mavi-yolculukAs the third highest producer of luxury yachts in the world, an unspoilt coastline of 8000km of spectacular beauty and with 352 Blue Flag beaches, Turkey ranks among the top sailing spots in the world.

Turkey has been awarded a total of 352 Blue Flag Beaches and 19 Blue Flag Marinas for 20012/13. The Blue Flag is one of four projects under the co-ordination of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and the Environmental Education Foundation of Turkey (TURCEV), which designates which beaches and marinas have the right to display a Blue Flag and is judged on the basis of cleanliness of water, environmental concerns, security, safety and services. In order to maintain Blue Flag status, the marina or beach must meet the assessment criteria every year. In addition all marinas and beaches have to provide information panels on the cultural and natural assets of the sea and provide the data on Blue Flag accreditation. Marinas have an additional criterion to fulfil: a ‘rapid response plan’ in case of fire, accident or similar events.

Enjoy a relaxing holiday aboard a gulet, a traditional wooden sailing boat, otherwise known as a Mavi Yolculuk or ‘Blue Cruise’. Much of Turkey’s coastline is only accessible by boat, making sailing the ideal way to explore this secret beauty, stopping off at your leisure to explore a historic site or visit a charming village.

Turkey has a wealth of world-class marinas with 36 international standard marinas and 12 municipality operated marinas with a total capacity of 14,230 floating berths and 5,605 hard standing. All are located between Istanbul in the north and Mersin in the south, though plans are underway to develop the unexplored potential of the Black Sea region. In Istanbul both Atakoy Marina on the European side and Setur Kalamis-Fenerbahce (Amiral Fahri Koruturk) Marina on the Asian side offer 24-hour service. Larger cruise-liners most often dock in the larger ports of Istanbul or Kusadasi, both of which are perfectly situated for access to some of Turkey’s most interesting historic sites. Turkish Marina Management has an excellent reputation amongst international sailing crews for taking care of the yachts and their crew.

New marinas are opening all the time; the latest planned include for Dalaman on the Mediterranean coast, Oren on the Aegean coast close to Bodrum and in Istanbul representing a capacity of 1435 floating and 780 hard standing.