Sail Marmaris - Datca - Fethiye

Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places: the catchcry of Marmaris

Marmaris is a tourist town that attracts thousands of visitors each year, and for sailing the Mederranean coast of Turkey, it is the perfect place to start and finish your charter. Sail west and north past the ancient province of Caria, with its huge array of remote places to explore, and enjoy the sheltered waters that lap the peninsulas of Bozburan and Datca.

From Marmaris, the sailing zone extending to Datca along the southern sector of the Carian Coast makes for the perfect seven-day bareboat charter. Alternatively, travel east and explore as much of the Lycian Coast as time allows. If that part of Turkey is of particular interest, Gocek and Fethiye are alternative bases closer to the Lycean Coast attractions.  

East or West from Marmaris: the Choice is Yours

Marmaris itself is a small port city, but with a solid tourism infrastructure including convenient marina facilities, shopping and cultural attractions. Nearby is a large selection of anchorages from which to choose your first night settling into your charter. Turunc and Ciftlik are two examples, small settlements nestled beneath the rugged hills and facing idyllic coves. Stay in one on the way out, then the other on your final night - close enough to Marmaris to be back at base by your deadline.

Other ports of call recommended by local operators along this southern coast of the Bozburun Peninsular include Serce and Bozukkale, also known as Loryma. These villages further out on the peninsular also make the perfect pair for a stopover each way. If you get a chance to explore some of the peninsula, do take it. The land-based crowds don't venture out here too much, nature is preserved by active conservation policies, and the way of life harks back to much simpler times.

North to the Datça Peninsula

From the western end of the Bozburun Peninsular on a Marmaris charter, there's a choice to make. Sail northeast along the northern side, or cross the Gulf of Hisarönü (18 nm or so depending on your start point), and visit the Datca Peninsula and the small town of the same name. Until its discovery as a tourist mecca, this was one of the most inaccessible parts of coastal Turkey. Today, while welcoming visitors to share and enjoy their homelands, the locals are protective of their environment and have kept a lid on large-scale developments.

Should you confine your adventures to the Bozburun region, there is plenty more to see on rounding the tip of the peninsula. It is a pleasure to sail into the town of Bozburan, famous throughout Turkey for its beekeeping traditions and the thyme honey produced here. Stop awhile and enjoy the local fare. The day-trippers who have come by the winding road from Marmaris will be surely envious as they see you transfer back to your boat at anchor.

Orhaniye and the Upper Gulf

Further up the Gulf of Hisarönü is Orhaniye, a charter base in its own right and an alternative start/finish point for your sailing holiday. Form here you can explore the head of the Gulf, before it is time to head back towards Marmaris. Or if you happen to have another week available, you are on the doorstep of the equally attractive Datca Peninsular.

The fact is there are so many permutations around planning a Turkish charter that research and expert advice is a must. Where you wish to sail, what your accompanying family and friends have in mind for their holiday, how long you have to do it all in; and of course getting there: such factors all combine to determine your base and route options. There's no question, Turkey offers all the sailboat charter possibilities one could wish for. We'd be pleased to help get you on your way.

East towards Lycia

The Lycean Coast's western end is generally considered to be around the city of Fethiya. Just which part of Turkey you are most interested in will determine your choice of charter base, with a number on offer. But for now we are sailing out of Marmaris, and on an eastward course there are a number of places well worth discovering. 

Sailing east as far as Fethiye a good place to stop and explore is the area around Ekincik, close to the more famous Dalyan. This stretch of coast has lush forest-backed bays in which to linger, with undeveloped sections easy to find and particularly inviting. Nearby are the ancient ruins of Kaunos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to 400BC. 

Before reaching Fethiye or the alternative commercial centre of Gocek, you reach the Kapıdağ peninsula, an extensive outcrop with lots of classical history remnants, and some delightful bays such as Cleopatra's Cove and Kızılkuyruk Cove. Fethiye itself is a large port city with everything to make this a convenient turn-around point on a charter from the west. Alternatively, use Fethiye (or Gocek) as a base for your Turkey sailing holiday - in either direction. The point is about this part of the Turquise coast, there are simply so many chartering options.  

Our client reviews about charter sailing in Turkey

Rating: 5 / 5
The boat was excellent. We were the 2nd charters so it was effectively new. The Jeauneau 41 is a great boat for3 couples in a family. Easy to handle, enough performance to get where you want to each day, good facilities, good size cockpit etc.

SK Yachting were excellent at checkin and checkout. Friendly service, helpful and knowledgable. The checkout process on our arrival back was a well oiled machine. We sailed to the West of the base in Marmaris and the coast and villages were not as good as a previous charter out of Gocek. Perhaps if we had gone east it would have been better.

Bruce, Australia, Jul 21st, 2023
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