The West Coast of Turkey:

Here you’ll find the perfect mix of beach holiday and culture, with plenty of variety on offer. While the Mediterranean coast’s wide beaches and tourist villages attract package holiday makers, the west coast seems much more off the beaten track. You’ll still find miles of sandy beaches, though the sea might be a little cooler than further south, as well as olive trees, turquoise sea and ancient sites that have been converted into interesting open air museums.

Since the early 80’s, the west coast has become a well known sailing and yacht chartering area thanks to its modern and well-equipped marinas and harbours. With crystal clear waters, safe and quiet coves, beautiful beaches and rich vegetation, the fjord-like coastline has much to offer sailors. Anyone who wants to get away from the yacht marinas, will find stunning and safe anchorages here.

Charter a yacht in Turkey

Charter a yacht in Bodrum Peninsula and Gökova Bay / Turkey

Charter a yacht in Göcek and Fethiye Bay / Turkey

Charter a yacht in Marmaris and Hisarönü Bay / Turkey

Charter a yacht on the Coast of Turkey

Charter a yacht on the West Coast of Turkey

In the north, mass tourism hasn’t arrived yet and you’ll be one of only a few yachts. In the summer you’ll find it much more pleasant than its southern counterpart due to the cool winds. The charming harbour town of Kusadasi with its glittering beaches is well worth seeing and the coast to the Dardanelles is made for the sailing adventurer. The blue Aegean Sea merges into the Anatolian plateau, with green slopes and valleys, some with rivers.

Chartering a yacht on the west coast of Turkey

  • Ayvalik (Cunda Marina)
  • Cesme (Cesme Marina)
  • Alacati (Alacati Marina)
  • Sigacik (Teos Marina)
  • Kusadasi (Setur Marina)
  • Didim (D-Marin)

Impressive natural phenomena, such as the travertine mountains of Pamukkale, alternate with marinas, modern tourist resorts and small fishing villages. Illustrious names like Troy, Pergamon and Ephesus annually attract crowds of visitors to the famous sites of Priene, Miletus and Didim Heraklia, none of which should be missed.

The area

Wind & Weather: Good sailing winds and not too hot temperatures in the midsummer make this a popular sailing region. The Meltemi blows in the summer mostly from the north and northeast. Easterly winds are more likely in the Gulf of Edremit and the Candarli Bay.

Wind strength can rise up to 7 Bft in the straits and the Cape. Afternoons are mostly calm, however, winds can hold until night so be sure to seek out good protection. Expect southerly or southeasterly winds in the low season.

Best Sailing time: mid-May to mid-September

Difficulty: Moderate. Caution when starting in Ayvalik. There are underwater rocks in Tatlisu Körfezi, reefs off the entrance to the Bademli Limani and around the Bozburun islands, numerous reefs in the Foca archipelago, underwater rocks in Ildir Körfezi. Mersin Körfezi – from the entrance to the Sigacik Limani and in front of the Eastern Cape of the island Doganbey – need to be navigated with caution.

Navigation: Quite simply between the islands, except the passage from Chios to Lesbos.

Ports and anchorages:

Eastern Sporades – An earthquake on the Turkish mainland separated the Greek islands of the Eastern Sporades such as Lesbos (Mytilene), Chios (Sakız) and Psara, Samos (Sisam) and Ikaria.  On Lesbos, there are a lot of protected natural harbours and indescribably lush countryside. Lesbos is home to many famous ancient artists and thinkers, as well as the poet Aesop, famous for his fables.

Turkish Coast – Ayvalik has a modern marina, surrounded by the scenic Laguna with some islands and many bays.  Opposite is the Mytilini Marina . In Cesme, Teos Sigacik, Kusadasi, Alacati Didim and find more well equipped marinas, as well as many protected village harbours eg in Dalyanköy, Foca or Körmen Adasi. Tip: if you want to visit the islands, you’ll need about 14 days.

Regulations and authorities: To enter you’ll need a valid passport or identity card. There are harsh sentences for drug offenses and the acquisition, possession and exportation of “cultural and natural heritage”.  An official sailing license for yachts with coastal navigation is also necessary. In order to sail along the Turkish coast every charter yacht will require a Transit Log which will be paid for and handed over during takeover. Travellers from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Republic of Cyprus (Greek part), Hungary, Ireland, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom can obtain a visa on-line.

Getting there: The international Turkish airports of Bodrum, Dalaman and Izmir are served by various charter operators as well as schedules airlines from most major European cities. Turkish Airlines fly from all major destinations via Istanbul.

Not to be missed: the wines of Samos are a must.

Marinas – ports in Turkey

  • Antalya
  • Bodrum
  • Cesme / Alacati Marina
  • Fethiye
  • Finike
  • Gocek Izmir / Teos
  • Kalkan Karaca Sögüt
  • Kas
  • Kemer
  • Marmaris
  • Orhaniye
  • Turgutreis / Bodrum Peninsula
  • Yalikavak / Bodrum Peninsula