Have you thought about Turkey lately? A country of about 87 million people, surrounded on the north by the Black Sea, the Marmara Sea between the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles Strait, the Aegean Sea to the west, and the Mediterranean to the south. The combination of mild climate, mountainous scenery, and beautiful beaches along some 8,500 km (5,282 mi) of shoreline make it worth a second look.
This year I attended the 4th edition of the TYBA Yacht Charter show @ D Marin Göcek, the only yacht charter show in Turkey and one of the most important events of this kind in the East Med for trade professionals. Organized by the 90 member TYBA Yachting & Brokers Association, the show featured 54 boats of all shapes and sizes, a wonderful opportunity to tour a stunning array of motor yachts, sailing boats and iconic Turkish-built gulets available to charter in the region. Along with hundreds of others, I met the delightfully welcoming captains and crew firsthand while they showcased their yachts and discussed the shipyards they represent, and sampled the chefs’ delicious creations. There was a boat for everyone’s tastes and needs. There were also ancillary products and services on display, workshops offered, and a chance to network with local contacts and learn more about the many attractions available in Turkey.
Set in D-Marin, a full-service natural marina with everything you might need and a short walk from Göcek, a charming town surrounded by mountains which is quickly emerging as the new hot spot for Turkish yachting. The very spot where, according to locals, the mythological Icarus disobeyed his father’s warning and flew too close to the sun on wings made from feathers held together by wax when it melted fell to the sea. It is an up-and-coming destination with plenty of unique shops, good restaurants, and a modern marina only 20 minutes from the Dalaman airport.
Göcek, sits on the Turquoise Coast which is just as stunning as its name suggests (the word turquoise comes from the French for Turkish). It is rich in history, natural beauty and culture making it an ideal sailing destination. It is part of the Aphrodite Route, with favorable weather from April to October, calm seas and historical roots that measurably date back 10 thousand years BC earning it the moniker as a “giant open-air museum”.
While there I had the opportunity to take a famed Blue Cruise aboard Derya Deniz a 24-meter motorsailer with 5 cabins built in 2008 and refitted in 2022. A Blue Cruise or Blue Voyage is a well-worth voyage along the Turkish riviera on the southwestern coast along the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. Our knowledgeable captain, talented chef and attentive crew made it a memorable voyage. Though traditionally synonymous with Bodrum gulets which can be comfortably chartered, you can easily follow craggy coves and inlets in your own vessel to ancient cities, harbors, mausoleums, tombs, and beaches. There are numerous small coves in which to enjoy a glass of the delicious variety of Turkish wines or to moor for the night.
The abundant natural and archaeological points of interest make this stretch of Turkey’s coastline a popular destination for both national and international tourists. It is home to not one but two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: The ruins of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus.
Turkey’s warm hospitality, its rich unique culture and stunning scenery should place at the top of your list for great adventures.