Sailing holidays in the Mediterranean Sea – tips for a Turkish getaway
Between historical ruins and Cleopatra's bath
Turquoise waters, picturesque bays and untouched landscapes with pine forests – Turkey has a lot to offer as a sailing destination. Far away from mass tourism and only twenty minutes by car from Dalaman airport, on the Gulf of Fethiye, lies the town of Göcek. The region has developed into a popular stopover for blue water sailors and a first class destination for yacht charter crews. The nearby archipelago with twelve beautiful islands invites for short as well as long distance cruises. With pleasant temperatures between 22 and 25 degrees Celsius in May and summerly 29 degrees Celsius in August, as well as water temperatures between 20 and 27 degrees Celsius, hardly any wishes remain unfulfilled. With over 300 sunny days a year, bathing weather is almost guaranteed. The best sailing time is between June and September. The Meltemi then blows with 4 to 6 Beaufort in the morning mostly weakly, freshens up from noon on and subsides again in the evening.
If you only want to sail for a few hours a day, you can stay in the sheltered waters of the Gulf of Göcek. Bay-hopping allows you to swim where Cleopotra once bathed in Hammam Bay, sip a cocktail at hip Adaia restaurant in Monastery Bay, or settle into a family atmosphere at Muammer's fish restaurant in Gobun Bay. All of these particularly charming and exclusive locations can only be reached by boat.
Sailing yacht charter
Göcek is the home of Saysail, a young charter company founded by the experienced sailing yacht dealers Trio Deniz and Croatia Yachting. True to the motto “That's all you need”, Saysail brings together the local know-how of Trio Deniz and the sailboat charter business experience of Croatia Yachting. The Saysail fleet offers nine brand-new Hanse yachts for charter: from the 3-cabin Hanse 418 to the comfortable Hanse 675, based at the luxurious Village Port Marina on the south coast of Turkey. Their sailing yachts can be booked as a bareboat charter (without a crew) or as a crewed yacht charter. Fully crewed yachts offer easy sailing and local expertise that makes sure you won't miss hidden gem sailing grounds.
Example route for a sailing trip
For an eventful sailing trip through the Eastern Archipelago, the following itinerary is a good choice:
Day 1 (6 NM) Base Göcek - Boynuzbükü Cove / Bedri Rahmi Cove
Surrounded by pine forests, Boynuzbükü houses a restaurant with its own orchard. Enjoy lunch here and then hike along Bedri Rahmi Cove, with its striking cliffs made famous for its stunning nature by Turkish writer and painter Bedri Rahmi Eyüpoglu. A natural freshwater spring and rock tombs up to 2,500 years old provide further highlights for the shore excursion.
Day 2 (14 NM) Boynuzbükü Cove - Fethiye
Fethiye is located in a picturesque cove at the foot of the mountains, protected by green pine and cedar forests. Immersed in the greenery of the peninsula, this is the perfect place for those who love exceptional nature, privacy, and tranquillity. Among tourists, Fethiye is also known as “Turquoise Coast” or “Turkish Riviera” and one of the most popular places in the Mediterranean. The ruins scattered in the mountain scenery above are often one of the best highlights for travellers.
Day 3 (15 NM) Fethiye - St. Nicholas Cove (Gemiler)
On the island of Gemiler it is worth climbing to the top of the mountain! Along the way, you can enjoy spectacular views alongside the remains of historic churches and buildings from the 4th and 6th centuries. The church directly at the foot of the hill has a terrace overlooking the sea – ideal for a photo stop.
Day 4 (14 NM) St. Nicholas Cove (Gemiler) - Göbün Cove (Kapi Creek)
Göbün Cove will fascinate you with its nature, history and clear waters. Explore the breathtaking ruins of the late Byzantine period on the seabed while snorkelling. This bay is also a perfect starting point for a short hike surrounded by olive and pine trees, sunset views from the mountain tops or pure enjoyment in one of the restaurants on the beach.
Day 5 (3 NM) Göbün Cove – Cleopatra Hamam Cove/Tersane Island
Cleopatra Cove (Hammam Cove) is a must on the way back to Göcek. On the way there you can discover the ruins of a Byzantine church, sip a cocktail at the hip but quiet “Adaia restaurant” in Monastery Bay or enjoy the family atmosphere at Muammer's fish restaurant in Gobun Bay. You should also visit the ancient town of Lydae or Tersane, the largest island in Göcek, which draws attention with its historical and natural significance.
Day 6 (8 NM) Cleopatra Hamam Cove/Tersane Island - Göcek
The return to Göcek is scheduled for the last, sixth day.
If you want to sail further, continue heading east to Kas-Kalkan-Kekova and discover more historical sites or explore new bays and anchorages. The coastal villages with their tranquil old towns and small fishing ports invite you to linger. Also in a westerly direction to Ekinçik-Marmaris-Ciftlik, secluded anchorages and exciting destinations await discovery.
Would you like to explore the beautiful Mediterranean in a relaxed way with the whole family? In our article about sailing with kids, you will find valuable tips on trip planning, equipment and safety on board, so that you can set off for short or long sailing trips with peace of mind.