Göcek is a small town in Fethiye district in Muğla Province, Turkey. It was named “Kalimche” in ancient times, and is located between Fethiye – Telmessos in ancient times – and Dalyan – Caunos in ancient times. According to the legends, it is in the Göcek area that Icarus landed in the sea after his famous flight trying to escape from the tower where he was imprisoned.
Göcek was used as a harbour for ships loading chrome ore collected from the mines under nearby mountains during the Ottoman period. Today, Göcek hosts six significant marinas that serve the yacht tourism in the region: Club Marina, Skopea Marina, Municipality Marinas, Marinturk Göcek Village Port, Marinturk Göcek Exclusive and Port Göcek Marina.
A prominent characteristic of the town is the fact that it harbors islands and coves located in a large and secluded bay. Owing to its location, it naturally enjoys a high potential for yacht tourism. In 1988, Göcek was declared a Registered Area of Special Protection. Therefore, multi-story buildings are not allowed, the tourist accommodation facilities are two-storied hotels, motels, apartment hotels, and pensions situated in the town center and its periphery. Göcek has all the necessary infrastructure, capacity, and amenities expected in a tourism center, yet it is renowned as a much more peaceful and quiet settlement than some other tourism areas. Göcek is situated on Dalaman–Fethiye highway. Until 2006, it was necessary to drive along a relatively narrow and winding road to reach Göcek from Dalaman.
However, the 980-meter Göcek vehicle tunnel, completed in June 2006, has significantly increased the accessibility of the town. The vehicle tunnel is a toll roadway and the first example of build-operate-transfer model. The permanent population in Göcek is around 4,500. This number exceeds 7,000 during the summer months. Since Göcek is a departure and arrival point for Blue Cruises, there is heavy yacht traffic in the town harbor. With its secluded bay, the harbor is quiet and safe, especially for long-distance travelers arriving from international waters.
Göcek coves and the 12 islands, which are described as a hidden paradise, with cleanMediterranean water, green pine forests, and beaches, have rendered Göcek an indispensable destination for seafarers. High-quality boarding facilities, daily boat tours, entertainment facilities on the seaside, and numerous nearby beaches and coves provide various alternatives for local and international tourists traveling by road to spend their vacations. There are many restaurants, cafés, and bars on the promenade. Göcek became known to groups of artists and poets and to some fisherman from Bodrum as a result of their cruising along the Turkish Turquoise Coast, a journey later called the “Blue Voyage”.
The gulf of Göcek and Fethiye provides many opportunities to visit cultural sites as Caunos, Telmessos, Fethiye Museum, Tlos, Pınara, Letoon, Xanthos and Patara.
Of the beaches, one belongs to the Swiss Hotel and can be used paying a daily price or taking out a seasonal membership. Inlice Beach is out of Göcek and can be reached with a 10-minute drive; it is run by the municipality of Göcek. The main island beach is reachable by water taxi from the harbor. Other beaches are easily accessible by car or taxi. Amongst these is Sarigerme, a long sandy beach. Beyond Sarigerme is the protected beach of Iztuzu in the Dalyan Delta. In the opposite direction, the famous beach at Ölüdeniz is only 40 minutes drive away.
The Twelve Islands can be reached by private charter boats, simple fishing boats, and larger yachts. There are about 20 sailing and motor yacht charter and brokerage sailing companies, which makes Göcek a high-class sailing place. Accordingly, there are several technical yacht services, chandlers and maintenance services.