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.
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.
When crossing the Gulf of Gokova you should stop by the village of Cokertme. The Bay of Cokertme has been immortalized in local folk songs. The reason being that the bay provides ample protection from trade winds, especially when the West-North and West-easterly winds blow up. This is a frequently used stop over for yachts as well as fishermen, and the village has a lot of restaurants and taverns, all built over time to handle the constant influx of visitors. The local food is amazing in flavor and is priced reasonably well.
While sailing along the Gulf of Gokova you should visit the nearly sealed inlet aptly named English Bay. The name derives from the use of the bay buy the British during WWII for their torpedo boats. Due to its nearly sealed in topography, the bay provides perfect clear swimming conditions, and you will find two lovely restaurants on the eastern side of the cove.
The seven islands in the south of the Gulf of Gokova is a very popular stop for Blue Cruises. They are nestled just south of Tuzla. The islands provide a perfect shelter for anchoring, and you can do virtually anything you like here, from sponge diving to snorkeling, water sports and swimming. Some even try to harpoon dinner but be careful of other swimmers. Martil island is nestled in the west, and towards the sour east are the islands of Long, Olive and Small. This is a natural gulf and even when the wind is blowing you will be safe. For the explorers you can go on-land and check out the Gulluk woodlands or just relax on the secluded beaches. After a successful days recreation, you can enjoy the fish dinner you caught while harpooning, don’t forget to capture the catch of the day on camera.
Long Port is aptly named, with a 130-meter opening leading into an even wider bay area. The area is renowned for its beauty and many visitors anchor around the bay, or in a cove, to enjoy a calm moment before setting sail again.
Opposite the southern shore of the Gulf of Gokova are four islands that include Kufre bay. Kufre is natural harbor and is surrounded by the Gulluk forest woodlands. This is a perfect place to either anchor in a small cove or in between islands, and enjoy some water sports, relaxation, and swimming. This is a popular destination for yachts, so you will also enjoy company too.
If you are seeking a tree lined coast where the leaves and pine needles provide ample shade, then you must come to the bay of Karacasogut. The styrax forest lines the seashore and the pine forests cover the hills. After a short walk up the hill for a beautiful view of the horizon, you can walk down along the coastline and settle down for a wonderful meal provided by the local taverna.
Around 18 kms north of Marmaris sits Sedir Island, which is also known as Cleopatra Island. The name comes from legend when Mark Anthony is said to have ordered sand to be brought to the island to create a soft beach for his Egyptian lover. The sand here is definitely different from local sand, and it resembles the sands of North African coastlines the island is home to some fascinating Roman ruins as well as the ancient ruined city of Cedrae. The island boasts an Agora as well as a preserved Roman theater. The waters here are crystal clear, and the sands are white and soft, yachts pass and anchor off the island, and bathers come here regularly, and the island is also home to some exciting activities.
For lunch, we will set sail to Longoz (Kargili) Bay; another place like paradise, sheltered with huge pine trees. Kargili bay is known for a relaxing atmosphere, it has pine trees that end at the waters edge and the bay area is shelter, providing a tranquil sea. If its total calm you seek, this is the place to visit, and just lie back, enjoy the gentle rock of the yacht as the day goes by. For dinner and overnight stay you will anchor in Ballı Su.
Tuzla is a wonderful little fisherman’s village that hugs the coast. It is renowned for its epical local delicacies and is a great stopover for trying out new and freshly cooked seafood dishes. The waters are shallow and long, so it attracts many wading birds, in fact one of the reasons this village is so attractive is that it supports a plethora of wildlife that is not found in such concentrations in other places.
Kisebuku (Alakisla Buku) is named because of the Byzantine monasteries found in the region; ‘'kilise’‘ means church. The large cove is an excellent place for yachts to anchor. There are mountains to the north of the Bay with westerlies the prevailing winds. The ruins of an old monastery are found at Alakisla. There are plenty of attractions that you should plan to visit while you are here. Yalikoyu, Akarca, Fork, the Summerhouse, Bath and Cistern should all be in your plans. Kise Buku is an important place for a blue cruise to stop for a while. The groves of Oleander trees on the slopes down to the sea are a great sight, especially when combined with the colour of the sandy beaches.
About 30kms away from the center of Bodrum lies the village of Yaliciftlik. This is a relatively “virgin” village passed over by tourism, so Yaliciftlik provides a real Turkish cultural environment unsullied by touristic clichés. It has a lovely beach, and which is relatively clear of bathers most of the time, and the village itself lives off farming, so is quite rural in style. Apart from a lovely walk around this village, you can enjoy a real Turkish meal, prepared locally for locals. The main style of food is naturally; seafood, which is caught daily and is always freshly prepared.
Just north of Bodrum you will find the nose shaped bay of Pabuc Burnu. This is considered to be good place to anchor, ad the clear blue waters provide for a nice dip in the sea, as well as a short visit onshore.
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.