AEGEAN AND EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN
The Crossroads of History
March Through November 2017
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The following is an itinerary outline for a sailboat charter vacation cruising Greece and Turkey at once, more specifically for a charter sailing holiday aboard one of our crewed sailing yachts cruising between beaches, coves, and ancient destinations along the Carian coast of Turkey and among nearby Aegean islands of Greece.
Lindos, Rhodes, Greece. Pottery sherds dating from the third millennium indicate Lindos may be the oldest settlement on Rhodes. An easier fetch from Gocek, Turkey (see Flat-Water Sailing Holiday), than the 60 nautical mile distance would suggest, Lindos was in importance first among three equals which combined in 408 BC to build Rhodes Town, that year wielding an eastern maritime dominance and controlling numerous mainland settlements, including both Inlice adjacent to Gocek as well as Marmaris (see below). A waypoint for Saint Paul's captors in A.D. 60 while awaiting favorable winds. Miles of white sand beach behind which the medieval town lies below an ancient acropolis (acropolis stoa pictured at right). In the town several charming if pricey restaurants serving a rather uninspiring cuisine.
Rhodes Town, Greece. Twenty-four miles on the wind from Lindos and one hour by air from Athens, Rhodes Town in 2015 opened its first adequate facility for visiting yachts, a new marina just southeast of the main harbors. Alternatively it is occasionally possible for a yacht to squeeze into a vacant mooring against one of the harbor walls when those moorings have not been blocked by resident bareboat charter companies or by yacht agents in the employ of deep-pocketed others. On these occasions Rhodes Town offers an encompassing view of both ancient and medieval history while its many beaches attract those interested in the sun god Helios (see Greek Gods To Know). The seven-wonders Colossus in the image of Helios is said to have once stood upon the east wall of the smaller of Rhodes Town's three existing harbors abutting the old city. Within the old city there is ample evidence of the 1308-1522 presence of the Hospitaller Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, including the restored palace of the grand master. Also within the walls are numerous archaeological sites gradually bringing to light a history beginning in 408 BC. Findings from these sites are housed in the 1000-bed Hospital of the Knights located on Museum Square. Here five hundred years ago the wounded, the injured, and the ill slept between linen sheets, ate off silver plate, and drank from silver goblets while attended by Hospitallers, all of noble blood. For dining in Hospitaller ambience today, try Taverna Ippotikon in the old city. It occupies the 1476 residence of a Hospitaller. Apparently a senior Hospitaller. For better fare including a superb pork barbeque at a more reasonable price try Outa Lapee (formerly Ta Filarakia) inside the Agora. Port of Entry.
Simi, Greece. Twenty-four miles from Rhodes Town, this home of long-gone shipbuilders and sea captains has a special charm in a striking island setting. A climb to its acropolis is a pleasant walk over whitewashed grouting along enchanting 19th century pedestrian ways to an unsurpassed view of the harbor below. At the harbor's edge motor bikes may be rented for excursions to one or more of the island's many beaches and to the monastery at Panormitis. In Simi Town they do more with Greek cuisine than in Rhodes Town, especially at Meraklis where Anna and Sotiris prepare a superb oven-baked lamb. Port of Entry.
Datca. Eleven miles from Simi Town, Datca is a Turkish Port of Entry en route to Knidos. As a matter of fact, Datca was Knidos before Knidos moved around 365 BC to the western tip of the Doric (Datca) Peninsula. With Halicarnassus old Knidos was, according to Herodotus, sponsor of thirty of 1207 triremes accompanying the Persian Xerxes in his 480 BC invasion of what is now mainland Greece. Sixty-eight years later old Knidos dispatched the Spartan fleet of Astyochus to an engagement off Simi with Athenians under Charminus. The resulting rout of the Athenian fleet may have been the beginning of the end for Athens.* Evidence of its former self, including acropolis wall, may be found on a headland about one mile north of the harbor. Datca is now a resort and market town significantly improving its image. Local cuisine, however, remains mired in the stone age.
Knidos. Sounds Greek (Spartan, according to Herodotus) but is Turkish, a waypoint and weather respite on the way north for Cleopatra and for Saint Paul's captors two thousand years ago, for the Barbarossa brothers and Dragut five hundred years ago, and for the yachting community today. Twenty-two miles from Datca. Ruins running up left and right from the water's edge and down under the sea at the extremity of the south harbor. Harbor-side stoa (ancient shopping mall) and theater among many other points of interest, including the Temple of Aphrodite, an ancient landmark once housing Praxitele's first nude. Great swimming in crystal clear water.
Ova Buku. Twelve miles from Knidos, Ova Buku is a sleepy resort beneath steep slopes close by ancient Triopium. The latter is situated within fortified Archaic-period settlement walls with bastion above the village of Kumyer, the walls still standing to a height of 25-feet. If visiting, take a rope with which to rappel into the largest cistern where amphorae lie about. Also take a metal detector to locate hoarded coins. In Ova Buku the principal attractions are beaches fronting Ogun's Place, while at Ogun's Place the camaraderie is welcoming and the fare superior.
Keci Buku. Twenty-seven miles from Ova Buku (downwind) and fjord-like, Keci Buku is one of the prettier anchorages in Turkey. Good swimming and exploring, including acropolis ruins at Bybassos and temple ruins at Castabus, both parts of ancient Caria. The Carians, it may be noted, were allies of the Trojans, and while Homer said they were barbarous of speech, it had nothing to do with their hospitality.
Bozburun. This charming village eighteen miles from Keci Buku sits at the head of a magnificent natural harbor home to the 1987 America's Cup challenger Heart Of America. Though surrounded in antiquity by a Rhodian deme known as Thymnus, the meager evidence of ancient history now gathered in the village square provides little evidence. It is likely, however, that as far back as the Hellenistic period between Alexander and Augustus, Bozburun as today was a center of wooden shipbuilding activity. The village is otherwise a summer resort distinguished by Bozburun Yacht Club's wonderful restaurant. Reservations are essential. Port of Entry.
Loryma. A maritime settlement fourteen miles from Bozburun, the magnificent Rhodian fortress here dates from the third century BC while the two acropolei are Chersonese and centuries older. The anchorage during 394 BC harbored the Persian fleet of Conon the Athenian while it prepared to end Sparta's sea supremacy in a battle fought nearby. Numbering more than 90 triremes, the fleet beached at night along the stretch of sand running from the Sailors House to beyond the lower acropolis. The seafood at the Sailors House, by the way, can be surprisingly good. And so can be the swimming.
Ciftlik. Fifteen miles east of Loryma, Ciftlik (ancient Phalarus) is a beach village set in a striking mountain cul-de-sac behind Ciftlik Island. While no evidence of ancient Phalarus remains, nor of the argonaut of the same name, there is a pleasant ambience during settled weather.
Kumlu Buku. Ancient Amos five miles NE of Ciftlik. Ruins atop a bluff above the beach, including extensive coursed polygonal walls, inscribed blocks, and an altar to Dionysus (see Greek Gods To Know). On the beach below is a delightful luncheon stop belonging to the Hotel Dionysus, while at the other end of the beach is a restaurant featuring superb Beijing cuisine and unsurpassed ice cream crepes.
Marmaris. Seven miles north of Kumlu Buku, slight remains of ancient Physcus may be found behind the Tansas parking facility near the water front statue of Kemal Ataturk. Marmaris is otherwise a bazaar town full of crafty rug merchants, beach tourists, and waterfront restaurants, but featuring fine doner kebap and exquisite pizza. A fortress built in 1522 to house Suleiman The Magnificent while his fleet and armies assembled for the conquest of Rhodes now houses ancient statue torsos, heads, bas-reliefs, column pedestals, stellae, and amphora. Yacht-voyeurism, like Donald's "Marla" (present name unknown) and "Airwaves," one of the megayachts belonging to the Uzan family, beneficiaries of almost three billion dollars in un-repaid advances from Motorola and Nokia. In 480 BC, however, voyeurs watched Artemisia the Elder outfit galleys here for the Persian Xerxes, each about 128' in length and propelled by 170 Carian oarsmen.
Ekincik. Twenty miles east of Marmaris, Ekincik Bay is a pine encircled bit of Utopia. And does it have a restaurant! One of the better full-menu dining establishments on the south coast, situated with a delightful view, the service impeccable. And beaches. And a river boat to ancient Caunos. You can read about Caunos in Herodotus's History, a city-state and maritime power until its citizens were dispatched in 545 BC by the Persian Harpagus. There remains nevertheless considerable evidence of the ancient city's revival under Mausolus of Caria and, of course, under the Romans. Dramatic rock tombs further up river near Dalyan and its fresh-water lake.
*The beginning of the end was probably less definite, rather a gradual consequence of hubris attached to empire and unbridled power following defeat of the Persians. Witness Donald Rumsfeld for personification of hubris and unbridled power following defeat of Saddam Hussein. For additional insight on Rumsfeld see the disclaimer at Cruising Alexander's Path.
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Dear Homo Sapiens, There is no need to continue reading this page. What follows is intended for search engine robots and spiders and not necessarily for human beings. Further information concerning sailboat vacations cruising Turkey and Greece may be obtained by clicking on the teal links immediately above. Thank You. You may be searching for a sailboat vacation cruising Greece. Or for a sailboat vacation cruising Turkey. You may be dreaming of a Blue Cruise, of a sailboat vacation cruising Greece and Turkey at once. Perhaps on your honeymoon. You may be anticipating the charter of a sailing yacht in Greece to vacation among Greek islands. Or you may be dreaming of a charter vacation along the south coast of Turkey. Or both. Yes, you must be planning to honeymoon or vacation in Greece and Turkey. Among infidels (kafirler). Infidels is a term used by Christians of the Middle Ages to describe Saracens and other Muslims, and by Saracens and other Muslims to describe Christians. So the crusading Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, or Knights Hospitaller, later the Knights of Rhodes, pillaged infidel towns and shipping along the Turkish coast, while the Ottoman xebecs of Barbarossa also pillaged infidel towns and shipping among Dodecanese islands taken by Latin Knights from Orthodox Greeks of Byzantium. Pillaging was thus popular not merely between infidels but among infidels. Coastal pillaging is now passe in this part of the world, but not bank pillaging. Bank pillaging has been the most lucrative activity in Turkey, the most prominent episode the Uzan family's six billion dollar rape of Imar Bank. Two Uzan brothers, Kemal and Yavuz, have fled Turkey and are said to be hiding in the United States. Presumably repatriating stolen dollars. None of this affects a honeymoon or holiday aboard a sailing yacht chartered in Greece, of course. Not even a honeymoon vacation aboard a sailing yacht chartered in Turkey. These are white-collar crimes, and white-collar crimes are regrettably endemic worldwide. So, would you like to charter a sailing yacht to cruise the Mediterranean from Rhodes? Or from Simi? Which has another Knights castle. Would you like to charter a sailing yacht to cruise the Mediterranean coast of Turkey? Are you searching for Datca in Turkey? For Marmaris in Turkey? For the fresh-water lake above Dalyan? Where war lords reigned into the nineteenth century? Maintaining on the lake fleets of fast warships? Pirate warships? Are you searching for Loryma? Selimiye? Knidos? The famous Aphrodite of Knidos was modeled by the Athenian courtesan Phryne with whom Praxiteles was in love. Phryne appeared in public unveiled only at the annual feast of Poseidon. On those occasions she would disrobe before swimming as Praxiteles has set to stone. Do you know about Bencik? Bencik is not where Phryne bathed though it does have sea left and right. Bencik is where the citizens of Knidos, when Knidos was at Datca rather than at Knidos, attempted to sever the Doric Peninsula from the mainland. In 546 BC. To save themselves from advancing Persians. Under the same Harpagus cited above. They were not successful. Even so, we can put you aboard a chartered sailing yacht for a vacation or honeymoon visit to Bencik and to all of these other scenically beautiful and historically fascinating places. We can put you aboard a crewed charter yacht with an experienced crew able to show you the Dodecanese islands of the Knights of Rhodes, or we can put you aboard a crewed yacht to cruise Kheir-ed-Din Barbarossa's route from Antalya to Smyrna. With incursions into infidel areas, of course. A superb crewed sailboat available for vacation cruising in Greece and Turkey. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org