A Quick Tour of Turkey's Lycian Coast

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The Itinerary

Day 1

Flights were delayed due to striking air traffic controllers in France, so our friends didn't arrive until after 4:00PM. Fortunately, weather was good and we made our way to Gemiler island for our first night.

After a swim break and cocktails, we enjoyed a dinner of barbequed sea bream then everyone headed to bed after a long day of travel.

map of day 1 of the cruise route

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Day 2

This itinerary always requires an early start as we make our way from Gemiler Island towards Kalkan. The first stretch was quite rough, but smoothed out as we neared Patara and was almost perfectly calm as we rounded the peninsula near Kalkan. A light haze made it hard to see the resort town, but sun burned it off quickly.

Sue and Sailor Burak dropped the anchor so we could enjoy a quick breakfast before continuing eastward. It was Burak's first anchoring attempt and the anchor snagged on a cable, so we drifted a bit before anchoring securely on our second attempt.

The water was "refreshing", but that didn't stop anyone from hopping in after breakfast!

Once the breakfast table was cleared, we continued onwards to Bayındır Bay near Kaş. Everyone hopped on a water taxi to explore the charming seaside town for a couple of hours. The wind picked up over the course of the afternoon, and the water taxi ride back to the boat was a bit of a thrill!

We enjoyed a lovely chicken dinner prepared on the barbeque by Captain Oktay - with accompanying mezes made by Chef Ali in Arkadaslik's tiny kitchen.

map of day 2 of the cruise route

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Day 3

Captain Oktay started the engines a bit earlier than first planned so we could enjoy breakfast and swimming at Aquarium Bay before the daily boat trips arrived. His timing was perfect!

As the daily boats started to arrive, we lifted the anchor and made our way to Üçağız in the Kekova region to fill our fresh water tanks. The authentic little Turkish village was quiet, and everyone got off the boat for a wander. David and Dary purchased a beautiful carpet in one of the small village shops.

As we were waiting for our water tanks to fill, the sailboat beside us decided to head out from the dock. Unfortunately, the novice sailors snagged our anchor, necessitating some assistance from Sailor Burak and Captain Oktay. Like meerkats, everyone poked their heads out to watch the show unfold.

We left the anchorage shortly thereafter, heading along the north side of Kekova Island - and passing over the Sunken City of Kekova. We then turned around in the Kekova channel and anchored at an outcropping of rocks in front of Simena Castle.

We waited until the temperatures dropped slightly before making our way to the top of the castle and then made a quick visit to see the tombs in the nearby necropolis. Afterwards, we climbed down through the winding village passages and stopped at Ankh Cafe for drinks and home made ice cream before heading back to the boat.

The wind was picking up, so Captain Oktay raised the anchor and we made our way to the Gökkaya region for the night - stopping in a bay affectionately named St. George Bay for a friend who celebrated a milestone birthday there. The private little bay was the perfect spot for a night-time swim in water lit with Arkadaslik's blue underwater lamps.

map of day 3 of the cruise route

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Day 4

There was time for a swim before breakfast, and then we cruised into Demre harbour where a driver met us for a few hours of land tours. A water taxi collected us from the boat and we spotted a big Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) as we made our way to shore.

First, we visited the site of ancient Myra with its elaborate rock tombs and beautifully recovered theatre. (Remember, it's a theatre, and not an amphitheatre as we all like to call it!)

Then we went to the St. Nicholas Church museum to learn about the life and times of the man we now know as Santa Claus or Father Christmas.

After that, we enjoyed lunch at Gaziantep restaurant, where Sue was able to order for Joan's dietary restrictions in Turkish.

Our final stop of the day was the interpretitive centre at Andriake, the former harbour for Myra. The site is interesting, but poor lighting and low contrast printing on the informational signs makes them difficult to read.

We were happy to return to the boat at the conclusion of our tour, and Captain Oktay took us to a gorgeous, secluded bay on the south side of Kekova Island for the rest of the day. Who knew that our friends were such talented synchronized swimmers?!?!?

map of day 4 of the cruise route

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Day 5

We woke early on Day 5, leaving Furunoz Bay and heading to the Five Islands mid-way between Kaş (Turkey) and Kastellorizo (Greece) for breakfast. As we were leaving, we spotted the big ferry arriving in the Kastellorizo harbour - and the warship departing to make room for it!

After breakfast, we made our way back to Kalkan, dropping anchor just outside the harbour and dinghying everyone in for some sightseeing and shopping.

Excursion complete, we made our way to Firnoz Bay for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Relaxing, swimming, and another fish dinner (sea bream this time) prepared on the barbeque.

The group had another "meerkat moment" when a catamaran attempted to anchor next to Arkadaslik after dark. Sailor Burak hopped into the dinghy and assisted the Russian captain and his crew to secure their boat with the assistance of flashlights.

map of day 5 of the cruise route

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Day 6

The sea conditions were perfect for our long cruise from Kalkan to Ölüdeniz, with a little detour to sail into Butterfly Valley for a quick peak.

We breakfasted at a small cove near Ölüdeniz then everyone hopped into the dinghy and headed up the cable cars to see the region from 1700 meters above sea level. Clouds rolled in, so views from the top of Mount Babadağ were not optimal, but the trip up the mountain was fun for all!

Returning to the boat for lunch, then a short jaunt to Gemiler Island, where we spent the rest of the day. Sue led the group in a hike around the island, and everyone enjoyed a dip in the sea afterwards!

Our final dinner of the cruise was a chicken casserole prepared by Chef Ali.

map of day 6 of the cruise route

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Day 7

After a leisurely breakfast, we made our way from Gemiler Island to Fethiye harbour. There was time for shopping and lunch before Mustafa (our transfer driver) collected everyone and took them to Dalaman. Goodbyes were especially difficult with this group - so we hope to see everyone again in the future!

map of day 7 of the cruise route

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