Turkey – Ak Deniz, Mediterranean, southern coast of Turkey

For these harbour descriptions, we use the term “Mediterranean coast of Turkey” to refer to the southern coast of Turkey. Unlike the Aegean coast, the Mediterranean coast is more or less devoid of natural anchorages, islands or large river mouths. The coast is rather sparse and moorages must be planned. The few natural moorages are very cluttered and congested. The coast falls into 3 main sections: west of Antalya bay, Antalya bay, east of Antalya bay. The weather for the western and eastern sections is rather steady across those sections while the weather and currents in Antalya bay can vary significantly and change quickly. There are numerous ruins of antiquity here, although as it is not a major tourist destination, they are often not very well marked or developed. There are virtually no repair facilities along the coast with the exception of Mersin Marina at the far eastern end. And even the repair facilities of Mersin are quite limited compared to Marmaris or Istanbul (e.g. no rigger, no sail maker). Most boat parts must be ordered in from Antalya, Marmaris, Istanbul so it is advisable to carry any anticipated spares. Boat lifting capacity (other than mobile crane) is only at Kumkuyu (maybe, depending on the bankruptcy) and Mersin marina. The level of facilities on the southern coast is generally low but the prices can be very high.

A Turkish sailor we met on the south coast told us “the only thing they know how to do here is charge.” After making passage to Mersin and back, we had to agree.

Pilot Books

The standard English language reference for the Mediterranean coast of Turkey (in fact all the Turkish coasts) is:

Turkish Waters and Cyprus Pilot by Rod Heikell (2013) published by Imray

Sailing Conditions

The predominate wind is westerly or south-westerly, basically it follows the coast. At night the wind will often flip to easterly but with a lesser strength. Due to the Toros mountains running along the coast, the on- and off-shore breezes can be very strong – and often are katabatic.

The weather forecasting for the southern coast seems to be a black hole. We checked every website we knew of, any website the locals mentioned, and still had no confidence in the forecasts. The yard at Mersin was having troubles lifting/launching boats due to unforecast winds ranging up to 25 and 30 knots. We asked their boat lift operators about forecasting and were told that there was nothing reliable.

Mediterranean Sea (Ak Deniz) Moorages

We have listed the moorages from west to east along the southern coast

Kekova Roads
Although Kekova Roads is technically on the south coast, we have included it as the most southerly of Aegean harbours.
Demre marina (unfinished)
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: no facilities
Description: under construction marina, no concrete docks as of 2017
Problems or Issues:
Finike marina (more information as a wintering location)
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage, electricity, water, showers, fuel, laundry service, provisioning, pump out
Description: a full service marina, transort connections to Fethiye to the west and Antalya to the east
Problems or Issues: 2 haphazard chandleries compete as to who has the least of use. Hard to contemplate undertaking boat work without ordering from larger centres (e.g. Marmaris).
Finike anchorage
Depth: >5m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: none
Description: A large anchorage (6m over muddy sand) outside marina.
Problems or Issues: no protection for easterly aspects
Ciniviz Limani anchorage
Depth: 10m over sand
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: seasonal bar and restaurant ashore
Description: “This spectacular deserted anchorage…” – obviously the Imray pilot by Heikell has not verified this site for the last few editions as there are ruins of previous docks from years gone by
Now there is a fishing operation (multiple buildings, electricity, dogs, chickens) at one end, and a chai operation and restaurant (with dock) at the other end with pressurised water, electric lighting (i.e. generator at night), toilets and showers
Problems or Issues: flocks of gulets and day boats
Tekerov anchorage (Phaselis ruins)
Depth: 8m over sand
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage, toilets and showers ashore
Description: Ruins are not visible from the water (maybe they were 15 years ago), and are not that extensive. There is a dock to land at and a beach with showers and toilets in the sand dunes
20 TL admission
top of hill not cleared
Problems or Issues: flocks of gulets and day boats
trucks labouring up the hill on the highway all night
Kemer marina
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities:  water, electricity, garbage, laundry service, fuel
Description: The marina ownership changed about 2014 when the hotel and marina combination went bankrupt (the large hotel portion is now closed and lies immediately behind the marina). One problem is that the old website still operates but is no longer used. We couldn’t seem to explain to the staff that this was confusing for boats trying to contact them. The new owners have not created a new website, their email (apparently) is gmkfo@gmarinakemer.net. No paper we were issued had any internet based contact information. Club based berthing discounts (as reported on other cruising sites) are no longer offered other than for half or full year periods. Avoid entering/leaving at 9 AM or 5 PM when numerous day-tripper pirate ships are berthing. Town is 100% tourist oriented, with marina located at southern end. Restaurants surrounding marina have live entertainment outdoors which makes sleeping very hard. The marina supplies water, electricity, and garbage. The marina did not have fuel when we were there but offered to arrange a tanker truck for us (which we did not take them up on). The water (which was listed as potable) was very heavily treated and we decided not to put it in our tanks. Marina insisted we pay for water and electricity (of which we used neither) but eventually dropped the charge. Although the new owners seemed to have been in place for a year or two, confusion seemed to rein, and each customer query had to be communicated by phone to “the chef”. We never did meet “the chef” and after a while it was all starting to become like The Wizard of Oz. We rented a car through the marina as their price matched any other price in the town. This worked very smoothly with the car brought to and collected from the marina. A very central location to leave a boat securely and visit a number of world class ruins and castles by car (see link) although the reception staff seem to be a little shattered. We had the best luck by finding one of the male office staff and posing our questions to them – they always sorted the issue out.
Problems or Issues:
Gazipaşa
Depth: 4m in centre over mud
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: By walking out through the construction site, a boulevard will be reached. Turn right for the town with all major food stores, turn left to the beaches with restaurants and mini-markets. There are dolmuş into the town centre.
Description: As of May 2018 an unfinished marina is still under construction, can anchor in centre in 5m over mud with good holding, alternately can approach concrete quays. Bollards and mooring rings are unevenly distributed, so check where to moor before approaching quay. Also large “decorative” groupings of large boulders (1m diameter) adorn the concrete quays with a purpose as of yet unknown. Multiple current and abandoned polypropylene mooring lines litter the water. During construction period (predicted to continue for another 2 years) much plastic blows into the harbour and risks fouling props.
Problems or Issues: The entrance is slowly silting up and was 2.3m in May 2018.
Note
: In July 2018 it was reported that construction had resumed on the marina.
Bozyazi
Depth: 2.5m over sand/mud
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: Garbage containers are along the highway and there is a dolmuş into Bozyazi proper which is about 2 or 3 km to the east and has all the major food stores. Tanker truck will bring fuel down onto the quay. There is probably water on the quay. There are public showers and toilets at the public beach to the east of the harbour.
Description: A man-made artificial harbour which seems to be dormant. The coast guard operate out of here and a handful of day boats and fishing boats but the rest is empty. The coastal highway wraps around the harbour and so it can be noisy with traffic noise – depending on the wind. Can anchor in NE corner in 2-3m over mud.
Problems or Issues: The harbour seems deserted aside from the coast guard.
Aydincik
Depth: >2m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: presumably most food shopping is available
Description: This harbour has the destinction of being the only harbour in Turkey to turn Maringret away – even though there was room to moor and/or raft-up. The complete perimeter of the harbour is now filled with small boats with hand-laid mooring systems leading out to some dead man in the harbour centre. This removes the possibility of anchoring in the middle – which would have been tight anyway. The waters near the docks are littered with polypropylene lines.
Problems or Issues: The local attitudes of Aydincik are something of an exception in Turkey which has always been most accomodating. Maringret was not even allowed to stay for 30 minutes to see the murals at the end of the harbour. When we returned by rental car to see them, we were told we should have come “2 weeks ago” and that they had been closed to the public.
Tisan
Depth: >3, some outlying hazards on charts
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: mini-market, showers ashore
Description: Anchor over sandy mud, the holiday town has little aside from a mini-market (of sorts) – which may be seasonal. The ruins of Afrodesias are on the end of the isthmus.
Problems or Issues: The winds are fickle here and the anchorage is completely open to the east. We visited in 2 different seasons and once the wind swung east and went up to 30 knots with thunder storms – the holding is good but it was not a peaceful night.
In season pirate day-trip boats from Tesaçu come in with blaring music and stay for a couple of hours. They will anchor within 10m of your boat and you will not be able to speak over their din.
Tesaçu
Depth: >3m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: Garbage and water (to be paid for) on the quay, food stores on the main highway, a small chandlery between the BIM and Şok food stores on the main street, an agent in the town who can undertake entry/exit formalities.
Description: A pair of harbours, one empty, the other packed. The yacht moorage is full with a waiting list, transient yachts must moor elsewhere, no tailed lines except for (full) yacht section, Med-moor with day-trip boats (very noisy) or raft up with fishing fleet. Dolmuş runs to scenic Silifke with it’s castle above the city – the castle was closed in 2018.
Problems or Issues: €19 per night – no facilities, not even toilets! Water and electricity are extra! This must rank as the worst value in Turkey!
Kumkuyu marina
Depth: >2.5m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities: garbage, water, electricity, a long walk on the highway to any food store or other service
Description: A relatively new marina which operated as a function centre (mainly weddings) with the boat moorage attached. It went bankrupt at some time around 2017 and removed all facilities aside from one security guard and one office person (to accept payments). The showers/toilet block was smashed from the last set of wedding revelers.
Problems or Issues: €35 per night! Running neck and neck with Tesaçu for lowest value in Turkey!
Mersin marina
Depth: >3m
Air Draft: unlimited
Facilities:
Description: xxx
Problems or Issues:

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