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5 secret islands to discover on a Turkey yacht charter

By Rebecca Bradbury   Last Updated: 22 May 2023

Turkey promises spectacularly beautiful cruising grounds, with a number of hidden paradises to be found in its turquoise waters. If you want to escape the crowds, head to one of these lesser-known islands on your next Turkey superyacht charter vacation. 

Stunning with its sheer diversity, Turkey is a fascinating fusion of cultures, cuisines and landscapes. But its Aegean and Mediterranean coastlines are where Turkey is at its most irresistible, especially for yacht-goers after a truly magnificent charter experience.

Golden beaches lapped by sparkling waters and backed by forest-blanketed slopes are settings for ancient ruins and many an outdoor activity, while hidden island gems offer no-end of idyllic exploration. Here is a round-up of six secret spots to visit on a luxury yacht charter.


Tersene turkey

Tersane is one of a dozen islands strung out like a necklace across the mouth of Göcek Bay, a lively yachting hub along the Turquoise Coast. Its location, as well as its protected natural harbor, makes this often overlooked island ideal to visit when on a luxury yacht charter in the area.

Gulet yachts were once built here which explains where Tersane – translated as boatyard – gets its name from. Sunken ships and remnants of ancient walls shimmer below the water’s surface while, on land, scores of houses remain in ruins alongside overgrown fruit orchids and descendant goat herds.


overhead view of Bozcaada in Aegean waters of Turkey
bottle and glass of red wine in Bozcaada, Turkey
charter streets of Bozcaada, Turkey
Bozcaada Castle on Bozcaada Island, Turkey

Guarded by Turkey’s best-preserved castle, Bozcaada is a little-known Aegean outpost offering 15 square miles of solitude. White sand beaches ablaze with wildflowers ribbon the coast and Ottoman-Greek whitewashed houses cluster around the harbor with hardly a tourist in sight.

The highlight, however, has to be the island’s 2,000-year-old wine-making tradition, which is currently experiencing a renaissance. Don’t leave Bozcaada without a highly sought-after bottle from the Corvus Vineyard, renowned for its sweet reds with strong notes of cherry and plum.


Kekova was a bustling Roman port until it plunged into the ocean during an earthquake in AD 240. Found not far from Kaş, the island is uninhabited today but the sunken tombs and ancient villas are all perfectly preserved under a meter of crystal clear sea.

Swimming around the fragments of the partly submerged buildings is now banned, but the site is still possible to explore by kayak or paddleboard. Anchor nearby overnight for the enchanting sight of the moon’s reflection slowly tracing its way across the Kekova Sound.

St Nicholas Island

It couldn’t be further from the cold, winter days of December but St Nicholas himself was originally buried in the rock-hewn church on this rural island which, known to locals as Gemiler Island, lies off the Lycian coast between Fethiye and Oludeniz Beach.

Among the feral and fragrant wilderness of carob trees, sticky figs and almond blossom are half-ruined Byzantine churches with haunting frescoes and faded mosaics. These 1,500-year-old ruins can be wondered at will, while secluded rocky bays invite relaxation and snorkeling.


wildly beautiful island of Gökçeada in Turkey

Bestowed with blissful landscapes of olive groves, perfumed pine forests, sacred springs and unspoilt stretches of sandy shore, it’s hard to understand why Gökçeada, Turkey’s largest island, has remained a secret for so long.

Located at the entrance to the Dardanelles, Gökçeada’s pristine Aegean waters are ideal for swimming and windsurfing, and scuba divers will enjoy exploring the spectacular stone formations of Turkey’s only underwater national park.

Hidden island gems offer no-end of idyllic exploration on your Turkish superyacht vacation

Feeling inspired to book a Turkey yacht charter?

secluded bay with turquoise waters in the superyacht cruising grounds of Turkey

To find out more about chartering in the region, please see our in-depth Turkey yacht charter guide. For some inspiration, check out our sample itineraries handpicked by experts for the region.

For more details on planning a Turkey yacht vacation, please speak to a recommended yacht charter broker.

Alternatively, compare all luxury yachts available for charter in Turkey.

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