Having collected our hire car the previous evening, the four of us - me, Glen, Maria and Karen - set off reasonably early at about 8.30 in the morning from our apartment in Turunç. We dropped down into Içmeler and, just before the market, turned left at the wonderfully-named 'Mona Titti' restaurant onto the back road which leads on to the Bozburun peninsula. This road is a lovely drive and is well-known for crossing tortoises so you need to drive with care!
Taking this route, rather than the main road out of Marmaris to Datça means that you pass the amazing outdoor restaurant of Asparan. Of course, we didn't pass - but stopped in for one of their famous Turkish breakfasts. Still incredible value at 10TL per person, this is a 'must-visit' for us whenever we're in the area. It is a leisurely experience, not to be rushed, and sets you up for the rest of the day.
From Asparan, it's just a short drive to the main road and then an easy drive along to the turning left which takes you on to the Bozburun peninsula. We drove along past Hisarönu and passed the wonderful views of Orhaniye, the Marti Marina and 'Girl's Beach'. We didn't stop on this occasion but did pull in to take the mandatory pictures of the sand bar.
On we drove past Turgut and the turning to Bayir. Here the road drops down onto one of my all-time favourite views of the gulf - it always reminds me of a Norwegian fiord - in the sun of course. We were heading for the beautiful village of Selimiye. This is a gorgeous little place - very upmarket and beautifully cared for with lots of expensive yachts, classy shops and restaurants. We called in for a coffee at our favourite - Paprika - and the girls did some browsing and shopping. However, if you do visit - it's worth getting behind the facade of the shore front to the real village - much more Turkish and less manicured.
Leaving Selimiye we headed towards Bozburun and, after about 1Km, turned left on a little-known mountain road. I only found out about this the previous week when our friends Jobey and Lea had taken us out for the day. It's like time stood still - very basic agriculture, no houses and at the top of the mountain, an astonishing watering pool where cows, sheep, goats come to drink - and who knows what else! This road then intersects the Bayir-Sögüt road and here we turned right and headed towards the sea.
Sögüt is a gem of a village, right at the end of the road it almost feels like the end of the world. You approach the village in a big horseshoe-shaped valley. The road goes downhill through the typical Turkish village to an unspoilt little harbour. It is very quiet and so relaxing. We sat for seemingly ages at the very classy Yacht Club just taking in the views and listening to the splash of the waves and the clanking of yacht rigging. We'll definitely come back and spend a whole day here. Before we left, since the girls had been very good - I treated us all to ice-creams!
We then backtracked a little and headed to my favourite inland village of Bayir. The approach is breathtaking - down through pine trees into the bowl of a valley where the village sits. Some more shopping, a walk round the fertility tree for Kaz, drinks on the terrace looking out into the valley and then it was time to head for home. It's a quick run back into Turunç and we were home after a long but really enjoyable day at about 5pm.
There are loads of variations on our circular tour - we missed out Bozburun and Çiftlik for example, and never did manage to get a swim in - but it's an easy drive and one we'd all heartily recommend!