The island of Sovalye, just minutes from Fethiye Town but glorious in its isolation, may not be for everyone. With no roads, no shops and certainly no happy hour bars, this beautiful island may not be the first choice among anyone seeking out a bar-hopping holiday. However, if you’re the Mason family it’s just perfect.
Masons discover Sovalye on a twelve-islands sailing trip
Graham and Cecilia Mason, from Portsmouth on England’s south coast, first laid eyes on Sovalye Island during an exploratory sailing trip along the Turkish coastline. “We were returning from the twelve island tour and struck by this island in the gulf of Fethiye,” investment consultant Graham said. “We were really taken by lovely waterfront villas of Sovalye Island and the fact that was so close to the town yet so private.”
Fifteen years, two children and five Turkish sailing trips later, the Masons decided to make a leap and, with Property Turkey’s help, buy a seafront villa on Sovalye Island in Fethiye. The $1 million euro home has five bedrooms, a private pool, and a private beach and jetty. “It’s an incredibly beautiful spot,” Cecilia, who works as a GP, said. “It’s completely private and it’s safe for the boys [age 14 and 11)] to run around without supervision.”
"Wins over France and Spain in all aspects"
Comparable waterfront properties in France or Spain are currently on sale for $3 million, so the Mason’s Turkish beachfront property investment was an attractive prospect. “Yes of course price was a factor,” Graham says. “We feel incredibly fortunate to end up here where prices are still relatively low.”
Keen sailors with 45 years’ experience between them, Graham and Cecilia spend a lot of time on the water and say that the Turkish coastline is one of the most picturesque places they’ve visited. “We can easily spend a week just island hopping,” says Graham. “Our favourite trip locally is the twelve island tour, but further afield the Gulf of Gokova is just stunning, and there are more islands to explore there, too.”
“Turkey is a sailor’s paradise,” adds Cecilia. “There has been a good deal of work done on sailing infrastructure since we first visited. Now I would say that marinas here rival some of the best in the world in terms of technology and services. People are beginning to realise this now, the waters are definitely busier these days. Fortunately there’s still plenty of room for everyone.”
Our island retreat for lifestyle and investment
The Masons visit Turkey every summer, usually with friends and family in tow. “We expected peace and quiet on the island but in reality we’re never short of company,” laughs Cecilia. The group spends their days relaxing by the pool or sunning themselves on the jetty. “The kids love to explore the island, there are castle ruins in the middle that were apparently once the base of a group of pirates. Of course, this has sparked the imagination of all the youngsters who visit!”
The Masons also have canoes and one of their favourite pastimes is to circumnavigate the island by water. “It takes about an hour and you see all kinds of bird life and marine life,” says Cecilia. “Walking around the island is also lovely because it’s full of fragrant carob and pine trees and is just so peaceful and relaxing.”
So close to Fethiye town yet feels like lightyears away from it all
It takes the family just 15 minutes to reach Fethiye Town centre, where they stock up on groceries, eat out at one of the many restaurants, or explore the mainland. “It’s not far, no,” confirms Graham. “But when you live on an island like Sovalye a busy town like Fethiye feels like another world! We enjoy Fethiye but we’re always happy to get home to our desert island, as the boys call it.”
The couple eventually hope to retire full time to Turkey. But in the meantime they’re hoping to make the most of every summer. “Endure the week-long British summer or spend our days sailing along a gorgeous coastline and jumping off our jetty into the Mediterranean? What do you think?” laughs Graham.
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