Hemmed in by a dramatic wall of sea cliffs and peppered with sandy coves and rocky islands, the Gulf of Gökova (sometimes called the Ceramic Gulf) is one of Turkey’s most picturesque coastal landscapes. Formed by the Aegean Sea flowing between the Bodrum Peninsula to the north and the Datça Peninsula in the south, the sizable gulf lies at the tip of Turkey’s famous Turquoise Coast and makes a popular inclusion on Mediterranean cruise itineraries.
The biggest city along the gulf is Bodrum, built on the ancient city of Halicarnassus, and other highlights include the tranquil resort town of Akyaka; Cleopatra Island, famous for its seashell beach; and the Greek island of Kos, which lies at the mouth of the gulf. Exploring Gökova is traditionally done by boat, but it’s also possible to hike along the coastal Carian Trail, which runs from Cape Crio to Bodrum via Akyaka and the Kiran Mountains. Kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling and paragliding are among the most popular activities in the gulf.