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December 30, 2012updated Dec 20, 2023

Your 11-Day Cruising Itinerary for a Perfect Trip on the Southern Turkish Coast

By Chris Boyle


Whether you’re seeking true extravagance or pure relaxation, we have chosen the perfect 11-day itinerary that has it all

The Blue Cruise was established by the Turkish literati in the mid-20th century when Turkish intellectuals toured the overgrown ancient ruins and sleepy villages of the southern Turkish coast aboard gullets – wooden sailing boats used by sponge divers. A traditional Turkish Blue Cruise runs from the Bodrum peninsula to Antalya and likewise this itinerary begins in chic Türkbükü on the northern Bodrum peninsula. The final hundred nautical miles to reach Antalya is a long hard cruise with nowhere to stop. We advise disembarking at Finike and chartering a private helicopter to the affluent Antalya, which is known as the Dubai of Turkey.

Turkey boasts two of the seven wonders of the ancient world – Halicarnassus and Ephesus – and more ruins and archaeological sites than either Greece or Italy. Peaceful and unkempt Hellenistic, Byzantine and Lycian ruins are scattered along the shoreline and many sites are accessible only by foot or by boat. Months could be spent exploring the coast’s quiet coves and secluded bays, which are perfect locations for kayaking and windsurfing, and the scenery becomes increasingly dramatic as you head east where the rugged Taurus Mountains contrast with crystal turquoise waters.

Archaeology is not the only draw of the southern Turkish coast as the lively and sophisticated ports of Türkbükü, Bodrum and Fethiye offer exclusive clubs and elegant restaurants. The stunning clear waters of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas are perfect for snorkeling and there is always the chance you will spot a loggerhead turtle or ancient sunken ruins.

➤ Arrive in Türkbükü

Day 1: Türkbükü to Bodrum

Day 2: Bodrum to Knidos to Datça

Day 3: Datça to Symi

Day 4: Symi to Bozburun to Bozukkale

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Day 5: Bozukkale to Kumlubük

Day 6: Kumlubük to Ekincik

Day 7: Ekincik to Göcek

Day 8: Göcek to Fethiye to Gemiler Island

Day 9: Gemiler Island to Kalkan to Kaş

Day 10: Kaş to Aperlai and Kekova

Day 11: Kekova to Demre to Finike



Fly to Milas-Bodr um Airport and Transfer to Türkbükü where your yacht and crew will be waiting to welcome you.

Described by the New York Times as the Saint-Tropez of Turkey, former fishing village Türkbükü is a magnet for Turkish and international celebrities, including Michael Douglas, Paris Hilton and Prince Charles. Chic beach clubs on wooden jetties with sumptuous mattresses and canopy beds more than compensate for the lack of sandy beaches. Beach clubs such as People, Mio and NaNa are particularly elegant sunbathing spots that are often graced by Turkish celebrities making dramatic entrances in seaplanes. The clubbing season lasts from June to September.


Engin Akin’s


Book a private helicopter to the town of Ula, home to Engin Akin who was described by America’s Food and Wine Magazine as ‘Turkey’s Martha Stewart and Julia Child rolled into one’.

Here you could request a private cookery lesson or an exclusive lunch hosted by Engin Akin in her beautifully renovated family home Nabiye Konak. Akin has appeared on both television and radio and as an authority on Turkish cuisine, lectured at Marmaris University and authored books on the subject. Cookery lessons include a visit to the local markets and the option of cooking onboard a gullet.

Engin Akin

+90 532 241 7163




Cuisine: Turkish and Mediterranean

Style / Ambiance: Located beside the sea with rolling hills as a backdrop, Maçakizi Hotel is the perfect setting for a romantic meal.

Using the finest local ingredients, the chef Aret Sahakyan blends Turkish and Mediterranean flavors to create vibrant, innovative cuisine. Begin with a sparkling cocktail at Maçakizi’s sophisticated private beach club surrounded by the soft scents of Bougainvillea and the glittering Aegean Sea. An elite venue for sunbathing, Maçakizi has hosted the likes of Chelsea Clinton, Martha Stewart and Caroline Kennedy. Lunch is announced with the ring of a traditional bell and the tables are adorned with fresh cut flowers. After dining indulge in an aromatherapy massage and facial in one of the hotel’s sumptuous outdoor treatment tents that overlook luscious gardens. To book an appointment contact Firat Sert: +90 0507 734 9830;

Derya Yaldizipek

+90 252 377 6272

Kesire Mevkii Narçiçeği sk., Göltürkbükü



Bianca Beach Club is part of a high-end leisure complex that includes five bars, a fine-dining restaurant (serving seafood), a yoga studio, tanning beach and fitness center.

Painted all white and located next to sparkling clear waters, the club glistens beneath the Aegean sun. Take a dip in the 115 foot swimming pool, which has been landscaped to include a private beach, and then lounge on luxurious mattresses on the wooden decking jetty. The club has two VIP areas, one on land and one on the jetty and is open from May to October.

Emre Ergani

+90 252 316 6105

Eskiçeşme mah. Değirmen Burnu Mevkii Haremtan Sok 1, Bodrum


Ship Ahoy has been expertly run by Zafer Tarlan for the last 15 years and its nautical-chic decor, exotic cocktails and refreshing cuisine always draw in celebrity crowds throughout the summer months.

Recline on luxurious mattresses on the wooden pier before diving into sparkling turquoise waters to cool off. In the evening the jetty is transformed into an elegant restaurant and club. Indulge in syrupy homemade baklava served with cooling vanilla ice cream and sip on fruity cocktails until the rhythmic tunes of resident DJ Meto draw you onto the dance floor.

Zafer Tarlan

+90 252 377 5070

Yali Mevkii, Türkbükü, Bodrum


St Peter’s castle

DAY 1: Türkbükü to Bodrum

22 nautical miles

Bodrum juxtaposes classical culture with modern hedonism.

Don’t miss the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, or its namesake Halikarnas, an immense outdoor laser disco on the harbor front and Bodrum’s most famous club. Bodrum is renowned for its nightlife and you will find Barlar Sokagi (Bar Street) is bursting with bars, pubs and clubs. St Peter’s Castle overlooks the marina where traditional Turkish gullets, built in Bodrum’s shipyards, nestle among vast super yachts – the annual Bodrum Cup in October is a popular regatta for these traditional wooden boats. Bodrum is also home to an ancient amphitheater that is still used for concerts today.


Underwater Archaeological Museum


Located in the imposing Bodrum Castle, built by the Knights of Saint John, the underwater archaeological museum boasts the world’s largest collection of relics retrieved from shipwrecks, including material from Uluburun the oldest shipwreck yet discovered.

There is a large selection of Amphoras, two-handled portable jugs used to store and transport wine, oil and dry foodstuffs, plus a large selection of relics that take you on an exciting trip into the past. The exhibition is overseen by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, INA and a guided tour, with an expert archaeologist, of the museum and INA’s Bodrum Research Center can be arranged.

Tuba Ekmekçi, Director of INA’s Bodrum Research Center

+90 252 316 2248

Çarşi Mh. Bodrum

Aphrodite’s Temple


Dedicated to Aphrodite, the goddess of love, it is not surprising that the ruins of Aphrodisias are among the most beautiful in the world.

Protravel International will arrange transfers from your yacht to Aphrodisias via a luxury chauffeured car and helicopter. An archaeologist will guide you around Aphrodisias’s breathtaking sites, including a stadium, the Bishop’s Palace and a remarkable amphitheater, followed by a tour of the gorgeous reliefs and statues preserved in the on-site museum. While the true highlight is the grand entrance to the temple of Aphrodite the tour can be extended to include the ruins of the Roman city of Hierapolis where there is a temple dedicated to Apollo and a 4th century Basilica. On your return to Bodrum, Protravel International can organize a traditional Turkish barbeque on the beach complete with a Turkish belly dancer.

Earl Starkey

+1 212 409 9587

515 Madison Avenue, 10th Floor, New York


Six Senses Spa, Indoor Pool


Treatment & Facilities: High up in the cliffs above Barbaros bay, the award winning Six Senses Spa at the Kempinski Hotel offers breathtaking views of the Aegean coast. Soak up the spectacular views and fresh ocean air on the spa terrace designed for outdoor treatments.

But for the ultimate relaxation experience, book the 5,920 square-foot VIP Private Spa Suite, which has a dedicated therapist, tailor-made treatments, personal sauna, steam room, bedroom and terrace. After a relaxing session in the cutting-edge chromatherapy room revitalize with a refreshing juice at the Vitamin Bar.

Signature Treatment: Should you decide to have a Watsu be prepared to relax. In a specially designed pool, kept at a temperature of 35 degrees, a physiotherapist will rock, stretch and manipulate your body; the buoyancy and warmth of the water will induce total muscle relaxation.

Bayazit, Spa Director

+90 252 311 0280

Gerenkuyu Mevkii, Kizilagac Koyu, Yaliciftlik, Bodrum




Cuisine: Mediterranean

Style / ambiance: Located in a renovated 19th century stone house Kocadon is only five minutes from Milta Bodrum Marina. Positioned in a courtyard surrounded by palm trees and banana plants, Kocadon oozes sophistication and romance.

A graduate in chemistry, the head chef Ahmet Kocadon introduced molecular gastronomy to the Turkish coast and takes pride in using fresh local produce. Try the artichoke salad served simply with an extra virgin olive oil dressing, followed by fish braised with tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms au jus. As much attention is paid to service as to the food. Franciska Aras, Ahmet Kocadon’s wife, is fluent in four languages and worked in five-star hotels before taking a position at Kocadon. Should you wish to organize an exclusive party, a private dining room is available for hire which can accommodate up to 25 people. Kocadon is open from mid-April until the end of October.

Franciska Aras and Ahmet Kocadon

+90 252 316 3705

Saray Sokak 1, Bodrum

Antique Theatre Restaurant


Cuisine: French Inspired/ Local Cuisine

Style / ambiance: The Antique Theatre Restaurant is a member of the prestigious international gourmet association ‘La Chaine des Rossiteurs’, which has bestowed the coveted title of Maitre d’ Table on owner Dr Zafer Basak.

Sit beside the shimmering pool, admire the stunning view of the Bodrum Castle, and try the restaurant’s specialty: char grilled steak, served crisp on the outside and like melted butter on the inside. For something different try mussels in cocoa sauce with fresh ginger and saffron. The Antique Theatre Restaurant can be hired for private events.

Dr Zafer Basak, Owner and General Manager

+90 252 316 6053

Kibris Sehitleri Caddesi 169, Bodrum



Located at the entrance to Milta Bodrum Marina, the Marina Yacht Club offers the choice of three restaurants and four bars. Hasan Hüseyin Erdem, a member of the Turkish National Cooks Team, personally supervises the menus and restaurants.

The Roof Marine Restaurant offers fine dining, and serves delectable Turkish meze and international cuisine and at night offers superb views of the illuminated Bodrum Castle. The Marina Yacht Club has also renovated a 300-year-old tavern, now known as the prestigious Newold Club, to which they will arrange a private boat transfer. Marina Yacht Club caters private events.

Şenkar Öztüzün, Manager

+90 252 316 1228

Bodrum Marina, Neyzen Tevfik Caddesi 5, Bodrum


With capacity for 1,500 guests, who can watch fish and coral float beneath while dancing on the glass dance floor, Club Catamaran claims to be the biggest floating club in the world.

There are six bars, two resident DJs, world famous guest DJs and live entertainment shows each night during the summer. The club opens at 10pm, sets sail at 1.30am and returns to shore at 4.30am. Parasailing boats arrive at the Catamaran every 15 minutes to transport weary clubbers back to dry land, so there is no fear of being stranded at sea. The club’s private jetty and on-shore bar hold a further 1,000 guests. Club Catamaran can be hired for private events and offers day cruises to picturesque bays on the Bodrum peninsula, including Camel Beach and Gümbet Bay.

+90 252 313 3600

Dr Alim Bey Caddesi 1025, Sokak 44


Knidos Ruins

DAY 2: Bodrum to Knidos and Knidos to Datça

22 nautical miles

The Datça peninsula is famed for its bal, badem and balek – honey, almonds and fish.

The eastern half of the peninsula is mountainous and barely inhabited and has a number of sheltered coves and isolated bays waiting to be discovered. Make your first stop on the tip of the peninsula to admire the glorious Knidos ruins which were home to ancient Greek astronomer Exodus and historian Ctesias. Continue on to Datça town, passing Kargi Bay on the southern coast of the peninsular. Kargi was abandoned in 1923 when there was a population exchange with Greece. This desolate bay has a barrel-vaulted church and several deserted stone warehouses. While modern Datça offers safe anchorage for the night, it is largely an eyesore, so head 1.5 miles inland to the beautifully restored Eski Datça, or Old Datça. This hamlet’s traditional Mediterranean houses have been meticulously renovated by city dwellers as coastal getaways.



The white sands of Knidos stand out from the otherwise rugged landscape of the Datça peninsula.

Knidos was built on both the mainland and the island of Tropion, which are connected by a narrow strip of land and the ancient harbor offers safe anchorage. Only a small percentage of the Knidos ruins have been excavated, but they include an agora, theater and the temple of Dionysus. The focal point is the open-air Temple of Aphrodite, which once housed a famous sculpture of the goddess by Hellenistic artist Praxiteles. The Aphrodite of Knidos was the first classical life-size representation of a nude female and attracted many tourists in its day. It is unknown whether the original sculpture was taken, has perished or is yet to be excavated. Look out for an intricate mosaic floor and the sundial that still works. Have lunch on deck with the sparkling white ruins of Knidos as backdrop.

DAY 3 – 4

Symi Harbor

DAY 3: Datça to Symi

8 nautical miles

After clearing customs in Datça make the short trip to the tranquil Greek island of Symi.

Once a prosperous sponge diving island, Symi’s main industry is now tourism. Pastel painted houses with neo-classical pediments envelop the hillside around Symi’s stunning natural horseshoe harbor. This well-preserved island has a population of only 3,000 who live in hamlets dotted across the land. Look out for the Symi festival that runs from July to September and showcases Greek musicians, dance and theater events, and for dinner try Mylopetra’s mouth-watering Mediterranean fare.




Cuisine: Mediterranean

Style / ambiance: Hidden away in an historic mill down a small street off Symi’s main square is the stylish Mediterranean restaurant Mylopetra.

Mylopetra uses fresh vegetables, meat and fish supplied by local farmers and fishermen and these quality ingredients are combined with carefully selected imported goods to produce sumptuous Mediterranean dishes with a contemporary twist. The menu is seasonal and changes regularly, but homemade bread, pasta and ice cream are usually on offer. Adventurous dishes often crop up, such as a pumpkin and vanilla mouse served with beetroot foam. Look out for the scorpion fish fried in saffron oil and served with couscous and zucchini. Mylopetra is open from the middle of May to the middle of October.

Eva and Hans Sworowski

+30 224 607 2333

Symi, Dodecanissos, Greece


DAY 4: Symi to Bozburun and Bozburun to Bozukkale

23 nautical miles

Clear customs at Bozburun port then head to the magical hidden inlet of Bozukkale on the southern end of the Kara peninsula.

Once a Byzantine naval base and armory, Bozukkale is guarded by a forbidding ancient fortress. Take an hour-long hike up the rugged hillside to the ruins of the ancient city of Loryma – your reward will be dazzling views of the harbor – and then dine on the yacht beneath the twinkling starlight.


DAY 5: Bozukkale to Kumlubük

26 nautical miles

Forgo the hectic tourist trap of Marmaris in favor of the secluded bays of Turunç and Kumlubük.

The architecture in Turunç is average, but rugged mountains make a stunning backdrop to Turunç’s shingle beach, which has been awarded with a Blue Riband in acknowledgement of its clean seawater and beaches. The bay is an excellent spot for windsurfing and scuba diving and the private beach club, Dionysos Sea Club, can be found at the far end of the bay and opens from mid-May to mid-October. The club often organizes water sports and its bar turns into a striking waterside restaurant at night. Dionysos Sea club is open only to guests of Kumlubük’s Dionysos Estate Hotel and other select individuals. For more information contact Exclusive Escapes: +44 208 605 3500;


Terrace Restaurant at The Dionysos Estate


Style / ambiance: The exclusive Nar restaurant, part of the Dionysos Estate, only opens on Monday evenings and seats just 14 guests.

Serving twelve courses of Turkish cuisine accompanied by fine wines and liquers, Nar offers a unique insight into Turkish cuisine. Dionysos’s excellent Terrace restaurant is open every night, and both restaurants use produce, including fruit, vegetables and dairy products from the estate’s own organic farm. Dionysos even has its own award-winning brand of olive oil. On Thursday evenings there is the option to dine on the farm, lit romantically by candles and lanterns, on food cooked in the wood-fire oven.

Book through Exclusive Escapes

+44 208 605 3500

Alexander House, 15 Princes Road, Richmond, Surrey


The Dionysos Estate Infinity Pool


Treatment & Facilities: Recently renovated for its 10th anniversary, the Dionysos Spa has a new purpose built conservatory lounge with astounding views across the canyon to the sea.

Dionysos’s holistic approach to beauty is facilitated by its stunning cliff-side location. Unwind in the open air hot tubs and freshwater infinity pool with bar, surrounded by the soothing scents of pine and incense trees, and look out for the natural hot springs in the estate’s grounds. The spa uses the award winning Decléor range, essential oils and natural plant extracts. Booking in advance is recommended. Signature Treatment: The spa’s Full Body Massage combines a soothing traditional massage with a facial and thermotherapy for optimum relaxation and healing. Heated basalt stones are alternated with chilled natural marble stones to relieve tension in the muscles.

Book through Exclusive Escapes

+44 208 605 3500

Alexander House, 15 Princes Road, Richmond, Surrey


DAY 6: Kumlubük to Ekincik and the Dalyan River

18 nautical miles

The small bay of Ekincik is in an unspoiled conservation area. Protected by hills, this tranquil harbor is an idyllic place to stop for the night.

Low-draft river boats depart from the harbor to the nearby Dalyan River. Contact Yeşil Dalyan for a guided river trip to see the ruins of Caunos, which include a theater, temple, byzantine church and Lycian rock tombs from 400BC. Stop off by the river’s delta to visit Íztuzu beach, which is a breeding ground for loggerhead turtles. As it is a protected area, this three mile beach has no major developments nearby. Wooden stakes mark out laying sites and beach umbrellas are banned on most of the beach to protect the turtle eggs; the beach is closed during the egg-laying period. There is no nightlife to speak of in the serene Ekincik so tonight dine aboard your yacht.


Lycian Rock Tombs


A small river boat will meet you at your yacht then embark upstream to the ancient ruins of Caunos.

Reminiscent of the marshes of Africa, with touches of the ancient city of Petra, wildlife meets culture at the ancient city. Settlement here is believed to date from 3,000BC, and it later became a major port on the border between Lycia and Caria. Most striking are the mountainside carved tombs in which the nobles were buried.

+90 252 284 2127

Maraş Mahallesi Maraş Caddesi 35E Dalyan, Ortaca, Muğla


Sunken Bath Cove

DAY 7: Ekincik to GÖcek

38 nautical miles

Located on the edge of the Taurus Mountains, mass tourism has not yet reached the former fishing village of Göcek.

The harbor is safe, secluded and lined with bars and restaurants. During your visit you must be sure to try the deliciously sweet oranges and lemons that Göcek is renowned for. There are twelve islands in the gulf of Göcek and the largest of these is Tersane, which features partially submerged ruins of a Byzantine monastery and 140 abandoned houses resulting from the population exchange with Greece in 1923. Enter Tersane via a 328 foot wide channel and anchor in the western half of the harbor. There are numerous inlets and coves to explore in the gulf, including Sunken Bath Cove where there are submerged ruins of a Roman bath that Cleopatra reportedly visited twice.



Cuisine: Mediterranean and traditional Turkish

Style / ambiance: Located between two marinas, Göcek’s Blue Restaurant serves both contemporary Mediterranean and traditional Turkish cuisine. On a summer evening inhale floral jasmine scents as you dine on fragrant tiger prawns sautéed in butter, garlic, coriander and ginger served with saffron rice and a sweet chili sauce. Alternatively indulge in the classic Turkish dish of succulent lamb steak on a bed of smoky eggplant served with rosemary gravy.

Murat Kucukhuseyin

+90 252 645 1742

Göcek shoreline, Göcek, Muğla


Sundowner Restaurant, SwissÔtel GÖcek


Cuisine: Mediterranean

Style / ambiance: In an idyllic location alongside the Swissôtel Göcek’s exclusive private beach, the Sundowner Restaurant specializes in seasonal seafood.

Try the catch of the day served with fresh Mediterranean flavors, including spiced virgin olive oils and citrus fruit chutneys. Watch modern yachts and traditional gullets gliding in and out of Göcek harbor and admire the awe-inspiring mountains. If you want to organize a party here, the restaurant can be hired together with the beach for private events. For a more formal dining experience book a table at the Olive Tree Terrace Restaurant situated on the ground floor of the hotel.

Aydemir Yilmaz, Executive Chef

+90 252 645 2760

Cumhuriyet Mahallesi, Göcek, Fethiye, Muğla



30 nautical miles

On your way to Fethiye you will pass several peaceful coves sheltered from the northern winds.

This town is located on the site of the ancient Lycian city of Telmessos and has a number of rock-cut tombs from the 4th century. From here you can take a trip inland to the ghost town of Kayaköy, which is now a museum village. After lunch at the Mod Yacht Lounge, navigate down to Ölüdeniz for late afternoon where you can paraglide over the whitesand peninsulas of the Ölüdeniz lagoon – the most photographed beach in Turkey. As a protected area and part of a national park the Ölüdeniz lagoon is closed to yachts and Ölüdeniz does not have a safe harbor for an overnight stay. Anchor instead at Gemiler Island which has impressive Byzantine ruins from the 7th to 9th century, including houses, churches, mosaic floors and a vaulted passage that is over 1,500 feet long.



Kayaköy once had a population of 20,000 people but was abandoned in 1923 after the forced exchange of populations between Turkey and Greece.

The mountainside is coved with hundreds of square stone houses, all facing towards the sea. There are two Greek orthodox churches with vaulted ceilings, 14 chapels and two schools. The deserted village suffered damage during an earthquake in 1957, and looting and scavenging have left the buildings roofless and windowless, but you can still see faded frescoes on the churches’ walls. This abandoned village was the inspiration for Louis de Bernières novel Birds Without Wings. Climb to the chapel at the top of the hill for a panoramic view of the eerie roofless village and the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea beyond.



At 6,560 feet Babadağ Mountain, meaning ‘father mountain’, is the highest in the region, which makes it an exceptional launching pad for paragliding.

Between April and November, weather permitting, Skysports Turkey flies from Babadağ four times a day. There are excellent take-off facilities on Babadağ’s summit and a tandem flight with an experienced pilot can last for up to 45 minutes. Soar over jade-green forests and turquoise-blue sea before gently landing on the white sands of Ölüdeniz, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Murat Tuzer

+90 252 617 0511

Carsi Cad, Tonoz Otel Alti, Ölüdeniz, Fethiye, Muğla


Ölüdeniz Beach


Cuisine: Mediterranean

Style / ambiance: The glass-fronted MOD Yacht Lounge is part of the Ece Saray Marina and it is well worth stopping off here for a relaxed lunch on its harbor-side terrace.

A canopy of tree branches offers welcome shade from the hot Turkish sun. Try the classic Hünkar Beğendi (the Sultan’s delight), consisting of crunchy lamb on a bed of mashed eggplant served with béchamel sauce and grilled vegetables. Alternatively try the seafood Bosphorus Salad.

Mustafa Vural, Restaurant Manager

+90 252 614 3970

Ece Saray Marina, Fethiye



41 nautical miles

Break your journey at the extensive golden sands of Patara Beach and explore the dunes on horseback.

Attractive cobbled streets and a choice of roof-terrace restaurants make Kalkan an ideal setting for lunch. One of the less touristy destinations on the south-western coast, Kalkan is a recommended spot for carpet shopping. Look out for beach clubs with platforms cut into the cliffside. Kaş (meaning ‘eyebrow’ in Turkish), gets its name from its curving peninsula harbor and is your final destination for today. Larger than Kalkan, Kaş is filled with hidden courtyards and market-side lokantas (restaurants). There is much to enjoy in this bustling town, but of particular interest are the Hellenistic ruins, which include a theater and rock-cut tombs.



At 11 miles, Patara Beach (also known as Gemelis), is the longest beach in the Mediterranean.

Without doubt one of the best ways to explore this magnificent stretch of sand is on horseback. Loggerhead turtles lay their eggs here during the summer months and from July to September horses ride 100 feet inland from the crest wave to protect the turtle eggs laid during this season. The depth of Patara Beach means that even at this distance you will still be riding on the sand. The horses will take you through aromatic pine woods with wild thyme, oregano, fennel and sage and golden sand dunes, with the grand Taurus Mountains in the background.

+90 242 843 5298

Patara, Kaş, Antalya




Cuisine: Turkish and Mediterranean

Style / ambiance: Aubergine takes its name from the classic Turkish dish Imam Bayildi, which translates as ‘the Imam fainted’.

According to legend an Imam swooned with delight when his wife first presented him with the dish of baked aubergines (eggplants), served with onions, garlic, tomatoes and sweet pepper. This renowned Turkish dish can be found on the menu alongside Ottoman-style lamb and homemade baklava. The head chef and owner Mehmet Bilgiç has adopted French and Italian cooking methods to produce healthier versions of these traditional Turkish dishes and the restaurant prides itself on using the finest local organic produce. In summer dine on the terrace for direct views over the harbor and in winter thaw in front of the restaurant’s open fire.

Mehmet Bilgiç, Owner

+90 242 844 3332

Yaliboyu District, Kalkan Harbor, 25-27, Kalkan, Kas, Antalya



The understated Echo Café and Bar is a place for jazz and blues lovers.

Located in a former camel stable the bar has retained a minimalist décor with exposed stone walls and wooden beams. Echo’s unassuming atmosphere attracts a sophisticated crowd and on warm summer evenings you can sit on a charming balcony or outside in the garden overlooking a unique 5th century water cistern. In June Echo Café and Bar hosts Echofest – an annual jazz festival showcasing Turkish talent. The 2011 festival featured celebrated Turkish singer Melis Sökman, who sings in several languages, and distinguished saxophonist Yahya Dai. The bar is open from May until the end of October.

+90 242 836 2047

Kaş Port



Cuisine: Fusion

Style / ambiance: This Greek stone building has been sympathetically renovated by the Ada brothers to house a stylish fusion restaurant.

Coast@Gironda draws together 17th century Turkish dishes with new Pan-Asian and Mediterranean cuisine and receives fresh supplies of fish and seafood every day. Gironda’s outdoor terraces, with sumptuous table linens and gentle oil lamp lighting, are the perfect spot for summer dining and, sitting above the rooftops of Kalkan, they offer stunning views across the bay. Be sure to begin the evening with an aperitif in the romantic courtyard bar.

+90 242 844 3136

Yaliboyu Mah 28, Kalkan, Antalya

DAY 10 – 11



Today will be spent exploring magical sunken ruins.

Aperlai, to the east of Kaş, is a fortified city accessible only by boat or on foot and snorkeling is permitted over the sunken streets and houses here. Continue on to Kekova, a group of sparsely populated fishing islands, where you can snorkel on the western side among the partially submerged ruins of a Byzantine chapel. Keep in mind that snorkeling and skindiving have been banned above the Kekova Roads to prevent thefts, but the remarkable clarity of the water means you can observe the submerged Lycian and Byzantine ruins from your yacht.

Near the sleepy fishing village of Uçağiz, on the mainland opposite Kekova, the chest-style tombs of Teimussa are spread along the coastline and here you can snorkel among the ruins that lie submerged not far from the shore. Further to the east at Kale, once ancient Simena, there is a medieval castle which has a small 300-seat amphitheater carved into the rock inside. There are sarcophaguses on the seashore and houses that have incorporated ancient tombs into their walls.

DAY 11

Kekova Sunken Ruins


22 nautical miles

The ruins of Myra are one mile north of Demre. Myra has the largest amphitheater in Lycia and numerous rock-cut tombs.

Dating from the 4th century BC the tombs have log cabin features carved into them and were once brightly painted. Myra is most famous for being the home of Saint Nicholas, the original Santa Claus. Legend has it that a poor man in Myra had three daughters but he could not afford the dowries for them to marry. In the middle of the night Saint Nicholas threw three purses of gold down the chimney, one for each daughter, and the purses landed in a stocking that was hung on the fireplace to dry. Myra’s church of Saint Nicholas dates back to the 8th century and once housed the saint’s remains but in the 11th century these were taken to Bari by raiders.

Continue on to Finike and disembark from the yacht. There is a heliport half a mile away from Setur Finike Marina where you could charter a private helicopter to Antalya and rest in one of the city’s grand five-star hotels.

Further Afield

Antalya’s string of opulent five-star hotels, including Marmara Antalya – the only revolving hotel in the world – has earned the city the title ‘Dubai of Turkey’.

Antalya is the fastest growing city in Turkey and its Free Zone now includes shipyards that specialize in luxury yacht building.

This extravagant urban location is bordered by the extraordinary Taurus Mountains and the glittering Mediterranean Sea. Walk behind the cascade of the Upper Düden waterfalls, only nine miles north east of Antalya, and explore the Bey Dagi National Park. Saklikent, 31 miles north of Antalya, is a well-equipped ski resort and Kaleiçi, the historical center of the city, is surrounded by wooden houses and has traces of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman architecture. Protravel International can arrange a guided tour with an archaeologist of the nearby ancient ruins of Termessos, Perge and Aspendos should you wish to explore this fascinating area in greater detail.

Dining Room, Vanilla


Cuisine: International

Style / Ambiance: Vanilla Restaurant is situated in a beautifully restored Ottoman Mansion within the ancient citadel walls of Kaleiçi.

Enjoy a predinner drink in the adjoining lounge bar with plush upholstered chairs, an open fireplace and dark wooden shelves bearing antique vases. Dine in the cool shade of the terrace or in the elegant contemporary dining room where coarse stone walls are juxtaposed with delicate glass tables and transparent molded chairs. Vanilla uses fresh local produce to create à la carte international cuisine, from grass-fed cattle charcoal grilled steaks to sea bass served with a spicy Thai sauce and steamed jasmine rice. Indulge in Vanilla’s profiteroles which are made with a light choux pastry coated in a silky-white chocolate sauce.

Wayne Hoggard, Owner and Executive Chef

+90 242 247 6013

Barbaros District Hesapçı Street 33, Kaleiçi, Antalya

Lounge Bar, Vanilla


Your chauffeur and archaeologist will meet you at your hotel or marina.

The first stop is Termessos, one of Turkey’s best preserved ancient sites. Set high on a mountainside, around 3,445 feet above sea level, the walk to the ruins is physically demanding but well worth it. The next stop is Perge, the ancient capital of Pamphylia.

Perge’s ruins, including a roman bath, nyphaeum and agora, are spread across two hills and, according to legend, they were built by three heroes from Troy. Your final destination is Aspendos, one of the best preserved ancient theaters in the world. Built in the 2nd century, Aspendos has the capacity for 15,000 people, and ballets and concerts are still held here. Protravel International can arrange VIP tickets to the Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival which runs from June into the start of July.

Earl Starkey

+1 212 409 9587

515 Madison Avenue, 10th Floor, New York

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