Travel to Turkey for a Passage in Time and for the Peaceful Blue

Turkish Riviera, the Turquoise Coast

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The principals of Trinity Yachts, John Dane, CEO, and Bill Smith, VP, sat down with YV & C publisher Fuat Kircaali to speak about the growth of the charter industry and how it affects them as yacht builders. Trinity Yachts, founded in 1988, is already known as the number one American shipyard. Since 1990, their 38-acre Louisiana facility - including 10 roofed acres - has turned out 33 hulls. Seven yachts are currently under construction. How did this dynamic company grow so rapidly? John Dane, CEO of Trinity Yachts, was running Trinity Industries' marine group in 1988, with 22 shipyards around the country building mostly commercial and military boats. Bill Smith, who was doing sales and marketing for the company, foresaw the rise of the yacht business and the two decided to diversify.   Their first yacht commission was fortuitous. It was designed by the leading Ge... (more)

Golden Yachts of Paris Dragnis Offer Luxury Yachts in Turkish Riviera

Golden Yachts was established in 1997 by Capt. Paris Dragnis, a successful businessman highly involved in the commercial shipping sector. Out of his long passion for yachts of unrivalled quality and style, and being a yacht owner himself for many years, he was the ideal person to have the knowledge of the demands of the exclusive clientele on a luxury yacht vacation. The company began offering its yachting services with the 42m M/Y O’Pari that was then the first luxury motor yacht of such high standards to charter in the East/West Mediterranean. The yacht was built in Intermarine Spa, a shipyard well known for its reliable, fast, and technologically advanced building of military patrol vessels. At the time it was not involved in luxury yacht building and thus a bet between Capt. Dragnis and the shipyard was established. Considering that many luxury yachts were built a... (more)

Divan Palmira Hotel in Bodrum, Turkey: The End of an Era?

This 4th of July marked my sixth consecutive visit to the Divan Palmira Hotel in Bodrum, Turkey. My visit this year prompted me to write this review. The Divan Palmira Hotel is located in the Golturkbuku region of Bodrum. Two recent cover stories published last year in The New York Times Travel Section called this Aegien Sea summer destination The St. Tropez of Turkey. For those readers who would like to know more about Bodrum, especially the village of Golturkbuku, there is plenty of well written reading material (including these two 2006 New York Times travel write-ups). In this review, I will try to stay focused specifically on my most recent trip, the hotel, the changes which took place at this hotel this year and the highlights of my trip. The New York Times - Jan / 2006 The New York Times - Aug / 2006 Our Arrival on Saturday, June 30, 2007 When I emailed the hotel... (more)

Yacht Charter Croatia Magnum Nautica News

Ulitzer Travel Magazine Magnum Nautica, Croatia’s first and foremost Luxury yacht charter Croatia Company has announced a number of new additions that plan to take the firm to the top on the list of Europe’s best luxury charter companies. At a recently held press conference, Mrs. Dragica Gadzo, Spokesperson for the company, told reporters and guests about the latest addition to the fleet, an Azimut Jumbo 100, which currently has the honor of being the largest luxury charter yacht sailing the Adriatic waters. Magnum Nautica is a premier Luxury yacht charter Croatia service. Backed by Austria’s reputed Real4You Investment Corporation, the Croatian Magnum Group caters to luxury tourists through its luxury yacht charter service, the Magn um Nautica, and its luxury hotel subsidiary, Magnum Hotels which owns the Opatija, Bristol, Astoria and Apoksiomen in Croatia. The c... (more)

Eating and Drinking in the Greek Isles

From "Greek Isles in the Summer" Magazine This is not an article to inform you of quality restaurants but rather to explain you the type of places you can dine while visiting the Greek isles.   Eating out in Greece is a national pastime and a leisurely pleasure. Whether dining at a local taverna or an elegant restaurant, Greeks take their time over food. The native cuisine is delightfully uncomplicated and quite different from what's found in Greek restaurants abroad. Much of the cooking relies on simple seasonings and fresh meat and vegetables.  Greeks like all the other Mediterraneans go out for dinner much later then the other Europeans and Americans. This is usually a time much after 21:00 o'clock in the evening and usually there is a time where you find only tourists in the tavernas.  For dinner you have the possibility to go for expensive restaurants but pe... (more)

Rhodes Island Excursion Programme

From "Greek Isles in the Summer" Magazine   I thought it could be a good idea to provide you with a detailed excursion plan if you ever decide to visit Rhodes island, the largest of the Dodecanese islands group in Greece. This is actually the route I followed in Sept 2007 when I visited the island.  The programme below is a 10 day itinerary, including your arrival and departure days, which you may follow while you will be visiting Rhodes island. You can customize the programme to your own taste and time table. In some future articles I will be explaining to you in detail some of the wonderful places at Rhodes island.  Day 1. Arrival day. After you get your hotel room it is time to reserve your tickets for the nearby islands Symi and possibly Tilos. Then arrange with a rent a car company for some small car which you will use in your excursion. In the evening stro... (more)

Priene, the Ancient Holy City of Ionia

From the Turkish Riviera Magazine The city of Priene, an Ionian settlement, was laid out on Mount Mycale (Samsun) and contained many famous examples of Hellenistic art and architecture. The original location of the city has never been found but it was probably a peninsula with two harbors. The ruins are from the new city built in the 4th century BC. It is a small city with 4 or 5 thousand inhabitants and not of great political significance even if it shared the same history with the other Ionian cities. The city is mainly organized in four districts, the political (bouleuterion and prytaneion),  the cultural (Theatre), commercial (a gora) and most importantly religious (Athena Temple) In addition to the Athena Temple, the people of Priene erected sanctuaries dedicated to Zeus, Demeter and Egyptian gods. The city was a member of the Ionian League, and has been bui... (more)

Gumusluk, a Traditional Fishing Village

From the Turkish Riviera Magazine Gumusluk is a traditional fishing village on the Bodrum peninsula in the south west end of the Aegean part in the Turkish riviera. Bodrum or the ancient city of Halicarnassus of Caria is a well known center of tourism and yachting. Bodrum peninsula is also well known for the lovely bays and coves with the suitable and very clean waters for sailing and swimming. Gumusluk, some 25 km away of Bodrum is a peaceful village to relax and is also a place offering opportunities for walking.  The shore-line of the village have sandy beaches and plenty of fish restaurants to make your holiday a memorable one. To reach Gumusluk you can take a mini bus, dolmus in Turkish, from Bodrum and it takes about 50 minutes to get to Gumusluk. If you have your own car or if you have chosen to rent a car, it is a 40 minutes drive from Bodrum. Drive toward... (more)

Mayor of Bodrum Mehmet Kocadon Should Just Hang Himself

Turkish Riviera, the Turquoise Coast Magazine Every year gulet (wooden yachts)  owners and Bodrum's "blue voyage" tourism industry bring tens of thousands of tourists to Aquarium and other local spots by boat. And every year tourists enjoy the same garbage and litter mountains which were left behind by animals (I can't call them human beings) on the shore. Here are my questions:  1) Where is the mayor of Bodrum, and what is he doing? http://www.bodrum.bel.tr. The mayor's name apparently is Mehmet Kocadon. Well he is directly responsible from this embarrassing picture. 2) What is the gulet owners association doing? I understand they are broke and barely pay their bills but they are part of the big picture here. 3) Is there a tourism organization in town? What are they doing? In short this picture shows how primitive the concept of "tourism" is in Turkey and a hot de... (more)

Hollywood's A-List Celebs Choose Yacht Charters for Total Escape

YV&C International Yacht Vacations & Charters Magazine reports: Vacations are all about rest, relaxation, and, of course, indulgence. And when it comes to Hollywood's biggest stars, you can count on them to take it up a notch by spending time in exotic locales, on some of the world's most luxurious yachts. Christina O Since the '50s, Christina O has attracted a primarily European clientele, but has also hosted many Hollywood celebrities. Recent charters have been enjoyed by Madonna, Johnny Depp, Tommy Hilfiger, and Oliver Stone. The famed megayacht charters for $600,000 a week. As morning's light broke over the horizon, Russell Crowe stood at the bow of the ship, gazing out to sea. Another day of mystery and adventure lay ahead for Crowe and the crew... . If this sounds like a scene from Crowe's latest film, "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World," it's not.... (more)

From Athens to OOPA! Seven Days in Turkey & Greece

Graduate student Laura Albers decided last year to spend her summer this year traveling Europe and she made it her personal mission to convince her sister and two best friends to join her on the journey. Lucky for Laura, they didn’t take too much convincing. They met up on the other side of the globe for a holiday in Greece. This is their story…   Day 1: Arrival in Athens My friend Katie and I land in Athens in the early afternoon and wait for the arrival of our two co-voyagers – which takes nearly the entire day, but by the end of it we’re together, the four of us, and are finally ready to begin our adventure.  We make our way to the hotel, wash away the travel dust, and go for a nice dinner in the Plaka – a beautiful area of Athens with plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants. The food is delicious – souvlaki (think meat on a stick), tzatziki (an amazing white sauce... (more)