Rise of the Turkish Riviera: A New Haven for the Yachting Elite

Yacht culture in Turkey

The allure of the sea has always been a captivating force, drawing travellers from across the globe to the world's most pristine coastlines. Historically, the French Riviera has been the go-to destination for the world's elite, with its glamorous beaches, upscale resorts, and a bustling yachting scene. However, a new player has emerged on the scene, challenging the dominance of the French Riviera: the Turkish Riviera.

Türkiye's Growing Influence in the Yachting World

Türkiye's ascent in the yachting sector has been nothing short of meteoric. Not only has the country become a top destination for the world's most renowned mega yachts, but it has also established itself as a significant yacht production hub. In 2022 alone, Türkiye realised exports worth $1.45 billion in the ship, yacht, and services sector. By mid-June 2023, this figure had already reached $550 million. The nation's prowess in the "custom-made" mega yacht category is particularly noteworthy, with Turkish manufacturers anticipating several deliveries of customised yacht orders this year.

Popular Port Towns for the Yachting Community in Türkiye

While the entire Turkish coastline is dotted with picturesque ports and marinas, a few stand out for their popularity among the yachting community:

1. Bodrum

Often referred to as the "St. Tropez of Türkiye," Bodrum is a magnet for luxury yachts. With its crystal-clear waters, historic castle, and vibrant nightlife, it's no wonder that BFG Provisions, a renowned yacht service company from Greece, chose to open its first office here.

Bodrum Castle: Overlooking the harbour, this medieval fortress built by the Knights Hospitaller now houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, showcasing shipwrecks and their treasures.

Yacht Marina: Bodrum's marina is a bustling hub, frequented by both local and international luxury yachts. The surrounding area is dotted with upscale restaurants, boutiques, and vibrant nightlife spots.

Ancient Theatre of HalicarnassusA testament to Bodrum's ancient roots, this well-preserved theatre offers a glimpse into the city's Hellenistic past and provides a unique venue for concerts and events.

Bodrum houses

2. Göcek

Nestled in a secluded bay, Göcek is a quieter alternative to Bodrum but no less luxurious. The bay hosts a variety of yacht models, from small boats to mega yachts exceeding 100 meters in length. Göcek is a serene escape, known for its natural beauty and six marinas, making it a yachting paradise.

12 Islands: A popular sailing route, the 12 Islands of Göcek offer pristine beaches, clear waters, and secluded bays. Each island has its unique charm, from the ancient ruins on Tersane Island to the pine forests of Yassıca Island.

Göcek Marina: The town's main marina is equipped with top-notch facilities and is surrounded by a plethora of dining and shopping options, catering to the yachting elite.

Batik Hamam: Also known as the Sunken Baths, these ancient ruins submerged in the sea are believed to be a gift from Marc Antony to Cleopatra and are a popular snorkelling spot.

Yachts in Turkey

3. Marmaris

Another jewel in the Turkish Riviera, Marmaris offers a blend of natural beauty and modern amenities, making it a favourite among yacht owners and beach lovers alike.

Marmaris Castle: Dating back to 3000 BC, the castle offers panoramic views of the town and the marina. It also houses a museum showcasing the region's history and archaeology.

Netsel Marina: As one of the largest marinas in Türkiye, Netsel Marina is a hub of activity, with a range of services for yachts and an array of restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues.

Bar Street: Known for its vibrant nightlife, Bar Street in Marmaris is lined with clubs, bars, and restaurants, making it the go-to spot for evening entertainment.

4. Fethiye

Located on the southwestern Turquoise Coast, Fethiye is a vibrant port city surrounded by the Taurus Mountains. Known for its natural harbour, the town is a favourite among sailors and yachting enthusiasts. Fethiye offers a unique blend of ancient ruins and modern amenities:

Ölüdeniz: Just a short drive from Fethiye, this blue lagoon is renowned for its stunning turquoise waters and is often cited as one of the world's most beautiful beaches. Paragliding from the nearby Babadağ Mountain offers a bird's-eye view of this natural wonder.

Lycian Rock Tombs: Overlooking the town, these ancient tombs carved into the cliffs are a testament to Fethiye's rich history. The Tomb of Amyntas, in particular, offers a panoramic view of the harbour below.

Fethiye Marina: A modern facility equipped with all the amenities a yachtsman could desire. The marina is often bustling with both local and international vessels, making it a hub of activity and a great place to mingle with fellow sailors.

Fethiye Oludeniz

5. Kaş

Further east along the coast from Fethiye, Kaş is a charming town known for its bohemian vibe and stunning underwater treasures. It's a diver's paradise, with numerous dive sites scattered around the coastline:

Kekova: Near Kaş, this sunken city is a popular spot for diving and snorkelling. The underwater ruins, remnants of ancient civilisations, offer a unique underwater exploration experience.

Kaş Marina: Though smaller than some of its counterparts, the marina in Kaş is modern and offers excellent facilities for yachts of all sizes. Its location makes it a perfect stopover for those sailing along the Lycian coast.

Kaleköy: Accessible only by boat, this ancient village near Kaş boasts a castle with panoramic views of the surrounding islands and azure waters.

Comparing the Turkish and French Rivieras

While the French Riviera boasts iconic destinations like Cannes, Nice, and Monaco, known for their film festivals, casinos, and Formula 1 races, the Turkish Riviera offers a unique blend of rich history, stunning natural landscapes, and modern luxury. The cost advantage in terms of labor and manufacturing quality in Türkiye, as highlighted by Murat Bekiroğlu of YATED, has made the nation a prominent name in European markets. Furthermore, with an average annual growth of 20% in the market, Türkiye is rapidly closing the gap with its French counterpart.

Türkiye's Tourism Economy for the "Uber Rich"

The rise of the yachting scene in Türkiye is a testament to the nation's growing appeal to the uber-rich. Beyond yachting, Türkiye offers a plethora of luxury experiences, from opulent resorts in Antalya to exclusive beach clubs in Cesme. The soaring hotel prices and transport costs globally have made cruise tourism in Türkiye even more attractive. In the first seven months of 2023 alone, the nation welcomed 43,716 passengers on 574 cruise ships.

While the French Riviera has its undeniable charm and history, the Turkish Riviera is carving out its niche, offering a blend of old-world charm and modern luxury. As the yachting community continues to expand its horizons, Türkiye is poised to become a major player in the global luxury tourism sector.

Marmaris property

Marmaris Thermal Wellness Investment Property

Marmaris Thermal Wellness Resort is located in Içmeler region which is one of Turkey’s favourite holiday destinations. It occupies an exclusive seafront cove at the meeting of Aegean and Mediterranean waters. You will have a quiet, private and peaceful natural holiday in-between the forest and the sea. All residential units are fully furnished and include serviced housekeeping and other hotel style room services. 1+0 to 3+1 floor plan units are available. 

This project boasts 5-star hotel conditions; consisting of four separate beaches on the 1,5 km coastal line including a ladies-only beach and activity beach for all the most popular water sports included totally, a thermal park (6.500m²), a marina shopping centre (7.000m²), aqua and adventure theme parks (10.500m²) and beautiful forest full of untouched nature.

The natural thermal water off the coast has five times more natural minerals than comparable locations. And with all the outdoor pools being equipped with heating systems you can vacation all year round.

There are many unique amenities on compass as well, including: boat shuttles for transportation by the sea, special cabanas (family lodges) facing toward the sea, safari and bicycle tracks and survivor parkours in the forest for more adventurous residents.

Marmaris Thermal Wellness Resort offers a lifetime of holiday and investment value. Lifetime holiday means ownership of vacation as the owners share the resort title deed. That entails all of the associated activities of residential units. They are fully able to be sold, rented, and inherited by owners. There are future plans, on the land next to the timeshare units, for a 5 star hotel (Hilton), providing even more investment clout.


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