Too bad you don’t learn about an area’s “cool” places until your first visit is almost over. While hiking today, I stumbled on Eski Datça – about a 30-minute drive from Datça proper. Eski is the Turkish word for “old”. It’s the original village of Datça, overlooking the Gulf of Hisaronu Harbor from the hills. The secluded location was perfect for protection from ransacking pirates who pillaged coastal villages. Eski Datça is known for interesting old stone houses set along cobbled streets.
If you don’t want to walk from Datça to Eski Datça, you can catch a small bus on the main drag. It goes to Eski Datça once an hour in the winter and every 30 minutes during summer.
Pensions and Yoga Retreats
In the summer, there’s a yoga retreat at Yaghane Pansiyon where classes take place on a roof terrace with panoramic views of the harbor or a platform in a fragrant garden.
Ede Café & Restaurant
During my hike it started raining really hard – the ground around me literally turned into a small river. I circled back to the village to find shelter – everything seemed closed for the winter, and then I discovered a small café that was open. The Turkish owners of Ede Café & Restaurant brought me some fantastic French press coffee, and we talked as much as was possible – considering my limited Turkish and that they spoke little English.
The owners are both artists – some of their ceramic masks were displayed in the café. In addition to their small restaurant, they rent vacation apartments and gave me a brochure in Turkish which lists their website. I became friends with their friendly dog Pasha, and while the rain continued its steady downpour, I waited on the veranda and enjoyed a bowl of delicious hot soup, fresh bread, and some Turkish pickles that were out of this world!
Hiking Eski Datça to Knidos and the Carian Trail
There’s a hiking trail (not well-known or publicized) from Eski Datça to Knidos that passes several villages along the peninsula. The trail is about 60 miles long, so it’s a several day hike. It sounds like fun, but probably isn’t a good idea to do on your own. Turkey has abundant hiking trails along the coast, in forests, and near ancient archaeological ruins.
The map outline of the Eski Datça to Knidos trail follows bays and coves along the coast. The Peninsula separates the Gulf of Gökova on the Aegean Sea to the north from the Gulf of Hisarönü in the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Nine villages are scattered along the peninsula.
- Bozburun Peninsula
- Datca Peninsula
- Gulf of Gokova
- Carian Hinterland
- Mugla Environs – Alternative Section
Because of its beautiful coves and bays, the peninsula’s ports are a favorite location for tourists visiting by sea. At the extreme end of the western tip of the peninsula, called Tekir (Tekirdag), is the ancient city of Knidos which I’ll visit later this week.