7 Days Exploring Istanbul on a Luxury Superyacht Charter
Explore this magical city after you’ve dropped anchor with the other private luxury yacht charters in Istanbul’s harbour. With its many different cultural influences and amazing history, Istanbul offers visitors the opportunity to take a step back in time.
Sitting across the Bosphorus which separates Asia from Europe, Istanbul is full of antiquities, art and culture. You’ll probably need a week to see Istanbul in its entirety although there will still be more to discover. The Black Sea is to the north and the Sea of Marmara to the south provides some wonderful cruising grounds. The narrow strait of the Dardanelles gives yachts access into the Aegean and then into the Mediterranean Sea.
Make sure to visit Princes’ Islands which are towards the Black Sea. Sit on board your superyacht to see beautiful palaces and glistening minarets as you pass by. You could cruise up the European coast returning via the Asian coast. There are plenty of other seagoing vessels in the water to watch as well as spectacular architecture on land. Princes’ Island is about 12 miles from Istanbul and is the largest island in Büyükada. Büyükada is a peaceful place, traffic-free with pretty architecture and pricey restaurants. Heybeliada is a good anchorage spot and isn’t too far away.
From Princes’ Islands to the Dardanelles on day 3. Canakkale is in the Dardanelles. Why not go ashore to see the Gallipoli battlefields? Many troops from New Zealand, Britain, Australia, France and Turkey lost their lives during the battle and are buried in cemeteries on the hills. The site of the city of Troy is definitely a must-see when you visit this area of Turkey. Standing on this site that has had many legendary stories told about it is absolutely thrilling.
Aristotle once lived in Assos with its breath-taking views over the beautiful bays below. You can see right across to Lesbos, the Greek Island, from here. Assos has a lovely port which is modern and is home to a few hotels as well as restaurants that serve freshly caught fish. Sail across the Bay of Edremit and you will arrive at Ayvalik. Ayvalik is a low-key destination where Turks often visit including the quaint villages of Camlik and Alibey. The pine clad hills is where olive oil is produced so enjoy your day soaking up the atmosphere of Turkey at its very best.
Pergamon is your next stop. Disembark from your superyacht and take a short car journey into the town of Bergama. There’s a fabulous market here and only a few miles up hill you’ll find the Acropolis of Pergamon. This Acropolis was founded in approximately 320 BC, the ancient ruins are truly spectacular. A 10,000-seat theatre and the Temple of Trajan are almost intact, so definitely worth a visit.
Çesme is accessed by cruising down the Aegean coast of Turkey. You can stop off at Candarli which is a small port, to have lunch. Çesme’s quay has a large fortress guarding it which seems to hark back to its origins when it was once a Genoese trading port. Once on shore there’s lots to explore from the local museum to the fortifications, or you could do some shopping.
When your day in Çesme is over, it’s time to sail back to Istanbul or take an onward flight from Izmir Airport. If you’ve more time, spend some days on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast and take in bustling Marmaris or visit the ancient Lycian tombs.
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