Evening on board in Bodrum.
Day 1: Bodrum
Boarding starts at 15:30. If you arrive early, you can leave your luggage at our office. Our boat will be anchored at Bodrum Port for overnight. Before and after dinner, you can explore this spectacular “Turkish Riviera” rich with history and great stores for souvenirs. With its history dating back to the 12th century BC, Bodrum (ancient name: Halicarnassus) is the birthplace of Herodutus, the “Father of History”, who lived here during the 5th century BC. Bodrum will greet you with the Mausoleum of King Mausolus (350 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, St. Peter’s Castle built by the Knights Hospitallerof Rhodes (Knights of St. John),in the 14th century using the columns and reliefs from the Mausoleum. Also do not miss the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archeology located inside the castle which is the biggest museum in the world devoted to underwater archeology, and an Amphitheatre with a capacity of 13,000 seats, still hosting many shows and concerts.
Day 2: Knidos (Cnidus) and Palamutbuku
After your breakfast, we will set off for Knidos (or Cnidus) to visit this ancient city. Knidos was founded in around 360 BC by the Carians at the tip of Datca Peninsula, which separates the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. As you walk among the ruins perched on top of a hill, you will have breathtaking views of the two seas shimmering under the sun, the Triopian Island separated from the mainland by an isthmus, and two harbours that were used as a military harbour and a trade harbour. You will see the remains of the agora, the theatre, anodeum, a temple of Dionysus, a temple of the Muses, a temple of Aphrodite, and the largest sun clock of its time. Knidos was famous for its naked Aphrodite statue sculpted by Praxiteles. The famous architect of the Alexandrian Lighthouse (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World), Sostrates is from Knidos. Next we will go to Palamutbuku, where a beautiful beach and little restaurants under the tamarisk (salt cedar) trees are awaiting you. Make sure to jump into the cool waters to clean your dust off after visiting Knidos. Datca Peninsula is one of the unspoiledlocations in Turkey known for its fresh air, fresh fish, olives, almonds, citrus trees, and honey. Datca has fame with three “B”s: Badem (Almond), Bal (Honey), and Balik (Fish) and you can have plenty of these in Palamutbuku. Datca almonds are considered to be the best in the world. We will overnight in Palamutbuku.
Day 3: Kargi and Datca
Our next stop is Kargi, a beautiful bay with turquoise waters, sheltered from the winds. It is popular for divers and snorkelers. There is a small pond on the beach where you can watch the turtles and the frogs. After a short ride from Kargi, we arrive at Datca, the main town of the Datca Peninsula. Datcahas kept its charm as a small town even while its sheltered marina attracts many boaters to dock there and enjoy the food at the restaurants. The street parallel to the marina has souvenir shops and more restaurants. There arethree beautiful beaches in Datca where you can watch the local kids enjoy the clean blue waters… or join them yourself. Make sure to eat fresh almonds on ice with your ice cold beer. After dinner, you can get off the boat and go to the local bars and enjoy some music.
Day 4: Aktur and Ciftlik Bay
After our breakfast at Datca, we leave for Aktur for lunch, swim and snorkelat its two beautiful beaches. Aktur beaches carry the prestigious “Blue Flag”, a voluntary eco-label awarded internationally. Enjoy the clean waters of Akkur and sip your coffee under the eucalyptus trees. In the afternoon, we head for Ciftlik Bay, another “Blue Flag” beach surrounded with pine and olive trees, for dinner and overnight. The history of Ciftlik Bay dates back to 1200 BC. You can still see the ruins from the Carian, Assyrian, Macedonian, Persian, Roman, Byzantian, Selcuk, and Ottoman eras. The beach with coarse sand is very popular. The bay is a great spot for snorkeling. Don’t miss the sunset while sipping your cocktails. There are restaurants and grocery shops.
Day 5: BencikBay and Selimiye
Today, we will head to yet another spectacular spot: Bencik. With its tranquil waters, Bencik is located at the narrowest part of the Datca Peninsula. This part of the peninsula is known as “Balikasiran” in Turkish, meaning “the place where the fish jump over”. When you arrive at Bencik, you are on the Mediterranea Sea. If you walk 30 minutes towards north, you reach Bordubet Bay on the Aegean Sea. Herodutus talks about Bencik Bay in his writings: Around 540 BC, Knidos people heard that the Persians were coming. So, they decided to dig a trench at this narrow point so that it would be easier to defend Datca Peninsula as Datca Island. However, they could not finish in time, and Persians took over Knidos. After lunch, we arrive at historic Selimiye (ancient name: Hydas), a magnificent bay completely surrounded with rolling hills and rocky mountains. The color of the sea is cobalt blue shimmering under the sun. Since the bay is so secluded, the water looks like an aquarium where you can see schools of fish. You can walk the entire shore of Selimiye which takes about thirty minutes, watching people eating at the restaurants set up right by the water or over the docks, passing cute pensions covered with purple and red bougainvilleas, village houses with their vegetable gardens greeting the sea,and you can shop at the high-end boutiques. If you like, you can visit the ruins from the Hellenistic period. There are three forts, a lighthouse, an abbey, a theatre and a watch tower. Don’t miss the sunset and the sunrise at Selimiye. And, it is definitely worth watching the fishermen taking off early with the sunrise while the sea still looks like a gray-blue linen sheet.
Day 6: Bozburun and Sogut
After breakfast at Selimiye, we set off for lunch at Bozburun, famous for its thyme honey and a 2000-year old plane tree (Platanus). Carians called this region Larymna, and the people “sand people”. Their ruins can be found at the top of the Asar Hill, about 45 minutes’ hiking distance. Bozburun has a quaint water front with a mosque right by the water, with fishing boats tied to the quays, shops, cafes and restaurants beckoning you. It is one of the main gullet-producing places after Bodrum and Marmaris. Until the 19th century, Bozburun had one of the largest marble quarries in the region. We will have dinner and overnight at a beautiful unspoiled village, Sogut. In history, it is known as “Saranda”, a Greek village. There are some ruins of Thyssanos around the village, but since there are no excavations taken place, you can see only a few ruins and none of them are marked. But, you can imagine what life would have been like in those times.To help that, purchase some almonds, honey, broad beans, and molasses made from carobs that Sogut is famous for.
Day 7: Bozukkale (BozukBuku) and KadirgaBay
From Sogut, we sail to Bozukkale (meaning “ruined castle”, ancient name: Loryma), where the bay’s hills are adorned with the remains of a massive fortification, and a Hellenistic citadel is still intact, with its 8-meter tall limestone walls built around 10th century BC. During the days of the siege of Rhodes, Macedonian king DemetriosPoliorketes used this bay as a main port and supply for his fleet. After a successful defense, Rhodes decided to build strong fortification in Loryma to prevent enemies from using this bay as a base during their attacks. Loryma ceased to exist around 1st century BC. Enjoy the beauty of Bozukkale. You can take a hike to explore the ruins or swim in the calm, clear blue waters of the Mediterranean. After Bozukkale, we leave for Kadirga, a favorite with divers and underwater archeologists, to anchor for dinner and overnight.There is a light house at the entrance of the bay, at the tip of Kadirga peninsula, where there is a sunken ship. Snorkeling is highly recommended around the rock formations in the middle of the bay.
Day 8: Marmaris
After your breakfast, we leave for our final destination, Marmaris. You will have time to pack and disembark around noon. If you have time before your flight, make sure to explore Marmaris for shopping and sightseeing. Marmaris, ancient Phyckos city of Caria, has been ruled under many civilizations. Herodutus writes about a castle in Marmaris built around 3000 BC. However, recent excavations showed some evidences of human settlement in Marmaris dating back to 10,000 BC. The castle was damaged during the invasion by Alexander the Great in 334 BC. Marmaris Castle is a beautiful place to visit, still in great shape since it was reconstructed around the 15th century by the orders of Suleyman the Magnificentbefore his expedition to Rhodes. In 1798, Lord Nelson had his fleet of ships sheltered in Marmarisharbour on his way to Egypt to defeat Napolean Bonaparte. After visiting the castle, make sure you spend time around the castle exploring the narrow roads, old buildings with beautiful doorways, and Greek houses. There is a mosque from the Ottoman times and a caravanserai with beautiful arches. The ruins are mostly in the north of Marmaris, on top of Asar Hill. Marmaris is also famous for its large yatcht marina. The itinerary given above is not a fixed itinerary. As a private boat charter, your group can decide where to go, where to overnight, where to swim.