Bodrum to Greek Islands (South 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.
The small volcanic island of Gyali is situated halfway between the southern coast of Kos and Nisyros Island. Its South West area is thick layers of pumice-stone, while the North East region is obsidian currents and perlite. The two parts are joined by a narrow isthmus and beach made of reef sediments. A pumice-stone mining plant makes use of this natural resource. Aghios Antonios islet is close by and there is a beautiful beach to enjoy.
Nissiros is a small island in the centre of the Dodecanes. It has much to recommend it, ranging from its natural beauty to the rich cultural heritage which has survived until the current day. Nissiros is volcanic and that is its major natural feature; it was created by eruptions. The volcano of Nissiros island is still said to be active and with the craters easily accessible, many tourists and scientists from all over the world visit annually. The volcano is the main attractions but visitors will feel the serenity of the lovely villages on the island. Nissiros is rich in fauna and flora that specialists pronounce as unique.
Symi, off the Datca Peninsula of Turkey is another relaxing island. It is fairly small but offers plenty of chance to explore. The landscape is lovely and once back in Ano Symi there are bars and tavernas offering delicious Greek cuisine which you should try with the local wine.
Rhodes, with its Old Town a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the largest of the Dodecanese and offers everything a tourist would want. There is a 200 kilometre coastline, a fascinating interior, good nightlife and plenty of history. It has been home to several ‘’civilisations’’ in its history and also to a former Ancient Wonder of the World though the Colossus was destroyed by an earthquake many centuries ago. The narrow streets of this walled Old Town can be crowded at times but worth visiting with the Palace of the Grand Master and the architecture of the Knights of St. John notable features.
Datca is a town on the southern shore of the Peninsula of the same name in South West Turkey. It is around 75 kms west of Marmaris and has become a popular spot for yachts heading south down the Aegean and then turning east, or vice versa. There are many small coves on the Peninsula, small farming and fishing communities as well as beaches. It is famous for its tomatoes and olives and despite not having the greenery of some other parts of the Turquoise Coast, it is extremely fertile.
Knidos is at the extreme South West tip of Turkey on the Datca Peninsula. It is commonly regarded as one of the most impressive ancient city ruins in the whole of what was Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey. There is an ancient harbour with a theatre close by. There are two churches just a short walk away. They were built in the Byzantine period and there are extensive excavations that have been going on since 1960. The Statue of Demeter was one of the best discoveries while the lion statues which stood protecting the harbour are in the British Museum in London. The Temple of Aphrodite is a major attraction for visitors as is the necropolis. While Knidos is remote, it is a place that all yacht charters are easily able to visit.
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.