Gocek to Marmaris
Gocek is situated at the top of the Gulf of Fethiye on the Turquoise Coast of Turkey. The international airport is no more than 20 minutes’ away and the setting is lovely; the mountain slopes come down to this small place that is the gateway to a number of small islands and beaches in the Bay. The harbour has a large capacity and a super-yacht is often seen berthed in Gocek.
The twin bays of Aga Limani are a tempting place to drop anchor. They are close to the tip of Kurtoglu Bay within the Gulf of Fethiye and as a Network Port, you are able simply to relax, swim, try your luck at fishing or take even a long walk along the beach. The sea is extremely clean it and water is cooler than elsewhere as a result of the underwater source near the beach. If you follow the path to the bay for around an hour you will arrive at the ancient Lycian city of Lyda.
Gokgemile Bay is just a short distance from Oludeniz and when you are at the very top of the island you will see 360-degree views across the whole area and its coves.
The ancient city of Bozukkale (Loryma) dates back to the years BC. The nine towers of the castle walls extend out in a rectangular pattern and together with the castle look very solid and well preserved. ''Kale'' means ''corrupted'' so the name may be a consequence of one side of the Castle being missing. Bozukale was used by the British navy many years ago, acting as a shipyard as well. There are great views across the Aegean and everyone can watch the yacht activity out to sea. Its location also resulted in it being a natural stopping off point for yachts sailing in the Aegean. In 395 BC, the Athenian Navy under the commander of Karori is known to have visited while Demetrios, son of Antigonos chose this port to prepare for the attack Rhodes during the Cnidus War in 305 BC.
Marmaris, a port city in the South West of Turkey has become an important tourist resort in recent times. The region is commonly called the ‘’Turquoise Coast’’ because of the beautiful colour of its waters all year round. There are many bays along this piece of coastline where yacht charters can anchor at will. As a natural harbour, Marmaris was an obvious place for development and today it has the capacity for taking 800 yachts. Marmaris is the gateway to a beautiful part of Turkey, rich in history, fertile and offering a whole range of things to see and do. Blue cruise facilities in Marmaris mean it is a logical starting point for tourists wanting to sail these lovely waters. Ashore, there are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants while at sea during the many months of blue skies, you can relax and enjoy the stunning surroundings.
Ekincik is a nice bay between Marmaris and Dalyan with its lovely Iztuzu Beach. It is never busy with just the occasional yacht mooring there. The beach is fairly small and gravel/sand while the waters are fairly shallow. There are places to get food and drink during a stopover. One of the most popular activities from Ekincik is to head a little further east to Iztuzu Beach though it is off limits at night as a valuable nesting site for the loggerhead turtle (caretta caretta). Behind the beach is the Dalyan Delta which winds down to the small town of Dalyan with its impressive Lycian Tombs and the ancient ruins of Kaunos. Alternatively, there are some water sports that you can enjoy within the Bay itself or why not trek up the surrounding slopes? There is interesting flora and fauna though you are unlikely to see wild boar by day. There is a road that takes you along the western banks of the Delta if you are feeling energetic.
Tersane Island or Shipyard Island, is the biggest in the Gulf of Fethiye. There is a deep, 100 m long channel which provides entry and the ‘’Shipyard’’ name comes as a result of that because it was home to the Ottoman Navy. There are plenty of coves and sheltered bays to the east side, which is known by some as summer harbour. The west side is subject to strong winds so it is largely ignored. There are some ancient ruins of a settlement called Telandria visible from the sea, and worth exploring on land. It was used by the Byzantines centuries ago.
Some people name this island as Prince Island. Once upon a time there were a lot of wild pigs here; therefore the island was named Domuz (Pork) Island. Many yachts can be found anchoring in protected areas of the island.
Sea Gull Bay is another place that is an idyllic setting, surrounded by fig trees. Its Turkish name is Yavansu because of the quality of the water coming down from the mountains. It is good only for animal watering. This Cove is also known as Seagull Bay (Marti Koyu) because you will find seagull mosaics on the shore. There is a pleasant hike through the pine after which you will need to climb to get to ancient Arymaxa. Arymaxa has a Roman mausoleum, one inscribed in Greek, a Hellenistic tomb also inscribed in Greek, a sarcophagus, and a Byzantine cistern.
Manastir Bay is a volcanic area but everything is now dormant. There are many bays in the Gulf, formed many years ago and it is hard to imagine that the area was never anything than as peaceful as it is today. It is a hilly region covered in pine forest and there is an interesting crater lake as well. An ancient wall runs parallel to the north east coast. The Lycian remains are impressive and there are several opportunities for taking a trail to generally explore. Lydia Network Port is along one of those trails and the bay is a place where blue cruises and all passing yachts are likely to stop for a period; it is too tempting not to do so. Several restaurants with wooden pergolas hug the shore and find custom from the passing yachts. It is not a place for restocking but if you have plenty of supplies on board, you may decide to stay overnight, such is the tranquil beauty of the place.
Sarsala Bay is a popular bay with yachtsmen because it is a natural bay good for swimming or for staying overnight. The attractive bay has a long stony beach, a valley running inland which is covered with trees and is overlooked by Forestry Mountain. A restaurant and pontoon are found in Sarsala Bay where yachts regularly moor.
Bedri Rahmi Bay has a Lycian name of Tasyaka or Dark Bay, a reflection of both its natural beauty and historical significance. Bedri Rahmi Eyuboglu was a famous Turkish literary man who also loved art and painting. Back in 1973 when he was cruising with friends, he drew a fish on a huge rock at the entrance to the bay. It is now known as ''Fish Rock'' which has become known as the name of the whole region. The Bay is well sheltered from any winds and as a result yachts often anchor there. The colour on the slopes is created by the pine trees, olive groves and especially the oleanders. Add to that the blue waters and the beach and the image is amazing.
Kille Buku is a little Bay between Boynuz Buku and Tasyaka. The slopes of the Bay are thick with pine trees. It is a great place for a picnic spot for locals coming from Gocek.
The Yassica Islands in the Gulf of Fethiye are visited on a daily basis by trippers as well as yachts that move up and down this coastline. They are uninhabited with no buildings on any of them but they provide great opportunities to anchor and swim. Many have small beaches as well. The vegetation is pine and olive and the shallow waters are ideal for a number of water sports. Certainly, they are very safe for children and hence popular with families. Some of the islands are very close together and it is easy to swim between some of them. If you want to explore it is advisable to have strong footwear with you because the ground is fairly stony. The nearest port to the Islands is Gocek which is the starting point for day trips into the Yassicas. You will get some great photos while you are among these islands and if you stay as the sun goes down, the sunset shot may be the best of the lot.
Your blue cruise ends mid-morning after breakfast and you are likely to already have some lovely memories of your time in the stunning waters of the Turquoise Coast. Gocek is fairly small but interesting. The main shopping street runs parallel to the promenade and there are plenty of shops catering for visitors. If you still have time before you are flying home then Gocek deserves some of it, whether you simply want to sit, relax and gaze out to sea or whether you have last-minute shopping.
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