Imagine the beauty of an early evening in the charming Turkish village of Orhaniye. The sun paints the sky in vivid golds and pinks as cicadas serenade in the olive and citrus trees. The mosque’s call to prayer echoes as you swim in the pool, creating a moment that can only be found in Turkey.
A Tranquil Haven in Bozburun Peninsula
Orhaniye is just one of several tranquil fishing villages scattered along the Bozburun Peninsula. Nestled south of the bustling resorts of Marmaris and Icmeler, this hidden gem remains largely untouched by mainstream tourism. Most visitors opt for small, independently owned hotels or peaceful villas, preserving the authentic and unspoiled atmosphere that some larger resorts have lost.
Villa Beyaz Gul: A Rustic Retreat
Our week-long retreat is the rustic and charming Villa Beyaz Gul, nestled a kilometer inland from Orhaniye’s curved shoreline. Initial concerns about isolation quickly fade as the warm welcome from Nur, the Turkish owner, reassures us. The villa, surrounded by pristine gardens and rolling countryside, provides a serene escape.
Walking on Water: The Kizkumu Experience
Orhaniye’s claim to fame is Kizkumu, a 600-meter sand spit that stretches across the bay. Visitors flock to witness the mesmerizing sight of people seemingly walking on water. Along the shore, a waterfront path connects small hotels and pensions, offering a unique dining experience where you can dine with your feet in the sea. Traditional meze bars, where you select cold starters, still thrive, allowing you to indulge in roasted aubergine, garlic-rich yogurt, and nutty, spicy dips.
Selimiye: A Quaint Seaside Village
A 15-minute coastal drive takes you to Selimiye, the most developed village on the Bozburun Peninsula. Here, you’ll find a long waterfront adorned with restaurants and bars framed by bougainvillea. Leafy streets feature boutique hotels and small shops, providing a picturesque setting for a relaxed escape.
Exploring Bozburun Peninsula
Exploring the peninsula reveals the true charm of Bozburun. Adventurous drives on small roads cut through mountains, leading to hidden gems like Bayir and Ciftlik. Bayir, an isolated mountain village, surprises with its vibrant cafés on the village square. Meanwhile, Ciftlik boasts the region’s finest beach on the other side of the peninsula.
Hiking Adventures on the Carian Trail
For those seeking adventure, the Carian Trail, Turkey’s longest walking route, offers forested trails through pristine countryside. Starting from the neighboring village of Turgut, we discover crystal-clear pools and savor crispy borek.
Kizkumu Beach: A Perfect Farewell
As the weather cools, we choose to explore on foot. The Carian Trail stretches into the peninsula, guiding us to clear pools where we dip our feet and enjoy crispy borek. Finally, we reserve Kizkumu Beach for our last evening, a magical experience standing in the sea as the sun sets over the flaming orange sky.
Bozburun Peninsula is a treasure trove of hidden gems, from Sögüt with its untouched beauty, to Bozburun’s shipbuilding heritage, and Amos, a charming beach with an ancient amphitheater. These unspoiled destinations make the Bozburun Peninsula a must-visit for travelers seeking a tranquil and authentic Turkish experience.