Yes, quaint is one of the first words that come to mind when thinking about Datça in Turkey. Besides quaint, the Datça peninsula is also relatively untouched, of a stunning natural beauty, with plenty of coves and pristine beaches, home to Eski Datça (Old Datça) and Knidos, the ancient site at the tip of the Datça peninsula where the Mediterranean sea meets the Aegean. Visit Datça, and you’ll be left in awe.
Datça’s scenic routes: from one surprise to the next
Driving around the Datça peninsula is an experience on its own. Almost all drives are scenic, whether you take the coastal route or one of the small and narrow mountain roads like the one to Knidos. Getting around is a joy on its own. You’ll be tempted (like we were) to stop and take a dive in at one of the many bays or to take a walk along the seaside with the wind in your hair. If you are an ‘it’s all about the journey’ kind of person, Datça is bound to leave you speechless.
A lazy afternoon in Eski Datça
You know how it is… Some places are like an instant love affair. Chances are you will get lovestruck the second you set foot in Eski Datça. Yes, some booths and stalls are selling handcrafted souvenirs, but the cobbled streets and lush and shady terraces are inviting you to while away the day. Strolling along the narrow streets, admiring the quaint and restored stone houses, past the old mosque while stopping for a refreshment from time to time suffice generously to be in your happy place.
Every alley looks inviting, every corner is quaint, covered in Bougainville or has an empty bench to give your feet a rest. What’s not to like? Even the signs are colorful and charming, but we feel Eski Datça is best discovered by just going wherever the wind takes you. It is a small village anyway, so why not let fate do its magic?
Knidos: the crossing of the Mediterranean & the Aegean
Knidos is the sort of ancient site that will touch your soul, even if you dislike archeology, old stones or anything that has something to do with history in general. The reason is simple, perched on a hill, you’ll enjoy the astonishing views Knidos has to offer. This is an unusual place. Knidos became so important partly (or maybe even mainly) because of its unique setting. It has two harbors that are considered to be the crossing of the Mediterranean and the Aegean Seas. They might have needed those two harbors as the wind gusts at Knidos can be impressive, even in the height of summer.
Not a stairway to heaven, but grand nonetheless. Walking up or down those stairs almost makes one feel important. They also are a good indicator of the size of the city. Imagine the crowds using those marble stairs to go to the theater or the agora in ancient times. Visiting Knidos at sunset adds some extra drama to the experience. The glow of the sun on the columns with the sea as a backdrop is rather intense.
When exploring the Datça peninsula, a car comes in handy. If you prefer not to drive in Turkey, there are plenty of local buses (dolmuş) to take you to almost any place on the peninsula. Both Knidos and Eski Datça are easily accessible by dolmuş.
There is a small entrance fee to be paid when visiting Knidos. You’ll be happy to learn that just outside the Museum Area, there’s a decent cafe – restaurant. The site is open daily from 8:30 am.
Keen on knowing what previous visitors have to say? Read their reviews of Knidos on TripAdvisor.
Are you looking for a place to stay in Datça?
Datça peninsula is accessible by car ferry from Bodrum or Symi and only a short drive away from the popular resort of Marmaris in Turkey. There is more than one reason to visit Datça and what better way to convince you than with the many reviews from other travelers.
The nearest airport is Bodrum Milas which has easy connections with Istanbul airports if required. That shortest route does include a ferry. If you want to avoid taking the ferry, then Dalaman Airport is a better choice. You’ll find cheap flight options here. Or you can use the search widget on the side to quickly find the most affordable and best flights available.
All pictures © @Aegean.Images
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