Charter a Luxury Yacht in the Turkish Riviera and explore Gocek, Fethiye, Gemiler Island, Kalkan, Kekova Island, and Kas on this 8-day Turkey sailing itinerary
Turkey is a wonderland right in the heart of the planet for the cosmopolitan tourist. Located in the Anatolian peninsula (Asia Minor) and straddling the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Western Asia, Turkey is often ranked among the top holiday destinations in the world.
With an imposing history thanks to the presence of some of the world’s oldest settlements, Turkey welcomes tourists from across the globe. Throughout the year, tourists mostly from Europe and neighboring Middle Eastern countries flock to enjoy the Turkish Riviera. It’s home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well as 500+ Blue Flag beaches, making it a de facto yacht charter destination. Its capital Angara, large cities Istanbul and Antalya, and the Lycian Way trail are widely popular among the traveling crowds.
Turkey has a perfect cruising ground equilibrium with an equal dose of the mountains, valleys, and friendly waters. There are beaches with crystal-clear turquoise waters, bazaars selling everything made and available under the sky, and beautiful Instagram-worthy coastlines that protect the ruins of the ancient civilization which are bound to excite the history fanatic in you.
Spend 6 days traversing southwestern Turkey off the city of Antalya in a luxury yacht charter that will provide an enchanting experience away from the mundane. Stroll around in the amphitheaters that are thousands of years old and indulge in Turkish history before heading to a secluded cove with the love of your life or your family for a swim in clear waters with modest marine life dancing beneath you. And then top the days off with beautiful sunsets by the beach while munching the best of Turkish food such as kebabs, raki, manti, and baklavas.
The Turkish coasts are one of the most advanced for yacht charters thanks to its up-to-date ports, impeccable facilities, and an overall warm welcome extended by the Turks.
In our 6-day Turkey yacht itinerary, we start from the west in Göcek and cruise southeast to cover the southwestern coastline of the country that culminates at Kekova off Antalya. Göcek is one of Turkey’s most popular ports with six marinas and all the necessary infrastructure for yacht docking.
Cyclades Sailing Itinerary
Yacht Charter Day 0 – Göcek to Fethiye
Start your Turkey cruise from Göcek and reach Fethiye in about 1 to 2 hours depending upon your vessel speed. During peak season, this southwestern area of the Turkish Riviera enjoys a continental climate that is usually pleasant. But we recommend getting summer wear and ample sunscreen. Anchor at an isolated spot and head to the coast for a soothing lunch overlooking the Mediterranean.
Post lunch, amble across the coastline and take a sunbath or dive in for some snorkeling. Next, consider the Fethiye Museum, a must-visit place that will take you back to the history of ancient Lycians. This will be a great introduction to the Lycian civilization and help you understand the ways of the Turks better.
If you are into adventures and like nature trails, consider the Lycian Way. It’s over 500 kilometers in total but you can take the coastal route for a few kilometers and explore some of the ancient sights there. These include the magnificent Butterfly Valley with dark blue waters, Letoon, and Patara.
As the name suggests, the Butterfly Valley is home to diverse butterfly species. According to one estimate, the valley in its entirety hosts over 140 fauna species and 100 butterfly species that spawn in abundance in spring between June and September. The valley is also open to traditional beach activities such as scuba diving, canoeing, and kayaking. Find a center in the valley entrance to take a guided deep-sea tour or head to the mountains for a breathtaking view of the valley.
Other notable sights that you can view from your cruise or as part of your trek include Simena the sunken city, Myra which is known for its large amphitheater, the Tomb of Amyntas, and the Kizilada Lighthouse.
Meet your crew back in the yacht at the mooring place.
Yacht Charter Day 1 – Fethiye to Gemiler Island
Gemiler Island is a pitstop between Fethiye and your way to Kalkan, one of the most renowned tourist destinations in Turkey. It acts as a safe anchorage where you can take a cool siesta and later visit the remains of churches that date back to the fourth and sixth centuries CE. If you’d like to take some rest, skip the walk and stick to the coastline for a post-lunch siesta.
From Gemiler Island, alight from your yacht or tender (whichever way you came) and take a tour cab to visit the sights ashore at Kalkan, the next safest anchorage. Head to the historic ruins of Xanthos-Letoon and follow the footsteps of pre-Roman gladiators as they wrestled and performed in the amphitheater in front of a maddening crowd thousands of years ago. Xanthos-Letoon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known to have significant architectural influences on the cities that grew around it since. The Letoon site is a religious center and is known to help decipher the extinct language of Lycian. Explore the area to get a closer view of the writings and prehistoric culture of the Turks.
Kalkan is notable for its nomadic vibe. Talk to your captain to extend a day here if you wish to indulge more in the olden streets, bright bougainvillea lining the streets and small white-washed houses, and an overall Greek ambiance. According to one estimate, Kalkan receives sunshine about 300 days a year. Be sure to refill your sunscreen.
Continue to the third day at Kalkan.
Yacht Charter Day Day 2 – Kalkan
Kalkan is yet to be fully commercialized for tourism so you’ll have ample time to take in the natural glory of the stone streets lined by white-colored stone homes similar to invoking thoughts about the Greek and Ottoman architectures. Kalkan has lots of ancient ruins that you can visit along with fellow international tourists.
Kalkan is most known for its hilltop citadel called Tios which has had human settlements since at least 4,000 years ago. For the beach lovers, there are Patara and Kaputas to enjoy some brisk walking in the off-white sand, sunbathing, and snorkeling.
It’s also a good place to quench your shopping urge for locally made artifacts such as rugs, shawls, handbags, wooden board games, and showpieces. A place for the perfect Turkish souvenir for folks back home.
Yacht Charter Day 3 – Kalkan to Kekova Island and Myra
Kekova Island and Myra offer the dual luxury of clean waters for snorkeling while swimming down around the remains of the Lycian civilization. Yes, you can amble past sarcophagi, ancient tombs, and archways as you enter the waters for a good, deeper dive. This will be a standout experience of your Turkish Riviera trip as the sunken city is truly a sight to behold. Make sure you carry your swimming and snorkeling goggles to get a proper view.
After swimming in the Kekova waters, head to Myra to amble through old tombs and Lycian architecture. Take your time and laze to find obscure wall paintings and sculptures, stone faces, and remains of semicircular amphitheaters that date back to the Lycian period and which bring out the historical prominence of the place.
Myra is also known for the church where Saint Nicholas had preached. This basilica also has the original tomb of Saint Nicholas. Spend your post-lunch hours visiting this church and a nearby fortress that will make for a good trek just before tea time. Indulge in some street food with a good helping of Turkish traditional food and a mandatory cup of tea.
Yacht Charter Day 4 – Kekova Island to Kas
Although Kas falls on your way from Kalkan to Kekova Island, it’s recommended to drop anchor there on your return cruise. From Kekova, we’ll head back to Gocek and stop at Kas and Gemiler Island.
Kas is an upscale version of Kalkan and you’ll see tourists from around the world here crowding over souvenirs that could translate as keepsakes back home. Kas has a lot to offer to every type of tourist. So, if you’re aching for some home cooked food on your trip, just walk into a casual café and order away. There are also bars lined in the coastal villages of Kas that will offer a laid-back afternoon nightcap and luncheon. The villages themselves are quite blissful with streets decked with jasmine flowers and an overall olden vibe that is bound to sneak up on you.
This is also the last spot in your Turkish itinerary before we head back to Gemiler. So, if you missed getting something for your friends at Kalkan, Kas is the place to compensate for it. You’ll find all sorts of mini markets here selling clothing, accessories, and home furnishings. Along the markets, if you’re lucky, catch a local music concert or an art fair to explore and support local artists.
Post lunch, enjoy some scuba diving as you will find several centers that facilitate it throughout the hours. Both beginners and advanced scuba divers can partake in undersea sightseeing with guided tours available near the port. There are at least half a dozen wrecks worth visiting, including the Kaş Archaeopark Site. Octopuses and sea turtles in Kas’s splendidly turquoise waters will brighten your day as you reach the end of your itinerary. If you’re adventurous, also try kayaking, mountain biking, and canyoning around the villages.
Kas is also well-known for its spice market. Once you’re on the shore, how about getting some Turkish saffron and dry fruits to aid in your culinary feats back home?
Yacht Charter Days 5 and 6 – Kas to Gemiler Island to Göcek
Experience the village walks around the old town of Gemiler where Saint Nicholas is assumed to have lived for years. Explore stone archways and tunnels to go back in time.
Ask your captain for suggestions to make the most of your final days in the trip. Consider staying the night at Kas or head back to Gemiler Island for some local aperitifs and head back to Gocek the following day.
The cruise back to Göcek can be a bit tiring as it will take roughly 5 hours to reach back ashore. This is a great time to catch up on some sunbathing aboard the yacht or for a deep dive while at anchor. We recommend keeping the coast on your starboard so that you can catch up on some missed spots, if any. These mostly include coves that are a great way to beat the Turkish heat post an over-satisfying meal. Spend the night on the island and prepare for the cruise back to Göcek the following day, i.e. day 6 of your cruise.
The airport is a 20-minute drive from Göcek.
Note: Your itinerary will be tailored according to your preferences and weather conditions gauged by the yacht’s captain. Make sure to discuss your trip with the captain during the course to further improve your experience.