Sailing the Lycian Coast (East)

The Lycian Coast runs from Marmaris to Antalya, though most charterers stick to the western third, including the Gocek/Fethiye bay area. The eastern part, beyond the Seven Capes (just east of the famed beach of Olu Deniz which features on so many Turkish postcards) is less visited, partly I suspect because people are unnecessarily deterred by the reputation of the Capes themselves.

Kalkan: View over the bay

Kalkan: View over the bay

It is true that even at the height of summer, the Capes can provide a bouncy day, and with 30 miles between the nearest start and end point, a reasonably long one too. However, I have also done the passage on seas as flat as a mirror, and those that follow the advice of setting off early, before the winds pick up should not be unduly troubled.

The rewards are worth it.  Aside from the pleasant holiday towns of Kalkan and Kas, you’ll have a chance to explore the stunning lava landscape of Kekova Roads, with its diverse ruins from habitations decimated by earthquakes and wars dating back to the 2nd century. You can also visit the charming Greek island of Kastellorizo, just across the water.

Kas: The Amphitheatre dates from the 1st century BC and offers excellent views

Kas: The Amphitheatre dates from the 1st century BC and offers excellent views

The main charter base in the area is Gocek, a once tiny village now swelled by several marinas, made popular by it’s close proximity to Dalaman airport just 25 minutes drive away. With the exception of Club Marina which is served by a ferry boat from the town, (which can stop annoyingly early in the evening) all the marinas are within walking distance of the town. A few yachts are also available from Fethiye./

Dalaman airport is served by a wide range of charter and low cost airline flights, originating from many UK airports. Only those that insist on scheduled flight operators will be disappointed as none currently operate from Britain.

Kalkan: Harbour entrance, beach and town

Kalkan: Harbour entrance, beach and town

There is a good choice of bareboat yachts from Gocek, also available for skippered charter. There are also several flotillas, and one RYA sailing school.  The choice from Fethiye is a bit more limited but it isn’t much further to travel from teh airport if it turns out the yacht or flotilla you want is from Fethiye rather than Gocek.

So if you fancy some longer sails, a good mix of stopping off points from small villages to towns, and some truly dramatic scenery, you should consider the eastern Lycian. I wouldn’t recommend the area for complete novices – there are better options nearby such as Gocek Bay – but don’t be put off by the Seven Capes.

More details on the Lycian Coast, including write ups on lots of possible stops and some suggested routes, will be coming soon. Meantime, to get a feel of the area, take a look at the pictures on this page: Lycian Coast East: Gallery.