Datça (population ~8,000) is a town situated half way down
the peninsula which has the same name as both the district and
the town. The Datça Peninsula is a long and narrow
strip of land with small bays and coves facing both south and
north all along its 100 km (or 62 mile) length.
Its location is unique as to the north of the peninsula is the
Aegean Sea and to the south sits the Mediterranean Sea.
From the peninsula you have a panoramic view of the Greek islands
of Kos, Simi and Rhodes. There are a number of examples
of traditional windmills along the peninsula and in the town
itself. The old town (Eski Datça) about 1km outside the modern centre
is well worth a visit for its traditional architecture, narrow lanes and craft shops.
At the extreme end of the western tip of the district and
the peninsula is a village called Tekir which is the location
of the ancient city of Knidos. There is still debate on
whether or not this location was the original site of the ancient
city as a number of sources claim that until the mid-4th century
BC. Knidos was halfway along the peninsula closer to the present-day
district centre. On the western end of the peninsula lie
the remains of the Doric harbor town of Knidos. In antiquity
ships had to wait there for a favorable winds so the small harbor
was often packed with ships. One of these ships was the
one that brought Paul from Palestine to Rome. Parts of
a market square, a necropolis, one town wall and two theatres
have been preserved as well as the foundation of a round temple
which housed the statue of Aphrodite of Knidos attracting visitors
from the entire Roman Empire. You can take the boat that
leaves in the morning from Datça and returns there at the end
of the afternoon. The peninsula's eastern end is marked
by the fjord-like indentation of Bencik Cove, 1.5 km in length,
at the end of which the narrow isthmus where it joins the mainland
is found. This point is a natural curiosity which offers
a wide view of the Gulf of Gökova in the north and the Gulf
of Hisarönü in the south and is called Balıkaşıran - which literally
means 'the place where fish may leap across'.
Datça town is located approximately 65 km from Marmaris -
about two hours' drive from Turunç. In recent years, the modern town
has undergone something of a transformation and is very pleasant to explore.
At night many of the restaurants set out tables on the beach
so you can dine and relax right by the sea. Despite this, Datça remains relatively unaffected
by high levels of foreign tourism largely because there
is no airport easily accessible. Kumluk is a small, gently
sloping sandy beach, in the centre of Datça: it's suitable
for children, and has a wide choice of cafes and restaurants.
Taslik beach is also centrally located just 200 metres further
on from Kumluk beach. It’s a pebble beach (taslik means
‘pebbles’). The unique feature of this beach is its natural
hot water spring, which is fed by water which comes out from
the bottom of the mountains. The spring is in a beautiful Mediterranean
setting, and it’s about 100 metres in diameter and 1.5–2 metres
deep. The water itself is around 40DegC and contains dissolved
minerals which are claimed to cure many ailments.
If you are visiting Datça independently, by car - there
are a couple of places on the outskirts of the town that
are worth a short visit:
Olive Farm of Datça is well-known and has an extensive
(and somewhat expensive) selection of products made
from olives. It has a pleasant setting and small
cafe. It's located about 5Km east (the Marmaris side)
of the town on the right-hand side of the road.
Newer, less well-known, but far more interesting
in our view is the charming
Datça Vineyard and Winery about 1Km further out
of the town on the opposite side of the road: an easy
pit-stop on your way back home! Beautiful hill-top
location, a small exhibition room and the opportunity
to taste and buy some of the local wines.