Beçin Castle: dominating the Milas’ plain

Anyone who took the Milas – Muğla road probably noticed the castle dominating the rock amidst the Milas plain. It is called Beçin Castle (or Peçin Castle) and, from the road, it looks like plenty of other castle ruins in Turkey, just a bunch of old stones with a Turkish flag above it. Beautiful nonetheless, but not the kind of sight that looks intriguing enough to make you want to drive up there right away. Wrong! Next time you’re heading that way, you may want to take the road up, and check out not only Beçin Castle but also its wider area. You’ll be amazed at the things you never knew were there!

Madrasa Entrance With Orhan Mosque On The Other Side And Second Mausoleum In The Background

Madrasa Entrance With Orhan Mosque On The Other Side And Second Mausoleum In The Background

Beçin Castle, the historical context

The oldest version of Beçin Castle dates back to the Byzantine era, but it was the Menteşe family (yes, the same ones we mentioned in our article about Köyceğiz) who renovated the castle when Beçin became the capital of their territory in the 14th century. The dominion of the Menteşes stretched from Aydın to Fethiye, and even to Finike at one point. Early 1260 Emir Menteşe conquered Karia, after which the expansion started with the capture of some Aegean Islands, Tralles, and Nysa; followed by Fethiye, Köyceğiz, and Marmaris before his death in 1291. His son even managed to include Rhodes in the expansion for ten years.

The Castle Seen From Afar

The Castle Seen From Afar

Over the next century, the emirate continued to grow until it was divided in two in 1358. It was then, under the rule of Ahmed Gazi, (after whom the beautifully restored Madrasa is named) that Beçin realized its biggest growth. That all came to an end when the Ottomans became back into power in Beçin in 1426, and decline set in. Still, until the 1950s some families kept living at the citadel before moving to a new settlement some 500 meters to the north. Nowadays, Beçin Castle and its surroundings are a fascinating place to visit, especially if you’re into off the radar sites. Join us for a walk around the premises.
Castle Wall With The Milas Plain Below

Castle Wall With The Milas Plain Below

Beçin, the Castle

The Castle overlooking the city of Milas today was home to various civilizations in the Catholic, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Menteşe and Ottoman periods. Due to its location, the Castle was seemingly impregnable, but nowadays you reach Beçin Castle by car, and you can virtually park at the door. You’ll notice that the walls of the inner caste are still relatively sound. Once you climb the stairs, the impressive views of the plain below are striking.

Beçin Castle With Milas In The Background

Beçin Castle With Milas In The Background

View From Inside Beçin Castle

View From Inside Beçin Castle

The Ahmed Gazi Madrasa, now a museum

The Ahmed Gazi Madrasa is a single-story madrasa built in 1375. It has a spectacular south façade and houses eight student cells with a cradle vault ceiling. The restored Madrasa is now a museum depicting the function of Madrasas and what life inside looked like. You will also find an impressive collection of tombstones from different periods. Opposite the entrance, is the Türbe or grave of Ahmed Gazi, the constructor of the Madrasa. For a long time, it was thought that student numbers at Madrasas lied somewhere between 15 and 40. Studies reveal that the numbers were in fact higher, which was also the case at Ahmed Gazi Madrasa where students continued to live in their own homes and only came to the Madrasa to study.

The Restored Madrasa Entrance Seen From Orhan Mosque

The Restored Madrasa Entrance Seen From Orhan Mosque

Madrasa Courtyard

Madrasa Courtyard

The Red Hostelry

While a large part of the roof has collapsed, the Red Hostelry is a fascinating ruin and the single example in Anatolia that combines a single nave with two stories. The ground floor features arched barrel vaults; the upper floor had domed ceilings. Studies reveal the hostelry also had a prayer room, and probably even an observation deck. This building was both used as an inner-city hostelry and as a trade hostelry.

Inside The Red Hostelry

Inside The Red Hostelry

The Graveyard

Beçin Castle’s graveyard is undeniably beautiful. The serenity is almost tangible up there with a striking combination of Mediterranean Cypress trees and beautiful gravestones. Make sure not to miss this place during your visit, especially since it is along the path that will lead you to the Yelli Social Complex. Only part of the graveyard is currently excavated, and studies indicate that the tombs date back to the 14th and 15th century.

Mediterranean Cypresses On The Cemetery At Beçin Castle

Mediterranean Cypresses On The Cemetery At Beçin Castle

Beautiful Tombstones At Beçin Castle Cemetery

Beautiful Tombstones At Beçin Castle Cemetery

The Yelli Social Complex

The Yelli Social Complex is located in the eastern section of Beçin and consists of a Madrasa, a Hamam, and a Mosque. The Yelli Mosque is currently undergoing restoration works, and it makes it an even more fascinating sight, especially if you take the time to have a look at the wooden scaffolding inside. The structure dates back to the 15th century. Despite its modest appearance, it has some features that stand out. Take a look at the brickwork of the dome, for example, to see a display of the craftsmanship. The Yelli Mosque is set between the Yelli Hamam and the Yelli Madrasa. This Madrasa from the 15th century hasn’t been restored, contrary to the Ahmed Gazi Madrasa near the Castle. Like many other structures in Beçin, the Madrasa was built using a combination of ashlar stones and rubble stones.

Restoration Works Are In Full Swing At The Yelli Mosque

Restoration Works Are In Full Swing At The Yelli Mosque

No, We Didn't Climb The Scaffolding

No, We Didn’t Climb The Scaffolding

Other buildings and structures near Beçin Castle

The terrain and settlements around Beçin Castle were stretched out. Apart from the buildings and structures featured above, you’ll see the remains of a domed fountain, previously the settlements’ primary water source. Have a look at the remains of the Orhan Mosque, the Taxmans’ House, and two anonymous mausolea opposite the Ahmed Gazi Madrasa. Further towards the cemetery is another hostelry and there are ruins of lots of stone houses, bathhouses, and other ruins. A visit to Beçin Castle is best described as a delightful walk amidst the olive groves and fields, wandering from one ruin to the next. If you like exploring offbeat destinations, but this place on your list.

Amirs Yard

Amirs Yard

Orhan Mosque Entrance With The Second And Third Mausoleum In The Background

Orhan Mosque Entrance With The Second And Third Mausoleum In The Background

Check out the tabs below for more practical information on how to reach Beçin, where to stay, and what else is worth visiting in the area.
Madrasa Seen From Orhan Mosque

Madrasa Seen From Orhan Mosque

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Beçin Castle is very close to the D400 main road and Milas center. Still, it’s a steep walk, so you may consider other transport than walking. There’s a regular dolmuş bus service to Beçin for which you can find the current timetables here. (They’re in Turkish, but Google translate will do its job) If you visit by car, there is ample parking space near the castle.

Note that there are no facilities on site, so it is imperative to bring plenty of water, especially when visiting in high season. There’s a water source with drinkable water, which gives you the option to refill your bottles on site.

If you’re curious what other travelers think of this place, read these reviews on TripAdvisor. Please note that we’ve visited Beçin Castle ourselves and all photos are our own. If you have any questions, send us a message through our contact page, or join our closed Facebook group where other Turkey travelers and aficionados are ready and eager to help.

Turkey is a perfectly safe country to travel, except for these risks. Still, you should never travel without proper insurance. We love World Nomads’ travel insurance. We love their philosophy and their take on responsible travel, but also the fact that they cover popular activities in Turkey such as paragliding or balloon rides.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Have a look at our interactive map of Turkey for more things to see and do in the area. Stratonikeia and Lagina are not too far away, as are Euromos, Labraunda, the colorful nomadic women of Çomakdağ, or even Lake Bafa. Beçin Castle’s location near Milas makes it a perfect day trip excursion from the tourist resort of Bodrum.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

There are several hotel options in Milas to consider, but we personally prefer the quiet scene at Lake Bafa. Have a look at Hotel Silva Oliva if you want something that is easy to reach, with wonderful lake views.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. The nearest airport is Bodrum Milas.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Beçin Castle is very close to the D400 main road and Milas center. Still, it’s a steep walk, so you may consider other transport than walking. There’s a regular dolmuş bus service to Beçin for which you can find the current timetables here. (They’re in Turkish, but Google translate will do its job) If you visit by car, there is ample parking space near the castle.

Note that there are no facilities on site, so it is imperative to bring plenty of water, especially when visiting in high season. There’s a water source with drinkable water, which gives you the option to refill your bottles on site.

If you’re curious what other travelers think of this place, read these reviews on TripAdvisor. Please note that we’ve visited Beçin Castle ourselves and all photos are our own. If you have any questions, send us a message through our contact page, or join our closed Facebook group where other Turkey travelers and aficionados are ready and eager to help.

Turkey is a perfectly safe country to travel, except for these risks. Still, you should never travel without proper insurance. We love World Nomads’ travel insurance. We love their philosophy and their take on responsible travel, but also the fact that they cover popular activities in Turkey such as paragliding or balloon rides.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Have a look at our interactive map of Turkey for more things to see and do in the area. Stratonikeia and Lagina are not too far away, as are Euromos, Labraunda, the colorful nomadic women of Çomakdağ, or even Lake Bafa. Beçin Castle’s location near Milas makes it a perfect day trip excursion from the tourist resort of Bodrum.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

There are several hotel options in Milas to consider, but we personally prefer the quiet scene at Lake Bafa. Have a look at Hotel Silva Oliva if you want something that is easy to reach, with wonderful lake views.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. The nearest airport is Bodrum Milas.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

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Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

Work with us

Get direct access to your target audience with a proven interest in Turkey. People call us their Turkey Bible!

Contact us for a feature on our map, a destination guide, a photo shoot, or any form of professional Turkey-related content.

Ask a traveler

Are you unsure about a destination, activity or hotel? Why don’t you ask other travelers about their experience?

We have a closed Facebook group where you can ask all Turkey-related questions. You’ll get solid advice and travel inspiration.

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