7 MIND-BLOWING Experiences You’ll Have Sailing Turkey
With history on every hilltop dating back 3,000 years, to an awe-inspiring coastline that resembles the colour of precious stones, to tantalizing vibrant flavours — Turkey is one of the most fascinating and culturally rich sailing destinations in the world.
To put it bluntly, exploring the country by sea will be one of the most unique and unforgettable adventures. Let’s dive right into the deep end and see what mind-blowing experiences a sailing holiday in Turkey holds in store for you.
1. EXPLORING SKOPEA LIMANI & GÖCEK
It’s all about getting remote, in a great way.
Get ready to disconnect! Dotted with endless hidden coves and pine tree-lined hillsides, the Skopea Limani bays around Göcek are some of the most beautiful and remote stops on the route. From lunch stops in crystal clear water to overnight stays under the stars, there’s a lot of awesome to take in.
But the most enchanting part of the Skopea Limani bays are the ancient Lycian tombs carved into the mountainsides you’ll spot as you sail through the region, dating back 3,000 years. Some you can even hike to!
Throughout the Skopea Limani bays lay hidden tavernas tucked into these remote coves that are often only accessible by boat and run only by families and locals for generations. Here you’ll have one of the best night sleeps of your life gently rocking to the water after a huge Turkish feast and the glorious food coma that follows. #DroolWorthy
2. HIKING SAKLIKENT GORGE
We’re getting deep on this one…
Known to be one of the world’s deepest canyons, Saklikent Gorge is an awe-inspiring natural marvel you have to see (and hike) to believe. The name “Saklikent” translates from Turkish to “Hidden City” and that is definitely a vibe you get when you arrive at the national park.
Past the treehouses and river-side “chill out” platforms, you’ll find yourself standing at the entrance of a chasm in the rock face 300 meters high. That’s about the time to scoop your jaw off the ground and head in where you’ll spend the afternoon hiking through this mesmerizing canyon formed over millions of years.
After winding your way through the gorge and a chai and chill out sesh, cap off the adventure in Saklikent with a splash and hit the river on tubes. Sit back and float down the cool spring-fed river and take in the stunning mountain landscapes as you bounce and bob down the small rapids. #JawDropping
3. SWIMMING IN CLEOPATRA’S BATHHOUSE
Splish, splash, this is an awesome bath.
Imagine an afternoon anchored in a bay with a backdrop of mountains and pine trees, warm cerulean blue waters filled with fish to get your snorkel on, and ancient ruins waiting to be explored. Sounds pretty awesome huh?
This is Cleopatra’s Bathhouse, and rumour has it that these 2,000-year-old ruins were built as a gift to Cleopatra after one famous Roman general Marc Antony gifted the whole Turquoise Coast to her as a show his love.
Though it is just rumour and local myth, it’s still a fantastical experience to SUP board through these partially submerged ruins watching the fish dart away into the different rooms as you paddle through history. #SUPlife
4. BEACHES AND SUNSET AT PATARA
Get your oohs and aahs ready.
Warm sand beneath your toes and a pastel sunset to die for — Patara has one of the most ethereal stretches of beach in the world. It doesn’t get much better than this…from one mountain range to another 18km of sand and dunes sprawl out before you. No wonder it’s considered the gem of the Turkish Riviera!
The hardest decision you’ll have to make is what drink to have, and whether to play volleyball or simply soak in the scenery. But it isn’t just a beach — upon entering this protected beach (for sea-turtle breeding) you’ll spot the ruins of an ancient theatre and city of Patara dating back to the 8th century B.C.
Since Patara Beach has such a vast un-interrupted view of the horizon, it’s one of the only places out of all of our MedSailors routes where you can watch the sunset over the ocean, making for a fiery crimson and orange moment you won’t forget, and even the possibility of seeing a green flash! #LifesABeach
5. COLOURFUL FETHIYE
Experiencing the full spectrum of Turkey.
Let’s just lay it out…Fethiye is a sensory explosion in all aspects. Combining the tastes, sounds, sights, scents and experiences that Fethiye holds, this easily makes it our most colourful and diverse destination on the MedSailors Turkey route — there’s a bit of everything for everyone to love.
Hit the vast marketplaces filled with vibrant spices, elaborate fabrics, and clothing of every colour for your souvenir fix. Dine at tantalizing traditional restaurants and dance the night away at lively bars and clubs. Or simply laze on a white sand beach. Our personal tasty choice: Hit the Fish Market where you can pick from the freshest caught seafood and choose from the surrounding restaurants to prepare it for you.
For the culture hunters and history lovers, check out Fethiye Castle for sunrise, or wander the ghost town of Kayaköy and it’s 500+ abandoned stone structures.
Fethiye is also the perfect place to relax and pamper yourself a bit. Or a lot! At the marina MedSailors moors for the night, you can enjoy the pool with attached bar for tasty waterside cocktails, hit the relaxing Hamam for the traditional Turkish Bath experience, or loosen up and let all the worries drift away in the spa with a massage. Just do yourself a favour, get one of their delicious espresso martinis! #HakunaMatata
6. EXPLORING GEMILER ISLAND RUINS
Tomb Raider has nothing on this…
Calling all history nerds! Let out the inner Tomb Raider while anchored at Gemiler Island, AKA Saint Nicholas island, named after the saint who’s associated with the one and only Santa Claus. As you sail up to the island, the sheer amount of ancient ruins will blow your mind as 80% of the island is covered in stone structures dating back to the 4th Century.
This mystifying labyrinth of ruins is said to be the original resting place of St. Nicholas, and here you can discover 5 ancient churches, over 50 tombs, and wander through the dizzyingly long 350m stone procession tunnel. And come across the occasional goat or two that call this mysterious island home. Just make sure to wear shoes!
Surrounding Gemlier Island, the warm turquoise bays abundant with sea life make it an ultimate place to swim or snorkel for the afternoon with a good chance you’ll come across the sea-turtles that frequent these remote bays! #NotTheNorthPole
7. SAILING THE TURQUOISE COAST
It’s a gem 😉
There will be an ongoing statement of surprise blurted throughout your Turkey sailing trip somewhere along the lines of “Wow, the water is so blue!” The waters around the Turkish Riviera are so startlingly beautiful and blue, it’s no wonder they named the Turquoise Coast after the precious gemstone it resembles of the same name.
We may be biased, but it’s true when we say sailing Turkey is the best way to experience it, with many of these amazing destinations only accessible by sea! With ideal sailing winds, a laidback approach to the sailing week, perfect temperatures for swimming, remote destinations, and endless history on display — Turkey is definitely going to blow your mind.
Ready to have mind-blowing sailing experience in Turkey? Book your MedSailors Turkey holiday today!