If it is a less frenetic experience you are after, head for the rugged peninsulas that jut out from Marmaris and stretch for over 100km into the Aegean Sea.
The western arm is called the Datça (sometimes called Reşadiye) Peninsula; its southern branch is called the Bozburun (or Loryma) Peninsula. This is spectacular, raw Turkish coastline, seen from a bus, bike, boat or even a scooter.
Aside from the joy of sailing near the peninsula's pine-clad coasts and anchoring in some of its hundreds of secluded coves, visitors come to explore fishing villages, mountain towns, tiny hamlets and epic ruins such as Knidos at the tip of the Datça Peninsula.
Itinerary – Marmaris & Cerian East Coast
Day 1 – Marmaris
Marmaris is a popular resort town that swells to over a quarter-million people during summer, Marmaris is loud, brash and in your face all over town all the time. It's one of the few places along the coast where you might leave feeling more energised than when you arrived. That said, for a last night out on your cruise, then this tourist haven is pretty much the full Monty. Marmaris boasts a pretty harbour, crowned by a castle and lined with wood-hulled and visiting yachts. It even has history too - it was from here that Admiral Nelson organised his fleet for the attack on the French at Abukir in northern Egypt in 1798.
Day 2 – Serçe Limani
Serçe Limani is a large fjord-like bay that cuts deeply into the steep shore, surrounded by low lying mountains. A restaurant, Captain Nemo’s Farm, in the northern corner, has good village bread and seafood. A restaurant in the south-west corner is not always open. Underwater archaeology recovered many artefacts, including glass objects from an 11th century Byzantine wreck. These finds are on display in the ‘glass wreck’ room of the Medieval Age Hall in Bodrum Castle.
Day 3 – Söğüt Limani
Söğüt is located at the far end of the Bozburun Peninsula and is the most beautiful and unspoilt village on the southern coast of the peninsula. The settlement is quite sizeable and spread over a broad area with the main part of the village based inland and surrounded by mountains. The remaining villagers live along the huge backdrop which overlooks the island in the bay. The main income for Söğüt is fishing and agriculture and at the small bay you can buy fresh lobster and fish directly from the fishermen. The views are absolutely stunning with views to the end of the Bozburun peninsula where the ancient settlement of Loryma is located and the islands of Zeytin and Söğüt. In the far distance there is the Greek island of Simi, whilst to the southwest, you may see remnants of the ancient city of Thyssanos.
Day 4 – Selimiye
Selimiye has become one of the most popular places around Marmaris in the last couple of years (principally due to bloggers and Instagram influencers). It is a lovely fishing village and despite the summer tourists, still preserves its natural beauty. It has a history dating back hundreds of years with three old castles located at the top of the village, Sarikaya hill and in the Kızılköy neighbourhood. Being a fishing village there are many restaurants around the beach, famous for their fresh fish and others which offer traditional tastes and special mezes.
Day 5 – Dirsek
Dirsek lies in an isolated area along the coast of Turkey with the only access being to sail into the bay. It is a timeless place to anchor and stay overnight that preserves your energy with the peace, quiet and breath-taking scenery and alluring clear waters. It is excellent for swimming and snorkelling. The restaurant is popular with a starter buffet, providing tasty food choices of seafood, lamb, meat and chicken dishes, and fine service under an attractive setting. Freshly baked bread is available in the morning. In this wonderful bay there are many mooring options – drop an anchor and take a shoreline to the beach for a totally chilled out evening, pick up a mooring buoy and row ashore for dinner or moor on the pretty restaurant jetty. Whichever you choose you will have a peaceful and relaxing evening.
Day 6 – Bozuk Bükü
The entrance to the bay is landmarked by the Hellenistic citadel (preserved virtually intact) with the ruins of ancient Loryma scattered about the bay. Being of strategic importance, vessels have been visiting this place for 4000 years. In 395 BC it had been a gathering place for the Athenian fleet before the Battle of Cnidus against Spartans, and in 305 BC Demetrius, the son of Antigonus I Monophthalmus, prepared his ships for an attack on Rhodes. In the Middle Ages, during the time when Rhodes ruled the Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, the bay was used by merchant ships sailing from Rhodes. There are three restaurants located in the bay, only reached by sea, docking only being permitted when dining at the restaurant.