Cruise the Coast of Turkey

Nicholson Yacht Charters

The Lycian Coast of Turkey offers unimaginable delights. The area between Bodrum and Gocek is a yachtsman’s dream. Snow-capped mountains rise sheer from the sea. The bays are tranquil and scenic abounding in antiquity. The land is Biblical and pastoral with sheep farmers and ladies in colorful pantaloons who bend at the waist to plant their tobacco fields. Yachtsmen can visit a sunken city, a turquoise cave, the ancient city of Caunos, the Lycian tombs of Dalyan dating back some 2000 years…The bays sparkle with hues of blue and green. Stop for a mid-afternoon swim. Experience peace and tranquility when anchoring for the night in an uninhabited cove with olive trees ashore and the sound of goat bells in the distance. Turkish cuisine is delectable either aboard your yacht or ashore, and you can enjoy local music and nightlife when your yacht anchors stern to a bustling village with cobble stone streets and colorful boutiques and market places. Turkey assails the senses. Turkey has it all.  Let original Nicholson brokers Sylvia Weston and Shelby Nicholson arrange a cruise for you in Turkey this summer.  Click here for a suggested sailing itinerary to the Turquoise Coast.  Click here for a combination sail to the Greek Islands and Coast of Turkey.   Both itineraries start in the picturesque port of Marmaris, which is accessed from the Dalaman Airport and Turkish Airlines from Istanbul.

The Charter Fleet

We have all manner of power and sailing yachts available for charter in Turkey, but Turkey also has its own kind of yacht called a “gullet,” which is a locally built motor-sailor that offers commodious living accommodations and fast powerful engines. The masts and sails are used for steadying purposes. They get you where you want to go quickly. They are usually not expensive to charter, and their Turkish crew know the cruising ground well. Their rates usually include what’s known as “Greek Terms” – that is, they generally include four hours of fuel per day, dockage, and crew food, but guests must pay for their food, the price for which varies from yacht to yacht. Generally, food and board run €75 per person per day for three meals and bar, or €55 per person per day for two meals and bar.  So you can dine ashore…. Rates for children are available.  Click here for a Summer 2013 Rate Sheet and find the yacht that is exactly “perfect” for you.


One of the delights of cruising the Aegean is arriving at a port and anchoring stern-to the public wharf for dinner, shopping and nightlife. The atmosphere of these places delights the senses.  The pretty little port of Marmaris, Turkey offers exactly this.  A restaurant here…a store selling carpets there….a yacht lying stern-to here…. The red Turkish flag with crescent moon and sickle flies straight out in the wind, and at night these restaurants fill with patrons.  You have a real treat in store to sample the local Turkish cuisine on the quay at night.  Next morning visit a Turkish Bath and shop in the bazaar.  The atmosphere  of life on the quay is an experience you will cherish for a lifetime.

Castle in the Bazaar

Atop the hill that looms over the bustling town of Marmaris is a fairy tale castle with ramparts and crenellated walls. Reminiscent of the days when knights rode in shining armor, the castle is floodlit at night and recalls bygone days of the Crusades. Take a stroll up there after dinner and look down upon the twinkling lights of Marmaris and your yacht that is anchored stern-to the public wharf.

Ancient Ruins of Caunos

Wind your way through meandering channels of reeds and rushes to the ancient ruins of Caunus. Through the ages, the Dalyan river has become silted in with sand and soil, so the Lycian city of Caunus is no longer on the coast of the Mediterranean, but considerably inland. A local band entertains you with Turkish music while you go….and the crew passes around succulent figs and Turkish Delight. The ancient ruins of Caunos have been silent for two thousand years since Christ, but they are very much in tact with amphitheatre, acropolis, and streets. Lycian Tombs carved into the chalk-like cliffs near Dalyan are your view at the fish-side restaurant at the water’s very edge afterwards. They stand watch over you as you enjoy your luncheon at the side of the river.

The Call to Worship

Five times a day one hears the lonesome distant wail of a Call to Worship that comes from the tall stately minarets dotted around the Turkish countryside. In the Olden Days, religious leaders stood on the small circular balcony at the top of the towers calling their flock to worship, but during modern times, the Calls eminate from recordings. You hear it in the early morning, and again at midday, but you have to also give respect to people who practice their religion so openly and so loyally and with such sincerity.

Other things to do during your cruise is to visit a Turkish Bath, ride a camel, and shop for  carpets, copper, leather, and pottery.  A visit to a nearby Greek Island also offers a fine contrast:  Greece is Christian, and Turkey is Muslim. Greece has black-robed priests, and Turkey has mosques with minarets and calls to worship. Greece has white-washed villages, while Turkey has camels, tobacco fields and women who wear veils over their faces, and Greece is only fifteen miles away.

But a visit to Turkey would not be complete without a visit to Ephesus, where it is believed that the Gospel of John was written. Ephesus was founded by the ancient Greeks, but flourished through the days of the Roman Empire. Today there remains a theatre, a temple, residences, library, gate, Odeon and the tomb of John the Apostle, and much more.  It is located just outside of Izmir, and is well worth the visit.  For this reason, we suggest flying out of Izmir…. Like us on Facebook to learn more.

Let original Nicholson brokers Julie Nicholson, Sylvia Weston, and Shelby Nicholson arrange a cruise for you along the Coast of Turkey this summer.  Click here for our Summer 2013 Turkish rate sheet, where you will see at a glance the wide range of vessels available there with captain and crew – sail and power, large and small.  Click on the name of the yacht for an e-brochure, or email us, and we will be happy to recommend specific yachts for your purposes.  Tel:  800 662 6066.   Some e-brochures require a password.  This  month it is 616535864.

The Mediterranean season is from May through October, with July and August being high season, June and September being mid-or low season, and May and October is low season. But don’t think you will be short-changed by the weather during May and October.  These are two of our most popular months, and they are less crowded.