Luxury Yacht Charter Greece and Turkey
Captain Alexander Greenson
The most unique way to see the Greek Islands is a yachting vacation. Greece’s jagged coasts let you explore a world of secluded hamlets, white chapels and little villages reflected in blue water, as you ride out the sunny breeze that blows over the hills.
Mykonos has many fine beaches all around the island, but the best beaches are to be found on the south end of the island. Mykonos is the archetypical post-card image of the Cyclades. When arriving to the town of Mykonos, you don’t need any maps to explore the convoluted streets and alleys of the town. Getting lost is half the fun; there are a few places worth seeking out such as local museums and art galleries. One location is Alefkandhra more known as “Little Venice” because of its high arcaded Venetian houses built right along the water’s edge. Alefkandhra is a trendy district packed with art galleries, chic bars and discos.
A few miles west of Mykonos, is the island of Delos. This island is known for its beautiful archeology, making it well worth the trip. Hiking up to the top of Mount Kythnos, an easy walk, there is a magnificent view across the Cyclades.
Heading east from the Cyclades you will find a group of islands known as the Dodecanese. Patomas is arguably the most beautiful and certainly the most well-known of the smaller Dodecanese islands. Patomas has a very distinctive immediately palpable atmosphere. You won’t want to miss this beautiful island.
Samos is the last destination in Greece before heading off to Turkey. This is a beautiful Greek island in the eastern Aegan Sea. Samos is known for producing delicious sweet Muscat wine and its renowned monuments and vast history. This will be a unique destination full of amazing experiences.
After departing from Samos and a short trip, you will arrive in Kusadasi, Turkey. Kusadasi is one of the most popular resort towns in the southern Aegean. In the 1970’s it was a small fishing village. Now Kusadasi is a sprawling hyperactive town packed with curio shops, restaurants, and hotels. You can even find quite a bit of night life here. One excursion that is well worth the journey is to make the trip 12 miles north to explore Ephesus. This is one of the grandest reconstructed ancient sites in the world. This site is amazing to explore because of its marble-paved streets with grooves made by chariot wheels. It is a must see.
Bodrum, also known as Haicarnassus in antiquity, is known for being Turkey’s leading resort. This modern town stretches along the shore of two crescent-shaped bays and has been the favorite haunt of the Turkish upper classes for years. Today, this town is filled with visitors from all over the world to experience all that this island has to offer including villas, hotels, cafes, restaurants, and discos. With its gleaming whitewashed buildings covered with bougainvillea and its unfettered vistas of the sparkling bays. At night there is plenty to do, given the vast number of night clubs and restaurants found throughout the old town area.
Kos is the second largest and most popular island in the Dodecanese with many similarities to Rhodes, the largest island. Here the harbor is guarded by an imposing castle of the Knight of St. John. The streets are lined with grandiose Italian buildings while minarets and palm trees punctuate extensive Hellenistic and Roman remains. This lovely town boasts a commercialized old town feel.
Rhodes is among the most visited of the Greek islands. Not only is its east coast lined with numerous sandy beaches, but the capital’s nucleus is a beautiful and remarkably preserved medieval city. There is absolutely layer upon layer of history here. In addition to having numerous historical and archeological curiosities, Rhodes Town also has a number of more modern attractions as well including restaurants, casinos, and nightclubs to keep anyone entertained here.
Lindos is a short cruise down the east coast from Rhodes. Here you will want to anchor in the small harbor and explore the nearby beaches. The main attraction of Lindos is the acropolis, this is the ruins of ancient citadel. It can be found on a steep cliff with a background of the gorgeous sea; this view will take your breath away. This destination will allow you to learn about ancient and medieval culture.
Castellorizon is a great destination with a very quaint little harbor. Quayside along the harbor, are a number of very nice little restaurants and bars. This town is attractive and worth exploring for a night or two. One of the lesser-known attractions at Castellorizon, is a grotto on the eastern side of the island. The grotto must be entered by swimming into it with snorkel gear on. Once inside the grotto your breath will be taken away by the beauty of the cavern when illuminated by the pre-noon sun reflecting through the water.
Venturing to Kekova Sound may be one of the high points of your visit to Turkey. Kekova Island is close by the notched shore, whose many inlets create a series of incredible lagoons. Each is unique, the apse of Byzantine’s bay is a favorite swimming spot, Ucagiz has small pensions and waterside restaurants. Kale is the jewel of the sound with a pleasing jumble of boxy houses built up a steep crag alongside layers of history including Lycian tombs, a tiny Greek amphitheater, and the medieval ruins of Simena Castle. As you cruise the waters between the villages you can look overboard to see ancient Roman and Greek columns, buildings, stairways, and ubiquitous Lycion tombs.
Fethiye was rebuilt after the original town was destroyed in an earthquake in 1957. Although it looks modern as a result, it is still an old-fashioned agricultural community where goats and sheep are herded along the main roads on their way to the market. Fethiye was known in antiquity as Telmessus and was the principal port of Lycia. In front of town hall is the finest of several scattered tombs, representing a two-story Lycian house. Another attraction is the impressive rock tombs that were carved into the cliff that looms above the town. The largest tomb of Amyntas presumably is the burial place of a 4th century CB ruler or nobleman.
Here you can anchor off the Istuzu Beach near the mouth of the Dalyan River. The Istuzu Beach stretches for five unspoiled miles, with Mediterranean on one side and a freshwater lagoon on the other. At the mouth of the Dalyan River, local boats can be hired for a trip up the river to the ruins of the ancient city of Kaunos. With the boat you may continue up the river to the town of Dalyan, here there are many shops and restaurants to visit. If you continue up stream, you will end up in the lake that feeds the river. On the western shore, there is a local natural hot mineral bath house.
You would want to moor inside the deep flooded volcanic crater, just below Fira. While here if you wish to ascend to the town of Fira, you can do so by donkey ride, gondola, or on foot. Once on top, in Fira you will find a spectacular view. Fira tends to be quite busy with tourists during peak season; it is well worth the trip.
TIME ZONE: Eastern European Time Zone
CLIMATE: Warm, dry summers with abundant sunshine