The very pretty Marfe Hotel is a boutique hotel in Datça, just a five minute drive inland from the centre and harbour.
A holiday on the Datça Peninsula will give you a perfect opportunity to explore this fantastic and unspoilt area. Known in Turkish as ”half island”, the Datça Peninsula is surrounded on three sides by sea and is reminiscent of a small Greek island some 20 years ago.
Datça is a town where life centres around the harbour. Carpet shops, boutiques, restaurants, bars and even a modern day amphitheatre line the harbour side and each evening an assortment of gulets, sailing boats and gin palaces arrive to drop anchor in this attractive setting.
In Datça you don’t need a car but we think it can only add to your hotel or villa holiday allowing the freedom to explore. A drive along the narrow peninsula with pine forests and roads zig-zagging down to sea level will bring you to Knidos, on the very tip of the peninsula, a site dating back to 400BC and most famed for its statue of Aphrodite, the first naked female statue in history.
If you prefer less strenuous activity then there are numerous bays – they say 52 in total, one for every week of the year – some sandy, some pebbly but all with crystal clear water and many ideal for snorkelling. Karaincir is our favourite bay – just 12km. from Datça town it has a splendid golden sandy beach and calm, shallow waters. If you have a hire car then you will be able to meander along the coast if you are reliant on the dolmus simply choose your destination for the day and jump on the appropriate dolmus. Go to Hayitbuku – the favourite for the yachties – with its small sandy beach and have lunch at Ogun’s Restaurant; the next door bay is Ovabuku; here it is shingle beach with crystal clear water and old fashioned motels serving lunch. Further along the peninsula you will come to Palamutbuku; this is a popular summer destination and there are plenty of motels and small café bars lining the beach front where you will find sun beds and sun umbrellas; the food is usually excellent.
Driving through the small villages scattered around the peninsula you will be surprised to find how traditional life continues. Be sure to buy Datca’s famed products; honey, almonds, figs and olive oil. If you prefer to explore by boat there are boat trips available from the harbour calling at many of the bays unreachable by road, you can even take a day trip to the Greek island of Symi. The nearest major town is Marmaris, a one hour drive through the mountains, the scenery is spectacular and at points you can see the sea on both sides of the peninsula. Many of the locals think of Bodrum as their nearest major town and there is a daily ferry boat taking two hours.
On Saturday the villagers assemble in Datça for market day affording the opportunity to buy some of the best local produce. Datça is famed for its almonds, honey and thyme and something you cannot buy in the market – the air! In ancient times it was known as ”magic air”, due to the north wind that blows in the summer there is very little humidity and this is considered to be of great benefit for some medical complaints! Nearby ”Eski Datça”, or Old Datça. is the original inland settlement. Crooked little stone houses line the narrow streets. Resadiye, just outside Datça, has a colourful history, in Ottoman times Resat Pasa built his home here and brought his servants from all over the empire, from as far away as North Africa, and today it is said that the people of this area are of a very different culture.
Until recently the road to Datça was very bad but it has now been improved making the journey much more comfortable. We consider this area one of our best finds and would highly recommend a holiday here in one of the best villas in Datça.
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Ilios Travel are members of the Association of Independent Tour Operators, UK Civil Aviation Authority and the ABTA Travel Association Ilios Travel is a trading name of Visions Holiday Group which comprises of Visions of Africa, Islands of Greece and Ilios Travel. www.visionsholidaygroup.co.uk