Pine & olive grove fringed coasts of the little secluded, unspoilt inlets, lagoons, coves & bays along the Aegean & the Mediterranean coast host an abundance of flora & fauna that is unparalleled anywhere in the world.
Each year, thousands of holiday-makers, nature fanatics, photographers, sports enthusiasts, sailors & archaeologists, artists, writers, rich & famous & alike flock to Turkish Coast, whether it be to have a tranquil time or an action filled time or both, for a sailing holiday on a traditional gulet cruise that is not merely a unique sailing holiday but a delightful journey through history & is cultural feast as well.
In contrast to the Aegean, the Mediterranean offers more for the history lovers for the majority of the remnants of the civilisations of the bygone era are located on the Mediterranean Coastline. However, the Aegean has the upper hand when compared in terms of the undisturbed coves & inlets tucked away along the Aegean Coastline like a pearl necklace.
Marmaris is one of Turkey’s most popular resorts, which attracts lots of European holidaymakers, many of whom return year after year. It is a favourite with families & young couples alike. Due to its popularity, it has grown enormously over the years, hotels rapidly filling the space between the green hills & the azure seas. It is in a stunning setting, its geography remarkably similar to that of the fjords, with pine-clad hills dropping steeply to the sea, jagged inlets & tiny rocky islets off the coast. Lined with palms, the seafront has a typical Mediterranean feel & is a great place for an evening promenade. Shops, bars & restaurants line the streets, vying with each other to secure your custom for dinner each offering something more attractive than the last. There is no hassle though the local authorities are strict about touts operating in the street, which makes for a more relaxed atmosphere. By day, life revolves around the narrow strip of sandy beach which runs the length of the resort. Each morning boats leave from the old harbour for day trips to visit the islands & bays around the coast. The area around the harbour offers a taste of the character of the old town, overlooked by the ancient castle, which is now a museum. The Netsel marina is reached by
a small footbridge & is one of the largest & most modern in Turkey, the hangout of the jetset. The small shopping centre houses upmarket boutiques & intimate restaurants. There is a wide variety of goods on offer & it definitely pays to look around & hone your bartering skills to get the best prices. Marmaris really comes to life though as the sun sets.
Situated on a peninsula, Bodrum is one of the most chic & European resorts in Turkey, its charm residing in its blend of relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere, historical architecture & its proximity to a vast array of fantastic beaches, fishing villages & trendy nightclubs. The city, known in ancient times as Halicarnassus, town of Herodotus, has grown dramatically in recent years with the opening of an international airport, yet its delightful charm remains intact with palm-lined streets & white-washed, flat-roofed houses dotted across its terraced hillsides. The views of the city are exceptionally striking against the stunning backdrop of the Castle of St Peter, which stands formidably between the city’s twin bays. It is even more spectacular in the summer as Bodrum bursts into colour with cascades of bright pink & purple bougainvillea flowing from the dazzling white houses that line its narrow streets, winding down towards the sea. Bodrum is also the yachting centre of Turkey & its world-class Marina is a favourite destination for yachts that cruise the Aegean & the Mediterranean. It is an excellent place from which to organise a sailing trip with a vast number of sailing companies who cater for all levels of sailing experience. Most will organise boats with or without a crew so whether you are looking to organise a day-trip or take a longer sailing holiday, you can take advantage of the crystal-clear azure seas, stunning coastline & myriad of rocky coves & sandy beaches nearby.
Oludeniz is the archetypal picture postcard beach, backed by dramatic pine-clad hills & is the view that you see on many a brochure cover. Literally translated as ‘dead sea’, the stunning lagoon is a protected area, ensuring that its natural beauty is preserved. There is a small entrance fee to use the lagoon beach & only non motorised watersports are allowed on the lagoon itself. The main resort beach, which is free entry, is the long stretch of coarse sand & shingle, known as Belcekiz beach. Most of the accommodation, built in the traditional local Mugla style, is set back from the beachfront & in the streets behind. There is a strip alongside the seafront promenade with a number of relaxed bars, restaurants serving local & international cuisine & shops, which stay open well into the night. It is a perfect family resort, great for a laid-back beach holiday, with plenty of facilities but not too much development. Boats leave from the bay for trips around the surrounding coast & paragliding is a big draw with the descent from the Babadag mountains to land on Belcekiz beach, rating as one of the best in the world.