Yacht Charter Itinerary Bodrum to Gocek including Ephesus, Turkey

Written by Missy Johnston

Ephesus Library boat, charter, chartering, Eastern Mediterranean - Turkey, sailing, yacht

Ephesus Library
Photo Credit Missy Johnston

Start the day being met at the the Izmir airport in the morning by a van, driver and guide for a day trip to Ephesus. The day trip will include a private guided tour of Ephesus and the new exhibit inside Ephesus of the Terrace Houses. Stop for lunch at a traditional Turkish taverna. After lunch, visit the House of the Virgin Mary, where it is believed that the Virgin Mary and St. John, the Apostle lived to the end of their lives. The trip will end with a 2.5 hour drive through the Turkish countryside with your guide from Ephesus to Bodrum for boarding your Gulet. Overnight in Bodrum Harbor with dinner on deck under the shadow of the Crusader Castle. The day trip, guide, van and driver to Ephesus is an additional charge.

Bodrum Castle from Hillsides

Bodrum Castle

In the am explore 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” but to others as the “Father of Lies” because of his fanciful travel accounts. Another label for him might be the “Father of Quotations,” due to the plethora of pithy observations of the area frequented by recent travel writers. Guarding the harbor is a virtually intact 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 where you just sailed. This is a must see. Bodrum also has a very nice bazaar and an attractive town located around the harbor. For an additional charge a private guide can be arranged. After lunch set sail to explore the Gulf of Gekova. Explore the Gulf of Gokova where there are many beautiful anchorages and protected areas for swimming and sunning, in unspoiled natural settings. Overnight on anchor.

Knidos city ruins turkey yacht charter

Photo Credit Missy Johnston

In the am after breakfast in the quiet beauty of this remote anchorage away from it all, cruise along the Turkish Coast with the Greek Dodecanese Islands in sight in the distance to the ancient harbor of ruins of the city of Knidos. This clear-water cove at the tip of the Doric Peninsula was a center of art and culture in the 4th-century BC. Drop anchor in the larger of the two harbors, and enjoy lunch surrounded by the ruins of this ancient wealthy trading city. After lunch, go ashore to visit the site of Knidos, which includes city walls, two theatres, terraced streets, and the remains of several temples including the temple of Aphrodite. Triopian cliffs will be flush in rosemary and myrtle and there is a theater and stoa at the water’s edge. See the Temple of Aphrodite (the “round” temple reconstructed during the Roman period), once housing Praxitele’s first nude. A must visit. There is an additional entrance fee for all to visit Knidos paid at the gate, and a private guide can be arranged for an additional fee. Stay in this anchorage surrounded by the mystic of these ruins for dinner under the stars or leave for another quiet anchorage.

Mehmet Museum Hotel Datca Turkey yacht charter

Mehmet Museum Hotel and Restaurant
Photo Credit Missy Johnston

Cruise in the am to the little seaside village of Datca. After lunch on board explore the little town of Datca, the honey capital of Turkey. A taxi will take you for about a 10 minutes ride to Old Datca for a stop first at an artisan olive oil farm. Then to the Mehmet Museum Hotel which is a hotel in an 1800’s mansion of the governor of Datca Peninsula filled with antiques. Inside the main mansion is a wood burning Hamam or Turkish Bath from the 1800’s, which is a unique historic experience. If reserved in advance, the Hamam can be fired up and for an additional charge, all can take turns in the hamam relaxing and steaming clean, and relaxing in the sun at the resort pool. This hotel restaurant is well known for baked lamb in the outdoor wood burning ovens, which must be ordered in advance. Most of the restaurant food is grown on site in their gardens, olive oil is pressed from the olives from their own trees, and honey is gathered from their hives. Bread is also baked in the outdoor wood burning oven. This is a truly special experience of traditional fresh Turkish fare prepared in traditional methods. Eat dinner at the restaurant or return to the yachts to find a quiet anchorage to overnight with dinner on board.

Bozukkale Fortress Turkish Yacht Charter

Bozukkale Fortress
Photo Credit Missy Johnston

Sail to the beautiful harbor of Bozukkale, where the remains of a fortress marches along the ridge of a protective slice of land. After anchoring head ashore to explore the ruins. This is a great location for swimming and other water sports and time to relax and enjoy being on board along the Turkish coast. Dinner on board.

Marmaris Turkey yacht charter

Photo Credit Missy Johnston

After breakfast, leave for Marmaris, a bazaar town full of crafty rug merchants, and waterfront restaurants, well protected Marmaris Castle was built during Sultan Suleiman’s (the Magnificent) journey to conquer Rhodes. According to Evliya Chelebi the castle had already existed, and all the Sultan did was to change its name. During the Ottoman Empire, Marmaris Castle and Harbor were used as a supply point for the Navy. Come into the main quay of Marmaris stern to for a day of exploring in the many bazaar shops filled alleyways that spider off from the main quay. On the main quay is The Silk Road rug shop belonging to Mecid. This shop is in one of the old buildings of Marmaris. Prepare to settle in for several hours sipping apple tea or wine or even raki, while rug after rug is tossed out in front of you, for discussion, negotiation, or just general comment. Any rug you purchase can be shipped, and rug “purchasing” has been known to go on until the early hours of the morning.

Dalyan River Lycian Cliff Tombs

Lycian Tombs
Photo Credit Missy Johnston

Early am departure for Ekincik for the Dalyan River Trip, which is an extra charge with breakfast underway. On arrival mid morning, a flat bottomed river boat will pick you up from your yacht for the Dalyan River Trip with Abidim Kurt, if wanted, as your guide for the ruins of the ancient city of Caunos and a view of the Lycian Tombs. This tour takes you inland along the reed-lined channels of the Dalyan River delta, where you need to keep an eye out for turtles, herons and kingfishers.

At Caunos visit the remains of a theater, a Byzantine church, a Roman bathhouse and an agora. For the adventurous, there is an acropolis on the hill above the site, which rewards the climber with a magnificent view of the entire area. Head up-river to the town of Dalyan, and pass beneath the Lycian Tombs. Stop in the town of Dalyan where your guide Abidim will arrange a lunch at a riverside Taverna of fresh Dalyan River seafood (Charterer’s cost) and other fresh Turkish food for non seafood eaters. Take a brief stroll through the town before returning by river boat to the yacht in Ekincik. Head towards Gocek Bay, perhaps to anchor and swim over the ruins of Cleopatra’s Baths. Overnight on anchor, dinner aboard.

Cleopatra’s Baths, Gocek Bay, Turkey

Cleopatra’s Baths
Photo Credit Missy Johnston

Disembark in Gocek for transfer to Dalaman airport for flight to Istanbul.