cooling the water down considerably, when compared to other bays. These springs start in the Taurus Mountains and the landscape provides many a cliff where the more adventurous holiday maker will jump into the sea. There is an abandoned town nearby called Kayakoy, it was a Greek town but abandoned in 1923 when the Turkish Republic was formed. Part of Russel Crowe’s film ‘’The Water Diviner’’ was filmed in the Kayakoy. If you want to take a small hike and stretch your legs from sailing, this would be a perfect location for that.
Turunç Pınarı is on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Fethiye. It is lined by pine trees and is home to a lovely restaurant. The restaurant has a pier with 15 moorings, and it supplies water provisions as well as a few times for restocking. If you take a short walk up the hillside, you will find a natural water spring under a walnut tree. Yachts usually anchor around 25 meters off the shore, and this is a perfect sport for a short landside respite.
Kizil island is considered to be a magical place at sunset. The islands name means red and the grounds color is red. However, it is at sunset when the whole island transforms, all the stones turn crimson red, providing you with an amazing photographic shoot. The island is uninhabited, apart from a lighthouse that is located on the southern tip. The Deliktas isles re located to the north west and are considered to be another great place to anchor, but for swimming and fishing.
After completing your exciting voyage, arriving at Fethiye for the return flight home, take a moment to enjoy the city one last time. If possible, don’t go back immediately, walk around the market site, soak in the last days of Turkey. Enjoy the final shopping and sense the wonderful smells and taste of local cuisine. If you have the time, stay overnight and enjoy one last romantic evening, or exciting bar night life. Once you leave, the memories will remain for a lifetime.