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.
Kos is one of the most prominent Dodecanese islands, most probably only second to Rhodes. This is where Hippocrates taught in the Asklepion, the ancient Greek college that was set under a Plane tree that still stands in its place. Kos is steeped in history, and there are many archeological treats to find here, including Corinthian columns that line the roads, the Castle of the Knights of Saint John, and the famous Kos harbor. With all this magnificent history, it is not surprising to see how modern tourism fits in perfectly, with an international marina, lost of shops, tavernas and leading restaurants that offer local cuisine as well as international dishes.
Pserimos is a small island with a population of 35 residents. This is a tourist island, and its closeness to Kos and Kalymnos attract visitors for its remoteness and the wonderful local cuisine and hospitality. Many a visitor falls in love with this wonderful isolated island.
The capital of Leros is made up of three towns, Agia Marina, Panteli and Platanos. This amazing combination of Greek white washed houses small winding alleyways and shiny time worn stone steps stand out under the Bourtzi, a Byzantine fortress that sits imposingly above the harbor. Overlooking from its hill top, Bourtzi beckons visitors to enjoy the islands amazing views and wonderful hospitality.
One of the lesser visited sites in the Dodecanese chain is Lipsi. This small island is next to the more popular Leros, but don’t overlook it. Lipsi has beautiful beaches and an even more inviting town, with wonderful taverna and shops to enjoy. If you want a quieter atmosphere, then this is the place to visit.
From here, sail to Patmos and dock in the main port of Skala. Patmos’ breathtaking scenery and special atmosphere have made it an ideal getaway for those seeking inspiration or a quiet retreat. The island is built around the important Monastery of St. John and its medieval fortress, which is visible from nearly everywhere on the island, and stands to overlook Chora as a reminder of Patmos’ historical and spiritual significance. St. John is said to have penned the Book of Revelations and the Apocalypse here on Patmos. The monastery houses some spectacular frescoes and a museum well worth visiting. The smaller monastery of the Apocalypse halfway down the hill from Chora grew up around the grotto where the Evangelist is said to have heard the voice of God.Although Patmos is traditionally a place of spiritual pilgrimage, it is has diversified somewhat, and you’ll also find there great designer boutiques, Greek-style local cuisine, cafes with spectacular views, and what’s more after dinner the island certainly doesn’t just sleep and there is a lively buzz into the early hours.The International Film Festival of Patmos takes place this year from July 21– 27 and the Patmos Festival of Religious Music happen late August - early September.
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.
Everyone has heard of Mykonos, and rightly so, with its name in so many songs and ballads. This gorgeous island is part of the Cyclades group and is called “Little Venice” due to the architecture. Mykonos is a very popular tourist spot, and you will find the latest entertainment opportunities that provide experiences around the clock.
Paras town is relatively large with a population of 3,000 residents. It is also the cultural and commercial center of the island of Paros and has a fine port. The architecture is typical Cycladic with its white washed walls and lots of green foliage. Mutli colored windows and doors break the dashing white brilliance. The port will greet you with its white washed windmill, and the town will provide you with plenty of fine food and lovely sights to walk around and enjoy.
Hora is the main city on the island of Naxos, which is the largest island in the Cyclades chain. This town is built on the side of a mountain, so be prepared for steep cobbled streets, wear the appropriate shoes and get ready for an in interesting and exhilarating day of exploring. What you will observe is that this town is still agricultural, and their produce is evident in the amazing meals you eat when dining in their restaurants.
Agios Georgios is the main village on the island of Iraklei, and it is home to around 100 residents. The name comes from the chapel of Saint George located in the village. Apart from the lovely beaches that beckon you to relax, you can restock here as well as visit the ancient castle for some adventure.
The island of Koufonisia is really made up of two islands, one is the inhabited island of Pano Koufonissi, and the second is the uninhabited island of Kato Koufonissi. These two lovely islands are located between Naxos and Amorgos, and are both a great place for relaxing. The main town on Pano Koufonissi is Chora, and here you will find all the amenities that tourist hope to find ono a Greek island, especially local cuisine.
The port town of Katapola on the island of Amorgos is famous for its white windmills. The houses are also traditionally white washed with blue windows and doors, giving you that photo magnificence seen all over the web. There is an ancient ruined Minoan city situated just above the port, and you get a lot of lovely cafes and taverna to rest and enjoy local delicacies.
Astypalaia is both an island and the name of its town. Astypalaia is part of the Cyclades chain of islands. With a respondent Venetian castle overlooking the port, as well as the rest of the island, it is perhaps the most dominant feature you will find. You will find windmills and white washed walled houses atypical of this area, and exceptional local dishes offered in the port eaters.
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.