This will be our third year sailing the Gulf of Fethiye, a huge expansion of protected waters.
Anchor for the night in secluded coves or dock at restaurants for a delicious dinner before retiring for the night under the stars. Swim in crystalline turquoise waters and discover fascinating historical sites. Combine this trip with a visit to places like Istanbul, Ephesus, and Cappadocia for an unforgettable vacation.
Capt. Jean and “Admiral” Mila have been organizing sailing flotillas with American Sailing since 2009 and have introduced many sailors and non-sailors to fascinating destinations in the Mediterranean and Seychelles. They know the sailing waters and show participants places that many tourists do not know. They put a very heavy emphasis on safety while ensuring that all participants go home with fun and unforgettable vacation memories.
Jean, a native of Belgium, lives with Mila, his Peruvian-born wife, in Florida. He holds a USCG 100T Master’s license and is qualified to teach ASA 101, 103, 104, 105, 114, and 118. Together they run Whitecaps Sailing, an ASA sailing school in Punta Gorda, Florida.
We get together after breakfast at the ECE Marina in Fethiye. Plenty of time to visit the town, do our provisioning and get in vacation mode.
Check-in of the yachts, around 17:00, and departure to our first destination, beautiful and picturesque Kapi Creek, on the other side of the Gulf of Fethiye; about 14NM.
Depending on the availability, we will either dock at the local restaurant or we med moor with our stern lines to the shore. This could be a bit of a challenge as we have to avoid slipping anchors or snagging ground tackle from other boats.
Dinner on shore at the Kapi Creek restaurant, where the food is excellent.
If you need the exercise, you can hike to the nearby village.
The nice thing about this area of Turkey is that it truly is a sailor’s paradise. Not too many fancy marinas here like in Croatia or Italy so we get to sail more.
So, today, we will just play with the winds along the islands and stop for lunch and a swim in one of the many small bays.
Sometimes we have some spirited sailing and other times it is just a relaxing cruise.
Our destination for the night is the restaurant of Kucuk Sarsala.
Let’s sail to Tomb Bay. There is a small restaurant in the bay, but the attraction are the Lycian-era tombs carved out of the mountain above the anchorage.
A hike up to this archeological site will certainly bring back your land legs. Alternatively, you can just relax and swim.
After lunch, we raise the anchor and, after some more sailing, head for Wall Bay where we will dock for a phenomenal dinner and for the night at the local restaurant.
Across from Wall Bay and the restaurant, we find Hammam Bay or Cleopatra’s Bath. It is worth the hike or, for those who don’t like to walk too much on a bit rougher terrain, a dinghy ride. There are some submerged ruins of an ancient Greek monastery.
Legend has it that Cleopatra came here on her honeymoon with Mark Anthony and that she bathed in the hot mineral springs.
Our next stop, after more sailing, with the daily stop for lunch and swimming, will be the small town of Göcek, where we will spend the night at the docks of D-Marina.
Göcek is a lovely place with a nice commercial center. You can wander the streets with stores that sell wonderful cotton products, like towels, for unbelievably attractive prices. You may want to bring an empty suitcase…
For dinner, you can buy a completely catered meal from the local fishmonger and enjoy it on the comfort of your yacht, or you can order a delicious feast in one of the many excellent restaurants. Don’t forget the Turkish Delights!
One of the gastronomical specials you will enjoy during your stay in Turkey are the mouthwatering mezze. They have such a huge variety of them.
We will take advantage of our short stay in Göcek to fill up our water tanks and provision a bit, if necessary.
Even though there are not too many marinas where you can provision, you will not run out of fresh bread, fish, and vegetables, when sailing these waters, thanks to the floating markets. They are easy to spot. One of them, the Migros ship is like a mini supermarket on water, but we prefer to local guys with their smaller boats.
From Göcek, we sail past the Yassica Islands to the other side of the Gulf of Fethiye to the small island of Karacaoren.
We will anchor here and explore the island with its tombs and ruins, and we will swim and snorkel in the crystalline waters.
The local popular restaurant serves fabulous food. It also has moorings making it a safe overnight spot and a great place to enjoy a beautiful sunset
Our last day before having to return to the base on Friday. It will be something special and we need to get going early. Across the bay from where we spent the night, there is the magical Butterfly Valley, a narrow canyon between huge rock walls. We have to get there early in order to secure a good anchorage before the day tripping boats from Fethiye and Ölüdeniz arrive.
This a place to spend the whole day exploring the valley or enjoying the beach and do some snorkeling. Crew members who like a physical challenge can hike to the waterfall at the end of the valley.
We can have lunch at one of the local rustic small restaurants.
At the end of the day, we will go to nearby Gemiler Island for some more exploring and to spend the night.
This small island of about 1000 meters by 400 meters has some early Christianity church ruins that we can visit as well as the tomb of St. Nikolas, protector of sailors and every child’s favorite saint.
We will spend the night at anchor, safely protected by the island.
Last day of our cruise and time to get back to our base in Fethiye.
We will spend this last day sailing as much as possible to end this spectacular week in style.
After refueling in Fethiye, we will bring our yachts back to the slip and check out.
You can spend the last night on the boats or in one of the nearby hotels but, if you stay aboard Friday night, you will have to disembark by 09:00 the following morning.
*Itineraries are subject to change due to weather or other circumstances beyond our control.
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