If you’re graduating from Flotillas, a Bareboat Charter in Turkey is a great place to start. Turkey is also a favourite with short handed crews.
Bareboat Chartering in Turkey is straightforward. There are few navigational hazards, the water being so deep in most places you can almost sail right up to the cliffs. Being coastal sailing, you won’t need to watch the compass too hard either, the only common problem being overshooting destination, as once you’re a couple of miles off shore, it all looks much the same.
Ability: First time bareboaters upwards
Mooring: Simple. Lots of assistance & space
Navigation: Easy with few hazards
Sailing: Intermediate, some easier & harder areas
Vibe: One restaurant bays and villages, undeveloped, very friendly
Getting there: Lots of flight options
Mooring your Bareboat in Turkey is a breeze too. Much of the time you will be tying up on quays owned by restaurants and the staff will be there to direct and assist you. In the few marinas, there are usually staff in ribs to shunt your yacht around if you mis-judge turns, and to hand you mooring lines. Though the number of charter yachts has grown in recent years, finding space is not a problem.
The weather pattern helps too. Winds are light in the morning and stronger in the afternoon, so you can to an extent choose your sailing conditions. Better still, come early evening, the wind usually drops to next to nothing, so you can sleep easy.
Serious sailors will also enjoy a yacht charter in Turkey. The winds are good, typically F3-4 in the quieter areas and F3-F6 elsewhere. Prolonged calm spells are unusual.
Ashore, Turkey appeals to those looking to get away from it all, who are happy with simple but wholesome food and content to make their own evening entertainment.
Not there there’s a shortage of sights to see – Turkey perhaps makes less than it might of the many archaeological sights, and there are some great walks.
But options for wild nights on the town are really limited to the main resorts such as Bodrum, Fethiye and Marmaris. If partying is important, the Bodrum peninsula is much more developed than elsewhere and is a good choice.
The Bodrum area also offers more choice of eateries. Further south and east, many of the bays contain no more than a single restaurant. Often they are accessible only by sea, putting yachtsmen in a privileged position. However this means facilities ashore can be minimal, with no showers and limited if any provisions.
Yacht Charter Bases
The main yacht charter bases are at Gocek, Marmaris, and Bodrum, the latter with three bases around the peninsula in Bodrum Town itself, at Turgutreis and at Yalikavak.
There are smaller bases at Orhaniye (about 18 mile from Mamaris by road but 50 miles sailing away), Fethiye, close to Gocek, and a few yachts at Teos.
Your choice of base will depend on your preferred cruising ground and ease of access from the UK. For more on the sailing areas see the Sailing in Turkey page. Although it’s coastal sailing, there are enough stops to return to your starting port without duplicating stops. One way charters are possible if you prefer.
Bodrum and Dalaman airports are both well served by charter and low cost flights from the UK, Izmir less so. If you prefer scheduled flights you will need to change planes, usually in Istanbul (book with care as there are two Istanbul airports and they’re a long way apart).
Turkey is not the budget destination it once was but it’s still great value. It’s an excellent choice for a first Bareboat Charter and for old hands, with superb sailing, stunning scenery and (the Bodrum peninsula aside), remarkably little development. The population are most welcoming and will do their utmost to make your trip one to remember.