Sailing Greece and Turkey

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Monday - Friday

8:00am - 5:00pm

Saturday
10:00am - 3:00pm

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Greece and Turkey Sailing Adventure Vacations

A typical sailing vacation itinerary from Greece to Turkey - 2 weeks

Day One 

Embark 11am in Lakki (main harbour on Leros). After boat briefing, unpacking, and generally getting comfortable with the yacht, we'll set sail for Lipsos - island of the 42 blue-domed churches. It is the perfect introduction to "traditional Greece"; a small, untouristy village, with an unruly array of whitewashed buildings scattered around the bay. The vivid streaks of traditional blue trim and the blazing bougainvillea pinks & purples make it a real photographers' dream!

To cool off, there is a lovely little sandy beach, 5mins walk over the hill from where we moor the boats, and a great hike out to the headland with spectacular views out to sea. 

If conditions are calm, we may be able to visit Macro Nisi for a swim stop en route. It's a secluded little anchorage with sheer-sided cliffs, which have been known to entice the braver (or more foolhardy !) amongst us to throw caution to the wind and leap off them ! For those more inclined to be adventurous in the water, there's a very cool, semi-submerged tunnel through the cliffs through which one can snorkel, emerging in little cave on the other side of the island. 

Day Two 
Early morning sail to Marathi - a truly tiny little island with a sandy, horseshoe-shaped beach, beautiful water to swim and snorkel in; a totally tranquil and peaceful spot. If you could paint a picture of the perfect, idyllic island retreat, Marathi would be it. There are just two families living here; wonderfully friendly and hospitable people. The food is incredible too !! This place is a magical balm for the stressed-out city-living soul...so much so that it's often been hard to persuade people that, really, we should leave, there are other islands to visit ! Sail time, approx 3hrs.

Day Three
Sail to Patmos - an early start to make the most of exploring the famous Monastery Island, where St John was inspired by visions to write the Book of Revelations. The 10th century monastery (built by Crusader Knights) reigns over the island, still an active and influential part of daily life here. The village that lies at the foot of the monastery is everyone's romantic image of a Greek village; narrow winding alleyways scarcely wide enough for a skinny donkey! - cats sunning themselves on whitewashed streets, old ladies in black collecting fresh bread from the bakery in the morning. It's well worth an early rise to get up there in the dawn hours; the old ladies will look at you in faint amazement that a foreigner should find their way up there at such a time; if you can remember enough of our Greek lessons to say "kalimera!" (good morning), they'll give you a huge smile and a "kalimera-sas" back (good morning to you too) ! (Note: that's "kali-MER-a", not "calamari" :> ).

The island's attractions are not solely for culture/history buffs, however - there are dozens of beautiful little beaches and bays to explore, and the greatest milkshakes and homemade pies on our favourite "Quiche Beach". For the more adventurous, you can take a 45 min hike along a little-known goat path to the island's unofficial "clothing optional" beach!

Day Four
 Sail for Pandeli , a beautiful little bay on the east side of Leros. This is one of the prettiest anchorages to sail into you can imagine; a horseshoe-shaped bay with traditional little houses and churches scattered randomly down the hillside. An 11th century fortress towers over the bay, and our favourite little beach tavernas are just 2 mins swim from the boat. Try sitting and watching the moon rise from one of these tavernas, boat in the foreground, the lapping of waves almost at your feet - it's a total "Shirley Valentine" scene !

For those with more energy to burn off later, there is the infamous Savana Bar - an idiosyncratic little local hangout, where we often end up dancing the night away till the wee small hours! Another great island to rent scooters and explore.

Day Five
 A leisurely morning in Pandeli; time to hike up to the fortress and get some stunning panoramic shots from the island's highest vantage point; or perhaps just a cooling swim from boat to taverna, to recover from that dangerous Savana Bar place!

Around midday, we'll set off for Vathi ; a relaxing downwind sail of about 3hrs.

Vathi is a dramatic little spot; a well-hidden and very narrow fjord-like entrance, opening up into a tiny fishing village at the head of the bay. It boasts one main street and a collection of houses scattered into the valley; an unexpected patch of lush vegetation on an otherwise very dry and arid-looking island. Vathi is the only place on the entire island that is lucky enough to have it's own spring water supply, and they use it carefully to cultivate citrus fruits, figs, grapes and anything else that can be persuaded to grow.

It's also the home of Poppy's taverna - one of our "adopted families", where momma makes the best homemade dolmades (stuffed grapeleaves) you'll ever taste in your life, and the swordfish steaks are out of this world ! 

Day Six
Another leisurely start, waking up to the goatbells echoing around the surrounding hills! We'll head off around mid-morning, and sail for the little island of Pserimos , where we'll anchor for lunch, and the chance to snorkel around the remains of an old half-sunken fishing boat. Hoisting sail again after lunch, it's another lovely downwind couple of hours to Kos - the biggest island in the area. Although it's still not exactly large, it can be quite the culture shock after the past few days of traditional Greece (hey, they have cars not donkeys here! :>).

Chance to wander round the 12th century fortress which still guards the entrance of the harbor; or perhaps go sit under the same plane tree where (reputedly) Hippocrates had his students swear their doctors' oaths! For the less culturally inclined, there is the great modern-day Greek traditional of "taverna-sitting" - grab a beer or a milkshake, and watch life go by on the busy waterfront.

Depending on weather and other local conditions, we may stop overnight at another small island, and continue to Kos early the next morning  

Day Seven
For those sailing with us for just the "Greece week", this where we wave farewell! Whilst disembarkation is officially 9am, we recommend that you don't make ongoing travel arrangements until the afternoon, just in case of bad weather, etc.

For folks travelling on with us to Turkey - this is where we do all that fun paperwork to check out of Greece. Luckily for you! - it's our skippers who deal with all this, whilst you are free to spend the rest of the day exploring Kos island; ancient ruins, hot springs or cold beers!

Day Eight
Set sail for Turkey! A lovely downwind sail of 4-5 hours, ending in the lovely little village of Ova Buku. One of our favourite home-from-home spots in Turkey, the family here always look after our sailors like visiting relatives ! Ogun -our young Turkish friend who created this fantastic little hideout - has seemingly boundless energy and warmth; he also has a collection of silly and fun after-dinner games which often catch out the unwary ! (Hey, you're on vacation - you are allowed to regress :>) Semra, his sister, creates a fantastic array of home-cooked Turkish food - not the usual tourist fare.

We dock on a tiny wooden jetty, with a lovely sandy beach which curves around the bay. It's shallowness and sandy bottom make it especially warm and one of our favourite swimming spots. For those looking for a little more privacy, a short distance away is a lovely long and isolated pebbly beach; a perfect afternoon retreat and/or hike.

Day Nine
Sail to Datca - a lively little town. The waterfront is lined with bars and tavernas; one street behind are several interesting craft & jewellery shops. Walking towards the beach, there is a tiny lake, with a surprisingly powerful "mini-waterfall" as it runs into the ocean; a great and very cooling massage experience !

For more of the "real thing" - the local haman (Turkish baths) is a not-to-be-missed experience. Lounge around on heated marble slabs, have those layers of old, dirty skin loofah'd off, complete the process with a smoothing oil massage, piles of soft white towels and general pampered decadence!

There's several other cultural/historic trips from Datca for those interested; a visit to a stately old-home-turned-olive-farm (complete with instructions on gourmet oil-tasting!); Old Town Datca, abandoned by the Greeks after WW2, when the Greeks & Turks did their "population swap".

If carpet-buying is on your agenda - Datca is a great place to do it ! There is not the over-abundance and confusion of the bigger towns (nor the elevated prices!), yet still plenty of variety to choose from.

 Day Ten 

Sail to Boyuk Buku, usually a gentle, relaxing downwind leg of around 2-3hrs. Boyuk Buku is scenically a total contrast to the other places we visit - the softer, pine-forested hills suddenly change into dramatically towering cliffs, arid and desolate as any desert. The ancient city of Lorimer used to be situated here, and the fortress walls which surrounded the entire bay can still be seen. Great for hiking, amazing views.

Day Eleven
Enough of the quiet, relaxing evenings to recover from jetlag - tonight, we are heading for a night of belly-dancing in Bozburun - a small, very traditional Turkish village. It's full of gulets (wooden motor sailors), but not many yachts - and certainly not many tourists! We dock at a tiny wooden jetty just outside the village, at a little family place right on the waterfront. It is a shady, tranquil spot; we get to use their sunbeds, borrow their fun kayaks, and generally make ourselves very much at home here! Quiet though it may be usually, our groups often signal "party night" to the locals - the guys here love to dance - the most amazing belly-dancing moves which they delight in trying to teach us stiff-hipped types!

Day Twelve 

Time to visit the little village, and perhaps the local boat-building yard too. Bozburun used to be the main centre for traditional wooden boat construction, and there are still several little yards scattered around, where you can see gulets in all stages, from bare skeletons to the beautifully finished item.

Just a short sail away is today's destination of Dirsek - very pretty and quiet little bay, with just one taverna nestled in a corner. Wonderful swimming, great chillout spot. A goat-track hike of about 30mins takes you to the top of an amazing panoramic vista over the entire bay.

The taverna is run by an extended family of brothers, cousins and assorted other relatives - one of our little home-from-home spots which is usually very tranquil and calm. Unless, that is, our group happen to be in a party mood - in which case the group of young brothers are more than happy throw themselves into the spirit too!

Day Thirteen
The family usually give us a present of home-made bread in the morning, fresh from their wood-fired oven - with local honey, mmmmm!! Breakfast done, we're off for a gentle downwind cruise, ending in Bencik - a pine-forested National Park enchorage - for lunch and swim.

Late afternoon, we head into our final destination of Keci Buku. A well-sheltered hideout described as a "gem" in the Turkish Waters Pilot - and it truly is. A wide, sweeping bay surrounded by pine forests, with a fascinating old fortress perched on the top of an island guarding the entrance - a view which is well worth the scramble up! It is also just 30 mins drive from Marmaris - the easiest connection back to the "real world" of modern-day Turkey, where you can shop-till-you-drop some more; or just head on through and back to Dalaman, the closest airport, and domestic connections to Istanbul. Twice daily ferry connections also from Marmaris-Rhodes.

Day Fourteen
Sailing vacations ends as you disembark 9am. Our skippers can help organize transfers to Mamaris (for ferry connections to Rhodes, Greece), or to Dalaman airport. If a night-on-the-town in Marmaris appeals to you, drop us a line for hotel recommendations.

 

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