The Bozburun Peninsula
If your idea of a holiday is to spend time relaxing in quiet, unspoilt destinations then there can be few locations as idyllic as the Bozburun Peninsula, also known as the Loryma Peninsula.
The Greek Island of Symi sits nestled between the Bozburun and Datça Peninsulas and the way of life in this area is very much Greek Island style, slow and unhurried. Whether you choose to stay in Selimiye or Bozburun the delights of the neighbouring villages are within close proximity.
Just over 30 minutes travel time from the big and bustling town of Marmaris, Selimiye is a “one street” village where all the activity centres around the seafront. As with many of the best “undiscovered” places this is a haven for yachts, the most fitting geographical description for this area is a “sound”, the steep hills surrounding this inlet ensure that it is perfectly calm and with no sandy beaches the water is crystal clear and quickly shelves to very deep water. Where there are yachts then there are usually good restaurants and this is certainly the case in Selimiye. The famous Sardunya restaurant situated on the sea front with its own jetty is full every night during the summer months – the tables, adorned with white linen and elegant glassware would not be out of place in the best French restaurant. Just along from Sardunya is Aurora where the charismatic Swedish/Turkish owners offer an amazing array of mezes, all with a slight twist and such a great selection of main courses that you really do have to return a few times to taste them all! Life here is lived on the sea front and with one carpet store, a handful of beach ware boutiques and a few jewellery and craft shops there’s even an opportunity to shop on the sea! Every Wednesday the village market offers a great selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, dried fruit and nuts, cheeses and olives and stalls laden with Turkish fabrics.
If your chosen destination is Selimiye it’s likely that your regular exercise will be the stroll along the sea front in search of restaurants offering a great selection of Turkish fare, but, if you are feeling particularly energetic then you might consider kayaking to the restaurant!
Daily boat trips leave the village and visit spectacular islands and coves, Kamelya with its ancient ruins of a monastery, herd of goats, guard like donkey and shoals of small fish, the magnificent volcanic island with an underwater chasm that you can swim through – home to an enormous octopus – and the Fairy Chimney bay with rock formation similar to that in Cappadocia.
If you take the alternative route you’ll see Dirsekbuku a harbour since ancient times, it used to be an embarking point for the wine trade with vineyards spread over the surrounding hills, be sure to take a snorkel and find the old pier lying underwater. If you like an activity whilst on holiday then consider learning to scuba dive; the Selimiye Diving School offers 3 day courses – SSI certified – as well as 1 day/2 dive introductory days. At the far end of the village the Palmetto Beach Club offers rental of windsurf, canoes and Topper Omega sailboats.
Bozburun, is just 7 kilometres down the road and over the hills from Selimiye. This village has been known for many years for its boat building but the gorgeous location, an almost land locked bay with small off shore islands has seen the opening of a few chic restaurants and one or two hotels. The bustling village centre comes alive at night with the sea side restaurants vying for the custom of the overnighting yachts and wooden built gulets. During our last visit Abramovich was holidaying in the area aboard his super yacht and even joined the locals in the tea house! The village has a number of shops, carpet, jewellery and beach cover ups and is perfect for an evening stroll, wander back to your base at the Loryma or just catch the hotel’s boat for a 5 minute boat trip. If you are looking for a totally relaxing holiday with plenty of sea swimming then a stay at the Loryma would be ideal.
Hiring a car or even just hopping in a taxi will allow the chance to explore, just a short drive from the villages is the famous waterfall, whilst in terms of a waterfall it might not reach the dizzy heights of Niagara or Iguazu there is nothing more enjoyable than going late in the day when all the day trippers have left and taking a dip in the icy cold pools. A little further along the road at Orhaniye there is a shallow bar across the bay, the phenomena of walking through the middle of the sea just has to be photographed. Another place worthy of visiting is Sogut where a tiny village seems to have 3 centres – 2 set high in the mountains where traditional life really does continue and one down at sea level! Here there’s a handful of restaurants, we like to hire a fishing boat for the day, stock up the cool box and just enjoy the total peace in the stunning coves and bays. It’s not just locals who love these waters on our last visit we pulled up next to a 145 metre yacht – not Abramovich’s!
If history and ancient sites are your interest then the area will not disappoint with the ancient sites of Hydas, Hygassos and Baybassos. In the nearby city of Hydas the ruins of wide city walls dating back to the Hellenistic period, several tombs and a watchtower can be found and there are a number of castles in the area dating back to 5th century.