It is also possible to sail down the Rhine and Danube Rivers of the European interior into the Black Sea and the Bosphorus providing a safe and quick route to the Turkish coastline. Both the Atakoy Marina on the European side andSetur Kalamis-Fenerbahce (Amiral Fahri Koruturk) Marina on the Asian side of Istanbul offer 24-hour service. A large number of modern marinas dot the coastline between Istanbul and Antalya, providing supplies, easy access to the shore at major resorts and safe harbours, as well as often becoming local entertainment venues in themselves. Turkey’s most established marinas lie on the southern Aegean and Mediterranean coasts at Izmir, Ceşme, Kuşadasi, Bodrum, Ayvalik, Mersin, Datca, Bozburun, Marmaris, Gocek, Fethiye, Kalkan, Kaş, Finike, Kernel and Antalya.
Bare-boat charter is a form of yachting also available in Turkey where the passengers themselves crew the boat. An experienced skipper accompanies the vessel, but once on board the people who undertake the charter perform all of the tasks the handling of the sails, the seaman’s chores and housekeeping. More adventurous and experienced sailors can charter and pilot smaller (9- to 10-metre) motor yachts. Flotilla sailing, or sailing with a group of yachts led by one boat, is another great adventure on the sea. Although an experienced sailor skippers the lead boat, the navigation of each individual boat is left to its crew.
The azure waters of the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Sea, as well as the Sea of Marmara and over 8000 km of coastline with its treasure chest of coves, inlets, bays and beaches means that Turkey is a yachter’s paradise. Tempered winds which generally blow from the west and northwest make the long summers ideal for the what is appropriately named a Blue Voyage on a gulet, a traditional Turkish wooden sailing boat – and there are great opportunities for swimming, fishing, skiing, surfing and diving too.
For those who wish to relax there’s no better way than aboard a traditional gulet. Accommodating between eight and twelve people, these boats based on traditional fishing vessels are equipped with all modern amenities and a crew who will take care of the boat and its inhabitants. Travel agencies can arrange charters and fixed tours for a specific group or individually. Unlike cruises on large ocean liners, on a gulet you can explore the secluded bays and coves of the coastline.