Yacht Charter Itinerary Turk Buku, Turkey to Rhodes, Greece

Written by Missy Johnston

Carving Detail in Ephesus, Turkey

Photo Credit Missy Johnston

All guests to be met in the am at the Izmir airport 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 Turk Buku, a little harbor on the north side of the Bodrum Peninsula to board your yacht anchored in the harbor, by ship’s tender. Turk Buku is the place to be seen, and when night falls, the harbor jumps to life with tenders zipping to and fro to the various restaurants, and quayside cafes where night life is happening. Along the streets are also chic shops. Overnight on anchor.

Priene Ruins

Priene Ruins
Photo Credit Missy Johnston

Cruise in the morning to the marina in Didim for a guided tour by van of the ancient sites of Priene, Miletus and Didyma. Priene, a city once inhabited by only 6000, is believed to be one of the best examples in the world of a Hellenistic and Roman city still in situ with damage only from time. Nestled on a hillside amongst the pines, Priene is a short walk uphill into the ruins. Miletus, once a powerful Ionian City was also once visited by St. Paul. Still standing is a large theatre. Nearby and once connected to Miletus, by the Sacred Way, parts of which can still be seen, is the Temple of Apollo in Didyma, and home to an ancient Oracle. The largest temple ever constructed, Didyma was never completed, however much of the foundation remains, along with several very tall columns and column bases. After lunch, clear out of Turkey at Didim, and cruise to the Greek Dodecanese Island of Patmos. Head ashore to visit the harbor town of Patmos and enjoy the active life around the quay. Once considered a Northern Cycladic Island, Patmos has architecture very reflective of the other Cycladic Islands.

Patmos Monastery of St. John Bells Greece

Patmos Monastery of St. John Bells
Photo Credit Missy Johnston

There are more churches on the island of Patmos than days in the year for Patmos is a religious pilgrimage island. It is on Patmos that St. John the Apostle is believed to have lived in a cave and written the Book of Revelations. This cave is now a surrounded by a chapel and is well worth visiting. At the top of Patmos is the Monastery of St. John originally started as a fortressed monastery in the 11th century. Around the monastery and within the fortress an old town grew up with walking streets and steps. Today, this is a very chic place to live for Greek wealthy, and along with the monastery is a great location to explore. After lunch cruise to the Greek Dodecanese Island of Kalymnos.

Kalymnos Taverna Greece yacht charter

Kalymnos Taverna
Photo Credit Missy Johnston

Once the center of sponge diving for centuries until a sponge virus in the 1980’s decimated much of the sponge population, Kalymnos is still an active island, with some sponge divers still working, however mainly the island subsists on tourism. Ringing the harbor are many tavernas that all have an additional café out on the large cement quay, a great place to people watch. Kalymnos today, with the many mountains and cliffs, is a great location for rock climbers, and rock climbing is a sport offered and supported on the island. At night the quay area is almost electric with activity. Overnight in Kalymnos.

Bodrum Castle.JPG

Castle in Bodrum Harbor
Photo Credit Missy Johnston

Clear out of Kalymnos and clear into Bodrum, Turkey, the harbor of which is guarded by an almost intact Crusader Castle from the 14th century. Inside the castle is the Bodrum Underwater Archeology Museum, which is not to be missed, if open. However if the museum exhibits are not open, there is still much to be seen including walking through the seven different gates and over moats that guarded the entrance to the castle, and visiting the various castle towers once home to different Orders of the Crusading Knights. Surrounding the castle is a very active bazaar, and not far away is a bazaar building full of stalls for those with an interest in shopping. At night the bazaar area comes alive, and nightclubs start around 12:00 midnight for dancing until dawn. Overnight in Bodrum.

Knidos ancient harbor ruins doric peninsular

Knidos Ruins
Photo Credit Missy Johnston

In the am after breakfast, 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. Enjoy lunch in this anchorage surrounded by the mystic of these ruins. After lunch head to Datca to clear out of Turkey and cruise to the Greek Dodecanese Island of Symi. Entering the main harbor, to see the harbor town of Symi. A lovely, mountainous island, Symi (or Simi) was reputed to be the birthplace of the Three Graces. Explore the Venetian flavor of the shops and taverns of Symi Harbor, as colorful and inspiring as the houses and churches which cascade from the hill tops down to the water. Overnight in Symi Harbor.

Symi Harbor Greek Island

Quayside in Symi Harbor
Photo Credit Missy Johnston

Ministry of the Archangel Michael Panormitis, Symi

Ministry of the Archangel Michael Panormitis, Symi

One of the island’s most famous landmarks is 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. This Ministry claims that all waters of the world pass through their bay at some point. If you would like to reach them, 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. This is a great harbor for water sports, however 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. After lunch cruise to Lindos Harbor in Rhodes and anchor under the ancient acropolis.

Lindos Acropolis Greece

Lindos Acropolis

The harbor of Lindos has a nice beach ringed by a variety of Greek Tavernas offering seafood and typical Greek food for lunch or dinner. Lindos village is capped by an ancient acropolis where the remains of a number of buildings from various civilizations and centuries are still to be found. The acropolis originally housed a temple to Athena. Ruins of this temple and the original Hellenistic walls of the Acropolis are still visible. During the Byzantine time period a castle was constructed on the Acropolis. However in the 1300’s, the Knights of St. John built castle walls on top of the Hellenistic walls, along with fortification towers and remodeled the castle so that virtually nothing of the Byzantine era is left and much of the remains on the acropolis now are from the time period of the Knights of St. John, including the church of St. John, which is still standing today. The Acropolis here is felt to only be surpassed by the Acropolis in Athens and can be explored by a short walk up from Lindos village. Overnight in the anchorage.

Old Town Rhodes gated entrance yacht charter

Gated Entrance to Old Town
Photo Credit Missy Johnston

Cruise to Mandraki Harbor, to dock right next to Old Town Rhodes, a complete fortified medieval city. Old Town, once home to the Knights of St. John (the Hospitallers) and subsequent Knight Orders was a stronghold for Christianity, for across the way was the power of the Ottoman Empire. The walled city still exists including partial remains of a dry moat, and gated entrances. The crenellated tops of the city walls mark the outline of this old city. Within the walls today is an active city with walking streets, courtyards, and medieval buildings. Much of the Old Town is now shops, some touristy and some with elegant Greek jewelry, silver, leather, and couture. Still within the Old Town, and open for tours, is the Castle of the Grand Master, and running in front of the castle, is the road of the Knights, once inns for the various knight orders, some now continue to operate as offices for knight orders still in existence. Wander the Old City during the day, and then return at night to enjoy the very active night life. Overnight dockside.

Disembark in Rhodes.