It seems there’s a Riviera almost everywhere now. Just the other day, I was on a London bus that passed a stop called ‘the Thames Riviera’ (which couldn’t have felt further away from the real deal).
Turkey’s Aegean Coast, however, truly deserves the ‘Riviera’ title. Its climate and beauty bring the original Mediterranean Riviera vividly to mind – and so does its thriving sailing scene.
I can’t imagine anyone needing much convincing to hop aboard a languid cruise along this coast. But, in case you do, here are five top reasons to sail the Turkish Riviera:
1) Yacht central – Like its French and Italian counterparts, the Turkish Rivieria is a magnet for millionaires’ megayachts. Even if you never make it aboard one of these luxury craft, they’re an astonishing sight – especially when teeming with sprucely uniformed crews.
Take daytrips by boat to spot super-yachts in Marmaris’ marinas and all along the coast. There are lots of Monarch low-cost flights that’ll take you to the Turkish Riviera abd make it easy to join public boat trips from Bodrum’s marina and many of its beaches.
2) The affordable Riviera – The yachting crowd ensure there’s plenty of luxury on the Turkish Riviera, but overall it’s not as pricey as established Riviera-style resorts like Saint-Tropez. Accommodation and eating can still be had for a bargain, as long as you do your research.
3) Cruise back in time – You’ll sail by wind when you book a cabin on a traditional wooden boat, or gulet, or charter one for your group or family. Gulet tours operate out of Bodrum.
And, as the Aegean Coast is less developed than the Côte d’Azur and other popular sailing stretches, you’ll find yourself stopping off at unspoilt fishing villages like Dalyan and its surrounding wetlands.
4) The blue, blue Aegean – This region earned its ‘Turquoise Coast’ nickname justly. Hire a private boat and make as many stops as you like to dip into that glorious blue sea. Sunbathe on deck or stop off at dreamy beaches such as İztuzu.
5) Dive away – the Turkish Coast is the perfect place to combine sailing with diving, whether on organised tours (great for first-time divers) or under your own steam. Near Kas, there are several wrecks that are especially popular with divers.
Look out for cheap flights to Turkey from the UK and package holidays deals including cruises from Monarch Airlines.