Monday afternoon I jumped on the Gümüşlük (goo-moosh-look) dolmuş filled with an eclectic group of tourists and locals to go exploring. Gümüşlük is 25 miles from Bodrum at the westernmost tip of the Peninsula. Coastal scenery is spectacular! The word dolmen means “filled” and the Turkish bus was certainly that! All seats were taken with people standing in the aisle.
Known as a “peaceful fisherman’s cove and seaside village,“ Gümüşlük is one of the oldest settlements on the Bodrum peninsula. It’s the former site of the ancient Carian city Myndos that slid into the sea during an earthquake.
The only thing that hampered my exploration of the area was a lack of proper shoes. Jumping on the dolmus was a spur-of-the-moment idea and I was wearing sandals – not ideal for walking sandy, rocky beaches or climbing hills. I managed to get around and walked several miles but not without repeated complaints from my poor feet.
Gümüşlük is a Turkish conservation area. Unlike the nearby villages of Türkbükü and Turgutreis which are giving way to tourist developments, Gümüşlük has a remote, quiet atmosphere. In the evening you can choose your favorite spot along the sea front to admire spectacular sunsets and watch the fishing boats return to harbor. There’s a sandy beach at the far end of the village and a natural hot water rock pool.
The ancient remains of Myndos’ post-earthquake harbor lay scattered at the base of the headlands to the northwest of the village. The remains attract snorkelers and divers.
Beginning in 2006, archaeological excavations uncovered walls and mosaics. A famous site is where Brutus and Cassius escaped in 44 B.C. after murdering Julius Caesar.
Rabbit Island guards the entrance to Gümüşlük cove. “It’s connected to the mainland by way of a sunken ancient city wall. From the beach near Gümüşlük town center visitors can wade over the top of the wall to Rabbit Island and enjoy panoramic views of Gümüşlük cove and beach.”
Visitors sit by a campfire while enjoying live music, playing backgammon, or just relaxing in the easy-going atmosphere. During summer Gümüşlük hosts the Gümüşlük International Classical Music Festival.