An Overview of Turkish Riviera Yacht Vacations. The location, the best reasons to choose the Turkish Riviera, and the best time to charter. The types of yachts that are available for charter and more.
Where is the Turkish Riviera?
The Turkish Riviera stretches along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts of southeast Turkey. It’s also known as the “Turquoise Coast,” thanks to the water’s startling blue and green hues. It is home to ancient wonders and modern luxury. And its charms stretch from Cesme in the west to just past Alanya in the east. The area’s natural beauty has captivated travelers and sailors for centuries. Each generation of travelers has left its cultural mark on these shores.
Best Reasons to Choose the Turkish Riviera for Your Next Yacht Cruise
Turkish cuisine is a delicious blend of flavors from the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and North Africa. Many of the most popular dishes are historical holdovers from the Ottoman Empire. When palace chefs collected and refined the recipes of the empire, that strong culinary tradition lives on in contemporary Turkish cuisine, which focuses on simple dishes with intricate flavor profiles. Plus, as far as international food goes, Turkish food is easily approached by the standard Western palate.
Turkish culture is characterized by hospitality and openness unmatched by any other. The color and vibrancy of this mindset echoes from the bustling squares of Istanbul to the brightly-painted houses of the coastal towns. With a significant emphasis on sharing everything from cups of tea to once-in-a-lifetime experiences. An open and receptive attitude is the cornerstone of Turkish culture.
Whether you’re interested in ancient ruins, stunning vistas, or contemporary marvels, there are countless things to see and do on the Turkish Riviera. The Lycian Trial is home to impressive ruins that blend seamlessly into the shoreline. And the ancient city of Ephesus boasts a cultural heritage that remains relevant to this day. The mountains running along the Turquoise Coast offer incredible views from the top, along with adventures like paragliding and rafting. Onshore dining and nightlife options are endless, and strong communities of local artists keep the art scene fresh and dynamic.
The climate of the Turkish Riviera is moderated by its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, which offers mild and enjoyable seasons year-round. Summers are hot yet breezy, with temperatures in the 80s and some humidity. Winters along the coast are mild, with temperatures hovering in the 50s and some precipitation.
Types of Crewed Boats Available for Charter
Traditional Turkish Gulets / Motorsailers
A Turkish Gulet is a vessel with two or three masts designed and produced along the southern coast of Turkey. While the design was initially meant for fishing vessels, its most widespread use nowadays is for tourism and charters. They range from 14m to 60m and feature luxurious cabins and amenities. Most gulets are fitted out with a motor, as well.
Motor-sailer yachts can harness the power of the wind or rely on their motor for power. This means travelers can enjoy control over how, where, and how fast they move between destinations. Modern motorsailers boast deluxe cabins and shared spaces, and sailing on these vessels is generally smooth and predictable.
A power catamaran is an excellent choice for people who want a nice balance between luxury and adventure. The catamaran allows travelers to anchor closer to the coast and navigate even in shallow waters. This could be an excellent choice for people who plan to stop along the countless hidden beaches and private lagoons that the Turkish Riviera offers.
A sailing catamaran is one of the most exciting ways to see the Turquoise Coast. Relying entirely on wind and propped up by two hulls, this boat offers a more hands-on and active experience. Of course, the crew will be responsible for the sailing, but the travelers should be willing to go wherever the wind might take them!
Sailboats rely on the wind to carry them, usually much smaller than gulets or motor yachts. Most travelers prefer sailboats for shorter trips or even day trips. The hands-on and adventurous nature of sailing is beautiful to knowledgeable and experienced sailors.
This type of yacht is very popular when chartering along the Turkish Riviera. Accommodating from six guests to twelve or more, depending on the licensing of the yacht. Sizes range from 65ft to 300ft+.
Popular Yacht Charter Destinations on the Turkish Riviera
Bodrum is the main port of the Mugla district. During the classical era, the ancient city of Halicarnassus stood here; you can still visit this once-great city’s ruins and archeological sites. Bodrum has been a thriving port town throughout the centuries with a cultural heritage shaped by Persian rule, Alexander the Great, and Crusader Knights. The bustling town still centers on the port, and the local beaches and marinas are the main attraction for contemporary visitors.
Cesme is the westernmost town of the Turkish Riviera, where it sits on the Karaburun (“black nose”) Peninsula. The word “Çeşme” means “spring” or “fountain,” and the prevalence of Ottoman fountains throughout the town explains the name. Brand new archeological discoveries date the city as far back as the 5th century BC, with a history that spans from classical antiquity to the Russo-Turkish War of the 18th century.
Nowadays, Çeşme is a famous tourist center that offers everything from relaxing beaches to exciting adventures and extreme sports. Explore the Cesme area on a Cesme Gulet Boat Charter.
Marmaris Turkish Riviera Yacht Vacations
Nestled between two rows of mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, Marmaris is one of Turkey’s most popular tourist destinations. It’s famous for its diving scene. In addition, its twin marinas are home to some of the best gulets and yachts in the country. For centuries, the Castle of Marmaris was a sign of strength and security for whoever was occupying it. In the same way, this port town has harbored sailors throughout the winter. Offering a seasonal shelter year in and year out.
Fethiye – once called Telmessos by its Hellenistic Greek founders – is a smaller town in the Mugla region of Turkey. The Archeological Museum of Fethiye offers insight into the long chain of different rulers and civilizations that shaped the area over time, and ruins of ancient cities and tombs can be seen at every turn. Kızılada (“red island”) lies in the Gulf of Fethiye, about 4 miles away from the port. It is a popular stop for sailors and offers a great view of the coast and the historic lighthouse. One of the best ways to experience this coast is on a Fethiye Gulet Boat Charter.
Gocek is a village that lies outside Fethiye, right along the coast. It’s surrounded by gentle mountains that offer great day excursions to striking vistas and new perspectives of the Turquoise Coast. It’s home to a few marinas and a popular docking and launching point for gulet tours. These tours can take you to the hidden bays scattered around the region, such as the Hammam of Cleopatra, Tersane Island, and the Kapıdağ Peninsula.
Best Time for a Turkish Riviera Yacht Vacations
Best Season or Fun in the Sun
If swimming, diving, and sunbathing are on your vacation plan, then summer is the time to travel to the Turkish Riviera! This is also the “high season,” meaning it will be the most crowded. If you’re planning a summer trip, book early and budget a bit extra since the influx of seasonal tourists drives local prices up.
Best Season for Sailing Weather
For a breezy and cooler sailing experience, fall and spring are the best seasons to travel. During these mild seasons, the winds are more consistent. Plus, you’ll be more likely to find the perfect vessel with the right availability for your sailing trip since these seasons tend to be less crowded. If you’re interested in fishing along the Turkish Riviera, note that the fishing season opens around the third week of September. And continues until the cold weather takes over.
Best Season for Avoiding Crowds
Spring and Fall are the times to visit the Turquoise Coast for a more secluded and authentic adventure. Temperatures in the 70s will still allow you to enjoy swimming. In addition, the sunny Spring and Fall can still allow for some excellent time outdoors and on the sea. Spring and Fall are the “low season” for sailing, so you should book ahead to find a captain and vessel that will sail during this time. However, once you find the right boat, you’ll have the sea more or less for you.
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