Travel

A corner of Aegean paradise: History, nature, Datça’s wonders galore

Written by The Frontier Post

Özge Şengelen

ISTANBUL: With the bright summer sun shining, it is the right time to discover Datça for those who seek pleasure in calmness, naturalness and simplicity, on a corner of paradise where the Aegean and the Mediterranean embrace each other

Datça has become quite popular of late and a magnificent stop on summer routes. It is relatively less crowded than other easily accessible holiday resorts in Türkiye, particularly on the southwestern coast. Perhaps one of the most important reasons for this is that there is no airport here. The closest airports are Milas and Dalaman, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours away. It is logical to come to Datça in your own vehicle or rent a car from the airport. Because you will want to come to Datça and enjoy the sea to the fullest in each of the magnificent bays and inlets.

It is possible to reach these coves and inlets from Datça’s city center via public transport.

Another way to reach Datça is by ferry from Bodrum with a 90-minute sea journey. Don’t forget to buy tickets in advance for the ferry as it only plies three times a day.

In Old Datça, you want to be photographed in front of every house and every door or even window with their bright colors. (Photo by Özge Şengelen)
In Old Datça, you want to be photographed in front of every house and every door or even window with their bright colors. (Photo by Özge Şengelen)

There are many accommodation options in Datça. There are many places to stay both in the center and the bays. If you want to stay in the center and visit the bays and inlets, it will be an advantage to go in your car or rent a car. If you go without a car, you can see all the bays and enjoy the sea with daily boat tours.

In addition, there are many areas where you can camp in the region as the camping culture is well-developed. Akçabük Camping, Ilıca Camping and Ederlezi Camping areas are some of them. Ederlezi Camping is a glamping site – glorious camping – where you can stay in luxury tents set up by the business without bringing your own tent.

Do not miss the Old Datça, which we can call the “Old Town” here, as in many cities in Europe. The Old Datça, which is most lively in the evenings and is about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away from the center, offers wonderful shots, especially for photography enthusiasts.

Every street is like a postcard in Old Datça, where you can have an out-of-body experience on its narrow stone-paved streets. While the bougainvillea hanging all over the stone houses with wooden doors add color to your day, you would want to be photographed in front of every house and every door.

Every street is like a postcard in Old Datça. (Photo by Özge Şengelen)
Every street is like a postcard in Old Datça. (Photo by Özge Şengelen)

Taking a stroll through the narrow streets of Old Datça in the evening will rest your soul.

While you’re in Old Datça, don’t forget to see the house of the famous poet Can Yücel, who once lived there, eat goat milk ice cream, drink Datça soda and Turkish coffee with almonds. Almond products are quite popular here.

They say; “Do not return from Datça without tasting the three B’s of Datça; Fish (balık), almonds (badem) and honey (bal)” – as in Turkish they all start with the letter B.

You will witness different flavors made from almonds in Datça. Endemic almond species, almond coffee, almond cookies and almond meatballs are just some of these products. There are places where you can buy local products made with almonds from the center of Datça.

In addition to these flavors that appeal to the palate, Datça also has beautiful sunset views that appeal to your soul and eyes.

While you're in Old Datça, don't forget to drink traditional Datça soda. (Photo by Özge Şengelen)
While you’re in Old Datça, don’t forget to drink traditional Datça soda. (Photo by Özge Şengelen)

The ancient city of Knidos is a great alternative to finish the day and soak up the sun.

This ancient city, whose history dates back to 2,000 B.C., was established on Cape Tekir, where the Aegean and the Mediterranean meet.

Knidos was an important religious, cultural and artistic center of the period with its great location at the coastline. The region, also used as an important medical center, has hosted many historical, scientific developments. It is said that Sostratos, the architect of the Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt, which is famous as one of the seven wonders of the world, also lived here.

Let’s not forget to mention that Knidos is on the list of the top 10 best places to watch the sunset in Turkey.

In Old Datça, you can visit the house of the famous poet Can Yücel, who once lived there. (Photo by Özge Şengelen)
In Old Datça, you can visit the house of the famous poet Can Yücel, who once lived there. (Photo by Özge Şengelen)

You can come to the ancient city, which is closed on Mondays, later in the day close to sunset, wander around and dive into the depths of history, and then go to the lighthouse to watch the glorious sunset.

The lighthouse also called Deveboynu Lighthouse and built-in 1931, is like a border between the Aegean and the Mediterranean. To reach the lighthouse, you have to cross the narrow piece of land connecting the two ports and follow the path. However, I must say that for this difficult path, it would be very good to come here with shoes rather than sandals or the like. In addition, you will have to walk for about 45 minutes without light to get back after the sun has set. Make sure you carry a flashlight or your phone has enough charge.

At the same time, you can go to the Greek island of Symi, which is right across Datça and explore this place.

The ancient city of Knidos is a great alternative to finish the day and soak up the sun in Datça. (Photo by Özge Şengelen)
The ancient city of Knidos is a great alternative to finish the day and soak up the sun in Datça. (Photo by Özge Şengelen)

One of the most beautiful aspects of Datça is that its bays and inlets are not covered with beach clubs. You can stick your umbrella in the sand and open your own chair and throw yourself into the clear waters of the Aegean wherever you want. Moreover, there are so many options that you do not have to swim in the same place twice. One does tend to be a little afraid that this unique beauty, which is becoming more popular and crowded with each passing summer, may face deterioration in the future.

Datça, with its ancient city, bays, sea and nature, is a summer dream that can be told at length with the most ornate words. At the same time, it’s hard to describe this place accurately. In order to be fascinated by Datça, it is necessary to experience it in person rather than reading about it. As I said, people sometimes want to keep Datça to themselves and not tell anyone, for fear of spoiling this unique beauty.

If you promise to keep this secret between us, I can tell you this.

Datça is like an unforgettable dream. You can enjoy its uniquely beautiful bays during the day and have dinners under the brightly lit lanterns in the evening, with your feet in the sand, embracing the sea.

Courtesy: Dailysabah

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