(Turkiye) Turkey Yacht Charter and Sailing Vacations

Where to go • When to go • What you should know • How to Book

The Crossroads
Turkiye (formally Turkey) is located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia with Istanbul, its largest city serving as a historical and cultural bridge between East and West, and with a coastline
straddling the Mediterranean Sea, the Aegean Sea, and the Black Sea. 

The coast of Turkey, either along the Aegean Sea or further south along the Turquoise Coast (also known as the Turkish Riviera) makes for a stunning yacht charter destination. Sailing in Turkey offers a chance to discover more than 500 islands along over 4000 miles of coastline. It provides a captivating journey through a blend of ancient history, stunning landscapes, and a vibrant coastal culture. If you are seeking an off-the-beaten-track destination with natural beauty, historic sites, diverse landscapes, cultural treasures, favorable sailing conditions, and friendly locals, Turkey is the destination for you

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Sailing License Required

Turkey requires a license for bareboat chartering. The NauticEd SLC (nauticed.org/SLC) is an accepted license that is easy to get if you know your sailing stuff! If you want the relaxation of a skipper or don’t have a sailing license, we can easily find you a skippered yacht.

Turkey Yacht Charter Sailing Destinations

Where to go on a Turkey sailing vacation?

The Aegean and Mediterranean coasts are a sailor’s paradise, dotted with picturesque coves, hidden bays, and charming islands. Exploring ancient Greek ruins, medieval castles, and traditional fishing villages enriches the sailing experience. Follow in the footsteps of Greek explorers while indulging in the beauty of a diverse and culturally rich coastline.

Turkey offers two main areas for sailing:  

  • The Aegean Coast on the western side of Turkey extends from Izmir in the north to Bodrum in the south as well as the Golf of Gokova; and 
  • The Turquoise Coast is located along the southwestern part of Turkey and stretches from Bodrum in the west to Antalya in the east. Note the overlap in the Golf of Gokova.

Scroll below for location information or use the map to jump to a coastal area

Aegean Coast

Along the western part of Turkey, the Aegean Coast is known for its ancient ruins, beautiful islands, charming coastal towns, and a mix of sandy and pebbly beaches.  Discover left-behind ruins from the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines, or stroll through lively bazaars in the coastal towns and fishing villages.  Tranquil bays in a stunning archipelago of islands both Turkish and Greek await on an Aegean Coast charter  

Aegean Coast Sailing Vacation Guide

A complete guide for discovering the bla bla bla. Sailing requirements, weather, must see & do, and more…

Go to Aegean Coast Sailing Vacation Guide ›

Turquoise Coast

The Turquoise Coast, also known as the Turkish Riviera, is renowned for its calm and clear waters, making it ideal for leisurely sailing, swimming, and snorkeling. It offers numerous secluded coves and anchorages for tranquil sailing experiences. Explore cities such as Marmaris, Fethiye, Kas, and Antalya which offer a perfect blend of beauty, history, and modern amenities.  While this area has historical sites, its main allure lies in its natural beauty featuring rugged mountains covered with pine forests complemented by turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea.  

Turquoise Coast Sailing Vacation Guide

A complete guide for discovering the allure of the Turquoise Coast and Turkish Riviera.  Sailing requirements, weather, must-see & do, and more…

Go to Turquoise Coast Sailing Vacation Guide ›


NauticEd are expert Turkey yacht charter agents. We don’t charge you a fee and can more than likely save you money on all your sailing vacations. We search the world’s databases for over 8,000 yachts in 55 destinations. We give expert advice on where and when to go – likely, we’ve been there. Make an inquiry and book your sailing vacations through NauticEd Sailing Vacations.

Turkey Yacht Charter FAQs

Bareboat chartering in the Turkey requires a sailing resume and sailing license, either an ICC or SLC (Sailing License and Credentials) license.

In general, sailors should possess intermediate plus sailing skills, given the Turkey’s occasional challenging weather patterns, including gusty winds, especially the Meltemi that blows during summer months, and complex coastlines with numerous bays and anchorages.

The best time to go on a sailing vacation in Turkey is during early summer (June) or early fall (September). These months offer pleasant weather, with milder temperatures, less crowded anchorages, and reliable winds, creating ideal conditions for an enjoyable and comfortable sailing experience along the picturesque Turkish Aegean Coast as well as the Turkish Riviera.

From May through September Turkey offers a wonderful sailing experience with warm temperatures, clear waters, and a mix of gentle and invigorating winds, providing a memorable and enjoyable adventure on the water. The water temperature in early summer or early fall is ideal for swimming and water activities (72-75F).  From June through August, the Meltemi winds become more prominent especially in the afternoons and can blow from the northwest at moderate to strong speeds.  By September/October these winds decrease resulting in more moderate wind conditions for sailing.

Historical cultural traditions are prominent in the Aegean Coast of Turkey.  Traditional folk dances such as the “Horon” and “Zeybek,” are an integral part of the region’s cultural heritage that can be witnessed during local festivals.  The Turkish bath, known as ‘hamam’ is also a time-honored tradition that combines relaxation, cleansing, socializing, and rejuvenation.  The traditional art of carpet weaving remains a significant cultural tradition in this region and Turkish kilims are renowned for their intricate design and vibrant colors.  Finally, the Aegean region has a strong connection to the Yörük nomadic culture. Yörük people were nomadic tribes who migrated with their livestock to find suitable pastures and shelter. Their cultural influence can still be seen in the rural areas of the Aegean Coast of Turkey.

Sailing the Aegean Coast of Turkey allows you to immerse yourself in the cultural richness, natural beauty, and historical wonders of Turkey.

  • Sail to and discover the Greek isles of Kos, Rhodes, Symi, or Pserimos.
  • Discover quaint coastal towns such as Datca, Knidos, Cesme, and Kusadasi each offering a mix of history, activities, markets, and beaches
  • Explore ancient ruins in ancient cities like Ephesus, Pergamon, and Troy.
  • Visit the Castle of St. Peter in Bodrum which houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
  • Discover ancient Ephesus to see the well-preserved ruins including the Great Theatre and the Library of Celsus.
  • Swim at Cleopatra’s Island (Sedir Island) famous for its golden sand beach supposedly brought by Mark Anthony as a gift for Cleopatra.
  • Anchor in the picturesque Blue Lagoon (Oludeniz) near Fethiye
  • Sail to the ancient city of Knidos on the Datça Peninsula. Explore the well-preserved ruins, including the ancient theater and the Temple of Aphrodite, while enjoying the breathtaking coastal scenery.
  • Savor Turkish Cuisine: Sample delicious Turkish dishes, such as fresh seafood, mezes (appetizers), kebabs, and baklava.
  • Treat yourself to a traditional Turkish bath (hamam) for a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.

Sailing the Aegean Coast of Turkey starts off in Bodrum and heads north towards Izmir.  You can fly into Milas-Bodrum Airport (BJV) which is well connected to major cities in Turkey and other international cities.  Bodrum is also accessible by bus from other Turkish cities; while this is a great way to see the Turkish landscape the journey make take several hours.  Alternatively, if you are in a nearby Greek island, you can take a ferry to Bodrum from several isles including Kos, Rhodes, and Symi.

The Turkish Riviera’s unique cultural aspects, coupled with its stunning natural beauty and historical sites, make it an enchanting destination.  The Turkish Riviera is dotted with well -preserved ancient ruins from civilizations like the Lycians, Greeks, and Romans. These archaeological sites, such as Ephesus, Patara, and Xanthos, provide a glimpse into the region’s rich historical past. The Lycian civilization left behind an impressive legacy of rock-cut tombs carved into cliffs and mountain sides. These burial sites, such as the ones in Dalyan and Myra, showcase the unique architectural style and beliefs of the Lycians.

A Turkish Riviera sailing vacation yacht charter offers a wealth of must-see and must-do experiences that promise to create cherished memories.

  • Indulge in delicious Turkish cuisine from mezes to kebabs and baklava and sample the Turkish Iconic drink, raki—an anise flavored aperitif.
  • Discover the Göcek Islands, a paradise for sailors with their crystal-clear waters and lush green landscapes. Anchor at Tersane Island and explore the ancient ruins of Byzantine shipyards.
  • Explore Kaş, known for its vibrant ambiance, lively markets, and proximity to stunning ancient sites like the sunken city of Kekova.
  • Take a short inland excursion to visit Pamukkale’s surreal white terraces and the ancient city of Hierapolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Swim at Butterfly Valley and hike up to see the mesmerizing waterfalls and the valley’s diverse butterfly population.
  • Explore the ancient ruins of Lycian civilization, including the ancient city of Myra with its remarkable rock-cut tombs.
  • Enjoy the turquoise waters of Oludeniz, one of Turkey’s most famous and picturesque beaches, surrounded by stunning mountain scenery.
  • Venture up the Dalyan River to visit the ancient city of Caunos, see the Lycian rock tombs, and relax in the natural mud baths.
  • Watch the breathtaking sunset from the top of Simena Castle, an ancient hilltop fortress overlooking Kekova Island and the surrounding azure waters.
  • In Bodrum, visit the Castle of St. Peter and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World)
  • Sail to Cleopatra Island –Sedir Island—which is famous for its unique sand and clear waters.

There are several bases in the Turkish Riviera:  Bodrum, Fethiye, Gocek, and Marmaris. There are two main airports to fly into:  Bodrum Millas Airport (BJV) and Dalaman Airport (DLM) (for charters starting in Marmaris, Fethiye, or Gocek).  Both Bodrum Milas Airport and Dalaman Airport are well-connected to major European cities and other international destinations.  Upon arrival, you can get a taxi, hire a private transfer, or many charter companies offer shuttle services during the main sailing season.  Alternatively, you may choose to take a ferry from one of the nearby Greek islands.

Last updated on October 15th, 2023