A Turkish Cruise (Bodrum, Datca, Marmaris): Summer 2017

Published 5 years ago, updated 4 years ago

We crossed from Kalymnos, Greece to Bodrum, Turkey, and the Marina Tugutries – June 17. Having pre-arranged an agent to deal with check-in we were met at the customs quay by the agent and port official and it was all dealt with efficiently and very friendly and concluded within thirty minutes.

The agent advised that we must get a Blue Card for foul water pump out, from the marina office before leaving the marina. This we did and they arranged for the pump-out boat to come and do their business. The pump out guy advised me to buy some sachets of powder to reduce odor in the tank, this I did and I have to say it is simply the best ever for keeping the smell down. I have tried everything over the years and nothing comes close to this stuff. I don’t know what it called but I definitely want more.

Gulf of Gokova

We cruised the Gulf of Gokova during the month of June taking in Cokertme, Oren Marina, Akbuk, the Global sailing village at Sogut (particularly nice and a most wonderful facility for young Turks to learn about the sea and the environment), the seven islands archipelago and back to the port of Bodrum.

Bodrum (photo left) is nice but horribly expensive in the marina @ €160 per day, that said it cost nothing to stay outside of the marinas on private pontoons belonging to the tavernas and anchoring is free everywhere.

Datca Peninsula

We then headed SW to the Datca peninsula stopping off at Knidos (photo right). We tied up to the ramshackle pontoon and had free mooring and electricity from the taverna there, also very nice food.

We then headed around the rugged coast to the port of Datca (photo bottom right) where we tied up in strong winds to the town quay with great assistance from the marineros there. Mooring, water and electricity cost about €24 per day. It’s a great port to visit with lovely tavernas and all very friendly.

After a few days here we set off to the gorgeous port of Bozburun, again its €21 for everything and a really nice friendly place to spend time, we stayed three weeks and enjoyed all of it. There are very nice Scots women (Lynn) in Osmans Taverna, she’s a font of local knowledge and helpful to cruisers. There is also a wonderful anchorage outside the port for those looking for a quiet time and good shelter from wind and sea. A bicycle trip to the many boatyards to see the Turkish Gulet being built is a must. I ended up drinking chai with the workers in several of the yards, a dram of good Irish Whiskey from my hip flask to warm their stomachs saw me being invited back anytime.

We eventually moved on to Baku Kayo and tied up to a fine pontoon with all the services free from the local tavernas, then on to Ciflik and spent several days there for free before heading into the bay of Marmaris.


Here we went to the pump out quay and had our blue card stamped @ €10. We tied up in the very nice Netsel Marina at a horrible cost of about €130 per night. They first took us to a mooring on the fuel/pump-out dock, we said No! and were moved up into a quieter part of the marina, the marina was less than half full.

Marmaris is a great port to have any work done on your boat as there is no end to the amount of chandlery’s and technical services people available. It’s a great city for shopping, nightlife and all of that. Anchoring is not a great option outside of the port as the water is very deep and you would need at least 120 meters for comfort. The gulet captains guard the town quay selfishly unless you are Turkish flagged and well known to them.

We were looking to leave DeDanann here until 2018 as we had to visit Istanbul, which was a great experience, then onto our grandchildren in Thailand then onto another son’s wedding in Spain then Christmas in Dublin etc. We got a reasonable price of €500 per month from the nice friendly people in Yachtmarin Marmaris, a marina about three miles out of town. It’s a good marina to winter in as it has many liveaboards and all the facilities one could need. It has an excellent bus service into Marmaris running every half hour for about €3 and more importantly, it’s so much cooler here than in Marmaris center, where it seems to be sweltering all the time in the summer.

In Summary:

We were hearing mixed reports about Turkey before going there, particularly about security and the migrant crisis. We saw no migrants in distress anywhere, and hardly any police or security with guns etc, but they are about in the background keeping a low profile. A waiter I became friendly with pointed out three armed plainclothes police sitting in different tavernas drinking chai one night on the busy town quay. Everybody we saw were very well behaved and the Turks are friendly and welcoming to cruisers, the local traders are feeling the loss of business since the coup of July 2016. President Erdogan is a touchy subject, best not mentioned as is religion or local politics.

We have a blog on all of this on our yachtclub website for those who are interested (https://hyc.ie/news/categories/4-cruising).


Tony Olin

SY DeDannan


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