The Turkish Riviera, also known as the Turquoise Coast, where the Aegean meets the Mediterranean, with its tranquil bays, crystal clear waters, evergreen peninsulas and scenic villages is in equal measure idyllic and enlightening. Steeped in history, many ancient empires have left cultural remains, from the Persians to the Byzantines. Discover the authentic charm of traditional fishing villages such as Bozburun and Datca, only accessible from the sea and neighbours to the nearby ancient ruins of Knidos. Listen to the lull of the waves, as gentle meltem winds ensure prime sailing conditions.
Bodrum is a must-see, with its distinct infusion of old with new. Whilst it may be back on the urbanite’s radar, it still maintains its secrets, tucked away fragments of islands, hidden coves, lagoons and coastal lunch spots nestled into their wild surroundings. Explore the Dodecanese islands, the Island of Simi in the Straights of Marmaris with its elaborate churches, elegant boutiques, fresh seafood restaurants and cafés lining the fairytale-like harbour, painted in pastels. Refined with an aristocratic charm, see both in the carefully restored neo-Classical homes and in the gracious hospitality of the island’s locals.
Onwards to Selimiye, one of the safest natural harbours in the Gulf of Hisaronu. Surrounded by magnificent scenery and largely unspoiled, Selimiye village seems as though it has been frozen in time. Renowned for its natural beauty and climate, this town provides a window into the life of rural Turkey of 50 to 100 years ago. The Village life is still based on agriculture, fishing, and the building of the gullet. Pine, oak, and myrtle-filled mountains plunge down to a serene beach and two natural harbours.
Orak Island on the coastline of Gulf of Gokova, with its sloped hills dotted with olive trees and pristine still waters, is a nirvana for light and deep sea divers. Diving here is special due to the vertical reef wall on the seabed that goes down nearly 80 metres, producing some extraordinary underwater scenery.