Bodrum to Marmaris
This is the ancient region of Caria. Bodrum, now the trendiest touristic centre of this part of the Mediterranean, was home, among others, of Herodotus, the "father of history" and King Mausolus, who erected his "Mausoleum", one of the seven wonders of the world, but of which no traces remain. The coasts along the gulf of Gökova have a good number of bays and coves where you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling and exploring ancient ruins. Best anchoring points are Orak Island, Sedir Adasi or Cleopatra Island (this island features a sand beach that is said to have been transported here by queen Cleopatra), English Harbour, The Seven Islands and Knidos, with its theater facing the open sea. This gulf is often very windy in summer, making navigation sometimes difficult.
On the southern part of the Datça peninsula you eventually reach the Hisarönü and Sömbeki gulfs, more repaired from the prevailing meltemi. It could be interesting to visit Bozburun, a small village with an impressive number of shipyards where gulets are built. On the way to Marmaris, Kadirga and Kumlubük are popular stopovers.
Marmaris to Fethiye
From Marmaris, another touristic jewel of this coast, we arrive in the bay of Ekincik. Don't miss a visit to the nearby archeological site of Caunos, mostly Roman ruins, amidst a marshy, reed-thicket covered shallow lake. This excursion is made with small local boats that you hire at the beach, part of which is protected, being one of the few remaining places in the Mediterranen, where sea turtles come to lay their eggs.
We eventually reach the gulf of Fethiye. This is one of the most impressive sites of this whole coasts. The western part, just south of Göcek is an incredible variety of bays and islets, completely protected from the open sea. There are uncounted possibilities of anchoring places in this waters, surrounded by pine woods that grow up to the shoreline. You can easily spend here one week changing anchoring places whenever you want. Göcek itself, a small but very busy and well organized port and marina, is one of the most popular boarding places, beeing near the airport of Dalaman. Fethiye, on the east side of the bay, is a major town, nicely located at the foot of a mountain range. An interesting place to visit, if sea conditions allow it, is the Valley of Butterflies (Kelebek Vadisi), a wide beach at the and of a valley narrowing up to a waterfall within a chasm in the mountain. From June to August this valley is home to thousands of butterflies you can see sleeping in the trees (they're night butterflies).
Fethiye to Kas
This is the ancient reign of Lycia, an autoctonous people organized in a league of cities, living here from about 600 BC. The particularity of this culture: they used to carve their homes and tombs out of hard rock walls, rather than build. Very characteristic are also the stand-alone tombs, built with three pieces of carved rock, which you will encounter all over this region. But besides Lycian remains, there is a great number of Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman sites you will have opportunity to admire all along these coasts.
Circumnavigating the Fethiye penisula, at the other end we reach Ölüdeniz, an enchanted lagoon surrounded by a white-sand beach and some miles further Gemiler, a natural harbour protected by a long island with a great number of Byzantine remains.
Past the Seven Capes we sail along the about 5 miles long sandy Patara Beach and enter the Gulf of Kalkan, a small and pictoresque port. From here you can hire a taxi or minibus for an interesting excursion to three of the major cities of the Lician league: Xanthos, the capital, Letoon and Patara. Along a rugged rocky coast of untouched beauty we arrive in Kas, beautifully situated at the end of the omonimous bay, just opposite the last of the Greek islands, Kastelorizo. Kas is a small touristic centre where you can stroll around, shop or just watch the ships come and go from the busy port. There's also a very well preserved ancient theatre.
Kas to Finike
Eastward along this Lycian coast we pass the Uluburun cape, where about ten years ago the oldest sunken ship in the world was found and investigated by American and local archeologists. It was a Phoenician vessel, dating around 1200 BC, lying at about 50-60 meter depths, carrying various goods and headed probably to the Adriatic. An extensive article on this was published by the National Geographic Magazine. After about two hours of navigation, past impressive Mediterranean landscapes and breathtaking views of totally uninhabited coasts we arrive in Kekova.
This is yet another pearl of these whole Turkish coasts. Kekova itself is a four miles long and narrow island, protecting the opposing indented coast, with the two small villages of Üçagiz and Kale. Üçagiz lies in a vast natural bay, amidst ancient lycian tombs and other historical remains, whereas Kale extends upward a height, on top of which remains of an ancient castle dominate the whole area. There are unlimited possibilities of anchoring points in coves, bays and islets in this protected area. An absolute must-see.
Leaving Kekova following the channel to the east, the bay of Andraki is the starting point for visiting the incredible Lycian rock house tombs of Myra, and the ancient church of Saint Nicholas, who actually lived here and acted as bishop in the fourth century A.D. Past the plain of Demre with its greenhouses, we arrive in Finike, a nice town with a modern and efficient marina.
Finike to Antalya
Passing Cape Gelidonya, the mountain range begins to rise and the coasts become steep. We may stop over at Suluada, an islet with a fresh water spring if the weather conditions permit it. The landscape is dominated by the high mountains inland: one of the peaks, Mt. Olympus is one of the many Olymps of Greek mythology. We pass the Adrasan bay and the Ceneviz Bay (Genoese Bay), one of the few secure anchoring points of this coast. A little farther north, the archeological site of Olympos, immersed in a green valley where a small river flows into the sea, is well worth a visit. Farther up you can see the Chimaera, the fire breathing monster of ancient, a perpetual flame burning out of a bare rock. You may then stop at Üçadalar (Three Islands) for a swim and proceed to Phaselis, a well preserved Roman Port.
The coast changes into plains, beaches and up to Kemer and beyond a great number of touristic villages has been built. Antalya, the Riviera of Turkey, is a bigger city, with a very pictoresque marina and port.
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