Turkey sailing has been popular for millennia. Ancient mariners from Greece and Italy have been riding the wind and waves along the beautiful Turquoise Coast since before the Christian era. Even Marc Antony and Cleopatra took Turkey sailing holidays and the Queen of Egypt was so enraptured with the beauty of the coast from Alanya to Adana that Marc Antony gave it to her as a wedding present. Today, it is luxury sailing charters in Turkey that draw a substantial percentage of the country's visitors each year.
The boat of preference for sailing in Turkey is the traditional Turkish gulet. These are very comfortable motor sailing yachts with a very broad beam, wide decks, and high enough ceilings so even tall people can stand upright. The cities of Bodrum, Marmaris (origin of the famous "Blue Cruises"), Antalya, and Fethiye are the chief ports where you can obtain the largest choice of Turkey sailing charters, although many other smaller cities and towns will be able to assist you.
Virtually every town with a port, which is most of them, will have access to Turkey sailing gulets that go out on day excursions. These might include visits to a fishing village or stops for tours of ancient ruins like those at Ephesus located between Izmir and Kusadasi. Some will take you to your own deserted beach for a picnic lunch and some snorkeling, and sometimes even visiting the nearby islands of Greece.
If you are sailing in Turkey on a budget, you can save money if you go down to the port an evening or two before you'd like to set off, and ask the captains of various boats some questions about price, schedule, and what's included. Since this means you'll probably be on a boat with other people, you can also try to find out what type of people they normally book. If you want a lunch dining on traditional Turkish cuisine, you may pay a bit more than for the boat that provides only sandwiches. You will probably depart about 9:00 a.m. and return about 5:00 p.m.
If you are staying at one of the higher end luxury hotels or beach resorts, the concierge will be able to arrange for your sailing in Turkey day trip at a slightly higher price than you can arrange on your own.
True Turkey sailing holidays last from a few days to as long as two weeks. These are cruises under sail in yachts that can sleep as few as 2 or as many as 30 passengers. Most boats sleep from about 6 to 12 passengers. While you can book these on site on your own, if you are traveling during the peak season, space can be limited. Many people book Turkey sailing holidays in advance as package vacations. These vacations act almost like regular cruises, stopping for tours and shore excursions to coastal cities with lively nightlife, and exploring remote stretches of the coast.
You can book your sailing charters in Turkey onto scheduled departures, where your traveling companions will be people you don't know. Or, you can charter an entire yacht if you have a small group of friends and family members getting together for special events. When to go for the best weather and warmest seas are the months June, July, and August—peak season with limited availability and higher prices. You will pay less if you travel during the shoulder spring and autumn seasons. If you are a sailor yourself, you can book bareboat charters, in which you and your companions are the crew. These generally require a substantial deposit and screening for sailing abilities.