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.
Orak Island has become famous for its marine life, and of course the crystal clear water. The Island is just 10 miles from Bodrum, heading east. Yachts and blue cruises regular pass by and often stop, even if they have an alternative destination. There are a number of lovely coves that sit below the many olive groves. Orak is not inhabited but it certainly enjoys a temporary population on yachts anchoring overnight.
Cokertme, a village mentioned in local folk songs, has become a regular stopover before or after crossing the Gokova Gulf. The Bay of the same name is located between Kepce Burnu and Karaburun It is a sheltered place that is ideal for an overnight stop. The boating community know it well because it provides good shelter from the winds Particularly those from the west-north and west-east direction. The coastline is long and lined with rows of pine and olive trees. There are several local restaurants offering delicious local cuisine to tourists at very reasonable rates.
English Harbour was a place where British naval vessels sheltered in secret during the Second World War. The Germans occupied many of the Greek Islands and two British military aircrafts with bodies of their pilots were found here by Turkish divers. It is thought that the airplanes were shot down by German anti craft fire from a nearby Greek Islands in 1942.
Blue Cruises usually all stop at Seven Islands which is a secluded bay south of Tuzla. It is a great place to do nothing or be active with swimming, snorkelling, fishing and sponge diving. As long as you are careful, you can try harpooning and perhaps even catch dinner? Walkers will enjoy the Gulluk Forest. The south side of the Gulf of Gokova in front of the islands is actually blanketed in lush pine forests spreading some distance along the shore. A natural gulf is created and you may anchor in any of a number of places to rest in condition even if winds are blowing. To the west is the island of Martil, to south and east, there are lovely beaches where you can swim, relax or sunbathe. The other islands are Long Island, Olive Island, and Small Island; each is virtually barren.
The entry to Long Port is about 130 metres wide and widens out into a large bay. This is a great setting with the slopes covered in pine forest and many small coves just waiting for you to anchor.
You can visit the natural harbor of Kufre or take a leisurely walk on the shore through the Gulluk Forest.The southern shore of the Gulf of Gokova in front of the four islands is covered with lush pine forests that spread across miles along the shore and between the two a natural gulf is created. You can anchor between the islands or inside a cove and rest in calm in any weather condition.
Karacasogut is a great bay where the forest comes right down to the sea. Colour is everywhere, added by the abundance of rhododendrons. The mountains are covered with pine trees while there is a styrax forest near to shore. The trees are entirely wild and quite unusual. It is worth eating in the restaurants after a walk there. The setting from up on the hills is very impressive.
Cleopatra Island, otherwise known as Sedir Island is about 18 kms north of Marmaris. Cleopatra Island gets its name because it is said that Mark Anthony ordered special sand to be brought to create a beach for his Egyptian lover, Cleopatra. Certainly, the fine sand is altogether different from any other in the vicinity. It is said to have come from North Africa and is certainly similar to that found in Egypt. The ruins of the ancient city of Cedrae are on the island. They include the city walls and ancient theatre. The ruins on the eastern side of the island date back to the Romans and the theatre section is in particularly fine condition. On one side you will see the Agora where athletics festivals were organised to honour of Apollo.
Longoz has the most impressive bays in the Gulf of Gokova, descending down from the steep hills to appear right into the sea save from the row of trees separating them from the waters. This is definitely nature at its best! Winds blow in every direction, perfect for yachts seeking for a place to anchor either in the salt water lake or near the island.
The charming fisherman's village of Tuzla has become famous for its restaurants, and especially its seafood that is invariably caught the same day as it is served. Some of the locals are also farmers or manage tree nurseries; others are bee-keepers. The shallow water attracts Wading birds are attracted by the shallow waters and there is other wildlife as well. It is an area of tremendous beauty that deserve everyone’s time.
Kise Buku (Alakisla Buku) is named because of the Byzantine monasteries found in the region; ‘'kilise’‘ means church. The large cove is an excellent place for yachts to anchor. There are mountains to the north of the Bay with westerlies the prevailing winds. The ruins of an old monastery are found at Alakisla. There are plenty of attractions that you should plan to visit while you are here. Yalikoyu, Akarca, Fork, the Summerhouse, Bath and Cistern should all be in your plans. Kise Buku is an important place for a blue cruise to stop for a while. The groves of Oleander trees on the slopes down to the sea are a great sight, especially when combined with the colour of the sandy beaches.
Yaliciftlik is 30 kms away from the centre of Bodrum. It is typical of the region, with pine forest, clear blue seas and inviting bays. The beach is largely shingle and nearby there are a number of restaurants with seafood a popular choice on menus. At the eastern end of the beach there is some sand and it is a place that rarely gets busy. You can swim in peace or simply lie and take in the sun’s rays. Yaliciftlik is largely unspoilt by tourism and it is possible to see rural life in the village where farming remains very important. You can in fact take a tour around the village to learn more.
Pabuc Burnu is a nose-shaped place just a short distance from Bodrum. It is a good place for yachts to anchor in the beautifully coloured waters. Yachts can shelter here quite comfortably close to land that is covered by shrub vegetation.
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.