A Place of Religion on the Turquoise Coast

10/03/2016

Fethiye is an ideal base for those wanting to enjoy Turkey’s Turquoise Coast. It is less than an hour east of Dalaman International Airport that has flights from a huge number of regional airports in Europe and the Middle East. The season opens around Easter and the climate right round until winter approaches means that tourists are guaranteed a suntan, warm seas and of course Turkish hospitality.

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Fethiye has a large harbour and plenty of nice restaurants catering for most tastes. The Fish Market is particularly popular. You but your own fish from a stall and ask one of the restaurants that surround the stall to cook it to your taste. If you are going for a sailing holiday it is likely that you will leave your shopping until the end and simply head for your boat to settle in. There are gulets and yachts available for most budgets and experienced captains who understand how to make a holiday truly memorable.

 

Gemiler Island

There is so much more to a Turquoise Coast than sunshine, fine cuisine and Turkish hospitality. Round every turn there is evidence of the rich history and culture of the region through time. No distance away from Fethiye is Gemiler Island, more commonly referred to in some quarters as St. Nicholas Island Fethiye.

There is much evidence of its religious importance in bygone days. The ruins of churches built between the 4th and 6th Century AD is only part of the story. It is believed this was the site of the original tomb of St. Nicholas, several other Christian tombs and ecclesiastical buildings. Nicholas, Greek by birth and living within the Roman Empire, was the Bishop of Myra.

The name of St. Nicholas was given to the island by sailors (St. Nicholas is their patron saint). He had been interred there on his death in the 4th Century but his remains were moved three centuries later because the area was under threat from Arabs. They were moved to the City of Myra further east down the coast and subsequently to Italy towards the end of the 11th Century when Myra itself was abandoned. St. Nicholas is regarded as the original figure that has become ‘Santa Claus’ in modern stories but he is still an important figure in the minds of many people interested in religion; many Russian Orthodox icons relate to him and his ‘day’ is celebrated widely in places such as the Netherlands.

It is thought that pilgrims on their way to the Holy Lands regularly stopped here. Nowadays gulets and yachts are regular visitors as well.

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12 Islands

One of the most popular day trips for people staying on this coastline is the 12 Islands Tour leaving from either Fethiye or Gocek to visit a number of small uninhabited islands. Boats put down anchors on a regular basis for passengers to swim with lunch cooked on a BBQ. It’s great fun and there is plenty of room for all. The beauty of having your own boat of course is that you can drop anchor and stay long after the tourists have returned to harbour.

While the sun goes down the temperatures during the main weeks of summer remain impressive. There are few better experiences than sitting on deck under the stars in complete isolation.

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Gocek

Gocek has grown as the popularity of sailing has increased. Once tourists found this coast in real numbers, word of mouth increased demand for sailing even more. Gocek was a tiny fishing village. It now has a number of berths for visitors and often plays host to some of the most impressive yachts sailing the Mediterranean. The small town has bars and restaurants offering a simple coffee or beer as well as fine local cuisine. Boats can stock up from supermarkets and local carpet and craft shops have plenty to offer as well.

Booking a Blue Cruise for the first time could not be easier. The Internet has plenty of information for those beginning their research and by their very nature, websites are interactive, inviting enquiries and questions and responding in timely fashion. Secure payment gateways have guaranteed that bookings are completely safe with confimations being sent by return.

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