I first heard about sailing along Turkey’s Turquoise Coast a few years ago when I read a story by San Francisco Chronicle Executive Travel Editor John Flinn, a story that was reprinted in Travelers’ Tales Turkey. From that moment on I wanted to do what he had done, and I had the opportunity in 2006. Setting sail in Gocek we meandered to Bodrum, stopping at the ancient city of Knidos and many other sites along the way. But once was not enough, so I returned in September, this time to explore Gorkova Bay in a loop out of Bodrum.

We sailed the same lapis sea, dove into the same blue, blue water, but visited other places such as English Harbor, where the British hid their submarines during World War II, Bachelor Harbor, where before the age of engines sailors waited for the winter winds to blow them back to their homes after stocking up on firewood, Cleopatra’s Island, with its famous government-protected sand found only there and in Egypt, the quiet seaside village of Oren with its engaging Wednesday market, the hill town of Bozalan, known for its carpet weaving but now known to our group as a place of special hospitality.

We may have been biased but our boat, the gulet Kaptan Sevket (a gulet is a traditional Turkish wooden yacht), was the most beautiful on the high seas with its blue and woodgrain mahogany hull and blue masts. For seven days it was our home, seven days of relaxing on deck, swimming in the sea, paddling kayaks in hidden coves, hiking in the forest, and exploring Hellenic ruins, all the while eating like Ottoman royalty. We also had our own special interest, building a writers’ group and pursuing the writer’s craft, which we did for several hours each day. But such special interest is no requirement: gulets can be booked with no agenda beyond enjoying yourself. There’s just one thing to keep in mind: once you’ve sailed here you may be compelled to come back again and again. The exquisite waters of the Aegean Sea quickly get into your blood.

Filed Under Cruises, Feature, Sailing, Travel, Turkey


9 Responses to “Sailing Turkey's Turquoise Coast”

  1. Dina Street on October 2nd, 2008 6:49 am

    Thank you for sharing, Larry. How did you end up choosing the particular gulet that you did? We’ve had excellent feedback on Kaptan Sevket as well.

  2. Larry Habegger on October 2nd, 2008 12:10 pm

    I have a friend in Istanbul who knows the boats and captains and she chose this one for us. I’d recommend Captain Mustafa and the Kaptan Sevket to anyone.

  3. Jet Set Life on October 2nd, 2008 5:01 pm

    Turkey’s coast is really beautiful. We’ll have to mark this as a spot of interest for our next video shoot. Thank you.

  4. Jim Hornthal on October 12th, 2008 7:57 pm

    We chartered the Surgun D’ (through Interpac Yachts) with Captain Mavis, and had a spectacular time. The gulet was very clean and well maintained, and the crew pampered us 24×7. We have referred several friends who have subsequently gone with Mavis, and they all reported a similar, excellent experience.

  5. Dogan Sahin on March 4th, 2009 9:13 am

    Turkey is one magnificent place to visit but Blue Cruise is the top way of sailing and visits to antique sites combined. Afterr all of those different and exotic places I have traveled, I found the Aegean region the most attractive of all holiday destinations.

  6. Kyle on July 23rd, 2009 3:03 am

    Its a wonderful place and nothing beats cruising across the beach at speed clambering along the side of the boat!

  7. Beverly Parsons on January 9th, 2010 6:15 pm

    As an agent, it is always rewarding to see such glowing charter reports. Our company has been chartering in Turkey since 1985 and for the past 10 years it has been our #1 charter destination! We send about 30 groups to Turkey per year.

  8. Pierre Baril on February 28th, 2013 12:13 pm

    We are a canadian couple (67-62) looking for a 4 days (or 7) sailing trip along the Turkish shores around June 7 2013. To much info on the web!!!!!

    Could you suggest a sailing company?



  9. Larry Habegger on March 5th, 2013 3:32 pm

    I’ve used Mustafa Nalbantoglu at adamvoyages@turk.net. I’d recommend him highly.

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