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Old 18-01-2019, 17:29   #1
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Turkey or Greek Islands

6 of us are charting a Hanse 445 out of Kos for one month beginning June 1st. We are unsure as to whether we should head east and do the Turkish coast or head west/north and do the Greek Islands. Can some of you let me know what you consider to be the better cruising grounds. We don’t like lots of crowds, we like anchoring off rather than being confined to piers, we like actually sailing and don’t want constant strong winds which we encountered in the Caribbean. Many thanks in advance.
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Old 19-01-2019, 00:58   #2
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Re: Turkey or Greek Islands

Well you have a couple of issues. Assuming you are talking Kos in Greece and not Kas in Turkey. To go to Turkey you will have to get a visa and enter and then go through as agent to get a cruising permit.


Now saying that we have sailed the entire Turkish coast to Mersin and it is mostly empty of cruisers except around Gocek area. The sailing is usually in light winds and there are places to lay on the hook or go in. And the father along you get the prices really go down as no one goes there. The SE coast of Turkey is a treasure trove of ancient from hill top fortress to Santa Claus to ancient cities. Incredible history. The people are great, the food is inexpensive and very very good either eating out or buying it, and the weather will be hot but then again it is summer.


The Greek islands will be crowded with boats. Some know how to anchor and do Med mooring and some do not. It will be more expensive. The winds? Well can be good and can be not so good. We sat in a harbor on a med mooring for a week with winds of 40k in the harbor. We felt sorry for a charter boat that came in and had to sit for a week. By the way big ocean going vessels were anchored in the harbor and would not venture out. When the meltimi blows it blows.


There are advantages and disadvantages to each. good luck
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Old 19-01-2019, 01:46   #3
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Re: Turkey or Greek Islands

Also check with the charter company that they allow and if they allow you will need a letter from them to minimise problems with checking out of Greece and in to Turkey.
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Old 19-01-2019, 02:28   #4
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Re: Turkey or Greek Islands

June actually won't be that crowded. Without a second of hesitation I would suggest staying in Greece and sailing the islands. You probably have two choices from Kos, head South through the Dodecanese to Rhodes, then west to Milos, North to Sifnos, then back across to Kos, Or, head North, up to the Northern Sporades, then back down and over.

If it was me, I'd choose to head to the Southern Dodecanese islands and the Southern and Middle Cyclades.
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Old 19-01-2019, 09:34   #5
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Re: Turkey or Greek Islands

I agree with Palarran, stay in the Greek Island, but I would head North first because if the meltemi blow it will be easier to sail downwind.
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Old 19-01-2019, 10:00   #6
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Re: Turkey or Greek Islands

Regardless of where you go, number one consideration is to watch the weather and plan your route for the forecast. Most Greek Islands will have one or two harbors that are safe from a serious Meltemi. The only limitation you will have is that most charter boats have a minimum sized anchor. There are some good threads here already about chartering in the Greek Islands.

One problem with Turkey is that most of the shallow (less than 25 meters) anchorages were packed and often I would need a lot of chain - which I didn't have at the time.

There didn't seem to be as many safe harbors either. But it was nice because of the pine trees on the shores. It's nice to have that Green area when sailing and Turkey, Sporades, and Ionian's where the best spots I went for that, not counting Croatia of course.
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Old 19-01-2019, 10:53   #7
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Re: Turkey or Greek Islands

Turkey, by far. The people are friendlier, the food is better, the prices are way better. It is full of history, the anchorages are mostly uncrowded. Shore trips are great. The SW coast is a bit crowded around Bodrum to Marmaris, but from Fethiye west is mostly uncrowded. The north coast, Darddanelles, Gallipolie , Troy, Istanbul, the Bosporus are all fantastic places to see. And the people are friendly!

The historical areas you can wander around in, guides are cheap and speak english. Again, great food and friendly people.

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Old 19-01-2019, 12:50   #8
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Re: Turkey or Greek Islands

After cruising a year in Turkey, then a year plus in Greece, I have to agree with captmikem.....go do Turkey. The ruins are far better, the people are friendlier, there's more to see. We cruised from Fethiye up to the Dardenelles and Gallipolie. We tried to go to Istanbul and on to the Black Sea, but only got about half way to Istanbul before the wx shut us down. We did enjoy Greece, but Turkey was the spot....highly recommend it. But you will need to get the proper passes/clearances. And while Bodrum was crowded, it was well worth the trip there-the castle is spectacular! But only 1 month???? there's alot to see and do!
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Old 19-01-2019, 15:18   #9
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Re: Turkey or Greek Islands

No so easy a decision, isn’t!!! The fact is that both areas are fantastic. We spend 3 months in the Greek islands and 3 months on the Turkish coast consecutively every year since 2014.
Kos is very conveniently located offering easy access to the Sporades in the North through Samos and Ikaria, the Cyclades to the west through Amorgos, the Dodecanese in the south with Nisyros island active volcano, a must stop and the coast of Turkey in the east through Bodrum.
In our opinion both culture, people, food and history are equally interesting. The Turks are very kind and helpful while the Greeks tend to look at you right in the eyes with authenticity and integrity.
In June The Meltimi which blows stronger in July and August, is usually lighter at least for the first half with southern winds occurences which would conveniently push you north so that when the Meltimi starts blowing a little stronger toward the end of June you can sail back down to Kos. So what ever your choice between Greece and Turkey, stay north of Kos as much as possible for the back half of your trip so that you don’t find yourself in a bind to sail upwind back to your home port. Check the weather daily.
And perhaps consider those 2 fantastic destinations in 2 separate adventures! Look for Dance Me, a blue hull Jeanneau 43, we’ll be in the area and gladly offer you few additional timely tips.
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Old 19-01-2019, 17:16   #10
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Re: Turkey or Greek Islands

This is interesting.
I have cruised Turkey in the past and loved it. My perception is that the current political situation makes it less welcoming. Am I wrong?
With Britain probably exiting the EU, giving us the same schengen problems as those from outside Europe it would nice to be assured that we could be assured a welcome on years to come.
Could those praising Turkey please confirm that they are talking about the last few years?
Thanks.
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Old 19-01-2019, 17:26   #11
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Re: Turkey or Greek Islands

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lionelsole View Post
This is interesting.
I have cruised Turkey in the past and loved it. My perception is that the current political situation makes it less welcoming. Am I wrong?
With Britain probably exiting the EU, giving us the same schengen problems as those from outside Europe it would nice to be assured that we could be assured a welcome on years to come.
Could those praising Turkey please confirm that they are talking about the last few years?
Thanks.
I spent a few weeks in Turkey last year....sailed out of Marmaris for 10....Carian and Lycian coasts. The people couldn't' have been nicer. Nobody talked politics or religion EXCEPT for a few restaurant owners that wished the political situation was better so more tourists would come. Their attitude was "but what can we do?"
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Old 20-01-2019, 01:17   #12
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Re: Turkey or Greek Islands

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saleen411 View Post
I spent a few weeks in Turkey last year....sailed out of Marmaris for 10....Carian and Lycian coasts. The people couldn't' have been nicer. Nobody talked politics or religion EXCEPT for a few restaurant owners that wished the political situation was better so more tourists would come. Their attitude was "but what can we do?"
Agree - we did the entire Turkish coast from Marmaris to Mersin and wow the people could not have been nicer and the history was beyond belief.
In Mersin we rented a car and drove almost the entire length of SE Turkey taking in the worlds oldest temple -Gobekli Tepe 12,000 years old - climbed a 7,000' mountain to watch the sun come up and drove along the Syrian border. No issues. We made our last stop was Antakya on the finger down along the Syrian border. It was an incredible trip.

The people, officials, everyone were great and this was after spending 3 winters in Turkey as full time liveaboards.
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Old 20-01-2019, 02:41   #13
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Re: Turkey or Greek Islands

Thankyou for your thoughts. My, we do have some thinking to do.

A few more thoughts would be helpful in helping us decide between your evenly divided views, but with Turkey slightly out on top at present. Absolutely will keep north of Kos if we do the Greek thing, in order to have a downhill ride back to Kos.

Keep the suggestions coming.
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Old 20-01-2019, 03:55   #14
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Re: Turkey or Greek Islands

In 4 weeks? Up the Turkish coast, where the Meltemi is lighter, then down the Greek islands. Gives you the best of both worlds. Neither place is crowded in June. There is a little cost clearing in to Turkey, and then back to Greece (you can cheat here), but Turkey is cheap, that should compensate.
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Old 20-01-2019, 11:01   #15
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Re: Turkey or Greek Islands

It's interesting how we all view different cultures and landscapes differently. I didn't see anything in Turkey that came close to being as grand as sailing into Mandraki Harbor in Rhodes, nor as quaint as the mountain villages of so many small Greek Islands. While the history of Turkey is great, I struggle to see how it's greater than Delos, Delphi, or the Acropolis. Even without leaving Kos you can see 4 fantastic ancient sights.

Yes, I liked the Turks. But in the end, we definitely connected more with the Greeks by about 300%. Their zest for life is unparalleled in the world - IMO. Every day we made friends, and said goodbye like we were brothers. It really was a small difference, but in general they are more western than eastern, and that made my long and often late night discussions with them more relative.

Don't even get me started on Greek food. I'm not talking the tourist food found in the nearest Tavernas to large historic sites, but the small kitchens located off side streets that few tourists ever find. Fantastic and so inexpensive there were times my tips were 50% of the bill as I felt so guilty.

Not a week goes by when I don't regret leaving that country.
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