The sea side city of Fethiye is located half an hour’s drive from Dalaman Airport. It is a well-known tourist center in the South West of Turkey, and has a lot of bars, restaurants and many different day and night entertainment spots. Fethyie in itself is steeped in history with a number of exciting archeological sites and the area is steeped in layered culture, built over centuries. Th city has three marina’s, all with modern facilities. Fethyie is a great spot for starting or finishing a yacht charter and has quite a few islands dotting its coastline adding spice to an already colorful city with a lot of local cuisine to whet your taste buds.
Gemiler island is an uninhabited island near the city of Fethiye. It has a lot of restaurants and cafes located near the famous ruins, but the owners don’t live on the island, they come every day for as a tourist business. Gemiler is considered to be the resting place of St. Nicholas, or what we all now as Santa Claus, who is also the Patron Saint of Sailors. During the early Christian era this was a very active island with a lot trade and commerce. It his home to some Byzantine ruins and St. Nicholas’ tomb. The island is now a pilgrimage site, as well as a favored day stop for yachts. The local cuisine is exceptionally tasty, and they are located in a nice relaxing spot with wonderful views. Blue Cruises have a license to stay overnight, but the rest of the island empties at sunset, and it becomes quite desolate. There is no commercial site to restock, so if you need supplies its best to sail onwards or restock in Fethiye.
Ölüdeniz is Turkish for Dead Sea, which it derives from the calm waters that seem to shine like a pane of glass all year round. Ölüdeniz is a small village in the Fethiye district in the Muğla Province. It is one of the most visited and popular tourist spots on the Turquoise Coast of southwestern Turkey. The blue lagoon sits within a pebble beach enclosure, and the waters are crystal clear, aquamarine and differing shade so of blue. Behind the town is Mount Babadağ, that sets the pace for the paragliding community. This is considered to be one of the best and most beautiful paraglide locations in the world. It is also part of the Ultramarathon called the Lycian Way Marathon. For visitors arriving by yacht, this is a great place for snorkeling and scuba diving, since the lagoon has plenty of small underwater caves and a lot of interesting fauna and sea life. Apart from the activities found here, there is a tourist center that has a number of restaurants, cafes and shops to restock if needed.
The biggest island in the Gulf of Fthiye is Tersane Island, known also as Shipyard Island. This bay has a 100 meter deep channel that was used by the Ottoman navy, hence the name shipyard island. The bay area has a lot of coves and towards the east lies the Summer harbor. The west side of the bay is not used much due to the strong winds that prevail most of the year. There is an ancient ruined town nearby called Telandria, and if you want to stretch your legs, this is a great place to do so.
Although this island is now called Prince Island, it was originally known as Domuz Island, which means Port Island, named after the abundance of wild pigs that flourished there. Today, Prince Island boasts no pigs, but does have a tranquil splendor.
Just off the Domuz Bay lies Gobun Bay. The entrance to Domuz is extremely narrow, which adds to the excitement and mystery. Once inside the bay you find tombs cut into the rock side and the whole area is covered with olive and pine trees.
Yavansu, or Sea Gull bay is a popular tourist spot for both foreign and local visitors. The bay has fig trees and small streams running down from the mountains. However, the fresh water is only for animal use, not human. The name Se Gull comes from the mosaics found in the bay and is linked to the ancient town of Arymaxa found at the top of the hill. Aymaxa is home to four Roman mausoleums and a Hellenistic tomb, as well as a Byzantine cistern, all proof of this locations long inhabited history.
Manastir Bay(Cleopatra`s Bath) is a volcanic area but everything is now dormant. There are many bays in the Gulf, formed many years ago and it is hard to imagine that the area was never anything than as peaceful as it is today. It is a hilly region covered in pine forest and there is an interesting crater lake as well. An ancient wall runs parallel to the north east coast. The Lycian remains are impressive and there are several opportunities for taking a trail to generally explore. Lydia Network Port is along one of those trails and the bay is a place where blue cruises and all passing yachts are likely to stop for a period; it is too tempting not to do so. Several restaurants with wooden pergolas hug the shore and find custom from the passing yachts. It is not a place for restocking but if you have plenty of supplies on board, you may decide to stay overnight, such is the tranquil beauty of the place.
Yachtsmen love Sarsala Bay since it is a natural bay providing great swimming opportunities as well as a good place for overnight anchoring. The bay includes a pontoon that leads to a restaurant, and the inland scenery is delightful. There is a valley that leads inland through a dense forest of trees. The beach itself is stony, so come prepared.
Bedri Rahmi Bay is named after the famous Turkish author Bedri Rahmi Eyuboglu, he used to come fishing in the bay, which was previously known as Dark Bay since Lycian times. During one of his fishing trips in 1973, he drew a fish on a rock at the entrance of the bay, giving the rock a new title “Fish Rock”, this is now the name for the entire area. This bay is well sheltered, so winds do not prevail, and the colors are distinct, with the clear azure waters contrasting with the green pines, olive trees and oleanders that populate the hillside. The overall effect is exaggerated by a clear cyan sky.
Between Boynuz BUku and Tasyaka is the bay of Kille Buku. This is considered to be a great picnic stop for travelers visiting from Gocek, since it is heavily shaded by the trees.
Zeytin Island (which means Olive Island) is found south of the Yassica island chain. This island is covered in olive trees, hence the name, and is a privately owned property that supports a local olive press industry that has been ongoing since the Ottomans.
Kizil island is considered to be a magical place at sunset. The islands name means red and the grounds color is red. However, it is at sunset when the whole island transforms, all the stones turn crimson red, providing you with an amazing photographic shoot. The island is uninhabited, apart from a lighthouse that is located on the southern tip. The Deliktas isles re located to the north west and are considered to be another great place to anchor, but for swimming and fishing.
Turunç Pınarı is on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Fethiye. It is lined by pine trees and is home to a lovely restaurant. The restaurant has a pier with 15 moorings, and it supplies water provisions as well as a few times for restocking. If you take a short walk up the hillside, you will find a natural water spring under a walnut tree. Yachts usually anchor around 25 meters off the shore, and this is a perfect sport for a short landside respite.
Quite close to Fethiye is Samanlik Bay, this small bay is considered to be a great location for anchoring, even when Fethiye is close by. The slopes leading down to the bay are covered with trees and the waters are cool and inviting. This is a regular anchor location for many yachts, and is if you want to visit Fethiye, its just a short sail away.
After completing your exciting voyage, arriving at Fethiye for the return flight home, take a moment to enjoy the city one last time. If possible, don’t go back immediately, walk around the market site, soak in the last days of Turkey. Enjoy the final shopping and sense the wonderful smells and taste of local cuisine. If you have the time, stay overnight and enjoy one last romantic evening, or exciting bar night life. Once you leave, the memories will remain for a lifetime.