A little way to the south of the Bodrum Peninsula, the Datca Peninsula reaches out into the waters of the Aegean and marks the divide between the Mediterranean and the Aegean Seas.
The Datca Peninsula is a largely unspoilt 50 mile (80km) long peninsula full of beautiful scenery and small towns, and it’s a joy to explore both by land and by sea. The rocky coastline gives way to dramatic hills, and there are many secluded coves to anchor in if you’re exploring on a Blue Cruise.
Unlike the Bodrum Peninsula, Datca has very few tourist resorts so there’s less accommodation to choose from here if you’re hoping to stay in a luxury hotel for a few nights. You can browse the hotels of Datca Peninsula here
Don’t let this put you off visiting this beautiful part of the world though; Datca town does have a few hotels to choose from, while in the smaller towns and villages there are traditional pansiyons, inns and small hotels.
Getting to the Datca Peninsula
The bumpy road leading from Marmaris to the Datca Peninsula is part of the reason why it hasn’t been developed on a large scale, but it’s also because the locals do not want to spoil the natural beauty of the area. Many of the tourists visiting Datca do come here on a gulet or luxury yacht that’s been hired from Bodrum, Didim, or Kusadasi, and because you can anchor just off the coast the environmental impact to the land itself is minimal.
There are actually countless small coves and bays dotted around the coastline of the Datca Peninsula while on land there are several destinations to explore in a little more detail. At the western tip of the peninsula is the ancient settlement of Knidos (or Cnidus), which was developed here around the 4th century BC.
You can moor your Turkish yacht or gulet, or reach Knidos by road. Though by no means nearly as spectacular as Ephesus, Knidos is a fairly large site that has not been reconstructed – still, you can see outlines of buildings and structures such as the theatre.
Datca Town is about half way along the southern coast of the peninsula and well worth a stop too. You can enjoy fabulous fish meals from the restaurants alongside the port, and being a harbour town it’s easy to moor up here and spend some time exploring. The restaurants may be simple, but the food is excellent.
Nearby is the old town – Eski Datca – which has an old-world traditional Turkish charm, and there are three small beaches here if you have time to stop and relax for a while. During your cruise along the coastline, keep your eyes peeled for some of the famous windmills of Datca too. These traditional stone built windmills have long been a feature of the landscape, taking advantage of the strong winds that the peninsula experiences.
Whether you’re coming to the Datca Peninsula in a hired yacht, a gulet, or by road, this is part of south west Turkey you should not miss.
In fact, it’s so highly rated that the Datca Peninsula is one of just ten destinations in Turkey listed in the travel book ‘1,000 Places to See Before You Die’!