Yacht Charter Itinerary Bodrum to Bodrum, Turkey

Greek Dodecanese Islands

Written by Missy Johnston

Bodrum Castle

Bodrum Castle

Board your charter yacht in Bodrum or ancient Halicarnassus, which is situated on a peninsula facing the island of Kos, and is the hometown of Herodotus, known to some as the “Father of History”. Bodrum also has a very nice bazaar and an attractive town located around the harbor. Overnight for dinner on deck under the stars and in the shadow of the Crusader Castle.

Bodrum Castle underwater museum turkey yacht charter

Underwater Museum

Guarding the harbor is the virtually intact Bodrum Castle built by the Crusaders. This castle now houses an excellent underwater archaeological museum where many of the artifacts found in wrecks along the ancient trading route. This is a must see. After exploring the castle, cruise to Patmos, which, for Orthodox and Western Christians has long been a place of pilgrimage, for it was here that St John is said to have written his divinely inspired Book of Revelations. Once a favorite destination for the devout, Patmos is now just as popular with sun and sea worshippers. Wrapped around the immense Monastery of St John the Theologian lays the beautiful hilltop village, Chora. With its immaculate whitewashed houses and maze like alleys, it is absolutely enchanting. The Monastery of St. John is well worth a visit and a nice walk up from the harbor for views from the hilltop village of Chora. On the way up to the top of the island, stop and visit the cave where St. John is said to have written his Book of Revelations. Explore the village of Chora and the many shops. There are a number of sandy tree-shaded beaches around the island. Psili Ammos is the best beach and is only accessible by boat. Overnight in Patmos.

Patmos Bells of the Monastery of St. John Turkey yacht charter

Patmos Monastery of St. John
Photo Credit Missy Johnston

Depart Patmos and cruise to the island of Kalymnos. Famous for a sponge diving tradition, Kalymnos is the 4th largest island in the Dodecanese chain. Here is the ideal spot to buy the soft natural sponges for which this area, and this island is known. In the town of Pothia, visit one of the few remaining sponge factories in Greece to learn more about the gathering and processing of natural sponges as an age old industry. Kalymnos is also an island for swimming, in the crystal clear waters along the many beaches and secluded anchorages around the island, as the crystal clear waters were a boon to sponge gathering. Overnight.

Kalymnos island sponge diving yacht charter


Depart Kalymnos and head to the island of Kos, one of the most fertile islands in the Dodecanese. Like Rhodes, it is abundant with ancient remains and beautiful beaches. The landscape of modern Kos Town, the island’s capital and main port, is picturesque. The Castle of the Knights prevails over the port, while Hellenistic and Roman ruins are littered everywhere. There are numerous archaeological sites to visit. The Asclepion is Kos’ most important ancient site and is located on a pine covered hill 4km southwest of Kos Town. Amongst the many sandy beaches, Agios Stefanos, sitting next to the ruins of two 5th century basilicas, is a must. At Masthari you can find a number of secluded spots on the sandy shores to rest and relax.

Kos Crusader Castle Greece yacht charter

Kos Crusader Castle
Photo Credit Missy Johnston

From here, continue on to Nisyros, which is said to be one of the most beautiful of all Greek islands. It is a strange combination of luxuriant vegetation and stark moonscapes. A dormant volcano lies at the center of the island. The charming port town of Mandraki is comprised of winding alleys and brightly colored houses. It is situated beneath the cliff top monastery, Moni Panagias Spilianis. Near the port you will find the black volcanic stone beach of Koklaki. Set on the volcano’s ridge are the villages of Emboreios and Nikea, which both have spectacular views into the caldera. The islands best beaches are at Pali and Lies. Overnight on the quay, perhaps enjoying fresh seafood at a harbor side taverna.

Nisyros Greek Island


From Nisyros cruise to Symi. The lovely, mountainous island, Symi (or Simi) was reputed to be the birthplace of the Three Graces. The main harbor has an Italianate feel and is a busy little seaport with shops and cafes on the main quay. While its interior is punctuated with small valleys, its coastline alternates between being steep and rocky or sandy and indented with little coves. Cruise around the island, stopping at one of the island’s most famous landmarks, the monastery of the Archangel Michael Panormitis on the southwest coast. It was built in the 18th century, and contains marvelous frescoes and a carved iconostasis.

Panormitis monastery

Monastery of the Archangel Michael Panormitis

This Ministry claims that all waters of the world pass through their bay at some point. If you would like to reach this monastery dedicated to sailors, simply place a message in a bottle and at some point it will reach them. Whether or not this is always true, be sure to stop in at their museum and see the bottle messages that they have received over the centuries. If you ask, perhaps one of the priests will give you a vile of blessed waters for your journey. There is no lack of wonderful beaches on Symi. You’ll find good swimming at Yialos, Pedio, Emborios, Marathounda, Nanou as well as on the nearby islets of Agia Marina and Nimo. Late afternoon cruise into the main harbor of Symi ringed by buildings in the Italianate style, as Symi was under control of the Venice for many centuries. Overnight and perhaps enjoy dinner at one of the harborside tavernas.

Old Datca Turkey yacht charter

Old Datca
Photo Credit Missy Johnston

After Breakfast cruise to Datca. There are several shops ashore for those interested in Datca, and a van can be arranged to visit the Olive Oil and Almond Farm nearby where olive oils and olive and almond oil bath products are for sale as made on the farm. Also, perhaps swing by “Old Datca”, a tiny town surviving intact from the 1800’s that is now a little artist enclave with little craft shops. Perhaps enjoy lunch at the Mehmet Museum hotel housed in an 18th century mansion once home to the Governors of Datca Peninsula.

After lunch head to the ancient harbor of Knidos for a quick swim, lunch and after lunch a walk through the ancient city ruins of Knidos. Excavations have shown that the city was a planned city laid out on the Hippodamos Grid system. Besides uncovering the Agora, excavations have also been done to uncover one of the supposed three amphitheaters, the Temple of Dionysos, and most importantly, the famous Temple of Aphrodite, within which was the statue of Aphrodite carved by the ancient sculptor Praxiteles. This statue was said to be one of the first statues of a woman in the nude and the statue was said to be so beautiful that sailors came from far and wide to worship at the statue’s feet. In the surrounding area are a number of little bays with great beaches for anchoring to spend the night and enjoy the water.

Knidos city ruins turkey yacht charter

Photo Credit Missy Johnston

Leaving Knidos and heading back towards Bodrum, anchor off of Orak Island, renowned for its crystal-clear waters, and snorkel around the island or relax on board. In the late afternoon head to Cokertme, a cute little fishing village, and have dinner on board or dinner ashore. Cokertme is very popular with like-minded yachtsmen, and can be quite lively. Visit a local taverna for dinner or after dinner for a live Turkish folk music. This village is a little enclave of handmade rug weaving, so perhaps this is the location to find your perfect Turkish rug, however be sure to bargain, it is expected. Either stay here for the night, or return to Bodrum Harbor for the final night’s diner.

Orak Island Turkey yacht charter

Orak Island

Disembarkation in Bodrum at after breakfast