Bodrum to Greek Islands (North Dodecanese)
In many ways, Bodrum is the gateway to the Greek Aegean Islands. The nearby Gulf of Gokova is wonderful sailing, as is the Gulf of Hisonaru. In addition, Kos lies just a short distance due east of Bodrum. The crystal-clear seas are stunning and with days of sun throughout a yachting season, all the ingredients are in place for a lovely yacht charter holiday. If you add the lovely coves, great cuisine and hospitable locals, a real experience awaits
The Dodecanese Island of Kos has become one of the most popular islands in the region, arguably second behind only Rhodes. Its rich history includes the impressive fortress, the Castle of the Knights of Saint John close to the Town harbor, the ancient plane tree under which Hippocrates taught students and the Asklepion (his ancient sanatorium). Old Corinthian columns still gather weeds by the roadside. The purpose- built marina is just a short distance south of the ferry port. Kos Town has numerous restaurants, tavernas, cafes and shops and ‘’night owls’’ will find things stay open until late.
Pserimos lies between Kos and Kalymnos, just a few nautical miles north of Kos near to the Turkish Coast. It is small, only about 15sq kms and only 100 people live there full-time. Fishing is still important but increasingly tourism is a major contributor to the local economy. Visitors are often day trippers from Kos or Kalymnos. There are daily trips throughout the holiday season. Pserimos provides a chance to get away from organized beaches for a day, something that yacht charters can do every day of course. It can get busy but the beach is wide and deep, with plenty of sand and shallow warm waters. It is also a well sheltered spot. Beachside tavernas and cafes provide plenty of refreshment opportunities for those at the beach for a few hours. The harbour is small but it provides berths for yachts. There is little in the way of attractions to see but there are some interesting walks along treeless trails to other small coves on the island.
Lakki is a large port on the Island of Leros. There is plenty of neo-classical architecture alongside the white-washed houses. Wide streets are lined with palm trees and restaurants and bars near the port offer tempting menus. While in Lakki, it is worth visiting the interesting war museum.
Skala is the main town of Patmos island. Built around the harbor, it grew rapidly in the 19th Century with wealthy families deciding to make it their home. Two landmarks to look out for while you are there are the ancient acropolis and the Church of Agia Paraskevi.
Lipsi in the Dodecanese has yet to get much tourism, and what there is often comes from nearby Leros. The result is a real feel of Greece. It is a relaxing place, fairly quiet and with beautiful beaches and clear waters. Lipsi has some tavernas and shops but it is not really a place for stocking up.
Klymnos is known for its lovely architecture as well as the tradition of sponge diving. Rock climbing has emerged as a popular activity for tourists who travel to Kalymnos purely to enjoy their hobby. Kalymnos Town is the main settlement on the island and few would argue about its beauty; brightly coloured walls, doors, shutters and balconies make the streets are great place to wander around.
Turgutreis, on the South Coast of Turkey, is one of the main resorts on the Bodrum Peninsula. Its location is wonderful; mountains, islands and citrus groves. It faces west so it is a special place for watching the sun go down. There is a good variety of shops, bars and restaurants as well as a contemporary marina with modern boutiques and waterfront restaurants and cafes. The beaches are impressive with a long stretch of coarse sand dipping down into shallow water; perfect for children.
The 500 metre stretch of soft golden sand at Karaincir equates to a great place for families. The warm waters are inevitably calm in the many weeks of the holiday season. There are several different water sports on offer as well as banana boats and pedaloes. You can simply relax if you wish and take in the sun. Sun loungers are available as are refreshments throughout the day.
At the end of a charter holiday, and following a hearty breakfast, guests leave their charter yacht with wonderful memories of their time at sea. If they have yet to see what Bodrum has to offer, they should certainly do so before returning home. There is a well-developed tourist infrastructure with plenty of nice restaurants, bars and lively nightlife. By day, Bodrum Castle and the adjoining Museum of Archaeology is certainly the main attraction though the inland part of the peninsula has many things to see and do.
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