Discover the Dodecanese: An Epic Greek Islands Cruise from Göcek
Featuring Visits to the Greek Islands of Rhodes, Symi, Halki, Tilos, and Nisyros
Combine the excitement of exploring the Greek Dodecanese islands, the thrill of sailing the Med, the comfort of a luxury class gulet with top-notch food, drinks and service by a friendly and attentive crew. We believe this route has all the makings of a Dream Vacation! This route is perfect for adventurous cruise-lovers who enjoy being on open water. It is not well-suited for nervous sailors, or those prone to seasickness.
Summary of the Itinerary
- Day 1
- Depart from Göcek harbour
- Ağa Limanı
- Day 2
- Day 3
- Day 4
- Day 5
- Day 6
- Day 7
- Day 8
- Sailing around the southern tip of Rhodes
- Day 9
- Days 10 and 11
- Day 12
- Days 13 and 14
- Day 15
- Return to Göcek harbour
A Sampling of What to Expect
Day 1 - Göcek to Ağa Limanı
Welcome on-board Arkadaslik! Once everyone has settled on-board, we'll lift anchor and head out of the harbour.
Sue and the sailor will start making their rounds – offering refreshments and making sure you're comfortably settled for the journey.
We'll only go a short way from the harbour before Captain Oktay drops anchor for your first swim of the cruise. After you've had the chance for a refreshing dip in the sea, we'll continue today's voyage.
Today's destination is Ağa Limanı, a small bay about 3 hours away from Göcek. After arriving at Ağa Limanı, enjoy another swim, sip on a cold drink as the sun sets over the Mediterranean, or challenge your travelling companions to a game of Backgammon.
The crew will commence preparations for your first dinner of the trip. The chef typically prepares the mezes, salads, and desserts, Captain Oktay oversees the barbecue, and Sue and the sailor are responsible for setting the table and guest service.
Dinner is a relaxed affair, served "family style" on the big table on the back deck. Help yourself from the platters of hot and cold mezes, salads and bread, plus the main course. Once the meal is complete, we'll clear everything away and re-set the table for the fruit plate.
You are welcome to linger at the table as long as you like, but the crew will head to bed around midnight. (There is a long leg on Day 2 of this route, necessitating an early start to ensure the smoothest possible passage.)
When you start to get sleepy, head to bed in your cabin or stake out one of the sun beds on the mid-deck with your pillow and blanket. Fall asleep to the gentle rocking of the boat.
Day 2 – Ağa Limanı, Marmaris, Kadergabı
You'll wake to the sound of the anchor being raised before 5AM. (Yes, you read that correctly – 5 o'clock in the morning!) Don't worry, you're welcome to stay in bed for the journey. Coffee and tea are available for anyone who joins the crew on deck as we embark on the 5-hour journey to Marmaris.
[*In case you're wondering, these early morning starts are the reason Captain Oktay disappears for a nap every afternoon.]
If the weather is good and the water is smooth, we'll serve breakfast en route. Otherwise, we'll wait until we arrive in Marmaris harbour.
Our yachting agent will meet us when we arrive in the harbour, collect everyone's passports, and complete the customs formalities allowing us to exit from Turkey.
When the paperwork is complete and we're cleared for departure, we'll lift anchor and continue cruising another one-and-a-half hours to Kadergabı Bay where we'll spend the rest of the day.
Day 3 – Kadergabı, Bozukkale, Symi
As we leave Bozukkale, we'll pass Ekmekçi Burnu. According to local lore, a young sailor perished on the shore here after his boat capsized in a storm. Sailors (a superstitious lot) throw bread into the sea when passing by, in an effort to ward off evil spirits and avoid a similar outcome. Join us as we continue the tradition. and give thanks for our good fortune!
Upon arriving in Symi harbour, our Greek agent will visit the boat to collect passports and advise us on customs formalities. Once cleared by the Greek authorities, you'll have the rest of the day (and evening) to explore the island. You may want to hire a taxi to explore beyond the main harbour, or visit the charming restaurants and bars near the harbour for an evening of lively Greek music and entertainment.
Day 4 – Symi, Panormitis, Palamutbükü, Knidos
We'll depart from the Symi harbour around 7AM and head south around the island to the naturally protected harbour at Panormitis for breakfast. After breakfast, you'll have the chance to visit the monastery and explore the windmills which surround the picturesque bay. We like to get there early, before the massive ferry boats (with hundreds of passengers) arrive from the mainland.
From Panormitis, we'll briefly venture back to Turkish waters. stopping at the beautiful bay at Palamutbükü for lunch.
From there, then we'll head to Knidos, where you'll want to disembark and visit the ruins of the oldest known sundial. We'll spend the night surrounded by history in the bay at Knidos.
Day 5 – Knidos, Nisyros
We'll depart from Knidos fairly early in the morning for the two-hour crossing to the volcanic island of Nisyros.
At Nisyros, we'll be anchored in the main harbour, with easy access to all amenities on the island. You may want to hire a taxi to explore this ruggedly beautiful and colourful volcanic island - complete with imposing rock monastery, acropolis, and fortress.
With a coastline ranging from black pebbles to fine sand, there's a beach for every preference on the island.
Day 6 – Nisyros, Tilos
Today's 2-hour journey takes us approximately 20 nautical miles, from Nisyros to Tilos. Although the small islands in the Dodecanese share many characteristics, you'll quickly discover that each one has a unique identity, feel, and colour scheme!
Day 7 – Tilos, Alimnia, Halki
Departing Tilos after breakfast, we'll first head to the uninhabited island of Alimnia for swimming and exploring. The island is known for it's beautiful sandy beaches, making it a perfect stop for lunch and a swim, plus some time to explore the charming bay-side church and WWII ruins.
Thoroughly refreshed, we'll lift anchor for the 30 minute trip to Halki. where we'll spend the rest of the day. You may want to take some time to explore the virtually uninhabited seaside village, or swim in the crystal clear waters of the naturally protected harbour.
Day 8 – Halki, Plimiri
We'll depart from the protected port at Halki very early on Day 8 of this trip to take advantage of the smoothest possible waters rounding the southern tip of the Greek island of Rhodes.
The region is famous for it's strong westerly breezes, which usually kick up around 9AM. The early morning start gives us the smoothest possible crossing, while also providing a great opportunity for sailing on the open sea.
As we round the southern tip of Rhodes, you'll notice a significant change to the sea and wind as the island protects us from the force of Mother Nature.
Weather permitting, we'll serve breakfast en route. Otherwise, we'll serve it upon arrival at Plimiri. Depending on the weather. today's journey takes at least 5 hours. We'll spend the rest of the day at Plimiri, where you can relax and enjoy the white sandy beaches.
Day 9 – Plimiri, Lindos
After the previous day's foray into "big water", the journey from Plimiri to Lindos will feel like "smooth sailing". Captain Oktay will make the relaxed journey after breakfast, aiming to arrive in Lindos by mid-afternoon.
At Lindos, you'll be able to explore the maze-like town site and climb to the top of ancient acropolis for stunning views across the Mediterranean.
Day 10 – Lindos, Rhodes
We'll depart from Lindos after breakfast, continuing our northward journey towards Old Rhodes Town.
Arkadaslik will remain in the New Marina harbour for the duration of our stay in Rhodes, acting as your floating hotel. At least one crew member will always be on-board for security purposes, so it's safe to leave your belongings behind. (Although we recommend the use of your in-cabin safe for valuables.)
While visiting Rhodes, guests typically opt to eat breakfast on board, and venture into town for both lunch and dinner. (Due to restrictions on the use of barbecues in the harbour, dinners are not provided in Rhodes.) There are some fabulous restaurants in the area – and we're happy to provide recommendations if requested.
Day 11 – Rhodes
Your agenda for Day 11 of this unique cruise is entirely at your discretion – although we're always happy to provide advice. Explore the medieval walled city of Old Rhodes Town. Hop on a bus and explore New Rhodes Town. Hike to the ancient acropolis, outdoor theater and stadium at Monte Smith Park for a photography session. Shop 'til you drop. Rent a car and explore farther afield. The decision is entirely yours.
Day 12 – Rhodes, Ekincik
Our yachting agent will return to collect passports and take them to the Greek authorities for export processing so we can depart after breakfast.
Today's journey requires another long stretch of cruising (about 4 hours across open water), but it's generally quite smooth as we're travelling with the currents of the sea.
When the crossing is complete, we'll head to a quiet bay near Ekincik and anchor for the rest of the day.
After lunch, you have the option of touring the Dalyan Delta by water taxi. The taxi tour includes a fascinating trip through the reed-filled Dalyan Delta, and visits to Iztuzu Beach (protected breeding area for the endangered Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta), the ruins of ancient Kaunos, the mud baths, and the town-site of Dalyan.
Dinner will be served against the backdrop of pine-covered hills for which this region is famous.
Day 13 – Ekincik to the Göcek Islands
Day 13 of this route is our final day on open water. As we are travelling with the current. Arkadaslik will feel like she's flying!
We'll lift anchor after a hearty Turkish breakfast in Ekincik, heading back to the Gulf of Fethiye and Göcek islands region. Depending on your group's interests, Captain Oktay will find perfect anchorages for our visit to the region.
Day 14 – Göcek Islands
We'll explore a few more beautiful bays and coves during our final full day of cruising. as we make our way back to towards Göcek. There will be plenty of time for relaxing, napping and perfecting your suntan as we cruise from one idyllic spot to the next.
We may visit spots like:
- Tersane Island, which features the partially submerged ruins of a Byzantine monastery and ancient boat-yard
- Bedri Rahmi Koyu, which features a stylized fish painted on a rock by Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğluö, a Turkish writer and artist who first popularized the Blue Voyage
- Martılı Bay, which features the silhouette of a flying bird crafted in white stones laid out on the shore
- Cleopatra's Hamam Koyu, with the ruins of an ancient hamam reputed to have been used by Cleopatra and Marc Antony in 40BC
- Sarsala Bay, favoured by the luxury motor yacht crowd, so you may spot somebody famous
- Flat Island, so beautiful it is featured on almost every travel brochure for the region
Your last night on Arkadaslik will be bittersweet, knowing you'll return to life on land in the morning.
Day 15 – Back to Fethiye
Enjoy a last swim and final Turkish Breakfast before we return to the harbour in Göcek to complete the customs formalities and say our goodbyes. Until next time… Güle güle!
This is just an example of a possible cruise itinerary with Arkadaslik Yachting. We customize every route to meet your group's specific needs and wants. Please get in touch today to start planning the Blue Cruise sailing holiday of your dreams.