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Old 16-03-2012, 22:40   #1
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Favorite Stops out of Bodrum , Turkey

We have scheduled a 1 week charter leaving from Bodrum, Turkey the first week of September, 2012. I have done some reading on the area but have never been to Turkey. The more I research, the longer my list of "must see stops". We have four adults aboard. The crew members that won't be navigating but will be calling the shots have a few requests. 1) Relatively short sails (around 4 hours or so). 2) Dinner ashore in the evenings. 3) A beach or two along the way. 4) A little shopping. I picked Turkey and have no doubt that I will be very happy regardless of where we are.

A related question is: How hard is it to stop over on one on the Greek islands when chartering from Turkey? Personally there seems to be so much to see in Turkey that I wonder if it is worth the time since we will only be aboard for a week.

Thanks!
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Old 16-03-2012, 23:42   #2
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Re: Favorite stops out of Bodrum, Turkey

It's very easy to check out of Turkey and sail over to the Greek Islands, and would be something I would recommend if you had a bit more time. Certainly checking in at Kos is an easy enough process if you use an agent (and checking out of Bodrum can probably be done through your charter company). If you then plan on checking out further south, you'll be pushing to get North again and certainly looking at longer days than 4 hours of sailing.

Just my opinion, but most of the nicer Turkey sailing destinations are south of Bodrum, so you may want to head to Knidos on day one, and then work things from there. Knidos to Bozburun is a nice day sail, but a bit longer than 4 hours on the water usually (unless you can easily sustain 10+ knots). Knidos to Selimiye is also a long day, but totally doable.

I wouldn't recommend pushing on around the corner to Lorymar as given that you've only got a week, you'll end up spending most of it bashing up wind for long days to get back to Bodrum in time.

If you want to be able to eat ashore in the evenings, focus on the Hisaronu Korfezi, and if you want to get away from it all, focus on the south coast of the Gokova Korfezi.

Be aware that heading south will usually be downwind, and when that meltemi blows, it can be quite something to punch into going back north.

Hope this helps.

Cheers, PT.
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Old 17-03-2012, 02:01   #3
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Re: Favorite stops out of Bodrum, Turkey

We sailed from Bodrum several years ago and had a great fortnight. Forget the hassle of going to Greece if you only have a week.
If you are sailing from Turgatreis with Sunsail I would highly recommend a stopover in Bodrum town harbour marina itself - we loved the town, the harbour, the great restaurants and a night finished off with a live band at the yachtclub (tissue in ears to sleep if you go to bed early). Call to prayer wafting down the hot breeze at 5am made it feel very foreign, but people incredibly friendly. There are nightclubs but they are next bay around from the harbour and we didn't really notice them at all (unlike when moored in Skiathos and drunken revellers return from the clubs right by you!)

We enjoyed - Sailor's Paradise (beautiful inlet with one restaurant, only accessible by sea, good for swimming - Datca - nice town, moored on town quay but get there early-ish, some visited turkish baths and said they had a good time - Cleopatra's Island for lunch stop, the beautiful beach was overcrowded but the Gulet daytrippers barely go beyond the beach, and we spent an amazing hour wandering through ancient ampitheatre (overgrown with shady olive trees) and other ancient remnants on our own, seeing 2 other people and imagining what the place would have been like in its hayday (with around 150 people packed on the small but fantastic beach next to the anchorage).

We didn't visit Knidos, but from reports wish we had. We went to English harbour which was an interesting spot but water murky and lots of jellyfish so no swimming. We had a strange night in the woods, walking from our anchorage in a narrow creek like inlet, where Ali has a large hanging basket type BBQ and his English wife entertained with a belly dance before asking some of our group to take her with them as she didn't have enough money to "escape" - she was incredibly batty and it was a surreal evening all round!

Unfortunately I forget the names of other places and my log is in storage (living with parents having house built!) but if you have reference to restaurants in your pilot guide, the place with "Ogun's) was a good spot.

The wind in August was very predictable. No wind in the first part of the morning but meltemi from NW started 10.30 +/- and got up to F5 average. So when making passage north we would set of early and motor/motorsail. On an odd occasion crossing Gokova gulf we would motor west so when the wind arrived we could have a cracking sail.

Loved Turkey and looking forward to going back; have a great time, but don't miss some time in Bodrum.

Paul
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Old 17-03-2012, 02:48   #4
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Re: Favorite stops out of Bodrum, Turkey

+1 on wind in the second half of the day.
+1 on Bodrum marina, plus you'll be able to do some shopping (don't forget to bargain).
+1 on Knidos - gorgeous place, very nice fish in the restaurant. To wander the ruins go first thing in the morning, as it will get hot later.

Once you're in Bodrum, get a soft paperback guide called something like 101 Bays and Anchorages (most marine stores have it, and I would think charter co would also carry it). It's a large format publication that shows all anchorages/mooring fields/docks between Bodrum peninsula and Fethyie that have restaurants associated with them (docking/moorings are free). They also point out local specialties. You'll be able to plan your stops better. The publication is about 17-20 TL, but completely worth it in our opinion.

To travel back up north to Bodrum, I would strongly suggest crossing from Datca peninsula to Bodrum peninsula in the early morning (or even night depending on how confident you are). Most days meltemi switches on at 1 or 2 pm, but some will be on at 10-11 am (and on some, if there are systems to the east and west it will blow all the time). When meltemi blows, the stretch between Datca and a bit past Kos can get uncomfortable with wind against current and wind changing direction as much as 180 degrees once you're near Kos (and then disappearing completely if you get into Kos's shadow). We now usually travel this stretch at night as we've come to hate the washing board of waves and changing/gusting/disappearing wind. Closer to Bodrum peninsula you're ok as the waves get shadowed by Akyarlar capes.

When are you traveling?

P.S. There is an island right across from Bodrum town called Kara Ada (Black Island). On it there are some "Cleopatra mud baths in a cave" that are told to give you eternal youth. Don't go there - it's a tourist trap with a tiny cave, non-moving water (except for what's moved by hundreds of sweaty and slightly inebriated day trippers looking for that precious mud). It's the worst case of "milking" tourists we've discovered here, in Turkey.
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Old 17-03-2012, 05:24   #5
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Re: Favorite stops out of Bodrum, Turkey

We are traveling the first week in September.

Thanks for the great advice. I will have to put "No Raki when getting up to head north the next morning" on the list of boat rules. We are very excited about the trip. There seem to be so many wonderful places to go.
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Old 17-03-2012, 08:26   #6
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Re: Favorite stops out of Bodrum, Turkey

It'll most likely be hot and windy then, so be careful about exploring ruins and such - do it in the morning before the heat sets in.

Another favorite stop of ours is Bozukale - first harbour after passing Symi on the way to Marmaris south of Bozburun. There are 3 restaurants and nice ruins to wander about (the first restaurant is the closest to the castle ruins, but both first and second [Sunsail base] are said to be good). The water in that bay is the clearest we've seen around here - when snorkeling, it seems like you're flying. There is one anchoring spot farthest in the bay, but be careful - the bottom is small rocks and there are strong catabatic winds every night from 2 to 5 am that blow from the opposite direction to meltemi.

By the way, we were never able to get into Bozburun. On three occasions we tried the town marina was full with gulets and other boats and the anchorage aross a very windy bay (meltemi channels there) was also very-very full.

In general, we enjoy exploring Hisaronu bay (the big one after Gokova) more than Gokova as there are more islands, more smaller places to tuck in, and the wind makes it possible to sail both directions (in Gokova you have a perfect run with meltemi inside, but have to beat to get back out). Our fav place is Orhanye - the air smells of pines and the nature is beautiful. There is a small island with a herd of rabbits and ruins of yet another castle/fortification. Across from the island is Marti Marina with a club-like atmosphere and restaurant. It is a full day sail to get there from Knidos, so decide for yourself if it's worth it.
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Old 17-03-2012, 08:57   #7
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Re: Favorite stops out of Bodrum, Turkey

Great suggestions! Thanks. It helps to have first hand information. On paper it is hard to pick one spot over another.
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Old 17-03-2012, 10:10   #8
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Re: Favorite stops out of Bodrum, Turkey

My favorite spots;
- Gerbekse Bay (crystal clear water, with fish! (spend some time snorkeling and you'll realize how rare this actually is!))
- Bozuk Kale (Where the ruins of Lorymar are. Ali Baba's place gives the easiest access, but also gets a little swell side to which might not suit everyone. Go to the middle restaurant (Mustafa's place aka Sailor's House (it's actually his dad Ali's place, but Mustafa runs it). See if Dani is there, she used to spend most summers camping there and knows all of the history of Lorymar).
- Kinidos (A great place to spend a couple of days exploring. Visit the lighthouse in the late afternoon when the winds up. Fabulous views of everyone punching back to Bodrum. The ruins are fantastic, if presented a little chaotically.
- Paradise Bay (aka Sailors Paradise. Mehmet & Berin are the most hospitable of hosts. Grandpa doesn't speak a word of English, but can wax lyrical about Fig's for hours. The food straight out of the garden is just superb).
- Fanari Restaurant in Orhaniye (Fabulous food. Stroll next door to Club Mistral and listen to the owner jam with whomever is in the house that night. Great music, a nice pool. Easy to spend a bit of time here.)
- Selimiye (got to be Aurora for food. Suzan can be a bit of a hard dockmaster though (must be a Scandinavian thing), so if you're feeling a little stressed, go to the public dock (it's cheaper anyway) and walk around for dinner (make sure you book). Huseyin will spend the evening taking the mick out of you regardless, so you'll get the whole experience without the mooring drama.

After you're sick to death of civilization, go explore. Plenty of bay's to spend lunch or an evening of solitude.

Ogun's Place is in Hayitbuku. Bit too frantic with all the kids running riot at dinner time for me, but if that's your fancy....

Also, as suggested (and should be part of your charter pack), get a copy of The Bay Express Turkish Coast Bay & Restaurant Guide. It was 20TL last year.

Cheers, PT.
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Old 17-03-2012, 16:27   #9
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Re: Favorite Stops out of Bodrum , Turkey

You only have a week,so not a lot of time. Forget about Greece,you won't have enough time to make it worthwhile
So...
From Bodrum (I assume you mean Bodrum Marina) head across the gulf ,to Knidos. Moor up at the jetty or anchor off. The ruins are worth a look.
On to Datca..The quay can be busy,but plenty room to anchor off. Excellent market on every Saturday. Nice town,good restaurants.
Down the gulf to Selimye,....another recommendation for the Aurora restaurant,nice couple own it,(Suzan is Dutch)they have a mooring pontoon,but can be busy,best to phone & ask them to keep a place,if not,the town quay is good,Osman with the gold teeth will take your lines!Market day on Friday.
Definitely visit Bozborun,good harbour but can be busy,however any reasonably competent skipper should be able to fit in. Osman's restaurant on the quayside is the best by far.Market day on Tuesday .
OK 3 nights to go......
A short trip round to Sogut (round the corner from Bozborun) . The Octopus restaurant has a very good pontoon..free if you eat at the excellent and reasonably priced restaurant. The washrooms/toilets/showers are palatial!!
Fantastic place for swimming.

Time to head back now. Stop over in Palamut,which is between Datca and Knidos. Well sheltered harbour and a choice of places to eat,all perfectly acceptable.Good beach just over the harbour wall

Last day,back to Bodrum,excellent if pricy Marina,and very bustling town.
Watch out for the traffic!!!!
All these trips are with your time limits,and leave opportunity to stopover for lunch/swims en route,depending on the timing.
All the places have water& electricity available,sometimes included in the price,sometimes extra.
We will be sailing these waters in Early September....AGAIN!!!,so hope to see you.
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Old 25-03-2012, 15:53   #10
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Re: Favorite Stops out of Bodrum , Turkey

Thanks again for the suggestions! Fishtail..I will keep my eyes open for you! What sort of boat should I expect?
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Old 25-03-2012, 16:09   #11
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Re: Favorite Stops out of Bodrum , Turkey

I agree with all of the previous posters -- totally forget about Greece and the horrible bureaucracy clearing in and out. There are about 1000x more places to see in Turkish waters than you could possibly see in two weeks.

No. 1 -- and 2 and 3 has got to be Knidos, one of the most magical places I have every seen in the entire world. A week in that magical place wouldn't be too much at all.

There's not that much up the Bay of Gokeva -- Cleopatra's Beach is a tourist-trap . . . There is a bay between high mountains on the North shore opposite that -- forgot the name -- which is gorgeous, strange, and empty -- well worth-while. Best continue along the S coast of the Dacha Peninsula beyond Knidos -- there one place is more beautiful than the next.
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Old 25-03-2012, 21:24   #12
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Re: Favorite Stops out of Bodrum , Turkey

+1 Knidos

Was there in 1988. Unforgettable.

Also enjoyed Sogut.
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