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A journey along the Datça Peninsula

Posted by Katy Peck on 13 August 2019
Related property: Physkos
A journey along the Datça Peninsula

The Datça Peninsula is one of the most beautiful spots in Turkey. With the Mediterranean on one side and the Aegean on the other, it feels like its own little world. The peninsula is a beautiful and easy drive from Marmaris, making it entirely possible to enjoy a day trip from our Physkos property (90 minutes drive via the D400). Although with everything from historical sites to breathtaking bays to explore, you may wish you could stay much longer!

Part of the beauty of this forgotten part of Turkey is its authenticity. In much of the area, the locals are quite opposed to any kind of tourism which isn’t in keeping with the local traditions and environment, and therefore only support the opening of small inns and boutique hotels. This has meant the area retains a good portion of its old-world charm, with a collection of traditional settlements set amongst beautiful and unspoiled natural surroundings.

The Port town of Datça

The main town of Datça is the perfect place to start a journey in the Peninsula.  You can spend a happy few hours exploring the city centre, including the Kumlik Yolu (Sandy Path), where both visitors and locals enjoy dipping in and out of the sea and basking in the sun. The Sanatçilar Sokagi (Artists Street) is just a short stroll from here and a great place for shopping, thanks to the many local artists who come to sell their wares every evening. Carry on through all the stalls and you’ll eventually find yourself in the bustling port, which is surrounded by many lovely restaurants and bars - ideal for sharing a meal, people-watching and enjoying a spectacular sunset view! Last but not least, the city’s rapidly growing Ambarci Caddesi (Storekeeper Avenue) neighbourhood is home to some fantastic bakeries, restaurants and taverns.

Old Datça

For a slightly different look at the town, make sure to take a trip up the hill to the nearby historic region, which has become quite famous in recent years for its quaint buildings, winding streets and traditional appeal. Visitors can explore the beautiful neighbourhood, full of old stone houses bedecked with overflowing flowerpots, bright bougainvillea and classic details. Some of these charming buildings have been transformed into little cafes, shops and hotels. Old Datça was also the home of the renowned poet Can Yücel, and his house is opened to visitors every year on the anniversary of his death (12th August). As he famously said in his poem, Testament:

“Bury me, my dear, in Datça. Near that view by the sea.”

Days on the beach

With dozens of coves, bays and beaches to explore, the Datça is an ideal spot for those who like to relax by the water. Some are sand, others are shingle, but all benefit from beautiful, crystal-clear turquoise waters. There are dozens to choose from; from Palamutbükü, with its sea-view fish restaurants and 2km beach, to the tiny seaside villages of Hayitbük, Kizilbük and Ovabükü. All have clean, mild water which stays shallow for quite a distance, making them a great choice to visit with younger children.

Knidos

If you’d rather take in some history during your visit, look no further than the spectacular ruined harbour of Knidos. The shipping stronghold was used from the 4th Century BC, and a popular gathering point for astronomers, medics and architects. It once hosted Sostratos, the designer of the Beacon of Alexandria (one of the Seven Wonders of the World), as well as Eudoxus the Mathematician. However, the harbour was best known for its famous sculpture of Aphrodite. Sculpted by Praxiteles, one of the most celebrated artists of the time, people traveled miles to visit this amazing piece of art. Sadly, the statue disappeared over 1,000 years ago, while the rest of the city’s treasures were destroyed by earthquakes, looting and conquests.

Today, the site is a peaceful hideaway and has been hailed as one of the most beloved architectural sites on the Turkish coast. With its many great amphitheatres, ruined temples and the agora, along with a huge area of the ancient necropolis, some of which still has to be fully excavated, there's plenty to explore. Knidos is not as well-preserved as some of Turkey’s other ruins, but the spectacular views over the ocean and two harbours still make it a wonderful day out.

Of course, part of the joy of visiting the Datça Peninsula is the beautiful scenery, brimming with olive trees, turquoise waters and small, untouched villages. As well as all of the above, you can quite easily discover hidden gems all across this magical part of Turkey. 

Our Physkos property is perfectly located for exploring the local area, while also providing our guests with a comfortable, beautiful place to call home throughout their break. Click here to find out more about how you can stay here, as well as our 30+ other properties across the UK and Europe.

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Katy Peck

Katy Peck

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