Thursday, 11 October 2012 6:09 PM
The selection of destinations for sailing holidays in the Mediterranean is huge, with idyllic islands, upmarket beach resorts and ancient cities to choose from. One part of the region you may not have considered is Turkey's Lycian Coast, but you should take a look at what it has to offer.
If you want to spend your getaway doing little more than sailing between quiet coves and sitting in the sun on golden or pink sand beaches, you can do it here. However, if your idea of the perfect break is to learn more about ancient civilisations and experience traditional Turkish life, there is also plenty of scope to do just that.
Either way, you will be treated to some of the Med's most beautiful scenery. The area - also known as the Turquoise Coast - is almost entirely unspoiled by modern life, so you will see forest-covered hills rising steeply up from the beaches throughout your yachting getaway here.
You can make your own itinerary for your tour of Lycia, as there are so many peaceful anchorages along the coast and sailing conditions in the area are excellent. There are good winds throughout the year and if you travel between May and September, the temperature is hot and rain is rare.
There are some places along the Lycian Coast that are unmissable and should feature in your plans, whether you want a beach break or something a little more cultural.
This ruined city close to the Dalyan River can trace its history back to the 9th century BC and you can see evidence of the Persian, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine civilisations at the archaeological site. The best-preserved structures include an amphitheatre, bathhouse, nymphaeum and four temples, while there are six rock tombs overlooking the riverbank.
The nearest town of any size is Dalyan, but you may prefer to moor up at the quiet village of Ekincik Limani. Whichever you choose, you can look forward to visiting the thermal spring and mud baths at Ilica.
The Datca Peninsula is one of Turkey's prettiest areas, with small coves surrounded by dramatic cliffs and pine forests. Having a yacht of your own means you can explore at your leisure and moor up every time you spot an inviting secluded beach.
If you want a night out or to try some traditional cuisine, take a trip to the town of Datca. From there, you can also arrange to visit the vast archaeological site that was once the Carian city of Knidos. Work to uncover the remains of what was one of the great settlements of its age is still in the early stages, but the remains of a theatre, the main square and temples dedicated to Aphrodite and Dionysus have already been discovered.
This traditional town may be the busiest place you visit during your sailing break. Touring its bustling bazaars is a real experience and you can pick up some great souvenirs, including locally-made pottery, jewellery and rugs. You will also discover a selection of excellent restaurants serving either Middle Eastern cuisine or dishes made from freshly-caught seafood.
As well as quiet beaches and coves on the coast close to Fethiye, you can explore nearby Gemiler Island. It was an important Christian settlement during the Byzantine era and there is still plenty of evidence of it. There are the ruins of five churches here and the fallen columns and carved crosses that remain suggest they were once grand buildings.