Gocek and the Gocek Bays

Gocek sits at the top of the “Skopea Limani” one fo the Turkish coast’s most popular cruising areas. Gocek has grown over the years from a small seaside village for fisherman and orchardiers and into a well-populated port town, charming in every way with a delightful array of shops, restaurants and cafes.

The town is well served by Dalaman International Airport and serves as an embarkation and disembarkation point for charterers taking in the south-west coast of Turkey. It has large marinas catering to the local jetset and has a good variety of accommodation options.

The Gocek Bays are locally known as “Skopea Limanı”. This area is among the most beautiful cruising grounds in the world. Verdant hills and mountains descend steeply to rock-strewn and pebbled shores. Here, tiny coves, narrow inlets and picturesque anchorages are quiet and secluded, the midday sun warming masses of red pine and the smell of these, filling the air – much like the ever present summertime song of the cicada. Skopea Harbour is also dotted with twelve islands and is steeped in history.

Gocek sits at the northern end of one the Turkish coast's most popular cruising grounds and is the gateway to ''Skopea Harbour'', a collection of bays and islands that has enchanted visitors for centuries, if not millennia. Gocek was once a small seaside but is now a much-loved summer destination. And yet it retains its ''small town atmosphere'' with a delightful array of shops, restaurants and cafes.

Manastır Bay and Ruin Bay

The locals claim that the ruins that lie partially-submerged along the shore of “Ruin Bay” are those of Cleopatra’s bathhouse, but they are much more likely to be those of a Byzantine monastery. Either way, the setting is fabulous and when the area becomes quite at the end of the day, it is fun to slip on flippers and a mask and explore these interesting ruins up close.

The nearby shores of Manastir Bay offer a well-worn goat track along the water’s edge and tempt you to walk ashore and inspect the remains of one of ancient Lydae’s fortification walls. The wall is only a part of the ruins of ancient Lydae, which are located within hiking distance. very remote setting.

Ancient Lydae

Ancient Lydae is located in a remote area of the Kapidaği peninsula and as there is no access by road, it is only rarely visited. If you like the idea of paying a visit to this delightfully out of the way, “late Imperial, early Byzantine” site, it’s a 30 - 45 minute uphill hike from Aga Limani or Ruin Bay, following goat tracks and/or forestry roads. Arriving at the summit of the hill, the topography levels into a wide plain and the site of ancient Lydae lies at the end of the walking trail. The ruins at the site include mausolea, the walls of a temple, Corinthian columns, a cistern and inscribed pedestals from both Roman and Byzantine eras.

Tomb Bay and Ancient Krya

Tomb Bay is a wonderful place to anchor for the night. It has warm waters for swimming and watersports and plenty of interest ashore. From the deck of your yacht, you can make out the various Lycian pigeon-hole and temple-style tombs carved into the rock face. It is possible to go ashore and see them up close, although appropriate hiking shoes are required as it is quite an ascent!

Ancient Krya is located just above Tomb Bay on the western side of the Gulf of Fethiye. Krya was a fortified town in the Rhodian Peraea and prior to that was thought to be Carian, although the fact that there exists Lycian tombs in the bay below the ruins points to the city being of Lycian origin. In any case, it’s a nice uphill hike to the hilltop acropolis, from which the views are very rewarding.

Tersane Island

Tersane (“shipyard”) Island lies opposite Tomb Bay and has a natural harbour, making it a popular stop for yachts. The ruins at the waters’ edge have been dated back to the Greco-Roman period, when the settlement was known as Telandria. Walks ashore will take you to the remains of a watchtower and a mausoleum. The other ruined buildings on the island are the remnants of a Greek shipbuilding settlement, abandoned during the Population Exchange of 1922-23.

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