As the third highest producer of luxury yachts in the world, an unspoilt coastline of 8,000km of spectacular beauty and with 311 Blue Flag Beaches; Turkey ranks among the top sailing spots in the world.
Sailing enthusiasts can enjoy a tradition of regular international boat races and festivals throughout the year while the more leisurely can discover the serene ‘Blue Cruise’ on a traditional wooden boat and a breathtaking coastline accessible only by boat. A multitude of anchoring points offer fantastic settings for snorkelling, swimming and diving, as well as the opportunity to explore secret bays, local fishing villages and vibrant resort towns.
New marinas are opening all the time; the latest planned for Dalaman on the Mediterranean coast, Turkey’s most popular spot for British visitors, with a capacity of 650 berths and sports (tennis, basketball, football), eating and shopping facilities.
Turkey has a wealth of world-class marinas with 29 international standard marinas and 12 municipality operated marinas with a total capacity of 10,450 floating berths and 5,400 hard standing. All are located between Istanbul in the north and Antalya in the south. In Istanbul both Atakoy Marina on the European side and Setur Kalamis-Fenerbahce (Amiral Fahri Koruturk) Marina on the Asian side offer 24-hour service. Larger cruise-liners most often dock in the larger ports of Istanbul or Kusadasi, both of which are perfectly situated for access to some of Turkey’s most interesting historic sites. Turkish Marina Management has an excellent reputation amongst international sailing crews for taking care of the yachts and their crew.
New marinas include:
* Marinturk Pendik Marina, Istanbul: 752-berth capacity and 100 hard standing
* Marinturk Gocek & Poruklu Marinas, Gocek: 200-berth capacity and 150 hard standing
* Alanya Marina on the east side of Antalya Gulf: 300-berth capacity and 150 hard standing
* C&N Cesme Marina: 400-berths and 100 hard standing capacity
* Kas Marina: 450-berths and 100 hard standing capacity
The Blue Flag Campaign
Turkey was awarded a total of 311 Blue Flag Beaches and 14 Blue Flag Marinas in 2009/10. The Blue Flag is one of four projects under the co-ordination of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and the Environmental Education Foundation of Turkey (TURCEV), which designates which beaches and marinas have the right to display a Blue Flag and is judged on the basis of cleanliness of water, environmental concerns, security, safety and services. In order to maintain Blue Flag status, the marina or beach must meet the assessment criteria every year. In addition all marinas and beaches have to provide information panels on the cultural and natural assets of the sea and provide the data on Blue Flag accreditation. Marinas have an additional criterion to fulfil: a ‘rapid response plan’ in case of fire, accident or similar events.
Enjoy a relaxing holiday aboard a gulet, a traditional wooden sailing boat, otherwise known as a Mavi Yolculuk or ‘Blue Cruise’. Much of the Turkey’s coastline is only accessible by boat, making sailing the ideal way to explore this secret beauty, stopping off at your leisure to explore a historic site or visit a charming village. The tale of the gulet began in Bodrum, with the book Mavi Yolculuk, in which the author Cevat Sakir Kabaagac described his idyllic ‘blue cruise’ voyage around the coast of Bodrum with the local sponge fishermen.
Gulets have since evolved from traditional fishing and cargo vessels into their present form, perfect for a relaxing holiday away from the crowds; most vessels have large sunbathing decks, dining area and cabins below – most also have motors as well as sails. Gulets can be fully chartered by a group or are sold on a cabin basis by tour operators – style and comfort can vary greatly according to price. Most gulets also travel a specific route on the Aegean or Mediterranean coastlines, taking in the azure waters, a multitude of isolated bays and tiny islands. For those who prefer less time at sea, day trips can be arranged from any resort, either by booking through your operator, local agency or visiting the local harbour first thing in the morning.
International Bodrum Cup
The Bodrum Cup is a unique international yacht regatta and annual tradition, celebrating the end of the cruising season in Turkey and uniting Bodrum’s charter fleet with private wooden yachts from around the world. This most exciting of competitions is held annually in October, exclusively for classically constructed wooden vessels, both for skilled yachtsmen and novices, who can stow away as passengers or join the crews for the last adventure of the sailing season. www.bodrumcup.com
Other International Festivals and Regattas
* International Yachting Festival and Race, Marmaris, March & October
* International Bosphorus Cup, May, Istanbul
* Istanbul Channel Regatta - International Offshore Races, Marmaris to Rhodes, June
* International Istanbul Optimist Week, Istanbul, June-July
* IODA World Team Racing Championship and IODA World Sailing Championship, Cesme, July
* International Turkish Navy Cup, Istanbul, July
* International Istanbul Sailing Week, Istanbul, August
* International Ataturk Dam Sailing Competition, Sanliurfa, September
* Bozburun International Gulet Festival, Bozburun, Marmaris, October
Yacht Building Industry
Turkey is the third highest producer of luxury yachts in the world with the yacht building industry being primarily located in the Istanbul region and also in some parts of the Black Sea, Marmara Sea, Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Region. The yachts built in the Aegean and Mediterranean regions are mostly exported to Germany and Greece. As a first for Turkey, an industrial zone of 500,000 square metres specialising solely in yacht production and maintenance is being currently planned for the Manavgat district of Antalya province on the Mediterranean coast.