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Ionian Coast; Çeşme to Bodrum Peninsula

The Ionian coast (Aegean) from Çeşme to Gümüslük includes about 110 nm of coastline. The whole coast 30nm north of Kuşadası has been comprehensively raped by holiday villages. Kuşadası itself is an unrepentantly brash tourist resort, served by massive cruise liners bringing visitors to Ephesus, just 10nm north east. Don't miss Ephesus, probably the most impressive ruins in Turkey. Away from the worst developments there are quieter anchorages. The Gulf of Güllük (south) offers a maze of choice, but you will competing for space with charter boats and fish farms.

A short distance to seaward along this whole coast are a succession of tempting Greek islands, from Khios, through the northern Dodecanese to Kos. If you are only passing this way once, these islands offer a more pleasant cruising experience than this part of the Turkish coast - but with fewer yacht facilities. However, a good plan for this area is to cruise one direction through Greece, the other through Turkey.

Boating Rules and Regulations

Çeşme to Bodrum Peninsula chartTurkey Ionian Harbours and Anchorages, North to South

Çeşme to Didim

The 60nm of coast including Çeşme and south to Güllük Körfezi (gulf) includes two major holiday resort areas, and a choice of five marinas. It's not a particularly attractive coast; yachts are usually in transit or visiting Ephesus.

Çeşme is a busy little town with some charm (and a castle) at the centre of a major resort area. Ferries from Khios add to the visitors. This is a port of entry. Two marinas in the area are suitable for wintering. Setur Çeşme Marina, east of the town, serves Izmir weekenders, and it is not easy to find a berth here. Camper & Nicholsons are to the west.

Agriler Limani, just south of just south, is the first of a succession of inlets after Çeşme which provide anchorages along a 10nm stretch of coast. This inlet has a marina,  Alaçati marina, and is very busy with windsurfers. There are restrictions on anchoring off the marina and in windsurfing areas, but anchoring N of the buoyed access channel to the marina is usually acceptable. Inlets further east are quieter.

Siğaçık has an interesting old walled town, little changed by modern development and the substantial marina which now fills the old port. Nearby ruins of ancient Teos offer some additional interest.

The Coast to Kuşadası offers 25nm of holiday village developments

Kuşadası is a brash, outgoing holiday resort, with a busy market and pushy market touts. The whole serves a regular series of large cruise ships bringing tourists to Ephesus, a "must visit". Setur Kuşadası Marina serves visiting boats; good for wintering ashore or afloat. 

Port St Paul, opposite Samos, provides a couple of quiet anchorages to break the 30nm trip from Kuşadası to the Gulf of Güllük

Güllük Körfezi

The Güllük gulf is dense with small inlets and anchorages which would take a couple of weeks to explore thoroughly. It's a popular cruising ground for yachts from Bodrum. Unfortunately, fish farms have taken up a lot of space in many inlets, and holiday village development has scarred other places. Luckily, some good spots remain.

Didim/Altinkum. The northernmost corner of the gulf houses the ruins of the massive temple at Didyma. This is worth a visit but nearly engulfed by the mess of tourist development which surrounds the noisy package tour town of Altinkum. D-Marin marina is suitable for wintering ashore or afloat.

North Coast Anchorages. There are many attractive anchorages along the north coasts of the gulf, but mussel farms and fish farms fill a lot of the available space.

Asin Limani (Asin Bay) is a delightful exception and is a favourite port of call. The village offers basic facilities, a well-sheltered quayside with water, and a walk up to the ruins of ancient Iassus, on the hilltop to the east. A lovely setting. Pity about the abandoned hotel on the other side of the inlet.

Güllük is a small commercial port which is also a port of entry. As a port of entry, it is not used to leisure yachts. This is a good shopping stop, but not a comfortable place to stay for long, being rather exposed. Close to Bodrum airport, it's a convenient point to drop off crew flying back to UK. South of Güllük to coast is covered by holiday villages until Salih Adasi (island).

Torba, Demit, Ilica and Türk Bükü and more are a series of bays on the north of the Bodrum peninsula. They provide pleasant stops, many served by restaurants with small quays. Enjoy.

Yalikavak is a farming and boat building village which hasn't lost its charm yet. Holiday villages surround the bay, and Bodrum-Yalikavak marina (Palmarina) is just south-west of the village. Good for wintering ashore or afloat. Good yacht service and guardiennage company, Aura Yachting Co Ltd

Gümüslük is a "must visit" village on the extreme west of the peninsula, briefly described on our Carian page (Bodrum to Marmaris).

Summary

  • Attractions: Great historic sites (Ephesus, Didyma, Asin)
  • Snags. Competing with fish farms in anchorages, holiday villages elsewhere
  • Ports of Entry. Çeşme, Kuşadası, Güllük (not suitable for yachts), Turgutries, Bodrum
  • Layup or Wintering. Ashore or afloat: Spoilt for choice - Turgutries, Yalikavak, Didim and more   
  • Transport. Seasonal flights UK from Izmir, Bodrum, Dalaman. Year round, Istanbul. For transfers airport to marina, try resorthoppa.com, www.a2btransfers.com,  Ferries Khios/Çeşme, Kuşadası/Samos, Kos/Bodrum
  • Boat Charter. Flotilla, bareboat and skippered from Bodrum

 

Reviewed April 2017


 

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