THE SOUTH OF FRANCE
The Mediterranean from Antibes
Begin this wonderful week and a half journey in Antibes, where you will board your charter yacht and immediately get accustomed to the luxurious accommodations. Take in the scenery as you sail to Monaco in the afternoon. Stroll the seafront before hitting the Monte Carlo Casino at night!
Spend the day and evening in picturesque Portofino. An overnight voyage will find you to this colourful Italian village with ample time to go diving, visit the beach, and do some shopping.
Explore and relax, soaking in this picture-perfect part of the Italian coast, or head south early to Corsica.
Arrive in Bonifacio, Corsica, where you will see a medieval walled town rising up from the natural harbour’s narrow inlet. Bonifacio offers a great contrast of sea and mountain, port and fortress.
Linger in the waters of Budelli Island in the morning and then make your way over to Porto Cervo, Sardinia. Go for a swim, then eat lunch onboard, and relax on deck as you move from island to island.
Enjoy an entire day and night in Porto Cervo, Sardinia’s premiere vacation spot. This seaside resort area is Costa Smeralda’s main centre; it is posh and casual at the same time.
Leave Porto Cervo at noon and go visit Cala Di Volpe on the east coast of Sardinia. This famous hotel has great amenities including water sports, tennis courts, putting green, and beach scene!
Cruise over to Maddalena Island and drop anchor so you can go for a swim, or just lounge on deck. The island has a couple of beaches and ancient forts; pedestrians tend to gather at Piazza Umberto I. Cruise overnight to the west coast of Corsica.
Wake up in the Golfo de Giralata. Go ashore to visit the local village or plan an excursion to Ajaccio. Ajaccio is a sheltered commercial port whose town centre has palm trees, hotels, and shops. You are more than welcome to stay in the Gulf and go swimming before making a night sail to Antibes.
Explore Antibes, do yourself a favour and wander around town for a while. Antibes has its share of quality museums, parks, and restaurants. Pretty Juan-les-Pins juts out from Antibes and provides the perfect place to sit down and reflect on what a trip you’ve had.
Depart Antibes at noon, don’t forget to write down your favourite parts so you can repeat them on your next charter!
BODRUM TO BODRUM
VIA PATMOS, GREECE
Day 1 Bodrum – Kos (10nm – around 2 hours)
Guests will fly in to Bodrum airport where they will be met by the First Mate who will escort them to the yacht in the marina, a journey time of approximately 45 minutes. After introducing the crew, the Captain will give a short safety brief before inviting the guests to explore the yacht and perhaps enjoy a brief foray into Bodrum.
This was originally the ancient city of Halicarnassus, where king Mausolus’ sister built his great tomb, one of the seven ancient wonders of the world, which gave us the word ‘mausoleum’. Sadly, there is little left after an earthquake destroyed it in the 15th century. During the afternoon we will need to make our clearances out of Turkey and then depart at a time to suit our guests. Sailing from Bodrum to the Greek Island of Kos, the passage will take an hour and a half to reach the harbour in Kos old town. Here we must clear customs into Greece. In ancient times Kos was the home of Hippocrates, the famous physician that gave us the Hippocratic oath, and was also famed for its silk. Now famed for its modern tourist trade with bars restaurants and nightlife, the town does have an ancient fort and a museum as well as being adorned by oleander, bougainvillea, jasmine and hibiscus in abundance.
Day 2 Kos – Kalimnos (16nm)
Departing from Kos after breakfast, or some morning exercise ashore, guests may enjoy an anchorage stop at Nisos Pserimos to enjoy swimming, water sports and lunch before continuing on to the port of Kalimnos. Famous for its earlier sponge fishing industry, Kalimnos offers a busy tourist town with bars and restaurants, but for those seeking a little culture excursion can be arranged to see the monastery, the landscape and spectacular views of the north of the island and/or the natural sponge factory. Alternatively, we can find a sheltered anchorage for the night along the island’s somewhat barren and deserted east coast.
Day 3 Kalimnos – Patmos via Leros (35nm)
When the guests are ready to depart, we will proceed on towards Patmos, the northern most island of the Dodecanese, stopping halfway for lunch and more water sports at the island of Leros. Less harsh than the arid land of Kalimnos, Leros offers a backdrop of rounded hills with trees and greenery. After a further 2-hour passage, in the afternoon we will arrive at Patmos where guests can choose to berth in the small town or seek serenity and seclusion at anchor in one of the bays to the south. The island of Patmos is comprised of three barren volcanic mounds joined by narrow isthmuses. A spiritual home to the Greek Orthodox church, this is where St John is supposed to have written the Apocalypse in a cave, dictating the fiery words of God to a disciple. Nowadays the island offers a berth for cruise ships visiting the monastery and other historical sites with the associated tourist restaurants and shops.
Day 4 Patmos – Didim (Altinkum) via Arki (33nm)
A late start after a leisurely breakfast will still allow us to reach the wildlife refuge on the Island of Arki, or perhaps Marathos, after a short passage of about an hour, anchoring here for a walk ashore, swimming and lunch. We will then proceed onward for the final 2.5-hour passage to the new and expansive Marina at Didim. Originally a religious sanctuary to Apollo, famed for its oracle long before Delphi, after we have checked back into Turkey, a short taxi ride will take guests to view the remains of the largest Ionic temple in the world, dating from 300BC. The town itself is a burgeoning tourist resort with bars, restaurants and nightlife and the marina is well appointed with some shops and a smart yacht club.
Day 5 Didim – Turkbuku (15nm)
Perhaps after a run or a morning swim at the yacht club’s pool, we will sail from Didim for the 15nm passage across Gulluk Korfezi to Turkbuku, the favoured holiday destination of Turkish high society. Anchoring in the bay and depending on the yacht you choose and the equipment on board, you can spend an exciting time jet-skiing, water-skiing or using other water toys towed behind the fast tender. A single landing point will offer access to the town’s cafés and fine restaurants, though a prior booking may allow us to land guests direct to the restaurant’s jetty. With many bays to choose from in the area, a secluded anchorage for the night might provide a preferred alternative.
Day 6 Turkbuku – Yalikavak (13nm)
A very short passage plan will give us plenty of flexibility to explore the bays and inlets along the coast between Turkbuku and our next stop, Yalikavak. With plenty of bays to choose from, some with sandy beaches, we can choose a lunch stop for swimming before moving on in the afternoon to arrive at the very upmarket Palmarina. We might berth in front of the ‘Millionaire’s Club’, with a spa and an infinity pool overlooking the sea, and guests may enjoy a stroll along the boardwalk past the displays of art work and classic cars whilst investigating the restaurants and chic boutiques. If the draw of a marina fails to excite our guests, there are again other sheltered bays to choose from for an overnight anchorage.
Day 7 Yalikavak – Turgutreis via Catal Ada (10nm)
Another short hop will take us south along the Turkish coast opposite the Greek islands we have already visited. A small, uninhabited island between the two countries offers a popular spot to swim and picnic ashore on the sandy beach. Catal Ada is formed of two rocky peaks joined by a narrow sandy isthmus offering a suitable anchorage when the weather is calm. A very short hop across the water back to the mainland will take us into Turgutreis marina which offers a superbly located bar on the end of the breakwater from which to enjoy the sun setting over the Greek islands whilst enjoying a sundowner.
Day 8 Turgutreis – Bodrum (18nm)
On our final day at sea we will enjoy a short passage around the south west corner of Turkey, past the island of Kos, and come to anchor in a sheltered location near ‘the aquarium’. This is a narrow passage of water between the two islands where there is an abundance of fish and sea life in the shallow waters. Guests may enjoy snorkelling from the tender or, for suitably qualified guests, a rendezvous scuba dive can be arranged. From here it is only a short half hour’s passage back to Bodrum where we can anchor south of the castle or enter the marina to enjoy the delights of the town on the last night of the holiday. There are several fine restaurants and night-life in Bodrum to be enjoyed including a floating night club that takes you out into the harbour or the famous Halicarnassus which is the biggest name in clubbing in Turkey.
Bodrum – the journey from the port to the airport will take about 45 minutes, so depending on flight times, guests may wish to spend their final morning exploring the old town for those last-minute presents to take home, or a visit to the fascinating castle, built by the crusaders in the 12th century is well worthwhile. The interior crew may assist with packing before providing a long, relaxing and sumptuous breakfast. We will then sadly say our goodbyes at the end of what we hope will be a relaxing whilst exciting and memorable cruise.